In May 2020 Singer-songwriter Pille-Riin Karro a.k.a ELLIP released her debut album “Four Words”.
“Music is something that causes me the largest amount of joy and makes me experience sadness I have never before. It makes me test my own limits, experiment and rise to places I never thought possible personally. Music and the concept of a musician are so broad that it gives so many outs for creativity, which I enjoy,”
ELLIP’s first minialbum is not confined by one specific category or genre: “My music is a mixture of everything that inspired me during the writing process. Genres like drum & bass, jazz and hip hop are an influence which are woven together by a common denominator ‘electronic music’. A second commonality for all of the songs is the environment it was produced in – between the fields and nature of South-Estonia, the peace of the countryside, no interruptive factors, just pure indulgence in music and creativity. The album is a product of unrevealed emotions, love lessons, memories and life lessons.”
“During my music career I have performed a lot of cover music but have had a lot of doubts regarding my own writings. Now, I can confidently say that I have reached the understanding that there is no point in creating comparisons between eachother’s art – we are all positively different in our own way,” says ELLIP. A great push for releasing her own music was her studies in Ormskirk, United Kingdom.
“I was an exchange student and participated in courses like multimedia, music production, songwriting. That experience gave me the confidence that was until then missing and the strength to open myself up to critisism and also positive feedback. The need to express myself musically surpassed the fear of putting it out for the world to judge.”
ELLIP is what a Tallinn based musician, known in her city for a strong stage presence and vocal ability, stirred up in search for her own true sound. Thus was born an eclectic choice of material, rooting in soul, jazz, hip-hop, but ever-changing in form and nature. She takes sounds, moods and stories and weaves it into a spectacle not shy of a demanding listener.
ELLIP is the author of her own lyrics and melodies alongside Mikk Siemer (Nzea) as the producer. In live performances the fabulous band adds their extra flair. The recording of new material is starting this autumn.
Art is the main form of transmission of one’s being.
After this long dark period we started living again.In my opinion, the lockdown was a sort of pause, a detachment from the external world useful for personal meditation.
I think that after this pandemic, what they considered obvious now has taken on particular importance.For those who go beyond sight, they know that there is a lot of light behind this crack.
Fashion creativity will go further, stop this injury.
The latter will be part of our future and as every experience gone, lived, we will keep it with us with pride, will be part of us.Fashion is growth and, like history, we will make it evolve. We will evolve.‘
PEOPLE IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY HAVE FOUND SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS IN THEIR FIGHTBACK AGAINST FAST FASHION, BUT THEY FACE THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONTEXT IN EDUCATING CONSUMERS OR PRODUCING WITH LESS IMPACT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.
Mitichi Preda, the president of Feeric Fashion Week, Landiana Yolo, its vice-president and Julie Ianc, the production manager decided to go on a road trip on the continental coast of Europe.
The journey included 13 countries and 80 cities. 31 people answered to their questions and they selected the most relevant informations to share the story of a mutual struggle in being more sustainable but more than this in educating consumers to choose wisely.
In Bratislava, Prague and Ljubljana designers and showrooms are facing the problem of economy. In order to produce more sustainable independent designers have bigger costs and showrooms commission increase the final price to the market. With lower salaries, consumers prefer to buy fast fashion and if they care for the environment, they choose second hand. Zuzana Cala from Drobne showroom is pointing this habit of the market but still she finds the balance between art, fashion and sustainability choosing designers that are recycling materials while Virvar, another showroom in Bratislava matched the perfect market to sell. In Prague the amount of tourists contributes in showroom sales but designers like Filip Nguyen struggles to educate local market to consume less and wisely. Slovenia has a very small population. Only 2 million people are living in Slovenia and about 10% are in the capital city of Ljubljana where Julia Kaia Hrovat is focusing her strategy on craft, local heritage and stories.
Berlin is a particular city where the creativity and borderless imagination of designers meets conservativism and efficiency of the market. Anne Kirchhoff creates unisex patterns and produces from fabric leftovers in an efficient way but also with a modernist touch. Studio 183 Berlin is one of the most famous showrooms for fashionistas and tourists know about it. Their selection is very strict and they do not accept designers that make seasonal collection. Katrina Ryback, the owner explains that she is looking for designers that produce one-size items, genderless and unique. She is not using the word sustainability but more traceability.
In the middle of luxury fashion market, Inès Bensalah is keeping her artist side creating unique items in Monte Carlo. She is part of sustainable projects created by the Royal House and even if she is young, she is thinking to her children’s future.
The situation is changing for good in Belgium and Netherlands. The market is into consuming wisely so local fashion is doing well if there is a sustainable approach. In Amsterdam, Tess Van Zalinge exhibits museum her last bridal collection entirely made from recycled dresses, at Fashion For Good. She talks about the need of reviving craftsmanship and to translate to new generation the old acknowledges about how to create and produce clothes. Her collection is an amazing piece of art. Belgium has some of the greatest fashion schools in the world and Bram Jespers from Ghent School of Arts invited us to discover the universe of a different education. Their purpose is to give to world creative individuals that can discover themselves and that can contribute to the well-being of communities.
Helder and Facon Jacmin are both small brands in Antwerp. Ramona Stoica from Antwerp is already working with Pinatex and organic fabrics while Ségolène Jacmin and her sister focused the activity of Facon Jacmin on denim upcycling and craftsmanship.
In Brussels, Alain Mukendi is producing snickers, and he only works bespoke pieces in a context where the factories closed and buying fabrics is not easy. He adapted his techniques and he makes the patterns on a computer so he can use any fabric from leather to textile. Marie Souflet from Ireene pushed the boundaries even more as she is not only using very good quality fabrics, leftovers from big brands, but she is creating the design to fit the length and shape of the fabric. Catalina Jitaru is searching for smart fabrics and she managed to find in Portugal.
In Portugal, Moda Lisboa, the organization behind Lisbon Fashion Week, supports designers and creates opportunities for them to sell local and international. Constanca Entrudo is one of the designers that developed due to the support of Moda Lisboa and due to her internships, she is now producing her own fabrics. While in Lisbon the sustainable fashion is on a good way in Porto we found Hugo Veiga, a designer that is very honest and direct in exposing the real problems of the industry. He names Lefties and Zara in his speech but he does not blame fast fashion brand entirely. He talks about the system who educates consumers to want the next thing, and due to lack of education, they buy. The chances for an independent designer to survive are low in this context and he mention the huge struggle to reach as lower as bearable in order to sell but still to eat.
Spain is having IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) one of the best fashion school in the world where sustainability is included in all aspects and modules of education. Andrea Marchesi supports the pressure on companies to make things instead of declaring it and gives us some examples of how IED educates its students. Although Eñaut Barruetaña is a young graduated designer and he mentions the importance of fast fashion saying it was born there in Spain. He also says it is very difficult to educate consumers as you are nobody and you do not have a name. Javier Soria from Visori admits that Spanish market is not that much into sustainability and Juan Boleco, specialized in flamenco fashion is telling about the particularity of fashion in all the south of Spain. Even the flamenco dresses are changed every year by consumers he is finding solution to reduce waste and to work with organic fabrics.
Constance Fournier is also working on a niche in Loire Valley in France and she is focused in proximity. Her work does not include any industrial machines. Her atelier in Veretz, Tourane is creating bespoke bridal dresses with lace and fabrics made there in the region and the costumers are coming there for a whole experience.
In Venice, we met Tessiture Bevilacqua, on the Grand Canal and Alberto Bevilacqua invited us in the velvet factory to see the looms producing only few centimeters of velvet from organic silk every day. In addition, he is mentioning the silk monopoly hold by China.
One of the most shocking stories is from Aatise, Bordeaux a small sustainable brand and Heide Baumann is telling us how the company she was working for as a buyer threw away 80000pieces in one day and specifically indicates that if you are not able to sell clothes without promotion than there is a problem.
Peter Žiak and Lucia Žiak Roháčováz are representing Atelier Luz from Bratislava and they talk about how important the support of the local market is for designers to become more sustainable while Raul Molino is doing fashion from another perspective and he did not even relate his work to market or trends. On the other side, BIAAF Bilbao is the organization to support young designers to integrate their businesses in the economy and the system is a slow one but very efficient and the help for the young designers is huge as they are partners with so many organizations and have the support of international fashion press.
The concept of sustainability in fashion is less adopted by the market in all Eastern Europe, although designers are interested in approaching it as the fashion industry is one of the worst ranked worldwide considering pollution and it was the fourth big pollutant industry in EU in 2017 according to European Environment Agency. The consumption of textiles in EU occurs in other regions of the world, where the production is mostly concentrated – 85 % of the primary raw materials use, 92 % of the water use, 93 % of the land use and 76 % of the greenhouse gas emissions. 1.7 million Europeans work in fashion industry but the real problem is the average consume of 26 kg of textiles per person per year due to clothes price fallen relative to inflation.
The European Environment Agency says that reducing the environmental and climate pressures and impacts from textiles production and consumption — while maintaining economic and social benefits — will need a systemic change towards circularity. Doing so will require wide-scale implementation of circular business models supported by effective policies addressing materials and design, production and distribution, use and reuse, collection and recycling. This includes product policies such as green public procurement, eco-design, extended producer responsibility, labelling and standards.
The interviews for the film were shot before COVID 19 situation, which terribly affected fashion industry, but what we will include in the film is an update of how people we met adapted very fast to this new situation and how they survived and boosted online. This is the right moment to understand how important is for the fashion industry to become more sustainable. People in this film they are all very creative and they can mix their talent and acknowledges in order to reduce pollution. However, it also depends on us, the consumers, to understand the effect of our actions and to start to choose wisely and to consume responsible.
The idea was to produce this documentary by gathering information that could help independent designers or for the ones willing to be part of fashion industry. But, because of COVID-19 we understand how much needed is to show to a larger audience how people in the industry are struggling to be more efficient in reducing their impact on the environment and how should we contribute to this fightback.
As the President of Feeric Fashion Week, considered by Vogue Italy, the greatest project in Balkans I saw how difficult for designers coming from all around the world to produce and sell sustainable items or to be competitive with fast-fashion or the biggest corporations. Many of them produce consciously for local markets but lower volumes means higher costs, and the costs increase if you want to work with Eco fabrics or not using chemical and industrial procedures. The result is a higher price for the consumer that, because of the education, prefers to buy items signed by brands, at the same prices. I understood this is happening frequently in Eastern Europe, South America and partly in Central Europe because young designers are showcasing collection in our project, so I wanted to understand how the system works in most of the powerful countries in Western Europe and how do players from independent fashion managed to become more sustainable and still competitive.
– MITICHI PREDA, President of Feeric Fashion Week
During the journey, we met and interviewed designers, showroom owners, factories owners, organizations and universities representatives and we asked them question regarding inspiration, craftsmanship, education, sustainability and design. We found out a mutual concerning about the education of the market about consuming. As in Netherlands, Belgium, France consumers are more aware about the impact of their decisions, the rest of the countries are confronting the same difficulties in approaching a more sustainable way for their activities. Their statements and lines are creating a story about problems and solutions, about actions and results, but also are describing each people with their particularities. I extracted some very strong lines and statements that are emotional and that make people to wonder.
It is a rollercoaster approach. While some of the protagonists are happy they found the right way, others are raising different problems. One is saying, “one day, the company I was searching for throw away 80000 pieces” while other says, “I think people realize they buy too much”.
I wanted to show the fashion industry as it is now during the big fashion weeks so I shoot images of the street style in Milan and Paris and you can see people wearing expensive items, and everything is about glamour, about high standards, image, status etc. Media is presenting this as high level so markets aspire to this. However, everything is hectic and dangerous for our future. We need to go back a little to the essence of individuals connected to this planet. Therefore, I connected this entire context to stories about traditions, consciousness, education and stories about wisdom of leaving in harmony with the closest ones and with the environment.
Words by Mitichi Preda, President of Feeric Fashion Week + Founder of MITICHI Productions
FASHION BOUNDARY – THE INNOVATIVE PLATFORM FOR TALENTED DESIGNERS TO PROMOTE THEIR BRAND IN A SUPPORTIVE, COLLECTIVE SPACE
Fashion Boundary is an online fashion retailer founded in 2019 that unite independent designer labels under one roof to showcase their unique pieces. Fashion Boundary is a platform for talented designers to promote their brand in a supportive, collective space.
Fashion Boundary’s mission is to support emerging designers and independent labels. They collaborate with designers from all over the globe who dedicate themselves to their trade. Browsing through Fashion Boundary you will find a curated collection of clothing, handbags, shoes and jewellery from a variety of brands both small niche labels and popular big brands. Overall, we advocate slow, stylish and sustainable fashion.
”AT FASHION BOUNDARY WE SOURCE LABELS WHO VALUE ETHICAL MEANS OF PRODUCTION AND STRIVE TO USE SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS. WE WANT TO OFFER OUR CUSTOMERS PIECES THAT ARE OF THE BEST QUALITY, MADE TO LAST AND ARE A BETTER CHOICE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.”
A TALK WITH CRISSY ZHANG, FOUNDER OF FASHION BOUNDARY
When did you first realize you wanted to create Fashion Boundary and why do you consider it a movement?
The idea of creating an e-commerce business is something that I had in the back in my mind for years. Fashion Boundary was born in Melbourne in late 2018, but it formally set sail in June 2019. I considered easy logistics for a globalised business model, which started with fashion garments, bags, shoes and accessories.
I decided to focus on good quality, interesting, wearable and timeless pieces. There’re so many beautiful one-of-kind products and unique designs that aren’t exposed to a wide audience. I then collated a small team and that’s where Fashion Boundary comes in.
People’s lifestyles are constantly changing which means their shopping behaviour is transforming. More and more people have switched to online shopping from a mobile phone for convenience and ease, especially during COVID-19. It’s important for us to keep up with the needs of our customers and give them great user-experience.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
Find your true passion and follow your heart, and keep doing things you believe it is right and never feel regretful!
What is one thing you look at the brands for Fashion Boundary eBoutique?
If I only can pick one thing, that probably is the potential of each brand. We’re usually after young brands who would be around 3-5 years old in the market. When we select designer pieces, we’re looking for beautiful, unique and wearable items that we know our customer will love. There are a few questions we have to ask ourselves with considering a featured brand; Would our customer wear it? Is it in her price range? It is new and exciting? Has it been sustainably produced? Where is it made? Each brand is considered, researched and discussed whether it aligns with our values.
What role do you think social media plays in the arts industry today?
Social media plays a major role in the arts industry as it allows for up-and-coming artists and designers to showcase their work and build a customer audience without a costly advertising and marketing campaign. When Fashion Boundary first started I was thankful I could build a brand from an Instagram page before I launched the online store.
Can you tell us more in which location are placed Fashion Boundary’s clients and what is the most challenging part of your job?
As we ship globally we have had customers from all parts of the world, including; Australia, New Zealand, US, UK, Italy, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia and China. We also make a point to offer a variety of different payment options that appeal to a global market such as American Express, O Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal and of course, Visa and Mastercard. The most challenging part is language and culture. We need to understand consumer’s shopping behaviours, what social media do they use and how do they shop online. For example, we developed our WeChat mini-program for the Chinese market because most Chinese people are using WeChat this social channel.
There is one important person, in your life, who pushes and motivates you to believe in yourself?
There’re some many people are important to me including my parents and husband, and I’ve always been inspired by so many different talented people in my life. But if I only pick one person that pushes and motivates me, probably it is myself. I will always be motivated and energised when I wake up every morning during my entrepreneurship journey, and I never felt tired.
If you ask me where my motivation comes from, maybe it comes from my heart, a heart that wants to surpass myself. People who can surpass others may not be able to surpass themselves. Those who can surpass themselves are true winners.
How do you think sustainability can play an important role in fashion industry?
Sustainability in the fashion industry is important as Fast Fashion continues to be a contributor to negative environmental impact including water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste. Sustainable fashion production is a way that this industry can attempt to mend the harm it has done to the environment.
Tell us how do you think fast-fashion affects our environment and what other organizations like yours can do for a change in better?
As mentioned in the previous answer, Fast Fashion has major environmental impacts including the consumption of non-renewable sources, emission of greenhouse gases and the incredible amount of water and energy it uses. Fast Fashion also plays a major part in the exploitation of workers in factories which many customers are unaware of.
It’s great to see there’re many brands (established brands or emerging brands) who have started to be more environmentally conscious about how and where their products are being made. As an online retailer, it’s important to understand the process of each of the brands we feature as much as possible about their design process to production as well as be transparent to our customers.
Would you like to involve other companies in your future projects?
By launching our Capsule Collections, we are able to collaborate with brands who advocate slow, stylish and sustainable fashion as well as independent designers who are doing something unique in the fashion industry. The mission of this project was to achieve stylish, sustainable, long-lasting and affordable garments for women of all sizes to have in their wardrobe for years.
We loved the CO-BRANDING concept between Fashion Boundary and Thou Art, regarding the capsule collection Pure Mirror. What was the main mission of this collaboration?
‘Fashion Boundary capsule collection’ is the first special collection of our new in-house label Fashion Boundary Label established in Melbourne. It’s an on-going project and allows us to collaborate with global talented designers to reinterpret and identify a new way of sustainable fashion. Each collection might tick some boxes that how we try to achieve the sustainable target.
What are the short – term and long – term goals of Fashion Boundary?
Maybe different goals for two different businesses.
For Fashion Boundary eBoutique, short term goal is to broaden our brand curation, to discover more amazing products for the global consumers who live and breathe independent designer products, as well as keep working on our brand awareness and increase online traffic. The long term goal is probably to become a global, well-known one-stop-shop for our customers.
Short term goal for our own private brand is to focus on our product development. To create better products that are unique, cost-effective, high quality but are also practical. To provide a better service, to establish brand awareness and to build our own community. The long term goal probably is to open our flagship store in Melbourne and Shanghai one day. I believe online and offline co-existence is an essential marketing strategy, however, we probably will be 80% more focus on online and 20% on offline.
TRNDY STUDIOS is a young streetwear label focused on high-tech fabrics with a deep underground street culture. Its founder, Tymir Barksdale, has elevated the concept of aesthetic streetwear with strong references to New York City’s street life. The collection has the main focus on diversity and genderless and is composed by unique pieces like sweaters, bomber jackets, hoodies and t-shirts. Interesting details like long sleeves and two-tone panelling are seen on the garments.
An exclusive conversation with Tymir Barksdale, founder and designer of TRNDY STUDIOS :
How did your passion for design start and how your creative process work?
When I was kid drawing on clothes and my sneakers. My process is smooth take everything one day at time but of course at a certain pace.
How fashion nowadays helps and motivate you to become a fashion designer?
Just back in the days saying the LRGs the & supremes & other earlier brands & researching how’s behind these brands showed me I can do it if I continue to study & learn.
Can you tell us a little bit about your references for the last collection?
Our last collection was more about expanding into woman so we did more women’s and unisex pieces.
Do you see yourself as an example for the new generation in fashion industry?
Yes I believe I can be one of the faces for the new generation coming from not really having a background in this at all but was willing to do the work required to break into the industry.
How fashion competitions can change the business industry? Will you apply at some in the future?
That could make things interesting because it can change customer perspectives on brands & yes we are open to any new ideas for the industry.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your clothes?
Like you are unique, one of none & that you want see just anybody wearing our clothing line.
What do you think it’s your best-selling piece from your last collection?
It’s between our our denim suit jacket & the You are entirely up to you t-shirt.
What do you think about the opportunity of selling your products on online platforms, you think it might be a good showcase for your work and your future?
I think it’s an amazing opportunity to expand to new customers it would be great for our company.
What young designers need right now from fashion industry to grow up?
I believe young designers just need more mentorship during there journey everyone’s needs some kind of guidance during any growing process .
There is something to be said about having beauty and brains. It is a quality that many wish they had, but Ling Chen literally has it all. She is a social media Influencer, model, and a full time engineer who is passionate about luxury travel, style and fashion.
Ling, who was born in Taipei Taiwan and moved to Arizona when she was 14 years old, is also fluent in English & Chinese. Those who work hard at every aspect of their life will reap the benefits from it and Ling does not take any of that for granted. When most social media influencers look to their followings for that support, Ling’s biggest influence is her family.
“I would say my family is my biggest influence, they have been supportive and helpful throughout my life from the beginning to where I am now, when I hesitate with decisions they just tell me “just do it” and don’t think about it too much.”
– LING CHEN
Ling Chen doesn’t speculate what her audience cares about since she feels she wouldn’t be who she is today without them. Although she does find it a very difficult subject because she wants to please her audience but ifshe creates content based on what her audience wants to see and it’s something she doesn’t like, it makes it very hard to be “her”. “With that said it’s definitely a balance between both, you have to keep in mind what your audience might think but also you need to do what makes you happy and be yourself.”
Taking big opportunities are an important task for her since her biggest “failure” was not taking big opportunities that were presented when she didn’t know better. But she doesn’t look back, and she reminds myself that things come and go and that if something is meant to be it will align with her and it will all work out.
The 22 year years old Miami native, Yessenia Andrade is growing her instagram one good product at a time. In a world with most influencers take a product or campaign just to gain exposure, Yessenia has a different take on increasing her following and insights.
Although her goal is to be a model one day, she is taking the instagram platform with a grain of salt. She is very creative and feels that is her number one attribute on creating the best content for a brand. Because of her attention to detail, the brand is always left happy because she puts her best into everything she does.
As with any brand deal or prospect, Yessenia makes sure she and the brand are cohesive, if she feels it’s not the right fit, she respectfully declines the offer.
“If it’s something I’m completely not interested in, I kindly say I’m not interested because if my heart isn’t into it, it will show in the brand images. If it’s something that can be negotiated, I present my ideas to them.”
– YESSENIA ANDRADE
This is a rarity in today’s social media influencer world which in turn can shine those who truly love creating campaigns a bad light. Yessenia promotes herself by guaranteeing the brand happiness and making it known their suggestions are welcomed. Another attribute for any growing social media influencer is being consistent. Being consistent has given the best success in Yessenia’s growth.
Originally written lamenting the time spent away from her best friend while touring, Naaz’s new single ‘Mute Love’ addresses that and the positivity that unrelenting friendships, like that one, can have.
“‘Mute Love’ is a song about the bright side of missing somebody,” she explains, “it is when you do not need to physically be present, in order to be heard, seen and touched.”
We’ve all got those friendships that run so deep they manage to survive months of being apart. Often they rely upon an unspoken mutual understanding that you’ve got each other, no matter what, sometimes threads and threads of text messages keep their warm embrace alive and as we’re realising now more than ever, the novelty of a video call cannot be underestimated.
The track has since grown in meaning for the singer/songwriter, whose previous work seeks to address inequalities of all kinds, often drawing on her experiences growing up in a strict Kurdish household and as well as the support from LGBTQ+ community where she has found some of her most passionate fans.
“The lyrics gained more meaning for me after it motivated me to leave a toxic situation in my life that had affected me greatly.The way ‘Mute Love’ sounds and makes me feel, helped my grief as it reminded me of what true love really is, and what it is not. To me, love isn’t about giving, it is not even about being present, it is simply about knowing you are there, even when it is not expressed, even when it is mute – it is still love.”
Naaz spent last year promoting and releasing her acclaimed second EP the beautiful struggle. Live is where Naaz breaks out of every box you’d expect, playing three sold-out shows in Amsterdam, supporting Hayley Kiyoko and Melanie Martinez across Europe plus an Electric sold-out London headline show. Based in Holland, she channels her raw passion and emotion into her music, most of which begins life in her bedroom studio.