Li Edelkoort: “Fashion is Dead”

One of the World’s famous trend forecasters, Li Edelkoort, gave quite a revealing interview to Dezeen about her thoughts on fashion. In one of her statements, she proclaimed,

“It’s the end of fashion as we know it”

Edelkoort listed down several key points for the crisis in fashion, starting with education. Here are a few interesting answers on her interview:

Li Edelkoort
Li Edelkoort

On the demise of fashion:

It doesn’t exist any more. This is the end of a system called fashion and we will have to invent new ideas. For now I think we are going to concentrate on clothes; celebrate clothes. As a result we will see couture coming back, [versus creation] and in fact it’s a sort of relief because many people are thinking it.

Trend Tablet by Li Edelkoort
Trend Tablet by Li Edelkoort

On 5 reasons why Edelkoort thinks that way:

It starts with education, where we still educate our young people to become catwalk designers; unique individuals, whereas this society is now about exchange and the new economy and working together in teams and groups, which happens in every other discipline, yet not in fashion.

Trend Tablet by Li Edelkoort
Trend Tablet by Li Edelkoort

Then there is a problem with textile; people don’t know anything any more about textiles. Providing textiles becomes impossible. So we are speaking here of endangered species.

Then there is the making of, which is done in countries where people are killed for making our garments.

Then the designers themselves are all proclaiming that they are no longer doing fashion but are doing clothes, clothes, clothes. So everybody for several reasons is concentrating on clothes.

And then marketing of course killed the whole thing. It’s governed by greed and not by vision. There’s no innovation any more because of that.

Trend Tablet by Li Edelkoort
Trend Tablet by Li Edelkoort

Read more on Dezeen.

We agree with her. We’re getting less and less excited about fashion weeks because it’s not about the creativity or the artistry anymore, it’s about clothes that sell. While business is important, sure, we’ve lost the soul along the way.

In our humble opinion, the most important reason for this is the pressure mounted by the companies to introduce 8 collections a year, in process, decapitating the pinnacle of what fashion is supposed to represent. The desire for companies to compete, in terms of speed, with fast-fashion and to make more money is killing the designer’s creativity. We think the best way to go is to scale back. Isn’t the idea of luxury fashion its exclusivity? Look at Tom Ford. His comeback was so anticipated and was done in such elusive fashion that it made the entire aura of that presentation so elite. 

It’s no longer fun, it is reductive. Olivier Theyskens agrees