A conversation with Garment
Text / Celia Marie Freiling, Images / Jennifer von Fabelhaft
On June 22 the Garment family gathered with three industry professionals and some interesting minds to talk about what we are all about - [mis]suiting.
At 20.15 our dear Editor in Chief aka talk master, Emma-Chase Laflamme, entered the stage to open the conversation and introduce our guests.
‘I am my magazine.‘ - Georgette Koning
Her career began as a jewelry designer and it was never her dream to start a magazine. But then she started writing and after working for fashion magazines like Vogue and L’Officiel, Georgette Koning made the step and published her own magazine - Mirror Mirror.
Mirror Mirror is an independent beauty magazine from Amsterdam that is mostly about images.
For Georgette beauty is the starting point in both editorial and photographic content.
Instead of working for a brand, like she once did, she is the brand. Her drive to create and her hunger for images is visible on every page of the magazine.
,On average people look at an image in a magazine for one second.' says Georgette. Her goal is to make it three.
To her, the period for publishing were the 80s, back then her bible was iD.
After that commercial magazines like Vogue and Elle spread like McDonalds, looking the same everywhere and addressing the same content. Since then the whole industry of fashion magazines has changed. When we asked if she thought it possible to bring something new to the table, Georgette answered: ‘No. But you have to be a little naive in order to stay enthusiastic.‘
In an age where online is becoming more important than ever before, Georgette takes a step back and focuses more on print than on her website.
‘I hope people rip out the pages of my magazine and keep them. That’s the biggest compliment‘.
‘Selling air? That’s something I am good at!' - Nena van Veen
Starting as an intern at Glamour, Nena got what every girl dreams of after watching, ‚'The Devil Wears Prada‘ - a job at Vogue.
After studying economics, she never thought she would end up working for a fashion magazine. Yet she did, as an international sales manager. Being used to boring numbers, Nena entered the fashion world, which was totally different from what she had expected. However she didn’t feel good about selling, when a magazine should be there to inspire.
That was when tech giant Samsung asked her to work for them in their air conditioning business.
‘At first I was shocked. But then I thought: Selling air? That’s something I am good at.‘
So, Nena entered the male dominated world with her Chanel bag. ‘The way of dressing is really different and in the beginning I tried to adapt but now I am true to myself and dress the way I would dress at Vogue.‘
3 years ago Nena set foot into Gucci as an employee for Vogue, now they are her clients at Samsung. Yes, also luxury fashion brands need air conditioning.
You could say that Nena found her very own niche in the tech industry by staying herself.
‘The fashion and healthcare industry should have a conversation’ - Sofie van der Meulen
Sofie was born with a rare genetic mutation, the bone growth disorder SEDC which affected her growth. Being 1.40 m she literally misfits the fashion industry and the standardized system.
‘Finding clothes is a miracle, mostly I get really frustrated‘ she says. Nothing fits her, everything has to be adjusted. There is a lack of inclusive fashion that takes the differences of people into consideration and Sofie is confronted with this issue every time she goes shopping.
Comparing the medical industry with the fashion industry,you notice that they include much more people into their research in order to fit their needs and to individualize products. Still they forget about the fact that people with disabilities want to look fashionable as well.
Sitting in a wheelchair, like Sofie did for a long time, it becomes a part of your everyday life and also of your everyday wardrobe. Instead of looking like a medical device, it should express your personality as much as a dress you decide to wear.
‘I really think the fashion and healthcare industry should have a conversation, because they could profit from each other. It is about connecting functionality with beauty.‘
Sofie works in the law industry, which mostly has a very strict dress code. In this professional environment it is important for her that she chooses employers that let her be herself which also means letting her dress in a way she feels comfortable in.
When Sofie was younger she was very insecure about herself which was also expressed in the way she dressed. On our stage she was wearing a short black and white dress with red sneakers - a bold statement and we love it.
Our industry professionals could not have been more different from each other, still they all shared the same message in the end - in order to be successful you have to be yourself and that means to [mis]suit.