WE SAW WOMEN IN FASHION CLOSED LAST MONTH DURING LOCKDOWN. HOW HAS THE FASHION INDUSTRY GOTTEN BETTER FOR WOMEN SINCE YOU STARTED IT?
When I started WIF in 2015, feminism was still a dirty word, diversity wasn’t even a topic and everyone was afraid to speak out about everyday inequalities within the fashion industry. Now, I’m proud to see that brands know they can no longer get away with all-white casting and female photographers have been given the recognition they’ve always deserved. WIF was a crucial part in redefining the culture of community amongst women within the fashion industry and I hope that only grows.
WHY DO YOU THINK FASHION IS A POTENT MEDIUM FOR FEMALE ACTIVISM?
Fashion has historically been a medium led by men to define women. It’s a medium that has defined and instilled limiting beauty expectations and female stereotypes through a male gaze. It’s ripe ground for redefining those tropes with a female gaze; claiming back the body and redefining ourselves as women by women for women. As an industry which is also a prime polluter of the environment, it’s also a key area to be vocal about the drastic need for environmental reform both in daily habits and in legislation.
STELLA MCCARTNEY HAS BEEN A FEMALE-LED, ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS BRAND SINCE DAY ONE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON OUR MISSION?
The environment is a key point that flows through my work and the way I live my life. The fashion industry CAN adapt and work with the environment instead of against it, and Stella has championed that from the very beginning. We have to address our choices, from the clothes we buy to the food we eat, which is why I was so excited to shoot the vegan bags.