Has The Pandemic Changed The Way We Dress??

Experts from RMIT University are available to comment on how the pandemic will change the stereotypical ‘Melbourne look’, the casualisation of workwear, the demise of restrictive clothing and the office dress code, and the rise of homegrown fashion and the local high street. 

Dr. Kate Sala, a lecturer of Design & Technology at the School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University, commented:

“History has shown us time and again that after large global crises, like in the case of both world wars and the recession in the early ‘80s, a period of excess and extravagance typically follows when it comes to fashion. 

“And I think we are going to see the same thing happen here, now that things have opened up again. People will really be embracing the opportunity to dress up and use clothes as a way to communicate socially with each other. 

“It will be a way to celebrate that sense of freedom, and as a result, that celebration is likely to translate into a lot of colour and print. 

“I think we’ll find that people are going to really throw caution to the wind when it comes to dressing and become quite experimental and have a lot of fun with what they wear. 

“I think we’ll also see a lot more looser silhouettes, and even when we’re channeling evening wear, people will still be looking for that sense of comfort and ease and that leisurewear vibe. 

“For example, the trend for wearing sneakers with evening attire will continue, there will be a lot of mismatching, and anything goes. It will be very experimental and bold and a lot of fun.” 

Dr. Stephen Wigley, Associate Dean, Fashion Enterprise, School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University commented:

“I think one of the biggest changes in the way we dress in a post-lockdown world will be the casualisation of workwear.

“A recent survey of 20,000 consumers across 11 markets, including Australia, by global athleisure brand Lululemon, found that 81 per cent of respondents said they perform better at work if they feel physically comfortable.

“Of course, this doesn’t mean we are going to start seeing office workers returning to the city en masse in their activewear; it will simply mean that comfort will play a far bigger role in what we choose to wear to work when we do go back. 

“So, we are likely to see less ties in many workplaces, for example, and women ditching more restrictive garments like skirt suits and high heels. 

“And I think, most significantly, the pandemic will likely be the beginning of the end of the office dress code – or at least the emergence of a new dress code.

“Just as companies who fail to take a more flexible approach to working arrangements and adopt hybrid workplaces will struggle to attract and retain staff, organisations that persist with strict office dress codes are likely to face similar challenges.” 

Tamzin Rollason, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University commented:

“I’m already seeing a shift among people who have started to see the value in shopping locally. I think the fact that we have spent more time at home and in our local neighbourhoods, due to ongoing lockdowns, means the local high street is really having a moment.  

“And I think it will continue to do so, as hybrid working arrangements become the norm and because people are seeing the benefits to their local businesses, their local economy and in terms of convenience. 

“While at the same time there has been a big shift towards online shopping, due to the closure of retail, that has been counterbalanced by some of those significant supply chain issues that we’ve been seeing. So, particularly, in the short to medium term, shopping locally will continue to be appealing. 

“I think we are going to hear a lot more talk about local manufacturing also, if the local industry can meet some of the big challenges it is facing, particularly when it comes to finding enough workers. But there is definitely a growing demand for it. 

“The pandemic has also produced a lot of what I like to call accidentally sustainable practices. I’m hearing people say, ‘I’ve been wearing the same five items of clothing for the last year and a half, and I don’t know why I’ve got all these clothes in my cupboard.’ 

“Other people have had time to sort through their wardrobes, so there has been wardrobe rediscovery and so by sheer accident, or due to these extraordinary circumstances, people have been adopting sustainable practices which are quite effortless, and really how sustainability should be.” 

This article was sourced from a media release sent by RMIT Communications: 0439 704 077 or news@rmit.edu.au 

The Psychology Behind Virtual Dress-up in Gaming and Web3

With digital fashion on the rise, consumers are presented with more opportunities to express their sense of style onto virtual avatars. By being able to curate their image and surroundings, a new way to build confidence and express oneself emerges.

With the pandemic resulting in a 30% increase in reported anxiety issues in young adults, many have turned to virtual worlds as a coping mechanism. A study conducted last year at the University of Glasgow discovered that 71% of respondents have increased their gaming time during the lockdown, and 58% of them indicated that gaming has improved their well-being.

Both mobile, digital games and the metaverse provide the ability to be whatever one wants using an avatar, in a location where they have complete control over what they look like, who they interact with, and how safe they feel.

Research has shown identification with the avatar boosts intrinsic motivation, which may impact how players act. One example is that users behave in accordance with the behavior they stereotypically connect with their avatar’s appearance, such as bargaining more vehemently when represented by a taller avatar.

As a result, virtual platforms that allow users to create a technologically enhanced self-image could lead to higher confidence and lessen consumption rates.

Designers and developers hop on the trend

“The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the main driving factors for virtual clothing. In the absence of social interaction, many people turned to video games as a form of distraction and self-development,”  said Viktoria Trofimova, CEO of Nordcurrent, an international developer and publisher of mobile games.

“This came as a newfound opportunity for the fashion industry, as production lines halted and runway shows were canceled over restrictions. Consumers could still interact with their pieces in the confines of a virtual world,” she continued.

For example, Louis Vuitton released a League of Legends capsule collection featuring character skins (outfits worn by playable characters). At the same time, Moschino created a collection for The Sims that could be bought and worn in the game.

However, the trend has not disappeared with the lifting of pandemic restrictions. Character customization has become a crucial aspect of an immersive experience in video games, which has continued this trend. Pocket Styler, for example, allows the player to completely modify their avatar’s appearance with real-world clothing and accessories.

With over 10 million users in just a few months, the app allows users to try on clothes and develop their distinctive styles without straining their wallets. Players participate in limited-time events, where they show off their take on a given theme or style outfits around specific items.  It also provides a slow-paced atmosphere, removing the tension that comes with trying on new clothes.

The psychological impact of experimenting with virtual clothing

Styling a virtual avatar — a stand-in for one’s real self — enables users to discover their sense of style. Digital clothing eliminates the excessive financial means and constraints of physical reality needed to do so.

“By experimenting with their avatar’s look, players can feel a strong sense of empowerment. On the one hand, a person may come to understand themselves, their interests, and personality better by making their character reflect what they feel inside,” noted Trofimova.

“On the other hand, items they have tried on may fuel their wardrobes in real life. As users buy items they fell in love with digitally, they may become more confident in their overall appearance,” she explained.

In addition to a diverse range of digital style choices, virtual clothing also helps to save roughly 3300 liters of water and emit 97 percent fewer carbon emissions for each item.

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 blueoceanspr.com

The Best of Miss Earth Australia 2022 Grand Launch and Fashion Show, In Pictures

The Miss Earth Australia 2022 Grand Launch and Fashion Show has finally come to a close, and here are some of the most memorable moments from the runway, as captured by George Azmy.

Designers Tommy Ge of Leatheron, Faten Lawn, Lily African Wares, Alies Bol, and Armando Crisostomo were among those who showcased their collections last Saturday. It was definitely a sight to behold!

Scroll through the photos below to see highlights from the Miss Earth Australia 2022 Grand Launch and Fashion Show.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Cecilia Rinaldi

Cecilia Rinaldi is a brand dedicated to ethical and conscious fashion. Cecilia, with her team, creates clothing and accessories based on environmental and social sustainability using fabrics and organic materials produced in Italy.

Each collection is created with the idea of Slow Fashion, emphasizing sustainability, beauty, longevity and respect for humanity. Italian style is combined with a deconstructed form influenced by different Asian cultures resulting in a refined and minimal urban chic style.

She promotes continual research into new innovative methods while always referencing Italian traditions to maintain high-quality products with a low environmental impact. We believe that providing the option to buy one quality garment over multiple low-quality items contributes to reducing the environmental impact of a wardrobe.

Cecilia Rinaldi is a fashion designer with a professional course of studies of multifaceted experiences that have allowed her to form 360 degrees in the role of sustainable designer, development textile research, pattern and draping maker, and fashion prototypist.

After high school, in 2010, she graduated from Accademia Italiana Art, Fashion and Design in Florence, where she has been teaching since September 2015 and coordinating the Fashion Design department since 2020. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wales in the same year. After her studies, Cecilia dedicated herself to her professional vocation: she deepened her sartorial techniques, blending design through creative research and the study of materials.

At the Esmod International University of Art for Fashion in Berlin, Cecilia specializes in Fashion Design, completing her training in the creation of stylistic design and sartorial techniques. In 2013 and 2014, she went to the United States. While attending Richland College Multicultural Studies in Dallas, TX, she worked as a fashion designer for private clients and specialized as a buyer working in a Haute Couture Boutique. Traveling assiDuously, Cecilia comes into contact with different contexts and cultures and is always looking for new incentives: she matures and nourishes her style, which draws inspiration from nature and the surrounding environment. which are the inspiration for her research and new ideas. This allows her style to grow continually and mature, keeping her sustainable and artisanal foundation in mind. An essential feature of her modus operandi is the attention to the manual process. Cecilia’s fashion is, first of all, an ethical, sustainable fashion: respect for the environment and for the individual and human rights have always been the reference point in the work process and the creation of her collections.

She has devoted herself to her handmade vocation, deepening her sartorial and design techniques through creative research and the study of materials and fabrics. Cecilia values collaboration and looks for opportunities to volunteer with other sustainable brands around the globe as a way to increase her knowledge and help spread and support the movement of sustainable and ethical fashion locally and around the world.

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

How did you get into the fashion industry?

After my first academic education, in 2010, I a three-year degree from Cardiff University Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and an academic diploma from Accademia Italiana Art Fashion Design Piazza Pitti in Florence, where I currently work as a professor and fashion department coordinator, in 2010 I started with my first job in a fashion consultant studio in Modena, my hometown, where I worked as an assistant designer, a researcher of trends and fabrics, developing collections for various fashion brands in the office style. After a couple of years in the studio, in 2012, I attended the ESMOD International Fashion University in Berlin, where I deepened and learned the stylistic skills of fashion and tailoring techniques. Later I moved to the United States, living and working for two years between Dallas and New York, where I started several important fashion collaborations with luxury ateliers and with sustainable independent brands. Finally, in 2015 I returned to Italy, where I decided to open my own sustainable fashion brand Cecilia Rinaldi definitively. it is based between Emilia and Tuscany, Italy, in the meantime starting important collaborations with Italian and international realities companies and specializing more and more in the field of sustainable fashion.

What do you like most about being a designer?

What I like most about being a designer is researching new ideas, trends, and concepts, developing shapes, and researching fabrics and new materials. Get to know other new and existing cultural realities. But perhaps the side that interests me most is in researching textile materials and illustrating fashion sketches. Last but not least, I will never stop being enthusiastic to see how from an idea, we can create a real fashion collection, both wearable and exhibited in important cultural exhibition fairs.

The downside to being a fashion designer?

Maybe one downside to being a fashion designer is its loneliest side, especially during the creation and research phases. During the research, I spent a lot of time alone and often worked late into the night, unfortunately neglecting friends and family.

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

Probably the training period I did in the United States: in Dallas and New York City (especially in New York) I had the honor of meeting and collaborating with important designers, influencers, journalists, politicians, personal shoppers, and prominent personalities in the fashion world and society.

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

The most interesting people I’ve met so far are Tara St James, an independent sustainable fashion designer, an activist, an expert on supply chain and sustainability, and the personal shoppers of Rihanna and Oprah Winfrey. However, I still know and have the privilege of knowing many realities and famous people. But the discovery of other new cultures will always be the most fascinating part of my job.

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

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned while working in the fashion industry is to know the real differences between the world of Fast Fashion and Slow Fashion or Sustainable Fashion. Hundreds and thousands of people are working behind a product in the fashion industry, and most of these are exploited. Unfortunately, behind the fashion system is heavy human and environmental resources exploitation. This was perhaps the most impactful lesson I learned. After several travels and encounters with different cultures and realities, I definitively decided to open my own sustainable fashion brand, trying to contribute to a more right world by activating myself with my work in researching new materials, researching new business fashion models through the creation of my collections and through the education I try to transmit more sustainable values both ethical and environmental, finding new ways to change fashion towards greater transparency and traceability for a sustainable new value chain in the fashion industry.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Absolutely yes. They support me and have always supported me. Without my family and friends, I would never have overcome certain difficulties, stressful moments, and even failures that I have found along the way. I believe having family, supportive friends, and colleagues is essential to undertake this path.

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

Right now, I would say that I would do everything again as I did. I have no regrets and believe there is the right time for everything. Well, maybe I would have moved to Florence first, but who would have known that a global pandemic would come?

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I’ve ever been given was probably not to give up in the face of difficulties, to always get involved, not to lose the curiosity that characterizes me, always be critical and aware of what surrounds me, to continue to ask questions but above all never stop smiling.

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

My future plans are to live and work in Florence, working and helping my Italian community without forgetting the world. Continue to develop my brand and make it grow, create my annual fashion collections and wedding dresses. Working in education as a professor and researcher consultant in the sustainability area. Therefore, I’d want to create a more stable future: by 2022, I will also open my studio/atelier inside the Il Conventino Caffè Letterario in Florence, a historical building in Florence with a deep sustainable, cultural, and artisanal attitudine surrounded by greenery among artists and craftsmen.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Eloisa Diaz

Eloisa Diaz is the designer and founder of her self-named label, Eloisa, based out of New York City. She is a multi-disciplinary creative and skilled in fashion design, graphic design, and illustration. After graduating from FIT in New York with a degree in Fashion Merchandising Management, Eloisa headed to FIDM in Los Angeles. She earned a fashion design degree from FIDM in 2004 and continued her studies at Central Saint Martins in London.

Eloisa has worked in the private label sector in New York for American brands sold at Macys, Nordstrom Rack, and Lord and Taylor, among others, and worked for Spiegel and Newport News. Additionally, she has an apparel line Shein X Eloisa with retailer Shein.com, and she oversees her own label, Eloisa.

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

How did you get into the fashion industry?

As a young girl, I always dreamed of working in fashion. I used to design and make my own doll clothes. Once I got older, I decided the right path for me was to study fashion and make my childhood dreams a reality. After graduation, I got my first design job in New York City; the rest is history!

What do you like most about being a designer?

What I love most about being a designer is the ability to take an idea and bring it to life. It gives me great satisfaction when I see the final product I designed. I also like that every day is different and challenging; it keeps me on my toes.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

Facing a creative block can be a downside for me. When your job is to create all the time, it can get a bit stressful if the ideas are just not coming through. When that happens, I find that disconnecting from my work and then returning with a fresh mind helps.

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

My most memorable experience in fashion thus far was having my collection produced by SHEIN. It was such a great experience to work with their team and see my vision come to life! I am grateful that SHEIN gave me a platform to show my work on a global level. It was one of the highlights of my career thus far.

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

Some of the most interesting people I have met thus far have been some of my colleagues. A few years back, I worked for a brand where my colleagues had diverse skills and backgrounds outside of fashion. Working with people with different areas of expertise outside of fashion opened my mind to other possibilities and new ways of thinking.

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

The most valuable lesson I have learned in the fashion industry is always to be humble and kind. No matter how talented you are, humility and grace can go a long way. It is important to have your talent match the beauty of your personality.

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Absolutely! My husband and daughter are my biggest fans! They are used to living with a designer, so my daughter runs around with a tape measure and measures everything! I must say she is slowly becoming a pro!

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

That is a great question. During the beginning of my career in Manhattan, there was a time when my confidence as a designer was really shot. If I could go back in time, I would remind myself that creativity is always subjective to opinion. What works for one client doesn’t work for another. So, rejection is unfortunately just part of the process. The good thing is that there is a place for everyone in the fashion industry, and eventually, you will find your place.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I have ever been given is “no one can drive you crazy unless you give them the keys” That advice stayed with me because sometimes, when you listen to too many outside opinions during your creative process, you can lose perspective and really drive yourself crazy. So, it is important to be in control of your own thought process and be assertive when needed.

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

In the near future, I plan to continue expanding my fashion line. I also plan on learning new skills related to fashion to keep up with the changing times. I would love to learn CLO-3D, so that is definitely on my to-do list. Outside of fashion, I plan to travel more with my family. The best thing is, is that the future is still unwritten! I have plenty of time to think about it and work towards these goals.

Is It Possible For Virtual Fashion To Break The Harmful Cycle Of Impulse Buying?

During the pandemic, the fast rise of e-commerce platforms increased unplanned spending and impulse purchases. As virtual clothing gains popularity through apps and video games, people may now gratify the urge to buy new items without straining their finances and with minimal environmental harm.

Internet spending continued to set new highs despite increased unemployment and economic difficulties during the pandemic. For example, the share of retail transactions conducted online in the United Kingdom increased by 16% in February 2021 in a single month.

This contradictory behavior may be attributed to people seeking relief through retail therapy, as the pandemic has reportedly increased feelings of anxiety and sadness in young adults by 30%.

With a recent study reporting that 50% of respondents are interested in purchasing a digital asset in the coming year, online spending habits may change again due to reduced financial and environmental costs.

Digital wardrobes substitute traditional shopping

However, alongside an increase in online shopping, lockdowns also accelerated the rise of digital fashion as people turned to online worlds for interaction with other humans. Mainstream clothing trends are becoming increasingly prevalent in video games and apps —  including big-name designers like Louis Vuitton or Moschino experimenting with digital collections.

Virtual clothing pieces come at a fraction of the financial and environmental cost of physical items, meaning people may still experience the gratification of shopping with minimized harm.

“The biggest difference between video game styling and real-life clothes shopping is longevity. The fashion industry and brick and mortar fashion stores need to constantly push the cycle of styles, whether it is seasonal or fad-related; it is in their best interest to retire an old collection and push new inventory to the shelves,” said Povilas Katkevičius, game designer at Nordcurrent, an international developer and publisher of mobile games.

“Video game styling does not require this. Of course, we need to create new items because novelty is always exciting and interesting, but we do not need to retire our collections. We have endless shelf space in the virtual world in which old and new styles can mix into our players’ creations,” he continued.

Replicating real-life purchases virtually

Apps and video games that present a high level of character customization and can replicate real-life shopping experiences present new opportunities to satisfy the impulsive want to shop in a consequence-free environment.

Pocket Styler, which allows players to dress their avatar using items from an extensive catalog of designs, can provide players with the satisfaction of purchasing a new item without needing excessive financial means to do so,” P. Katkevičius explained.

“When designing the app, we studied real e-shops to mimic a smooth and recognizable user interface. As such, it contains a wide range of styles, clothing categories, and accessories that can be purchased through the in-game currency. Despite not receiving a physical item from purchases, a lot of the instant gratification for our community comes from the styling itself,” he explained.

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 blueoceanspr.com

Introducing The Brand Behind The Cover Of The July 2022 Issue Of Sassy & Co: Rootless Fashion & Accessories

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Based out of Germany, the concept behind Rootless Fashion & Accessories was established in 2012 when Thorsten Weingaertner, its founder and CEO, decided to create a brand that seamlessly blends his love for the outdoors and stylish utility. He wanted to establish a connection between outdoor enthusiasts, sports lovers, and fashion enthusiasts. Although he was running a premium camper manufacturing company at the time, fashion has always been at the back of his mind since he has always been very enthusiastic about fashion. When the idea of ​​starting a fashion label eventually entered his mind back in 2012, he decided to go with his gut and instincts and pursue his passion for fashion, and thus, Rootless Clothing was born.

Rootless has become synonymous with the effortlessly cool men and women who need to maintain an athletic yet wearable wardrobe that can drive an unconventional lifestyle full of adventure with a hint of attitude. Their debut collection, “Rules Breed Rebels,” carries a new millennium of urban wear for everyday men and women with an emphasis on slick and purposeful design. Rootless designs are ones that make a statement through a monochromatic swath of essential pieces that can work well together on stage, on the streets, or even in the mountains to flatter and empower their clients. It caters to men and women who showcase effortless style – very slick… and very cool! The brand also supplies striking gear like gym bags, watches, and even shoes, along with fantastic threadwork to support the client’s next conquest.

Born in Germany in 1988, Thorsten is a fashion enthusiast who combines the best materials in his creations at the most reasonable price – creating a timeless approach to urban wear distinguished by compelling threadwork, luxurious materials, and couture-quality attention to detail. He is poised to change the perception of urban wear into something truly unique and irresistible. Rootless also aims to champion freedom seekers who inhabit unique quarters of society, driven by a passion for fashion and a need to defy archaic systems.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Thorsten to discuss Rootless and here’s what went down:

Please tell us your full name and something about yourself.

My name is Thorsten Weingaertner; I was born in 1988 in Germany and am the CEO of Rootless Fashion & Accessories (www.rootless.fashion). I’m a fashion enthusiast and lover. I love designing clothes with my team and then bringing the designs to life! “Rules Breed Rebels” is not just a collection name; it’s actually a lifestyle.

How did you get started with Rootless Fashion & Accessories?

My team and I actually came from two completely different directions before Rootless was born. We ran an individual premium camper manufacturing company that can convert vehicles individually at the customer’s request. Fashion has accompanied me for years because I am personally very enthusiastic about fashion. However, the idea of ​​a fashion label as a second mainstay came up quite early after founding the first company in 2012. Since then, we have been designing and building the brand. Last year we decided to finally launch the brand and get started. We wanted to create a connection between outdoor enthusiasts, sports lovers, and fashion enthusiasts. All this is paired with premium quality, understatement, and rebellious design. In addition, there is also our extensive range of accessories, which are always designed to match our fashion. Rootless is rebellious/new/black & white/stylish, made of the highest quality at a reasonable price. Our debut collection, “Rules Breed Rebels,” definitely reflects these characteristics. We are here to shake up the fashion industry and make a statement!

What do you want to achieve personally with your brand?

Just like any other entrepreneur, I want to establish a successful company that will not only revolutionize the fashion industry but also gives our customers a lot of satisfaction. We want our customers to be happy and satisfied with our products so they will always keep coming back for more.

What is the industry doing right?

The industry is now doing some things right. It’s not just about size zero now; it’s about fashion for everyone. In my opinion, moving away from fast fashion is very important. Customers are giving more importance to quality, and the industry is adjusting quite well accordingly.

What has been the biggest hurdle you have faced as a fashion brand?

I think that’s essentially the reach of being known as a brand. Especially as a start-up, there is often a lack of funds to finance this reach. Magazines/influencers are usually too expensive, so the road to getting to the right people is quite rocky. However, I think you can achieve a lot if you have the time and enthusiasm. In my case, I have never given up on my vision and belief in my products, so we have been able to land amazing collaborations moving forward.

What steps is your brand making to ensure the process is as high-quality as possible?

Compare-Compare-Compare! First, the manufacturer is important. Because if your manufacturer is no good, you are often left with empty promises. Secondly, comparing and studying other manufacturers is the best way to get the best fabrics and the best possible quality. We have had countless samples created by numerous manufacturers to ensure the quality of our products and get the best possible result for our customers.

As you see it, what are the main issues in the fashion industry today, and how does your brand subvert them?

A lot is going towards completely overpriced or, in return, too cheap fast fashion. We had to find a good middle ground in order to be able to offer our customers the highest quality at an affordable price. I think we managed this quite well with Rootless.

What are you most excited about for the future of fashion, and where do you see it headed?

I’m very excited about the about-face required for fashion for everyone! Furthermore, we are already working with 3D models and videos, which could be of interest for our own NFT’s in the Metaverse in the future. There is a very clear trend in this direction, which is why many VIPS and large manufacturers are jumping on this bandwagon.

What advice would you give to those wanting to start a fashion brand?

Do your research down to the smallest detail. Don’t just run at it. Check the market for what is needed and what is not. Where are the trends heading, and above all, plan everything in advance, so you know what budget is required. Figure out how to reach your customers etc. Lastly, be informed, be hungry and never give up!

What are your future goals for your brand and fashion in its entirety?

As I also mentioned above – we want to offer high fashion to everyone, grow steadily and, above all, keep surprising our customers with new ideas, new items of clothing, and accessories.

Is There Room for Boutique Fashion Creators In The Metaverse?

Metaverse has as much to offer to small fashion retailers as it does to big brands, as authenticity  not notability  will be one of the defining factors of success.

The concept of the metaverse is still nascent, however, it harbors immense potential for the fashion industry. Moreover, the freedom and flexibility of WEB3 allow fashion vendors of any size to break into the virtual world and take advantage of its vast opportunities, among which — less market entry barriers for up-and-coming creators and a space fueling creative expression.

Room for all

The world’s largest fashion houses have already started dipping their toes into the uncharted waters of the metaverse. Last year, the Italian fashion house Gucci released a digital-only bag, which was sold for a much higher price than its real-life equivalent. Louis Vuitton, the French luxury brand, has taken one step further by launching an NFT-embedded mobile application “Louis the Game”. This year the brand is investing further, having added new NFTs and quests for players to discover.

However, the prospects of new-age fashion are not reserved only for the ‘best and biggest’. Indrė Viltrakytė, the co-founder of the Rebels, an NFT project seeking to bridge IRL and WEB3 fashion, has emphasized authenticity, a natural fit for decentralized values, and transparency as the defining factors of successful meta-based projects.

“In WEB3, people have the power to decide who is worthy of success. We’ve already seen some big brands’ half-baked projects that flopped, as this community can tell the difference between passion-backed initiatives and the ones that are only seeking profit,” she said. “In this space, money or size is not what leads to success — it’s being raw and authentic. That’s why a small fashion boutique has just as big of a chance to make a statement as the industry’s veterans.”

Easier entry for emerging talents

WEB3 also eliminates certain barriers that may have previously limited up-and-coming fashion industry creatives. According to Viltrakytė, an independent designer or a fashion brand has to produce anywhere from 2 to 16 collections a year, which can be financially challenging for someone that is just starting out.

“The Rebels is a continuation of our IRL fashion house, so we know how tough the entire fashion cycle can be, starting from producing samples to participating in trade shows and marketing to consumers,” she said. “Turning your clothes into NFTs and selling them through blockchain-powered fashion marketplaces is much more accessible and affordable, especially if you are a digitally native brand. Also, an authentic origin story could help emerging talents to establish a strong presence without the need for paid ads.”

She also noted that Gen Z’ers, who are one of the main metaverse audiences’, value originality and sustainability above all, and boutique brands can channel these values much better than big conglomerates.

Breaking in as a non-tech business

While the idea of settling into the metaverse may be intimidating, especially for smaller brands, Viltrakyte has reassured that — although certain tech knowledge is a must-have — the attitude with which a business immerses itself into the space is far more important.

“Approaching with an attitude of “how can I give value’, rather than ‘how can this benefit me’ makes a whole lot of difference. Later, it all boils down to ‘learning by doing’, whether it’s selling digital collections, creating a first virtual fashion show, or listing an NFT collection,” said the fashion expert. “Also, I’ve learned that the WEB3 community is very welcoming, and connecting with people in Discord, Twitter, and other hubs can help to better understand the space.”

Decentraland, Roblox, and other metaverses are quickly positioning themselves as a prospective new channel to market brands. As early adopters could make use of the first-mover advantage, Ms Viltrakytė urged to take advantage of this and encouraged fashion SMEs to join the virtual community.

“A lot of digital artists already discovered WEB3 and NFTs as means to make a living out of their art. Now it’s the time for designers, fashion artists, and small brands to discover the opportunities, reinvent themselves, and make the most out of this technology.”


The Rebels is a continuation of the IRL Robert Kalinkin brand, a street couture fashion house that has participated in world-renowned fashion weeks across the globe. The project encompasses 10101 unique characters based on the controversial “Jesus, Maria” ad campaign, which was banned in their home country. It finally found justice in the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in favor of the brand. The case is now held as a precedent in cases related to freedom of expression in the EU. Led by Indrė Viltrakytė, a fashion industry expert with 10+ years of experience, The Rebels team aims to bridge real life and digital fashion in the WEB3 era. Learn more: https://therebels.io/

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

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Bree Billiter

Bree Billiter is a Brooklyn-based evening wear designer. Bree was raised on the beaches of Cape Cod, where she began designing at the age of three. A Massart 2014 graduate, she moved to NYC in 2015 to follow her dreams. She designs to allow the wearer to show the world their daydreams outwardly.

Her use of unique materials, striking colors, and intricate detail work transports the wearer right into a world of their daydreams. Each design is one of a kind and stands out in any crowd.

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

How did you get into the fashion industry?

All I have ever wanted to do was make pretty dresses; I have video of myself designing at three years old.

What do you like most about being a designer?

I just love to create and make things never seen before. I like when my pieces light up the whole room because that’s just magic and I love to create pieces that stop traffic and can transport you to another world.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

I am madly in love with fashion, but sadly the community is just as toxic and cutthroat as it is portrayed in films and TV.

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

Seeing my dress in a Disney music video forever will haunt me since designing for Disney has always been my dream.

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

My favorite memory is meeting Colleen Atwood right after moving to NYC. She is my idol and the designer I admire most, so that was absolutely surreal.

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

Do what you can with what you have, and trust your gut… if it’s too good to be true most of the time, it is. No one will ever fight for your dream as you will.

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 go to school and get a degree in something that pays a lot. I have learned everything about valuing myself and not from school. The biggest struggle is always money, and money opens up so many doors that a degree can’t.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

When I met Bob Mackie he said “work so hard that one day you can pay people to work hard for you.”

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

I just want to create because I love it. I want to create wild pieces, which is what my true love is. Celebrities aren’t wearing many emerging designers right now, so I might as well just create because I love it instead of considering an event or the ability for the celebrity to walk in it.

Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Alexandra Moura

Based in Lisbon, Portugal, Alexandra Moura creates contemporary avant-garde collections for men and women that reflect her personality and creativity. Leading the charge for Portuguese arts and culture alongside current-day contemporaries, Moura takes a fearless approach to fashion with a focus on artistic expression and an offbeat spirit. Moura’s collections are traditional fashion reinterpreted with an artistic vision that makes them intriguing, dynamic, and downright fun.

Working beyond everyday style, Alexandra Moura’s work is exploratory, seeking to approach clothing in a new way. Pushing beyond the stereotypes of gender and the conventional use of fabric and print, her work leans towards the avant-garde, reflecting a love of Japanese fashion design that captured her mind as a teenager. This influence shines through in Moura’s work, where classic tailoring is reimagined in playful, textured fabrics, and silhouettes are tweaked to create bold and exaggerated shapes. Each collection is at once eccentric and wearable, infused with a sense of subversiveness. Each season, Alexandra Moura’s design team explores the idea of opposing forces coming together, playing with contrasting ideas, textures, and references. Romanticism is bound together with the urban, classic looks are clashed with iconic sportswear details, and classically feminine looks are subverted with the masculine. Unabashedly romantic and artistic, the collections draw distinct parallels with the cultural mood of Portugal, which is renowned for its romantic, melancholic spirit. Alexandra Moura’s collections are timeless and seasonless driven by conceptual exploration rather than conventional trends. Moura’s collections find a natural home in the wardrobes of those with a keen eye for detail, an appreciation for fine craftsmanship, and an independent spirit. Each collection brings Moura’s inspiration to life as a collage of fabrics and colours, combining sheer knits and textured fabrics with a considered eye and sense of proportion that makes every it desirable, covetable and collectible. With a highly creative mind and witty approach to design, each Alexandra Moura collection is considered an artistic expression, designed to embolden the wearer with a sense of strength, independence, and individuality.

Alexandra is a leading Portuguese designer with a truly collaborative spirit; outside of her brand Alexandra Moura engages with projects including costume design and teaching the Masters course in Fashion Design – Fashion Design Atelier Project at the Escola Superior de Artes Aplicadas – Castelo Branco In 2015, Moura was distinguished with the Women Culture Creators Award, presented by the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality, the Secretary of State for Culture’s offices and Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Equal Opportunities. The honorees are recognized based on criteria including relevance and coherence, innovation and pioneering character of artistic activity, as well as the cultural impact of the work produced. As an industry mentor to emerging design talent, Moura enjoys invitations to speak at conferences and exhibitions, including MUDE – Museum of Design and Fashion and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Chiado. In 2018 Alexandra Moura won the golden globe in the category of the best fashion designer in Portugal, and 2019 is marked by the AW19/20 and SS20 collections at the Milan Fashion Week official calendar. In 2019, she was the designer chosen by the Decenio brand for a partnership, thus giving rise to the brand #DECENIOALEXANDRAMOURA, where the Summer 20 collection was presented at ModaLisboa. With this partnership, she won the Business Excellence Awards in the Brand Award category awarded by ModaPortugal and CENIT. 2020 was also marked by an invitation to be the creative director of MOCHE. During 2020 and 2021, she regularly presents his collections at Milan Fashion Week

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

How did you get into the fashion industry?

During a trip to London in the 90s (in there was no internet at the time), I found two heads that messed with mine; Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo. It all made sense; after all, I wasn’t such a wild animal! And so, from the sciences, I threw myself headlong into the world of the arts and went to Fashion Design, where I remain to this day.

What do you like most about being a designer?

Having the opportunity to be able to communicate with the world everything that goes inside me through clothing design.

Downside to being a fashion designer?

It is an extremely demanding profession in creative terms. We often feel exhausted.

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

One of the most incredible experiences was being able to present the collection in the official Milan Fashion Week calendar, among others.

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

Suzy Menkes.

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

Trust your vision!

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

Yes, always supportive. My husband works at the company, and our son Rodrigo supports us 100%.


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

Maybe we would have tried the brand internationalization sooner.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Don’t make plans for life, so you don’t spoil the plans that life has for you.

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

Continuing to be in fashion for pleasure and leaving my views on fashion and the topics I address to others.