Before becoming the heart and soul of London's Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design, where the new generations of design and fashion professionals are educated and trained, Susie Forbes has spent over 25 years working in the fashion and media industries and she now divides her time between London and Somerset. We had a chat with her about her idea of ethical fashion, the College and creativity in general.
London and creativity are always associated. Do you think it is actually the most creative place in the world?
SF: I think that creativity is pretty borderless now. London remains extremely dynamic but I don’t think that one can ring fence creativity with a single city anymore – everything, everyone is global.
What is the role of your school within the creative industry and what is the concept and the foundation idea that drives all your choices?
SF: The role of the Condé Nast College is to grant a unique educational offering to students looking to work in the fashion industry. Our programmes are defined by academic rigour, extraordinary industry connectivity and the amazing career outcomes that result from having studied with us.
Ecology and green life today are exploited by many fashion companies as their most important asset, yet sometimes we feel this is more a marketing message than a true belief. What's your point of view on this?
SF: I think that, despite the best efforts of a few very progressive companies, the majority of fashion businesses still remain pretty quiet on this issue. Let’s hope that the minority can continue to engender change among the wider majority.
Fashion has the biggest social and environmental impact after chemical and oil industries. An “ethical” approach to fashion is much needed nowadays, yet where do we start from? Is this up to fashion companies, political institutions or consumers?
SF: I think it needs to be a combination of all three which, as we already know, makes the picture very fragmented.