Should leather be shunned, and made irrelevant in 2019 today?
The world has sat up and become more aware of carbon footprints and landfill sites. Consequently, questions towards one of the biggest industries that run billion dollar economies, have steadily poured in.
Who makes my clothes? How do they make it? How do I style myself more authentically? What are the brands that share my ideologies? How can I imbibe my political into my personal? What are some of the more catastrophic impacts my garments are creating?
Does art reflect society or society gives birth to art? Irrespective fashion has tried and stayed as true as possible to the ebb and flow of social curvature. So, this seems like an oversight of sorts, that leather in all its glorious forms was a tangible presence at Autumn Winter 2019. Today, amidst conversation about endangered species, ecosystem preservation and its impact on earth health, leather feels like a ghoulish mishap.
Throughout London, Paris, and other shows, leather kept rearing its ugly head gradually, at steady intervals. Waxed, patented, brushed and such leathers appeared in so many designer camps.
Today the industry has taken note of the buzz surrounding authenticity, genderless consumerism and self-expression. It has also delivered collections based on this anthropology. However, with the omnipresence and anecdotal appearance of leather, it is clear that it missed out on observing the millennial obsession with fashion that is sustainable and kind.
Today, as a global generation wakes up to news that is chaotic, insensitive and cruel, we need fashion that is more sensitive and aware. The manufacture of leather undoubtedly leads to employment and incoming wealth. The question here is are we as receptive toward dialogue that gives rise to fashion trends that are less commercially viable than leather jackets for men.