Here’s Why Throwaway Fashion Is Out Of Fashion

With the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival underway, experts from RMIT are available to comment on some of the biggest trends in the fashion industry, from circular fashion to capsule wardrobes built for comfort.

Circular fashion: Brands need to design for longevity

Dr Rebecca Van Amber, Senior Lecturer, School of Fashion & Textiles, Program Manager, Bachelor of Fashion & Textiles (Sustainable Innovation), RMIT (

“One of the most significant things the fashion industry can do to reduce waste in the industry is to design garments that are durable and long-lasting. Circular fashion is becoming increasingly popular and mainstream, however, we can only repurpose, re-sell, rent and repair fashion if it is made from quality fabrics and designed to last in the first place.

“One of the fascinating things that has happened with the proliferation of the fashion rental market —whereby you can rent special occasion clothing from online and bricks and mortar fashion rental boutiques — is that the brands who supply to this market are redesigning their products to make them more long-lasting. Previously, evening gowns weren’t designed to be worn over and over again. But that’s changed and they now need to be much more durable.

“Similarly, the sophistication of the second-hand fashion market, which has moved well beyond op shops and eBay to curated second-hand fashion boutiques who charge a premium means that well-made, quality garments are becoming increasingly valuable in that resale market, and that can only be a good thing when we are thinking about reducing fashion waste.

“This appetite for circular fashion, whether it be renting, re-selling or re-purposing garments, means there is increasing value in making and investing in good quality garments, which in turn reduces waste.”

How the pandemic prompted the rise of the capsule wardrobe

Dr Kate Sala, Lecturer, Design & Technology, School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT (

“I definitely think people are more aware now of what they have in their wardrobes than they were before the pandemic.

“You’ll find many people used those long periods of lockdown to clear out and sell superfluous items in their wardrobe and as a result I think people may be more mindful now of what they do and don’t need in their wardrobes.

“People are also more mindful of how they can use what they have available in their wardrobe to style different looks for different occasions. We have become resourceful.

“I think the fact that many of us are only in the office two or three days a week, or even less, means perhaps we’ve come to realise we don’t need as many clothes as we used to.

“And when we do leave the house, I think we are much more considered about what we wear. There is this real sense of occasion to be celebrated when we go out now.

“At the same time, I think we’ve become accustomed to a sense of comfort that extended periods at home have given us. So, while people are loving the opportunity to dress up for social occasions and going into the office, they are combining comfort with occasion, by being more experimental with their fashion and embracing relaxed silhouettes, comfortable footwear, and items that can take them easily from home to working away from home.”

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

Photo by Artem Beliaikin

Can Digital Fashion Make The Fashion Industry More Sustainable?

Fashion has become one of the latest industries put under the scope of digitalization. As more people opt for buying virtual clothing, the opportunity to minimize carbon emissions, textile waste, and water usage within the sector presents itself. 

With the metaverse, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increasing concerns related to climate change, fashion designers have turned to digital platforms for releasing their pieces. Louis Vuitton, for example, has designed a set of skins for the MOBA video game League of Legends. As virtual clothing becomes more accessible to the average user, fashion could become a more sustainable industry by allowing people to explore their style without needing to buy physical items.

Digital clothing tackles fashion’s sustainability issues

Despite brands incorporating “green policies” to reduce their harm to the environment in recent years, the fast-paced nature of the fashion industry causes it to be one of the biggest pollution-spreading sectors in 2021. However, rapid digitalization occurred within clothing companies as they failed to meet manufacturing goals as a result of the pandemic, which paved the way for virtual clothing.

Brands turned to mapping out initial drafts virtually, only physically crafting the clothes once a design has been settled on. In turn, as reported by ProSoft VR, the manufacturing process of one simple dress reduced environmental costs by around four times.

“As items go out of fashion and new trends pop up, a cycle of environmental harm is created. Old items end up in landfills, while the creation of new ones emit massive amounts of CO2  and deplete water resources. Games alleviate this burden, as unworn pieces may simply be deleted and replaced by other items with substantively less impact,” notes Victoria Trofimova, CEO of Nordcurrent, the biggest game development company in Lithuania.

While not completely impact-free, digital clothing items save around 3300 liters and produce 97% fewer carbon emissions per item, compared to their physical counterparts. By satisfying the need for engaging with new trends, consumers will likely be more mindful when buying physical pieces, reducing harm in the long-term.

Virtual clothing quickly garnering popularity

“Real-life clothing items increasingly find their way onto digital platforms. With famous designer houses joining the trend, virtual wardrobes are becoming more similar to ones in real-life,” notes Trofimova. “By emulating clothing, users may explore trends, styles, and brands without needing to purchase physical pieces, and therefore reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry,” she continues.

The trend is significantly supported by video games, as character customization becomes an integral part of an immersive experience. Games such as Pocket Styler allow the player to fully customize their avatar’s look with different clothing and accessories that can be found in real-life stores.

“People may express themselves using Pocket Styler by transferring their particular tastes and preferences to the virtual version of themselves. Players may take their time developing a personal sense of style, which is difficult to achieve in real life as trends change and are phased out of stores rapidly,” explains Trofimova.

With digital fashion only becoming increasingly popular, a new, sustainable route for the industry is coming into view. By playing with style on virtual platforms like video games,  people may still express themselves and be creative using clothing – with minimized detriment to the environment.

About Nordcurrent

Nordcurrent is the biggest Lithuanian video game developer and publisher, known for such games as Cooking Fever,  Murder in the Alps, Airplane Chefs, Sniper Arena. Focusing on freemium and casual games, the company created over 50 games since 2002, attracting more than half-billion players  worldwide.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Lukas Pereckas of

Zero Footprint Repurposing Presented by Revival Projects Wins Melbourne Design Week Award

Robbie Neville, Founder of Revival Projects, at Zero Footprint Repurposing presented as part of Melbourne Design Week 2022 running 17-27 March 2022.

Photo: Sean Fennessy

With almost half of waste worldwide coming from construction and demolition, Zero Footprint Repurposing by Revival Projects, presented as part of Melbourne Design Week, seeks to make sustainable construction alternatives more accessible to everyone by providing one of the world’s first free repurposing hubs to fill a vital gap in the industry by facilitating the storage and reuse of demolished materials, which would otherwise become landfill.

Founded by Robbie Neville in 2016, Revival Projects has already salvaged hundreds of tonnes in construction and demolition waste across Melbourne channelling it into furniture, interior, and architectural projects including R.M. Williams stores across the country, Industry Beans new Fitzroy flagship, and the 2020 demolition and salvage with Hip V.Hype, who were heading up the development of a Six Degrees Architects-designed block of 22 apartments in South Melbourne.

This first hub, opened in 2020, and in operation for a year, was situated immediately adjacent to the Hip V Hype site, and saw Revival Projects repurpose the 2000 lineal meters of timber beams into several local projects including a whisky bar, a ceramic studio, a burger bar and in sustainable furniture design workshops for women, which were run from the hub. The remaining timber will be used in feature elements of an 8 story Perri Projects development, designed by Tandem Studio, which is now under construction on the site of the South Melbourne hub.

The second iteration of the hub, presented during Melbourne Design Week 2022, is situated in Islington Street, Collingwood in a 100-year-old, 1500 square-metre warehouse, that will be demolished in 2024. True to their cause, Revival Projects, who are utilising the space in the interim, is working with Grimshaw Architects, the architects of the site’s future development, to repurpose the existing materials from the warehouse into the new development.

During Melbourne Design Week 2022, Revival Projects will open the hub to the public, Friday 25 March, with visitors able to discover how designers, builders and clients can work together to revolutionise the industry’s approach to repurposing and sustainable construction, and see a range of materials that have been stored onsite by FJMT, Perri Projects, Beulah International, Edition Office, BAR Studio, Hip V. Hype, Kerstin Thompson Architects, Assemble Communities, Grimshaw Architects, ANPlus Developments and Bayley Ward Architects among others.

A panel event discussing the work and impact of Revival Projects and some of their collaborators will take place on the premises, featuring Robbie along with speakers from Grimshaw, Hip V. Hype and Assemble Communities, the discussion will take place 5:00, Friday 25 March, 111 Islington St, Collingwood. For full details visit: Zero Footprint Repurposing MDW 2022

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, National Gallery of Victoria, said: ‘Zero Footprint Repurposing is a project of ambitious scale with global importance. Offering a unique platform for the design and construction industry to make a sustainable impact, the project is a real catalyst for positive change. Revival Projects draws attention to an important issue, demonstrating that the value of a design is not only in its function or aesthetic, but also in its environmental impact.’

Florian Seidler, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific, said: ‘Great design creates products and services which help to realise a healthier future and Zero Footprint Repurposing by Revival Projects is doing just that. Through their design week event they are both drawing attention to the issue of sustainable building practice and demonstrating how it can be achieved.’

‘At Mercedes-Benz, we’re also on a journey to a sustainable future, which includes finding ways to drive recycled products and methodologies into our supply chains and our vehicles.’

Robbie Neville, Founder of Revival Projects, said: ‘Our mission here is to revolutionize the way our industry approaches existing materials; we are disrupting centuries of traditions based on reckless consumption of natural resources. We are tremendously excited by the galvanic, inclusive energy of Melbourne Design Week, we have the dream combination of right place, right time, and right people to channel this incredible energy into affecting immediate change.’

Zero Footprint Repurposing is presented as part of Melbourne Design Week, an initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by the National Gallery of Victoria. In 2022 Melbourne Design Week runs from March 17 – 27. For full program please visit Proudly supported by Major Partners Mercedes-Benz and Telstra, and Design Partner RMIT University.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by NGV Media & Public Affairs

UOMA Beauty CEO Launches Make It BLACK 2022 Campaign

Sharon Chuter and Pull Up For Change re-launch the Make It BLACK campaign with new beauty brand partners to continue to shift perceptions around what it means to be Black and raise funds for the Pull Up For Change Impact Fund, which provides capital to emerging Black founders.

Teaming up with 8 beauty brands, Make It BLACK launched last February for Black History Month. Participating brands include UOMA Beauty, e.l.f. Cosmetics, M∙A∙C Cosmetics, Mented, Morphe, Flower Beauty, Ulta Beauty, and IPSY/BoxyCharm.

Following a successful launch in February, in which over $400,000 was raised and deployed to eight emerging black business founders at Essence Festival of Culture, Sharon Chuter and her non-profit organization, Pull Up For Change are re-launching the Make It BLACK campaign for Black History Month 2022 with new beauty partners.

After the disruptive launch of Pull Up For Change and the #PullUpOrShutUp campaign in June 2020 – a social call-to-action that demanded companies to publicly disclose the number of black employees in their corporate office and leadership roles to help dismantle a system that has led to low economic participation for black people – Sharon Chuter and Pull Up For Change shook up the beauty landscape once again with the launch of Make It BLACK, a breakthrough campaign delivering iconic beauty products in limited-edition black packaging to redefine what it means to be Black and raise funding for black founders.

The Make It BLACK campaign deals another blow to systemic racism by reclaiming the word black and making consumers understand that black is nothing but beautiful. Make it BLACK is making a bold statement to change the inaccurate and dangerous negative perception in society of the word and instead reframe and refocus on the beauty of Black. Afterall Black is the color of absolute luxury – it’s chic, classic, timeless, and iconic.

The Make It BLACK campaign’s PETITION – which was created to get the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam Webster Dictionary to update their definitions of the word black immediately – already has over 6,220 signatures and counting. As an integral part of the petition and campaign, Sharon Chuter herself has written an OPEN LETTER to the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam Webster Dictionary, and is writing 6,200 additional letters – in support of each petition signature – to push upon the dictionaries and advocate for real change.

“Language plays a critical role in how we perceive the world,” says Sharon Chuter. “The function of language goes beyond expressing ideas and concepts, it shapes thought and defines our collective consciousness. Language should be neutral, unbiased and reflective of our current realities. It is in this regard that the dictionary has work to do.”

For this year’s Make It Black campaign, Pull Up For Change is partnering with established beauty brands – e.l.f., Flower Beauty, M∙A∙C Cosmetics, Mented, Morphe, and UOMA Beauty – to repackage their most iconic products in black. These limited-edition products will be available for purchase throughout February (Black History Month) and will be sold online with Ulta Beauty, through IPSY and BoxyCharm’s subscription boxes, and via the Make It BLACK and participating brands’ websites.

100% of the gross profits from the limited-edition iconic black products will be contributed to the PULL UP FOR CHANGE Impact Fund, which deploys capital to black-owned businesses and are allocated as grants to emerging black founders. Last year, the campaign raised over $400,000 which was deployed as grants to eight black female founders.

“As a Black Female founder, I understand, first-hand, the struggles of raising capital or accessing funding,” says Sharon Chuter. “In fact, I am one of only 93 Black women in the history of America who have raised over $1M for startups. On the other hand, the average white male receives $2.1M to fund their start-ups. We have a long way to go to create true economic equality and there is no equality without equity. This is where I am proud to play a small part in supporting other Black female founders to make their dreams a reality, and to truly get the seat at the table that they very well deserve”.

“Ulta Beauty is proud to join Sharon and Pull up For Change to empower Black beauty and drive meaningful change in our industry,” said Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer at Ulta Beauty. “As a values-based company, we share the passion to shape how the world sees beauty and the intention to build greater equity for Black founders. Make it BLACK helps achieve this and we’re honored to support as the exclusive retail partner.”

The Make It BLACK iconic beauty products for retail include:

e.l.f. Cosmetics Total Face Sponge

This multi-sided sculpting face sponge has angled sides for highlighting, and rounded sides for flawless blending. The precision point is perfect for concealing imperfections and works with any of our liquid and powder formulas.

M∙A∙C Cosmetics Lustreglass Sheer Shine Lipsticks

Experience glamour in a glide with these luscious lipsticks. Blended with of good-for-lips ingredients like a creamy combination of jojoba, raspberry seed, coconut and organic extra-virgin olive oils that nourishes lips, while shea butter conditions and hyaluronic acid helps moisturize. The result? Comfortable, buildable colour, a luminous, long-wearing finish and softer, smoother and more supple lips that look as good as they feel. Pamper your pout with shades Beam There Done That, Hug Me and Thanks It’s MAC.

Morphe x Make It Black Empower Your Expression 18-Pan Artistry Palette

Empower your expression and promote positive change with this limited-edition Morphe X Make it BLACK Artistry Palette packed with bold browns, glimmers of shimmer, and pigment-packed pops.

UOMA Beauty Make It Black Color Palette and Badass Icon Lipsticks

Make It Black Carnival Color Palette: Invoke the hypnotic, spellbinding allure of your inner Carnival Queen with this limited-edition high octane, high impact and highly pigmented color palette. Lavish textures transform into ultra-thin, full colored film on the eyelids which are long lasting and water resistant.

Make It Black Badass Icon Matte Lipsticks: Available in four iconic UOMA Beauty shades, these lipsticks are highly pigmented yet lightweight, with a silky texture that leaves lips silky smooth with just one stroke. Let your inner BADASS shine through! Shades include – Elaine (Jet Black), Ruby (True Red), Eartha (Warm Nude), Maya (Pink Nude).

Make It BLACK is no longer accepting the things that historically could not be changed. It is changing the things we cannot accept. Black must be redefined.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Anderson Group Public Relations

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Téa Nassi

Téa Nassi is a Parisian-based designer from Albania. She started her career in finance before quitting her day job to pursue her dream in Paris. She studied fashion design in a Parisian school and launched her brand under her own name.

She finds inspiration for her concepts in human psychology, optical illusions, and modern art. She enjoys blending classic cu4cts with a twist of fantasy, stylistically, for refined, cultivated women but with a streak of extraverted fun.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Téa to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I grew up in post-communist Albania when there were no fashion schools, and choosing a career was motivated first by financial security. I followed a scientific baccalaureate, studied finance, and nailed a 9 to 5 job in accountancy. Nevertheless, I’d spend hours sketching outfits in our building’s staircase from a very early age, and it never left me. So, at the age of 25, I took a huge leap of faith, quit my job, left my country, and moved to France to study fashion design. I first became an au-pair, had to follow a 6-month crash course in French, put money aside, and nine months later, I was ready to apply to a fashion school in Paris.

What do you like most about being a designer?

Where do I start? It’s a wonderful, applied art form that sublimates an everyday necessity into a means of self-expression. I love the transformation process of the industry, from a shapeless piece of fabric to an accomplished work of art.

On a personal level, I love the challenge it requires to reinvent myself in each new collection. Putting in the hours, doubting, researching, starting all over again from scratch, until finally the outfits are finished, and I can feel the pride of seeing them worn.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

Putting in the hours, doubting, researching, starting all over again from scratch! Jokes aside, we currently have the massive responsibility of reinventing one of the world’s most polluting and irresponsible industries. We must slow down, produce less and more intelligently, against everything that has been done for decades. It represents huge stress for all involved, including emerging brands such as mine. While the big brands have the teams and means to imagine new processes, new designers have to carry the burden of finding solutions alone, and at times we feel like small fish in a huge pond.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

My very first catwalk! The feeling of accomplishment overwhelmed me after such a long journey. I knew instantly I was in the right place and had made the right choices; it motivated me, like nothing else, to pursue the path I had chosen.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I like to surround myself with many interesting people from all walks of life. But the most interesting person I’ve met is my own father! He’s a secretive but fascinating person who never complains but always finds solutions to every possible problem he encounters. He is a true inspiration for me, and even though he is not part of the industry, I strive to apply his soft skills to my own work every day.

On a professional level, I wouldn’t want to differentiate one person from another; I sincerely thank all my professors and collaborators who have taught me invaluable lessons.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry? This can be about the industry or about yourself.

I had a valuable but frustrating experience learning the following lesson. I preferred to follow other people’s advice on several occasions instead of listening to my own creative instinct. I would put enormous amounts of work into something I didn’t personally believe in. Unsurprisingly, I would have to undo everything to start all over again and follow my initial hunch! Hence the lesson would be: take in the advice but don’t let it stray away from your instinct. And don’t be reluctant to put in the hours; inspiration comes working.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

My parents were born and grew up in Communist Albania. So naturally, their outlook on life is not risk-driven. When I told them at age 25 that I was willing to quit my safe situation in Tirana and leave to Paris to study fashion without even knowing the language, they were naturally worried about my life choices. Yet today, on the contrary, they are so supportive!

My grandmother was a dressmaker; my mother is also talented with a needle and a thread. She’s the one I call every time I need technical advice; she’s even pulled off quite a few sleepless nights to help me!

As for my partner, we work side by side every day, and he helps me with everything. He specializes in graphic/motion design and has helped me with my branding and photo edits… but we also love to discuss artistic viewpoints and regularly brainstorm on my brand. It’s a loving, virtuous circle!

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I strongly believe in the four spiritual laws of Hinduism. The second law states, “What happens is the only thing that could have happened.” And it must have been like that for us to learn that lesson and move on.

But all the while knowing it, I regret not having listened to my inner voice earlier. Instead of studying fashion straight after school, I studied finance for security. So as that spiritual law has it, finance was so unlike me that I believe it was probably exactly what I needed to find the courage to give up everything I had and study fashion design.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

My first drawing teacher, Sylvie Fontaine, once told me that if I wanted to succeed as a designer, then all my energy must be focused on that one goal. Hence that meant for me to see the whole world through the eyes of a fashion designer. Movies, art, experiences, books, everything surrounding me should become wells of inspiration. I thank her as it has become my lifestyle ever since, and it really does produce tangible results.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

My immediate plan is to finish and publish my next collection, but my future plan is to expand my brand and achieve my first stand-alone runway.

In the distant future, I’d like to open a fashion school in Albania and provide young Albanians with the French savoir-faire I acquired. It’s a small country with huge potential, but it suffers from a fleeing young population who relocate in the hope of finding more opportunities elsewhere (been there, done that). It would be my contribution to my beautiful country of birth and heart.

TikTok Fashion: Research explores the demand for the app’s fastest growing trends

Clothes2Order has carried out a study that reveals TikTok’s fastest-growing fashion trends.
The study used Google search data and compared the searches at two points of the year, July to December, to reveal that ‘mini Uggs’ are currently TikTok’s fastest-growing fashion trend, with a remarkable 8233.33% increase in demand over six months.
The data shows the power that TikTok has to create must-have items, especially within the Gen Z adopted Y2K aestheticMini Uggs, first popular in the early 00s, have had almost 30m views on the app, whilst Juicy Couture velour tracksuits have had 7.4m views, leading to a 300% increase in searches.
Opera gloves, often seen on the red carpet, were a surprise new trend, increasing by 84%.
See the full list below:


Tik Tok Fashion Trend

% Increase in demand over six months

TikTok Hashtag Views


Mini Uggs




North Face puffa jacket




Acne scarf




Frankie Shop quilted jacket




Fluffy bucket hat




Knee high boots




Juicy Couture tracksuit




Leather blazers




Stirrup leggings




Opera gloves




Arm warmers




Platform boots




Zara green bag




Oversized blazer






Key Findings
  • Mini Uggs made an explosive entrance back to fashion in October, with over 46,000 new searches.
  • Searches for catsuits, championed by the likes of Kim Kardashian, increased by 48% over a period of six months from July to December.

  • Six-month search data also showed the impact of the Acne multicoloured scarf, increasing searches by 650%.

Editorial credit: Ti Vla /

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Leila Jones of Digitaloft

Introducing The Brand Behind The Cover Of The March 2022 Issue Of Sassy & Co: Medusa Hire

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Medusa Hire is the world’s first and ONLY Versace tableware and decor hire company. It adopts the embodiment of Versace’s DNA that is defined by the emblematic Medusa head and gold tones, they each truly capture the essence of luxury.

Medusa Hire translates the Versace allure into a Versace experience by servicing the exquisite demands of high-end events and special occasions. It injects a touch of luxury Italian glamour into your event with signature Versace statement pieces.

Sassy & Co caught up with Medusa Hire and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

Given our business is word of mouth, we have poured a lot of time into social media assets to lift its awareness. We have partnered with social media influencers as well as international celebrities in the entertainment industry like The Jacksons and Boyz II Men just to name a few. We have also established partnerships with world-renowned brands such as Eighy5 Cigars based in Florida in America which has given us the opportunity to cross-promote and grow our following to overseas markets.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

Instagram has been a great platform for our brand awareness as it allows our content to easily be shared by our followers. We also feel like our target demographic spends most of their time on Instagram.

What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns?

It works to a certain extent but it can only take you so far. For us, what has been the most effective is creating content that can be organically shared by our followers and customer base. As mentioned in the previous question, the best form of advertising is word of mouth – and it’s free! Brand collaborations have also been effective and opened new doors.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Since upgrading our website, we have witnessed an abundance of quality leads surface. 80% spend on social media and 20% spend on editorials. Predominately, our marketing is via social media which has given us the best return. However, your social media marketing is only as strong as the content you create and what has set us apart from the rest, is our ability to create great content that is shareable by our followers.

What sort of people usually hire your venue?

People from all walks of life as Versace has no boundaries. From corporate events to birthdays, anniversaries, and everything in between.

How is your business staying afloat during this pandemic?

We have been quite resilient during the pandemic where customers are spending more time than ever online so our sales division has remained strong.

What’s the toughest decision you had to make in the past few months?

Putting our expansion plans on hold with purchasing more venues.

Where do you see Medusa Hire in the next 5 years?

The future of Medusa Hire lies with purchasing multiple venues and adopting all the Versace Home ranges.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

Do your research! It’s all in due diligence. Continue to always persist no matter what and don’t forget to be the hardest worker in the room.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Lia Cowan

Lia Cowan is an artist and designer whose mixed Jewish and Irish heritage has opened a portal where inspiration threads are spun from folklore and mysticism. Her approach to design is like that of an artist. Diverse themes are researched, explored, and responded to. Her sculptural background informs and adds another layer to the work, through silhouette, movement, and performance. Each of her pieces embodies its own story and has at its heart its own personal textile tale – handcrafted, hand-embellished, hand-embroidered, and hand-held. Going through a transformative journey of casting, gathering, draping, stretching.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Lia to discuss her journey in the fashion industry, and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

My background is actually in Sculpture and Education, having completed a BA in The National College of Art and Design in Dublin. I taught Art as a secondary school subject for a few years, and I loved it and loved all my students, but I found something was missing. I missed the buzz of designing and making.

I have always had a passion for clothes and was quite experimental with shapes and silhouettes (some good, some ATROCIOUS), so I wanted the ability to make my own clothes. It started off as a hobby, but quickly I became obsessed. It was like something had sparked inside of me, and finally, I realised this was what I needed to do. From then on, I have done everything in my power to educate myself through courses, collaborations, and internships, and it has brought me to a place where I feel I have found my own unique voice as a designer.

What do you like most about being a designer?

There is no better feeling than seeing someone wear your pieces or for them to tell you how fantastic and confident they felt in them. It truly fills my heart with joy.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

Financially, it is definitely very stressful. I am at the beginning stages of my career, so I understand this is part of the package, and I am more than happy to do so if it means I get to do something I love as a career!

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

My first magazine feature was pretty incredible. Only a year prior to this was I credited as an intern for another Irish designer I had worked with. To see your work photographed, and your name in bold as the designer – it’s pretty magical.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I have worked with some fantastic stylists and photographers, each using my pieces in completely different ways which I love! In particular, Adam Walsh and Anne O’Shea (both stylists in Dublin) have been massive supports of me and my work.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

Don’t undersell yourself or your work. I think a lot of young designers come into the fashion industry assuming they are at the bottom of the food chain and so must act accordingly. It’s so important to put yourself out there, tell people about your work and who you are, be bold and be confident – the feedback may surprise you.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Coming from an Irish-Jewish family, it’s hard not to be showered with love and support every day. My parents are my biggest fans; my Mom is literally my Momager. I owe them both so much; they have been with me through everything – the meltdowns, the imposter syndrome, and they have celebrated with me through all the successes.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I probably would say not to be so hard on myself in the beginning stages. I was obsessed with being the best or doing everything perfectly from the get-go. Everything is a learning experience, and I learned so much more through those mistakes than I ever would have if everything went “perfectly.”

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Don’t sell yourself short.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I am hoping to move from Dublin to Holland with my Boyfriend Max over the coming months. We are both designers and have always wanted to move to Holland for its incredible design culture. Ideally, I would open a studio there and continue expanding my brand.

I will continue designing and making custom pieces while releasing two small capsule collections a year.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Erika Janavi

Erika Janavi initially came by bus from Lithuania to London to study Fashion and Textiles in 2011. She had a wild ride discovering herself and challenging her career in various fields, however, not Fashion. During the first lockdown, she realized how fascinated she is with textiles and how much creativity she can give to designing, which is why she’s now pursuing this as a full-time career. More than that, she managed to adapt her unusual lifestyle to her designing profession. The majority of her possessions are antique or vintage because she’s passionate about sustainable living and timeless everlasting designs. Therefore she makes her pieces from unique antique /vintage fabrics and materials.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Erika to discuss her journey in the fashion industry, and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I left my home country of Lithuania as soon as I graduated from school and started my BA studies in Fashion and textiles in West London. It was a spontaneous decision since I had previously prepared to study interior design.

What do you like most about being a designer?

The creative process of firstly imagining a design, then creating it, and finally seeing it materialise and worn.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

It is one of the toughest industries, especially if you are trying to make it on your own. People always tend to buy fast Fashion because of its cost rather than researching independent designers who offer unique, sustainable, and lasting quality items.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

I believe my big personal moments are yet to come in the near future.

Several years ago, whilst I was in my final year at university, somehow, I still managed to do a full-time internship and work in a cafe on weekends. I was an assistant for a very successful couture designer whose clients at the time were celebrities like Florence and Machines, Paloma Faith, Nicole Scherzinger, Mischa Barton.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Multitasking artists with a side hustle are always the most interesting people!

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

Don’t be too proud to ask for help; you definitely can’t do it all by yourself.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

I think they are doing their best even though they don’t fully understand it sometimes.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I would have kept up the creativity even if times were hard and I was literally a starving artist (after university, I had a four-year break working full time and abandoning Fashion because I didn’t get a job in the industry right away). I’d also start building a social media presence earlier.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Back in university, I was very unconfident and unsure if my design ideas were good; my headteacher once told me: ‘Do you want your designs to be in a museum one day? Then you should know what to do.’ Whenever I wasn’t sure if I should hold back and choose simpler design ideas or go bigger, I always remember his advice.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

This spring, I will finally start selling my designs with stockists; I am also focusing on opening a pop-up shop with multiple avant-garde independent designers.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Lindsay Nicholas

While having a long career in advertising and marketing, Lindsay Nicholas traveled extensively and craved luxurious clothing that would take her between coasts and hemispheres, and travel well… all the while offering effortlessly cool style. She knew she wasn’t alone in needing some amazing modern basics that live outside of the seasons to suit my global lifestyle. This spirit, combined with an obsession for fashion, inspired her to begin Lindsay Nicholas New York in 2015.

Lindsay’s designs truly defy age and represent an attitude and confidence that can be seen in women of all ages. Her pieces are intelligent and elegant, like her clientele.

Lindsay holds certificate degrees from Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She truly understands luxury, having been the Executive Director of Retail Marketing for The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, one of the top luxury malls in the world, and Head of Global Marketing for Paspaley Pearls in Australia. She’s also a former board member of the Association of Image Consultants International.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Lindsay to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I have drawn women in clothing since I was a young child, but after living through 9/11 in NYC, I realised it was time to re-evaluate where my life was headed. I had a successful career in advertising on Madison Avenue but knew that being a fashion designer was my true calling. I studied at Parsons School of Design and then the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in the evenings and received certificate degrees over the course of several years. I then walked into my boss’s office and told him I was quitting to become a fashion designer, and he basically told me to go back to my desk – essentially, I did for another decade. As I rounded 50, I knew it was time to make a move. Initially, I did it as a side hustle, getting up at 4 am to work with my (what was then) NYC-based team while I was living in Singapore. In 2017 I had the courage to make it my full-time gig. In 2019 I moved the business to Australia.

What do you like most about being a designer?

I truly love the pieces I design, and like many designers, I design for myself. I had access to the best brands in my prior career and wore many European fashion houses. My wardrobe consists of mainly my pieces (and a little Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Celine), and I love wearing Lindsay Nicholas New York. My clothes are flattering, comfortable (without looking too comfortable), and infused with boldness and discreet sexiness. I have the best wardrobe I have ever had, and I get excited for what’s next, though I always pair new with one of my existing pieces. I believe a wardrobe should last season after season. I think through every detail, from the French seams to how a piece enhances a woman’s body. I am fully into every aspect.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

A friend of mine once described it as the Olympics of small details, and it is that! I am very lucky that I came in with the marketing chops right out of the gates, but there was still much more to learn, especially in the beginning. I made sure my small team was full of subject area experts. There are just so many aspects to consider, from sourcing fabrics to finding the right factory, the most appropriate channels to sell on, right down to the best accounting software and thread colours. As a designer and business owner, you really have to juggle a lot of plates at once.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

While I have had some “pinch me” moments showing at New York Fashion Week and being accepted into the Australian Fashion Council’s Curated program, opening my new boutique in Melbourne has been a dream come true. I love retail, and I love being with my clients. The feedback I get is invaluable, and seeing a woman walk out of the fitting room glowing because she is feeling so amazing in one of my creations makes me joyful. And when she asks if she can wear it out of the store because she doesn’t want to take it off…well, that’s just the best.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Well, indeed, my clients are all so interesting. They have lived such amazing lives, and all got to where they are by not following the safe path. They take risks and put themselves out there. Just a fantastic group of ladies, though that said, recently, we’ve also been selling to men who are exploring their feminine wardrobe. It’s great for me to see how my pieces translate, and it’s very exciting for me. In terms of people I have met outside of my clients who have blown me away, I was fortunate enough to spend a little time with Michael Kors and Diane Von Furstenberg in my prior career, and I think they are the most talented and supremely lovely people I have met. So down to earth and warm.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

You need to listen (and as I always like to say, “listen with your ears and not your mouth”), but you also can’t listen to all of the advice you get. Listen, take it in, but you need to apply your own filter at the end of the day. You’ll wind up with a very vanilla product if you try to please everyone. I listen and think, “that resonates with me… that’s good advice,” or “that’s interesting, but not something I am going to take on board.” We could probably make more money if we took some shortcuts, but I’d rather have fewer clients, but clients who appreciate the detail and quality we provide. We’re not for everybody, but we are for that special someone.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Absolutely! My sister works for me, so let’s start there. And now, her daughter is even helping out in the business. My mother, who died quite suddenly this year, was my biggest fan. She loved my pieces, and she was that bold, intelligent, and creative woman I designed for. She wore my pieces into her 80’s and looked chic as chic. Just in my family, I dress 17 to 83 year-olds. And my husband is truly my rock. He is integral to the business and knows everyone throughout my supply chain. When I was designing our leopard print pieces (which are our best sellers), I did a huge study on good leopard vs. bad leopard (because certainly there are both…and I do think ours is the best), and my husband was so involved that now he critiques every piece of leopard he sees on the street on in a store window. He’s an absolute doll.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I would have approached an industry mentor sooner. I learned a lot by trial and error, and there are amazing people out there who are so generous with their time and expertise. Just because I don’t know how to do something doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone who does! I wound up getting paired with Christine Metcalfe, who co-founded The Ark Clothing Company through the Australian Fashion Council, and she has been a great mentor to me. There are also great resources like Fashion Equipped, which could have saved me some headaches and money if I knew they existed initially.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

While not necessarily advice, the quote I had in my High School yearbook still rings true for me today: Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another. – Marquis de Condorcet

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I love to work and create, so I am looking forward to the journey in our new boutique, the new pieces we’ll create, and the new relationships we’ll make. And while we haven’t been able to travel for a couple of years, really looking forward to spending a couple of months a year in New York City and with my family in Boston. It’s good for me creatively and spiritually.