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PH5 spotlights Aboriginal Australians for New York Fashion Week

By Kristopher Fraser

Sep 16, 2020

As New York Fashion Week is now taking a mostly digital approach, though the thrill of in-person fashion shows can’t be replaced, designers now have the opportunity to take unique approaches to presenting their collection via video. PH5’s debut collection from Zoe Champion in conjunction with Wei Lin didn’t use your everyday models. Instead, this season the brand debuted a video highlighting the work of the Aboriginal Australian women behind the Firesticks Alliance in Australia, the group tasked with preventing and reducing the risk of bushfires through a cultural practice called cool burning.

The theme of sustainability also permeated throughout the fabric choices in the collection. A fabric called eco-viscose was used to create the label’s signature jacquard print. Technical fabrications were also key for the collection with UV-reactive fabrics that changed color under the sun.

In addition to its approach to sustainable and representation of Aboriginal people, the collection also featured models of diverse sizes. This helped emphasize that women of all sizes can comfortably wear these clothes regardless of body type. It’s easy for most fashion brands to place clothing on a young, svelte model and have it look good, but consumers could finally see how these clothes look on everyday women. It was a different approach from designers who were still using models, or even designers who opted to have company employees and family members model their collections.

While the runway show world might be on hiatus in New York for the moment, designers have elevated their video campaigns. Putting fashion on the cultural and political pulse of what is going is one way to get the industry and consumers attention.