MILAN — Model Arizona Muse stopped by the picturesque Don Carlos restaurant in Milan on Wednesday to check out the presentation of local label Blazé Milano, featuring two jackets and two coatdresses she designed for the brand using sustainable materials.
The model and activist, who runs the Bmusing blog with her husband, osteopath Boniface Verney-Carron, is gearing up to launch her own fashion line in April.
She spoke with WWD about her ideal party dress, wearing green fashion on the red carpet, and how she is introducing designers to sustainable fabrics, one fashion capital at a time.
WWD: How did you go about picking the fabrics for this collection?
Arizona Muse: The criteria that I really wanted to follow for this collection was that we used everything sustainable and we’re very, very environmentally conscious about the decisions we made. So all the fabrics and all the materials — the lining, the shoulder pads, the buttons — they’ve all been chosen for their sustainability. The two short [jackets] are beautiful organic wools made very responsibly, and the sheep were all well taken care of. They weren’t overpopulated, because when you overpopulate sheep, you really harm the environment. One has been dyed in a way that you see beautiful bright colors and also completely nontoxic. There is a viscose that has a closed-loop processing that is totally not wasteful.
WWD: Blazé cofounder Corrada Rodriguez d’Acri said you introduced her to Nina Marenzi, founder of The Sustainable Angle, a nonprofit organization that showcases responsibly produced materials through its Future Fabrics Expo.
A.M.: I’ve learned so much from The Sustainable Angle. They’re an amazing organization in London who do exactly that, they source fabrics that are sustainable from all over the world, and it was an amazing learning process.
I love clothes. I think clothes are beautiful and I really want to find a way to share a message with the industry that clothes can be sustainable and cool and fun and wild, and the sustainability doesn’t compromise the look and feel of something.
WWD: This is obviously not your first step in the field of sustainability. Do you have any other projects coming up?
A.M.: The British Fashion Council allowed us to have a space at London Fashion Week to show a mini collection. I asked London designers if they would make one garment out of a sustainable material that I would help them source. So we have Temperley London, Edeline Lee, Emilia Wickstead, Felder + Felder, Galvan and Roland Mouret.
That project went really, really well and the goal would be to do that again next season and to even do it in every city, because I think that was a really successful way of showing how sustainable material can be used in a really accessible way.
We’re not selling them, they were just to be on display at fashion week with The Sustainable Angle to talk about it.
That will be the goal for next season as well, to do that so we’ve got designers from all over the world doing it, and I’ll be wearing those garments at two events in the near future. So I’m really trying to wear more sustainable clothing and support brands that are doing things in a more sustainable way.
WWD: What about designing yourself? Do you want to do more of it?
A.M.: Yes, definitely.
WWD: Could you see yourself having your brand?
A.M.: I could, yes.
WWD: So is this something that’s in the works?
A.M.: Yes — it’s very exciting. I’ll be launching in April.
WWD: What will it be called?
A.M.: We aren’t disclosing the name yet, until April. I’m doing it with a friend of mine [Georgie Macintyre, artistic director at Matthew Williamson] who is a designer, and we’re both very passionate about sustainability and we decided that we needed more dresses. So we’re going to make party dresses out of sustainable materials.
WWD: Where will you present it?
A.M.: We both live in London, and we’ll be presenting it as a normal collection to buyers in April, to drop in September.
WWD: Sustainable fashion has come such a long way from its previous image of frumpy, Earth Mother type clothes.
A.M.: This is what we’re staying very far away from, because we want to show that in this modern day, that is not what sustainability is anymore.
Education will be a big part of our mission — these fun little blurbs about things that we’re not normally told about our garments, but we’re going to share this information.