Today, let's talk about who shapes the landscape of fashion in ways that are sustainable, stylish, and incredibly cool. I'm going to make a potentially unpopular statement here: fast fashion is YUCK. I eschew trends like the plague (but apparently I do not eschew cliches with that same aplomb). When I buy, I want to hit at least two out of three of these points:
1. Were the materials sourced sustainably?
2. Will this purchase withstand the test of time?
3. Does the label stand behind a cause (or causes) that I support?
For the right item, I will absolutely save up and invest. I would rather make one responsible investment purchase than a bunch of itty bitty throw-away (gasp!) purchases in the meantime. Which is why Style Operator Rose Chevalier's YouTube video about quitting shopping really resonated. You've got nine minutes; give it a watch!
Let's get to the favorites now.
1. Bottega Veneta
I guess I'm really saying I love Tomas Maier. The guy who edited his own name to streamline it pretty much wrote the book on simplicity! I found a pair of Bottega Veneta shoes in the designer clearance section of the DSW on Powell Street in San Francisco years ago. The price was criminal and I wore those gorgeous nude heels into the ground. Tomas Maier would have been proud if he'd known; I was a first-year middle school teacher and rockin' it daily in those kicks. I fell in love with Bottega Veneta and Tomas Maier when I read an article in the New Yorker style issue entitled, "Just Have Less." I kind of freaked out and had this moment where I realized a cool, successful fashion guy was doing it my way.
Sure, you aren't going to the NYFW runway show for Patagonia. I get it. But it's a legit brand making quality fashions and you are not going to find a more sustainably-minded label out there. Go ahead and try. Patagonia provides supply chain transparency and ecological footprint analysis for every single item they sell. I love that they will take back and resell any old item you are done using. My local Patagonia store (Palo Alto, CA) was in the original pilot group for this secondhand rack concept. What a bold campaign Patagonia ran last holiday season - the "Don't Buy This Jacket" is the epitome of consumerist restraint (and ironically, a pretty awesome business strategy).
3. Vivienne Westwood
We already know I love her! Vivienne Westwood is a finely aging wine and she just keeps getting more awesome. She invented the most beautifully counter-culture fashion in the Western world, and continues to question the status quo. I am a very loyal Westwood enthusiast, and I first blogged about the label here. Of late, Westwood has adopted the stance that we should all "Buy Less, choose well, make it last." With her edgy styles, though, it is hard to resist.
It's food for thought; enjoy! And happy shopping...the closet.