If you love fashion, I am sure you will have felt that surge of excitement when a new season lands in stores. The excitement level is equally high - if not higher - when we start designing a new collection, and this SU18 season was extraordinary with California being our main source of inspiration.
In the past, California has been primarily associated with the Gold Rush, the California Dream (getting rich and famous fast), Hollywood glamour, pastel colours and long stretches of palm tree lined beach. Today, however, it is also becoming known for its progressive thinking and care for the environment.
While California’s gold rush dried up by 1955, the Golden State is still defined by sparkling citrus shades reminiscent of the mineral discovered by Mojave desert treasure seekers. From the desert itself, dotted with yellow and pink wild flower fringed ghost towns. To the orange and white wings of thousands of butterflies at the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary who take up residency in Eucalyptus trees – the source of Tencel used across much of our collection. Tints of tangerine further ripen in the Redwood forests of the north, where endangered trees create an imposing canopy 100m high.
The vibrancy of California’s colour palette is matched by the energy connecting the free spirits making up America’s most populous state. It is home to the New Bohemians – urban farmers, artists, entrepreneurs and bloggers – who find a form of modern day treasure in a slower paced and more sustainable way of life. This lifestyle also attracts the fashion-forward crowd who frequent Coachella festival, and the artists and musicians who look to nearby Joshua Tree National Park for creative inspiration.
This season, we wanted to capture the understated confidence of California’s surf culture and Coachella’s desert-chic dress code with an injection of pastels, light blue frayed denim and relaxed slogan tees. And while we revel in the aesthetic synergy we share with the state’s unique take on west coast fashion, we’re particularly inspired by the leadership it shows in its commitment to renewable energy.
Like VILDNIS, California sets itself ambitious targets for reducing its environmental impact. While its government is presently pursuing a complete ban on single use plastic, the state is working collectively towards ensuring 1/3 of all its electricity comes from renewable resources in 2020. And they’re not stopping there – by 2050 they hope to generate 100% of its energy from sun, wind and water.
Yes, California is just one state in one nation. But independently it has the world’s 6th largest economy when treated as a single country. By reducing its carbon imprint today, it has the power to inspire a movement that reaches the world over - despite USA as a whole taking a different turn.
Going against the stream and standing up for the environment - that's our kind of role model!
Part of the SU18 collection has landed online today and more will follow as the temperature rises. We hope you like it as much as we do :-)