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December 17,2020

by Grace Banks

On Read with Toni-Blaze Ibekwe

This year has really changed the fashion industry. I think we are going to be moving into a more sustainable way of working, we’ve already seen changes start with fashion week. Going from designers doing six shows per year, people are now designing with regards to what's important. I think we're going to see more of that and more of real timeless design as opposed to it being a pre-fall collection, a resort and all these seasons that we don't actually really need. I think the conversation that we need to have is, how do we sustain the industry in a less wasteful way? How do we design not just for consumption? How do we design a piece that you can buy into and just have it in your wardrobe for ages?

I think the conversation we’re having about diversity is super important now. I think in terms of London, this conversation is key, because London has always been a hub for creativity, we've always been different. When you look at Vivienne Westwood, when you look at any of these designers, we've always had a system that is more inclusive than other cities. We've got amazing designers such as Bianca Saunders, who is a woman with Jamaican descent. We’ve got designers and people here in London from so many different backgrounds, and we're just this amazing melting pot. And that needs to be reflected in the industry as well.

One of our winter covers for Wonderland was with Kai Isaiah Jamal, who is a poet, and just an amazing person. Honestly, it was one of those shots from which I just went home and I had warmth in me. And I also felt really creative. I think I'm lucky because I'm in a space where we don't have this massive backer behind us. And it's just very free when it comes to choosing who can be put on a cover. We can go from doing a shoot with Shawn Mendes and then Kai and at the same time tick every single box when it comes to creativity, when it comes to what's cool. I think Kai is a great example because maybe a few years ago, you wouldn't see a person of colour who is non conforming in regards to gender. And it warms my heart because we don't know whether young people who are looking at that cover are feeling exactly like Kai, or seeing Kai in themselves. So it is nice to know that someone, somewhere, hopefully, sees that cover and thinks: “I relate to this, this feels relatable”. And I think that's one of the most powerful tools that I have as an editor.

I am hopeful for 2021. In terms of what it will look like - living and flourishing, that's the main thing! I think this whole period has taught us to not take things for granted. So my hope is to just live in every moment authentically. And I think it’s important to take work goals out of the equation. A goal of mine next year is to start mentoring more. I’m on the British Fashion Council’s Diversity Committee, and I want to use that position to start mentoring people more. I want to really be able to share everything I've learned with younger people who might not see a path for themselves in this industry. 

Toni-Blaze Ibekwe is the Editor-in-Chief of Wonderland Magazine.

Watch the full IGTV interview here.

ToniBlaze JournalPortrait BeigeToniBlaze Journal Quote

December 17,2020

by Grace Banks

On Read with Toni-Blaze Ibekwe

This year has really changed the fashion industry. I think we are going to be moving into a more sustainable way of working, we’ve already seen changes start with fashion week. Going from designers doing six shows per year, people are now designing with regards to what's important. I think we're going to see more of that and more of real timeless design as opposed to it being a pre-fall collection, a resort and all these seasons that we don't actually really need. I think the conversation that we need to have is, how do we sustain the industry in a less wasteful way? How do we design not just for consumption? How do we design a piece that you can buy into and just have it in your wardrobe for ages?

I think the conversation we’re having about diversity is super important now. I think in terms of London, this conversation is key, because London has always been a hub for creativity, we've always been different. When you look at Vivienne Westwood, when you look at any of these designers, we've always had a system that is more inclusive than other cities. We've got amazing designers such as Bianca Saunders, who is a woman with Jamaican descent. We’ve got designers and people here in London from so many different backgrounds, and we're just this amazing melting pot. And that needs to be reflected in the industry as well.

One of our winter covers for Wonderland was with Kai Isaiah Jamal, who is a poet, and just an amazing person. Honestly, it was one of those shots from which I just went home and I had warmth in me. And I also felt really creative. I think I'm lucky because I'm in a space where we don't have this massive backer behind us. And it's just very free when it comes to choosing who can be put on a cover. We can go from doing a shoot with Shawn Mendes and then Kai and at the same time tick every single box when it comes to creativity, when it comes to what's cool. I think Kai is a great example because maybe a few years ago, you wouldn't see a person of colour who is non conforming in regards to gender. And it warms my heart because we don't know whether young people who are looking at that cover are feeling exactly like Kai, or seeing Kai in themselves. So it is nice to know that someone, somewhere, hopefully, sees that cover and thinks: “I relate to this, this feels relatable”. And I think that's one of the most powerful tools that I have as an editor.

I am hopeful for 2021. In terms of what it will look like - living and flourishing, that's the main thing! I think this whole period has taught us to not take things for granted. So my hope is to just live in every moment authentically. And I think it’s important to take work goals out of the equation. A goal of mine next year is to start mentoring more. I’m on the British Fashion Council’s Diversity Committee, and I want to use that position to start mentoring people more. I want to really be able to share everything I've learned with younger people who might not see a path for themselves in this industry. 

Toni-Blaze Ibekwe is the Editor-in-Chief of Wonderland Magazine.

Watch the full IGTV interview here.

ToniBlaze JournalPortrait BeigeToniBlaze Journal Quote