Fashion is at its best when it is art. And art is at its best when it shakes, when it provokes a crisis in its audience, when it inspires reflection, action, maybe even a little discomfort... when it galvanizes a movement. That's why this year at New York Fashion Week, I'm proud to be a board member of Modavanti.com, the destination for ethically-made eco-friendly fashion for our generation of socially conscious fashionistas. In a time when the institution of #NYFW is being rightly challenged for its lack of diversity of body type and race as well as its lack of ethical manufacturing standards, I am humbled and energized by the ingenuity and success of my colleagues David Dietz and Jesse Ayala Jr., the co-founders of Modavanti.com, the visionaries behind what has become a new #NYFW institution.
"The future of fashion is sustainability, and yet, even though the industry has made considerable progress in adopting a more sustainable outlook, we still need a Revolution. It's about time we build a sustainable fashion movement," says CEO and co-founder David Dietz. Through their "triple bottom line"-approach, Dietz and Director of Operations, Adam Clancy, have created a business model that embraces people, planet and profit -- ensuring that all of Modavanti's products respect the dignity of the worker and the environment, while sustaining the operations of the Modavanti team in New York.
In a year where the deaths of over 1,000 garment workers in Bangladesh revealed that the West's demand for cheap product literally kills, the need for a solutions-based approach like Modavanti could not be more pressing or timely. Furthermore, as many American brands like GAP, Macy's, JCPenney and Walmart, continue to insult, violate and shamelessly spit on the rights of women workers abroad, players like Modavanti represent a refreshingly subversive and outspoken voice in an industry desperately in need of new leadership and innovation.
New Yorkers may have seen Modavanti already this week around town, as they kicked off this year's fashion week with a series of guerilla fashion shows in several locations throughout the city. Modavanti's Creative Department, which secured the combined talents of Sarah Craft, Colin Eadie and Bryn Terrell for its founding team, is led by renowned Brooklyn-based artist, Jesse Ayala Jr. and has emerged as the leading e-commerce site for sustainable fashion in just one year.
"It's moving to work not only with such a dynamic, visionary team, but also on a project that has the potential to change the discourse on style and disrupt the entire industry," reflects Creative Director, Jesse Ayala Jr., known among his cult-like followers as "the curator of The Revolution."
With online destinations like Modavanti.com, we no longer need to compromise our values for style. That's why my eyes are on #NYFW this year: standing with the new generation of leaders and artists like the team of Modavanti and scrutinizing those competitors dangerously stuck in the past. As the slogan of Modavanti goes, #JoinTheFuture, #JoinTheMovement, #ForwardFashion.
Now that's sexy! ;)
Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, talks about what's changed in the garment industry since the devastating fire in Bangladesh earlier this year, and, just in time for NY fashion week, look at the growth of eco-friendly, worker-friendly fashion trends on The Leonard Lopate Show