Since ModaLisboa Insight, Vanda Jorge and Ecoolhunter by Jornal Eco are partners of the Check Point platform. The curatorship of one of the days of conversation, always looking to the future, has brought to Lisboa Fashion Week some of the most interesting projects in the country in the areas of technology, entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration in the Fashion industry. But Vanda's relationship with ModaLisboa started long before that, in her days as a “young journalist, at the beginning of my career and therefore everything was new. It’s that feeling of 'what a privilege to be here, with these people, breathing this creative environment'. I felt that Lisbon was on the map ”. And it was. And it is. Vanda remembers her first time at Lisboa Fashion Week and says that “for those who always liked fashion, having access to the shows but also being backstage was a fantastic experience. Everything you can imagine from a fashion week. And I was there ”.
Now, as Ecoolhunter's Creative and Content Director, she has the opportunity to be inside ModaLisboa thinking about the future. That's what we talked about.
How did your relationship with Check Point start?
Like many of the successful partnerships, it happened a little by chance. I met Graziela Sousa and, between several conversations, we started to find visions and ideas that brought us closer. In particular our view that the future is collaborative, so I accepted the invitation to collaborate on what is the proposal and dynamics of Check Point.
What did this partnership with Check Point bring to Ecoolhunter, and vice versa?
I believe that good partnerships are win-win. To Ecoolhunter, it brought relevant content about the industry, brought visions, reflections and the future. Everything that makes sense to Ecoolhunter. On the other hand, the contribution I made in helping to build the Check Point experience, the media visibility I give to the project through the videos we produce and the conversations I moderate, I think I also added some value.
What do you think is the importance of partnerships today and in the future?
Partnerships — collaboration if we want to call it that — for me are the formula for a more constructive future, with a broader vision in this and other industries. The complexity of the world is easier to interpret with different visions and contributions.
How is it to curate one of the days of the program?
A huge challenge, because every year we want to add new layers of interest, relevance and future. What you feel is that there are more and more interesting projects and people to challenge to be with us… So the challenge is almost talent management and creativity, because there are in fact more and more projects that we want to bring and share with the audience.
Addressing the Future, Technology and Fashion is vital for the functioning of the industry. What do you feel has changed the most in recent years — and where do you think we're going?
It’s curious that the last season of Lisboa Fashion Week happened precisely when Covid-19 started to be a threat. I think that what we experienced may have been fashion as we knew it, but II believe that this industry will change a lot in the post-covid world. And not only for technological reasons, as we have already seen, but a lot due to changes in behavior and the way we are going to look at our lives. If consumption was already conscious, this awareness will increase, perhaps also with a more local production. I think that fast fashion will go through a difficult time, that we will be, on the one hand, aware of promotions, due to the economic difficulties, but also more available to pay more for a product that we know is sustainable, that will last longer. Lately, we’ve seen the Pre-Loved market as a growing market, now I am curious to see how it will keep up with consumers to value the issue of safety (hygiene in particular) as a great future driver, and I think there is a great opportunity for brands that want to invest in the so-called protective fashion.
Do you feel that the Check Point conversations are an inspiration for the future?
Absolutely, at least that's what the audience tells us at the end, and that can be measured by the number and type of questions that come up. I think there is a lot of desire for reflection, even more than inspiration, and these conversations are interesting precisely because they make room for that reflection, and the future.
One of Check Point's biggest goals is networking among various players in the industry. How has this materialized?
We’ve presented people and projects known by those who are more familiar with the industry but not necessarily to the general public, and one of the interesting aspects is the debate that takes place between the various speakers. We are all on an equal footing, with a common objective of presenting projects, new paths and the creativity of the industry, and pointing out the future. In this respect, it has worked. Speaking for myself, I keep in touch with many of the guests after Check Point, always attentive, and they keep me up to date with new projects they are developing.
What was the most interesting conversation you participated / watched at Check Point?
I really enjoyed having Lisa Lang in the previous season [ModaLisboa COLLECTIVE], she is an extraordinary person, with a knowledge, a vision and an ability to inspire future thinking that few people have. And in this last edition I found it very relevant to talk about Collaboration.
Did you hear, on this platform, anything that changed your point of view, or made you question something that you believed in until then?
I would say that people with a deep knowledge of the industry come together on this platform, knowledge which I don't have, my industry is another one. So whenever I hear them talk about subjects like sustainability, or smart textiles, there is always something new for me. It doesn't change my point of view, but it always adds to my knowledge, because they are insiders talking about the latest innovations.
Who would be the ideal speakers for a masterclass at Check Point?
To have Lisa Lang and Fernanda Torre back would be fantastic. I would add the founder of Business of Fashion, because I really like the communication side of Fashion, which I think has to be increasingly transformed into new content. I think that just as Fashion is evolving, communication must also be transformed.
This last season, you were also a participant in our first Fashion Hackathon. How was that experience?
Very interesting, a very different group in terms of backgrounds, but it worked very well. It was three intense days, I would even say tiring, but it was interesting this group thinking, thinking about the future almost without rules, and feeling that we got somewhere when, on the last day, we wrote a manifesto.
The purpose of Fashion Hackathon was not to live within those walls, but to evolve beyond them. How have you seen the development of this group? Do you believe that other projects can arise from it?
I believe that a very interesting project and group of thinkers has been created and that it has everything to grow. From the first day we are and remain in contact. We share ideas. I think I should start to have its own permanent space within ModaLisboa and live throughout the year with meetings and small talks.
What is the importance of thought, debate and discussion in the flourishing of the Fashion system?
It’s essential and will be essential in this new world that we will (re)discover after the Pandemic. Who will we be as consumers, what brands will survive, how will they adapt, where are the issues such as post-covid sustainability. More than ever, it’s time to rethink old consumer models. We are already talking about the post-purpose of brands.
ModaLisboa has always been a think tank for different projects, and wants to connect people from multiple backgrounds. In your opinion, what are the most creative projects and people in Portugal that we should all be following?
I am a complete fan of the Lisa Lang's project OFundamentO. Our textile industry needs this revolution via technology. I think it’s a project that can inspire us all at this time.
This interview with Vanda Jorge is part of a series of conversations that discuss the impact of the last four seasons of ModaLisboa | Lisboa Fashion Week. Only by reflecting about our route can we know where we are today. Only by knowing where we are today can we build our tomorrow.