Fashion Week preview: Christopher Raeburn
The coronavirus has come for Fashion Week, but Fashion Week is unbowed. With the 2020 edition of LFWM going all-digital, the event's key designers talk us through how they've adapted to showing clothes in a world where showing clothes is (almost) impossible.
What’s been the biggest challenge with producing a lockdown fashion ‘show’?
Whilst the last months have had their challenges operationally, we've used our obligation as creatives to look for better systems and ways of doing things. It’s been a unique situation to test, experiment and react – taking those learnings to work towards a better future. Not only have we dug deeper into our material archives, we’ve actually truly brought Craft, Creativity and Community to the fore.
What non-fashion skills have you picked up during lockdown?
Lockdown has pushed us to optimise and adopt new digital tools and processes, accelerating our move to a more efficient way of working.
How have you seen London’s fashion community come together in the past few months?
We’ve actually become more connected than ever before. We certainly ramped up our community engagement via projects like ‘Raeburn At Home’ and the ‘RÆBURN Connects’ series, which has had amazing results. Myself and the team are also very proud to have worked with the British Fashion Council on the joint campaign ‘Great British Designer Face Coverings: Reusable, for People and Planet’. The ambition of the project is to raise £1 million with 100 per cent of profits going to charity – it’s collaborative design as a force for good.
Is this a watershed moment for the fashion industry?
I truly hope so – the last months have evidenced to us all that what we do as an industry doesn’t make sense; a race to the bottom where overproduction and consumption are symbiotic. We need to evolve or die. Our RÆSTART manifesto puts into writing our long-term obligation to change, and we urge others to join us.
Favourite British designer at the moment?
I have always been more interested in functional clothing than designers themselves. My teenage years collecting military items translated into a degree in fashion design. It’s here where I discovered incredibly affordable surplus on scale, which led to the business today.