Though their designs are visually worlds apart – with Bethany Williams weaving a colourful patchwork of paintbox textiles, and Anna Gloria Flores’ forging garments from a liquified alternate dimension for her Hydra label – the designers came together to discuss the future of social media for the second of our A Future World podcasts, out now.
In the episode, hosted by Dazed Digital’s fashion features editor Emma Davidson, the duo talk about navigating the industry and finding your voice within it; aligning their brand values in tandem with what the climate emergency demands; how their labels might provide a blueprint for others wanting to set up new systems for their brands with less wasteful production; and how the digitisation of fashion weeks is (thankfully) subverting the industry’s long-standing aura of exclusivity.
For AGF Hydra, who took the pandemic as an opportunity to reconnect to her South Italian roots – and will be going one step further with a research stint in an eco village where the natural world meets the digital realm soon – sentient materials and biocompatible membranes are key to a brighter fashion future. She has been thinking a lot about “how technology can be a nurturing tool, together with a holistic approach (of) pure observation and connection with nature. How these two things can join together in order to create a future that is more sustainable and more aware. Personal growth and creative growth does not need to be linear.”
“Now more than ever, the conversation is becoming more and more urgent”, she says on the podcast. “I find myself wondering, why are we even so obsessed with indulging these extremely damaging, extremely self-absorbed practices? What if we just rethink the structure altogether? What if we start from zero again? What is it that we need to keep? And what is it that we can just give up? Really, what we can keep is the incredible power of fashion to create stories and to communicate intentions.”
Both fashion futurists in their own ways, Williams and Hydra have started their own system changes from scratch – could you? Essential listening for anyone looking to break into fashion, hear Bethany Williams and AGF Hydra go head to head below.