Quickfire Q&A - extended version: Orsola de Castro

Our extended interview with Orsola de Castro, including Orsola's dreams and hopes for Estethica and her advice for long standing fashion brands looking for a new challenge.

How would you like to see ethical fashion develop in your home country, Italy, which is also one of the original homes of high fashion?

In Italy, things tend to consolidate, so eco fashion could really develop as an alternative industry over there. There is still an industry, so to speak, despite the great move to the east. There are still solid businesses with a great heritage, so, for me, Italy could spearhead this change, building upon something which is not lost yet.

It’s harder in the UK, where there is so much creativity but fewer commercial opportunities somehow, as far as the industry is concerned.

My feeling is that if we can create a new, sustainable arm of the fashion industry, Italy is well placed to become a new focus, with sustainability at its core.

You’ve moved mountains in curating Estethica – how do you see ethical fashion in London Fashion Week developing in the next five years?

LFW has embraced this movement. And there is no better place for it to continue to grow. London is unique, creative, eccentric, really truly innovative. I am proud that the UK can claim this movement.

So far, a great job has been done to support and highlight our endeavours, such as our mentoring scheme, where brands teamed up with mainstream experts such as Yasmin Sewell and Susanne Tide-Frater for advice on sales and merchandising.

I know that, as Estethica, we are really nurturing this new breed of designers to prepare them for the mainstream market. I am not such a great one for five year plans, but instinctively, I feel that we will continue to create fabulous opportunities for sustainable talents to develop.

The feeling is that eco fashion is buzzing, is avant garde, it’s the new thing. Our 5 year anniversary celebration of Estethica, earlier this year, proved how far we have all come, design wise.

This is the power of LFW, and, with the support of the BFC, our sponsors, and our partners, it will become even stronger.


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