Fashion Director Vanessa Friedman, Chief Fashion Critic for The New York Times, outlined the future of the fashion industry in a forum presented by Cardozo’s FAME Center and co-sponsored by Loza & Loza LLP, the Cardozo Fashion Law Society and the Cardozo Alumni Association Retail and Luxury Alumni Group. Professor Barbara Kolsun, the director of the FAME Center for Fashion, Art, Media and Entertainment, posed questions that provoked a discussion about the intersection of race, gender, politics and fashion, as well as legal issues of the industry and its relevancy in a pandemic-weary world.
When asked about the ways to integrate sustainability and fashion, Friedman argued that there is no such thing. “The term is an oxymoron,” she said. “Fashion is something that is predicated on constant change. You can create a sustainable wardrobe, personally, but that is all.” Instead, she highlighted the need for responsible fashion, where consumers and companies think critically about their purchasing and manufacturing choices before making decisions.
Kolsun also asked Friedman about her recent article on Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s style and how women in American government approach fashion. “Women in government usually dress to take clothes out of the conversation,” said Friedman. “Sinema has worn all sorts of different wigs, knee high-boots, sleeveless tops and more.” Friedman believed Sinema’s unusual fashion choices aligned with her political independence.
Moving forward, Friedman predicts a move away from gender-based ideas of fashion, where designers instead focus solely on pieces of clothing on bodies. “However,” she added, “I think it will take awhile to trickle up to places like law firms, banks and Congress.” This was Friedman’s second time speaking at a Cardozo event in 2021. Earlier this year, she joined Zac Posen to discuss his fashion journey and the future of the industry.