You cannot deny the mayhem that 2017 brought us, so we can’t let it pass or enter a new year without creating a 2018 wishlist. We were shocked both positively and negatively, having our minds blown by the narrow-minded, the prejudiced, the “stuck in 19th century” mentalities but also teased with revolution and inclusion. One aspect of the year keeping us on our toes, as usual, is the fashion and beauty industry. At LAPP we have covered so many of these headlines including the arrival of Fenty Beauty, Vegan Fashion, Gender-Neutral clothing, Editorial retouching and overall diversity across creative industries.
It is important to note how although big moves were made in 2017, these have to be continued on into this new year in order to have more of an impact, hence a 2018 wishlist to speak it all into existence. Fashion and beauty are meant to be industries of progression, innovation and expression, yet why do we still seem surprised to see increases in diversity?
Creativity is something I have always leaned towards due to it almost advertising this freedom to all. The reason I have always been so intrigued in these industries is the fact I can be educated on walks of life I haven’t come across and hear different perspectives, I always see value in having inclusion for all, it shouldn’t all be about earnings and profit. Most aspects of someone’s identity, if not all, should be represented through creative industries whether that be age, gender, sexuality, occupation/class or ethnicity.
Makeup and diversity:
I have always been biased when it comes to Rihanna as I’m half Bajan but her versatile, inclusive and open-minded approach to fashion and beauty is admirable. A person with such a large platform could create validation for all fans/followers with whatever message they wish to portray and for Fenty to release a beauty range with such a broad shade range is of great importance. To communicate a message of acceptance to all skin tones into the industry could encourage more of us to hold inclusive perspectives and realise the importance for equal representation. The concept of having so many shades is not complex, neither is it hard to market – but the timing, the person behind the brand and the funding available will make or break the product. Rihanna, we applaud you for using your status, resources and time to remind us how damn behind our beauty industry is. You may have just given other brands the nudge and reassurance they needed to realise there is and always will be a market for so much diversity and that all colours are valid. Let’s hope 2018 brings most if not all major beauty brands adding this diversity. Advertising for a wide audience shouldn’t be difficult if you already have a high budget for marketing – so what are you waiting for? Of course, make sure your marketing team decide carefully on how to advertise so we don’t end up with more Dove-like mishaps. Our 2018 wishlist also includes no muck-ups, execution is of great importance.
Magazine covers and Edward Enninful:
Since January 2013 there have only been 7 British vogue covers featuring non-white faces. Let’s talk numbers; in 5 years consisting of 12 covers each and including the January 2018 edition, that are 61 covers in total and on average, one non-white edition a year. Although we cannot deny the ethnic percentages and majorities of the UK, we also cannot be naïve to the amount of culture present. Some would argue that Vogue can be seen as elitist due to the lack of ethnic, cultural and gender diversity on the covers. This is where Edward Enninful comes into play. His arrival into the team as the new Editor-in-Chief is one which caused a sign of hope and a sigh of relief to many in 2017.
The first cover displayed not only fashion icon and well-known model, Adwoa Aboah, but a list of names consisting of other activists, political figures and innovators. There are no typical commercial features of a front cover spewed on every inch. There are no stamps of branding or anything persuading you to buy/try something; the cover is accessible. “Great Britain” as an issue title so boldly underneath all of these names communicated Enninful interacting with so many issues, different identities and creators whilst still maintaining the poise and elegance usually displayed on the famous Fashion mag. This needs to reoccur regularly please, Edward. If more covers address issues and relevant figures, then maybe the audience and beyond will be informed that we still have a long way to go before we are an adequate society, but also that we aren’t the only “type” of person interested in fashion.
Independent business coverage:
This is a more personal addition to the 2018 wishlist. As an aspiring designer I am always frustrated to see how the fast-paced industry of Fashion limits and deters smaller businesses from investing and progressing. I understand a lot of us like to know we can trust a brand when we spend on fashion, hence why large companies will receive business every season without a doubt. However, I come across so many innovative people and incredibly talented creatives struggling to gain interest simply because of smaller funds and therefore lacklustre marketing. It is possible to “make it” from nothing, I just wish those with the means and contacts would help lift smaller businesses in collaboration or sponsorships. This unity in business for the fashion industry is something we need to see more of. There is no doubt that a large percentage of the population will always want to stand out with their own style or taste and this will be massively aided if new innovators have a chance to reach and engage their audience. Collaborations could really help elevate new creators as well as social media publicity from celebrities and online influencers supporting products that aren’t just tummy tea and teeth whitening gadgets…
Gender neutral campaigns:
And lastly on our 2018 wishlist; gender neutrality. Whether you saw the gender-neutral John Lewis childrenswear campaign or not, it’s no secret this concept is being attempted for all ages within industry. John Lewis hit the nail on the head for the age to focus on. The problem is that we form our ideas on what we should wear for our gender usually through childhood. To target this and encourage adults to adhere to this method of dressing could even help change opinions in older generations, not just their children. As released in 2015, the Agender campaign for Selfridges targets this on a high-end level, aiming to release gender association with particular garments – slowly but surely it seems to be catching on so it goes without saying this should pick up in speed and progression not only for high-end labels and retailers but for high street too.
Working in the fashion or beauty industry or not, it is blindingly obvious we have a long way to go for representation and equality to be more present. It’s not only large corporations who have a duty to aid this; we all do. This 2018 wishlist is in hope for a year of further progression and a year for us to support causes that will really help open minds and represent everyone fairly. Growing up in a world lacking this only causes greater potential for a backwards direction and at LAPP we believe, for women especially, that’s just not an option.
Written by Jessamy Mattinson