I have to be honest with you.
Last February, when I traveled to Las Vegas to help MMODE promote Montreal fashion during the MAGIC trade show, one of the things I had to do was to write three articles on my blog about their initiative.
I started with telling you about 8 Montreal brands that were going to be present at the event and that you should definitely know. Then, I shared 3 style lessons Las Vegas taught me; a piece that ended up more as a self-psychoanalysis than a fashion advice mash-up, but oh well! And last but not least… Nothing. Because the pandemic happened.
That third article, I thought about it for a long time. How could I possibly talk about my experience in Sin City, 4,000 km away from Montreal, where 80,000 people from the fashion industry gathered to plan their next business quarters when only a few weeks later, the whole world turned upside down?
To be honest, no matter how I flipped it, no angle felt right.
Many of you have lost their jobs. Some are dealing with serious anxiety induced by a myriad of very valid reasons. Some of you are just trying to survive isolation and loneliness. And some have even lost a loved one through this crisis.
How could I possibly talk about fashion in those circumstances?
But then, this social and personal turmoil, made me realize how MMODE’s goal, by going to this huge trade show to spread the word about Montreal fashion outside of Quebec, was more relevant than ever.
Why? Because Quebec’s fashion industry hires more than 82,000 people. That’s your boyfriend’s mother. Your sister’s best friend. Your neighbour’s daughter. Maybe even you.
It’s this human precariousness that reminded me the importance and necessity to highlight the incredible work MMODE does all year around, especially during that very intense week at Magic (I’m telling you more about what they do right here).
All I had left to do was to find a sensible and useful way to talk about it.
So, what’s your new project?
The idea popped in my head after seeing #ModeSolidaire (#SolidarityInStyle) spreading on my social feeds like wild fires a couple of weeks ago. Initiated by designer Jennifer Glasgow and shared at large by MMODE, the hashtag is meant as a rallying cry for the local fashion industry.
It’s a way for designers, which are often isolated due to the nature of their work, to feel connected through these tough times. It’s also an extremely resourceful tool to centralize all local brands under one digital roof and, consequently, facilitate the lives of people looking to buy local.
And enters my new social media series.
Multiple times a week, I’ll be joining the #ModeSolidaire community to highlight the work of a local designer on my Instagram page. In addition to my usual photos, every post will be accompanied by a video of the designer answering a few questions about their work, their new reality and its challenges, and what makes them hopeful.
As much as I would have preferred to share my love of their work under different circumstances, I have to admit that I feel very lucky that so many talented and inspiring people have agreed to take part in this project. Actually, you’ll get to meet many entrepreneurs who attended MAGIC with MMODE, such as Eric Wazana, founder of Yoga Jeans, jeweller Dominique Dunn from wellDunn, Lambert Perera from Atelier Murri, Alexandre Desabrais and Samuel Leroux from Solios watches and hat makers Alex Surprenant and Mélodie Lavergne from Fumile.
They’ll also be joined by Marie-Anne Miljours, founder of the leather good brand Miljours Studio, fashion designer Jennifer Glasgow, shoe creator Melinda Bishara from Hoyden, and many others! I have two months worth of content, so the list is LONG.
My goal with this initiative is for you to be able to put a face on your favourite brands. Humanize those companies fighting hard not to crumble under the pressure of this crisis. To convince you to buy local, more than ever. Because beyond that pretty website and beautiful packaging, there’s your boyfriend’s mother. Your sister’s best friend. Your neighbour’s daughter. Maybe even you.
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