Unfortunately, in many minds, high fashion comes at a cost. Well known designers make a name for themselves in any way that they can, no matter what road they have to take. When we find designers who make a name for themselves while respecting the environment they live in, we celebrate and make their name known.
Progressive designers should receive as much recognition for their efforts as they receive for their success; after all, their agenda extends much broader than that of the self serving designer – the one who uses whatever means necessary to create products that draw attention. Here are a few progressive designers we feel should be rewarded.
You recognize that name – McCartney: Stella is the daughter of the famed musician Paul McCartney, and her designs have impacted as many people as her father’s music has. Her interest in designing clothing started in her early teens, and she has since completed many internships and educational opportunities that led her to where she is today: a leading designer who cares greatly for the environment she lives in. Stella’s mother was a photographer and animal rights activist, and her influence can be seen evidently in her work. As a lifelong vegetarian and an avid PETA supporter, McCartney refuses to use any leather or fur in her designs. Despite these limitations, McCartney’s work has garnered much positive attention, having won multiple awards for her fashion.
Over the top, whimsical, flamboyant, feminine: these are all words that embody the nature of Betsy Johnson designs. Johnson’s costume like designs are often the talk of fashion shows (as are her customary end-of-show cartwheels). Her style is the epitome of “one of a kind”, and in an ever-changing industry, she has remained true to who she is and what she loves. In an industry that takes itself entirely too seriously sometimes, she’s been a solid reminder that fashion can be lighthearted and fun. After 30 years in the industry, her strength, her resilience, and her steadfast iconic status have remained in tact as she’s barreled forward, paving the way for younger designers who wish to follow those same footsteps.
Matt & Nat
Nope, it’s not a brand named after a man and woman; it’s a brand that’s short for “Material and Nature”, which are its priorities. Matt & Nat was created in the mid-90s, and exists as a substitute for anything and everything animal product related. They thrive in an industry where leather handbags dominate the market as a top quality alternative. Handbags, wallets, and other accessories are the designers’ best sellers, and have gotten the attention of celebrities like Charlize Theron and Natalie Portman.
You may not even realize that there’s a whole world of fashion that exists in progressive form, aside from the mainstream “successful at whatever cost” brands that you see as you walk through the mall. Progressive designers are just as accessible and popular by design, but they stand for much more in the way of having a positive impact on the environment we live in.
Which designer do YOU think should get the highest award?