Some of the conversations that I found particularly insightful:

Stella McCartney speaking about her continuous efforts to approach the fashion industry in a new and innovative way. She remarked, “the fashion industry is quite old-fashioned”, emphasizing the need to shift the way in which things are traditionally done in the industry. McCartney went on to introduce her current collaboration with sustainable fibers manufacturer Bolt Threads, which she sees as the “future of fashion”. She then discussed the various sustainable fibers currently used by her brand, from regenerated cashmere and nylon to sustainably sourced viscose and organic cotton.

Several speakers touched on social media’s growing influence on the fashion industry. Anna Wintour opened the conference with the sentiment that in this ever-changing world we are seeking shared experiences and social connection, which we achieve through social media. Kevin Systrom spoke about his mission to make Instagram be a force for good and a “technology for kindness”, exemplified by Instagram’s efforts to detect and obstruct cyber bullying throughout the platform. Joseph Altuzarra and Simon Porte Jacquemus provided their differing perspectives on how much of their personal lives they choose to share through social media and connect to their fashion brands. Altuzarra discussed how overwhelming he finds it to constantly be bombarded by people’s feedback through social media; oftentimes he has to step away from it all and just “go into [his] office and draw.”

What I most appreciated about the conversations is how they led the speakers to share personal stories about their journeys that brought them to where they are today. This personalized the speakers and exhibited that, while these individuals have achieved exceptional success, they appear remarkably relatable. After all, we are all connected through a common passion and drive for the industry. Some notable quotes include:

Kevin Systrom - “I learned everything about running a company, by the way, on YouTube.”

John Galliano - “[At Dior] I was so obsessed with perfection and being polished, and at Margiela I learned to be unfinished… [I now find it] quite nice when mistakes happen along the way.”