Having co-founded System Magazine nearly 10 years ago, Elizabeth von Guttman continues to make a strong case for the future of compelling print content. Publishing bi-annually, the magazine documents the fashion industry with intelligent perspective and a certain streamlined presentation from cover to cover. Prior to this, in 2008, she started Ever Manifesto with Charlotte Casiraghi and Alexia Niedzielski; both a publication and initiative on sustainability in fashion and design, it encouraged brands to be more conscious well ahead of the curve. Most recently, Elizabeth co-founded ALTAVA, an innovative 3D fashion platform based in Seoul, Korea.
As the world moves ahead, what is your take on fashion’s role in contributing to positive change?
We all have a responsibility and a role to play as individuals but also within the fashion industry as a community.
While fashion and sustainability might seem like an oxymoron, that does not mean this goal is redundant. Yet neither is it a marketing tool to sell more clothes – and this is often the problem! Companies need to be doing this for the right reasons and commit to the long haul; as in, being transparent, using ethically-treated fabrics, and so forth, while balancing the chasm of product desirability. And the consumer should also want to interact with the brand in this context. We are all consumers and we all need to be conscious. However, this does not preclude us from appreciating fashion from an artistic perspective. Buying less and better is key, and seeing the embrace of second-hand clothing –especially among younger generations – is a great thing.
What is one trend or article of clothing that will define the coming year?
Hopefully evening wear, as we all need to dress up and have a laugh! It’s good for the soul.
What is something you’d love to see in fashion’s future — even if it remains a fantasy?
I would like to see brands embrace the virtual world and therefore the metaverse. There are endless possibilities to explore creativity and fantasy which fashion has been lacking over the years.