Six years ago when the Artemisian began, the fashion landscape post McQueen and Galliano, Kings of the fashion world dead and dethroned, was an industry guided by profit and loss statements and the bottom line more important than artistic integrity. I worked within a small crevice of an opening, a break in the glossy commercially mass produced fashion scene. It was something beautiful, a return to local production, an awareness and attention to green business practices were beginning to be noticed and encouraged. New corporate status's opened up, B corps of which giants like North Face held fast to their mindful practices and the Bcorp took traction. Trade shows began offering discounts to green companies and highlighted them in separate lists in bright green in their catalogs. Soon, buzz words such as "slow food" and "slow fashion" were hash tagged across social media and documentaries created highlighting local cheese mongers, fisheries, organic farms, craft beers, local distilleries and the gamut of slow food production abounded. For the fashion world the movement finally took real footing following the food revolution, my little company of re purposed watches was becoming more and more eye catching to the concept stores and trend setting organizations on the international stage. The trade shows still the only real platform for engaging the multitudes of buyers was, however not the best option for an eco company with local production and small profit margins due to material quality, production quantity limitations and local labor costs. There needed to be a new paradigm for us, an understood quality cost ratio as was created in the food world. Whereas the farm to table movement and resurgence of farmer's markets were to the growing slow food movement an elite form of purchasing the same could not be said for the ever growing number of craft markets opening highlighting local craft. The latter still maintain a less than lustrous quality when one thinks to high fashion, niche, exclusivity and conceptually forward thinking. So then what is the next platform? The rebirth of the traveling sales rep? The online presence? Instagram? In a sea of possibilities from mainstream brands to independent designer we are all searching for this new algorithm it seems. New branding, re branding, enmeshing holistic practices into companies and capitalizing on the integration of each.
I call this portion of my life the side hustle, unabashedly combining my multi facets and putting them forth into the world. The Cook, The Jeweler, The Yogi and her... well, not quite the Greenaway film noir from my earlier days but close. Pop-up dinners, awareness of health in it's totality, body, mind and spirit and sharing this upon the Artemisian platform. And why not, does Donna Karen not have Urban Zen? This month an Ayurvedic inspired pop-up dinner in Philadelphia, Artemis Table , weekly yoga instruction and in September back to New York for Designers and Agents the trade show that applauds and rewards green production and manufacturing. Merging these sides of me has never felt so appropriate now then in this new climate. I have always felt rules were meant to be learned well and then bent to suit the individual.
"You've got to know the rules to break them. That's what I'm here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition." Alexander McQueen