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Anna Wintour, Sustainability, Inclusivity and Empowerment- the 1st ever Vogue Greece Conference

Anna Wintour, Sustainability, Inclusivity and Empowerment- the 1st ever Vogue Greece Conference

Only 8 issues later, Vogue Greece organised its first Conference. And it was everything someone would expect: brilliant women talking about fashion in relation with the hottest issues in society and environment: sustainability, inclusivity and female empowerment.

Inspiring women gave inspirational speeches. Vogue’s editor Alexia Koronaiou spoke first and invited the audience to enjoy the Conference and its fascinating programme. She was presented by the moderator and awarded greek actress Maria Nafpliotou.

Part one was dedicated to sustainable fashion and the two women who shared their knowledge so vividly on the matter were Cara Smyth, the founder of the Fair Fashion Center (FFC) and Dana Thomas, the author of Fashionopolis, a brilliant book on fashion and its role in today’s social and environmental crisis.

The second part was dedicated to Inclusivity. And what was a better way to talk about the matter than the beautiful and charismatic model Candice Huffine. Thalia Karafyllidou, 29-year-old Vogue Greece Editor -the youngest print editor-in-chief for Vogue yet- had a warm and inspiring talk with Candice, who shared her experience and process on how she managed to succeed in a world that excluded every woman who didn’t correspond to the strict stereotypes of the fashion world. My favorite part was when she was asked to give a piece of advice to her younger self. Then she responded that she prefers to actually take advice from her younger self who she looks up to more, due to its courage and fearlessness. Because that person was determined to succeed against all odds, when fashion was dominated only by women who demonstrated only specific standards for the few..

Next up was a round table discussion on -what seemed to be a cosy- white sofa with four greek female successful entrepreneurs. Mareva Grabowski was there to talk on her brilliant brand, Zeus + Dione, Maria Lalaouni (CEO & Creative Director of Lalaounis house of jewellery), Christina Martini (co-founder of Ancient Greek Sandals) and Rianna Kounou, a talented Berlin based greek fashion designer. The conversation was coordinated by Emily Zak, Head of Fashion Shows της Vogue International. Professional obligations in New York was the reason the talented Mary Katrantzou couldn’t be there to join the rest of the team of inspiring women, but a video with a vivid chat with the Director of Vogue,Thalia Karafylidou, was played instead.

Surely, the most anticipated time of this event was saved for last. Anna Wintour, the most powerful and influential woman in fashion publications and one of the people who have played a decisive role in shaping the fashion industry in the last 30 years, gave a speech that included everything in the most eloquent way. Her speech was based on 3 pillars: sustainability, craftsmanship, creativity. She referred to the necessity of reusing the items we own to the point of even passing them on to a daughter or son and not treat them as disposables. She also mentioned the importance of leading without fear even though it’s hard in a time where everything has become public due to the widespread use of social media. My favorite part was when she mentioned the importance of working hard and how the fact that she had to be involved in every step of the process made her the kind of professional she is today. The event closed with some questions from the audience for Anna Wintour and the promise that this was only the beginning and more Vogue Conferences will follow.

My experience during this event was -dare I say- soothing. I was relieved to see so many global intrinsic contemporary matters dealt with so much freshness, seriousness, optimism and practicality. To see serious social and environmental issues being dealt from a solution oriented scope. On the other hand I don’t know if I was allowed to expect something less when the organiser was the most reliable and influential fashion magazine.

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