As the founder and chief executive officer of Bureau Betak, Alexandre de Betak has been responsible for some of the most memorable and impactful runway shows and fashion events around the world over three decades. In 2020, mere weeks before the world went into lockdown, Bureau Betak announced its commitment to becoming the first agency specialising in the fashion luxury sector to receive ISO 20121 certification for sustainable event management.
As the world moves ahead, what is your take on fashion’s role in contributing to positive change?
I have real hope for fashion shows and events to lead a new consciousness and a new way of doing things eco-responsibly. Before Covid, Bureau Betak launched our commitment to this, and now, 18 months and an unprecedented crisis later, I am even more hopeful that all these changes have not only started but accelerated. In addition to making progress in reducing our carbon footprint, I think we can slowly bring new actions and ideas to designers and world of fashion luxury, so that one day we can transform a negative carbon impact into something positive. Part of this involves de-materializing what we do and making bigger, better contributions to the world and the places where we show in the world. Unlike the financial crisis in 2008, this weird combination of the world stopping, but everyone wanting change in lives, means that people now expect even more from fashion and luxury. I have great hope for what we do in fashion to lead.
What is one trend or article of clothing that will define the coming year?
After stopping and starting again, I think the trend should be quality versus quantity. More quality in your life; more quality time spent on what matters; more selective in what may not; more ambition towards what matters. You can apply this to everything, really. And yes, I’m also advocating that we can help the world grow better if we do less but better.
What is something you’d love to see in fashion’s future — even if it remains a fantasy?
I would love to see the changes that we all dream of really happening. To see a real acknowledgment from our peers of the changes in what we present, who we present to, the representation and quantity of people. I think all of this can be addressed more radically. And I think the fashion world and show-making should free itself of old parameters and constraints, and can look to the future to really and fully evolve that system.