Michaela Larosse, Head of Communication & Strategy, tells us something about the meaning of “The Fabricant”, starting from a simple question: “Can we construct something that doesn’t exist? Yes, we can, that’s why we’re The Fabbricant.”
The Fabricant”: why did you choose this kind of name? What does it mean? Are there any needs, you want to satisfy, at the base of your work?
The name is intended to be playful and for us it works on a couple of levels. To fabricate in the real world means to construct something from material components, but it also has another meaning; to fabricate also means to invent something that isn’t there. We liked the duality as it goes to that heart of what we do – we create fashion that doesn’t exist materially, which only takes form in the non-physical world. Can we construct something that doesn’t exist? Yes, we can, that’s why we’re The Fabricant.
You define yourself as a Digital Fashion House. What is the main goal of your DFH? How does The Fabricant communicate it?
As a digital fashion house we initially conceptualise our work in the same manner as a traditional fashion house, but when our garments are created they are completely non-physical and can only be worn in the digital environment. With the 3D technology we use, we still drape, fit and tailor our garments, but the material for our collections happens to be data, not physical textiles. Our 3D design team are incredible craftspeople, who stitch together our pieces with the same level of skill and attention to detail as a physical fashion house. But of course in our atelier we utilise high resolution screens, not scissors and cutting tables. We call what we do ‘Thought Couture’ not haute couture, because it exists but isn’t physical, just like a thought. What better space to occupy than the one where ideas happen?
Digitisation, Fashion and Sustainability. These three words have had a great impact in our life. Which is the gear that is able to combine them?
Our mission at The Fabricant is to lead the fashion industry towards a more creative, innovative and sustainable future through the adoption of digitisation throughout every aspect of the design, manufacture and creation of clothing. Our work wastes nothing but data and exploits nothing but our imagination.
The fashion industry must urgently change its behaviour to dramatically reduce its use of natural resources and its toxicity to our environment. It cannot and should not continue to operate in the way it has historically.
Why should creative self expression through fashion come at such a cost? We now have the technology to completely reinvent how we experience fashion, and that’s the fashion industry we’re committed to creating.
When many of our interactions are conducted via screens, why do we need to create physical garments that continue with wasteful practices that damage our planet? Screenwear can become the new streetwear.
Digital fashion encourages playfulness, experimentation, and the exploration of self image, but vastly reduces its impact on our natural world. When we create garments for our label they are entirely non-physical, which reduces the carbon load on the planet in comparison to the creation of a physical garment by up to 97% – whether you like what we do or not, the numbers can’t be ignored. It’s long overdue to rethink how we experience fashion, and digital fashion opens a new territory that’s sustainable, exciting and creative, and which appeals to young, digitally aware and fashion savvy consumers. They’re the ones who will decide fashion’s future.
In 2020, we saw a lot of digital collection presentations. Were there any that impressed you more than others? If yes, why? If no, what would you have changed?
Since we were founded in 2018 we’ve communicated our belief in the power of non-physical fashion. Initially, we were seen as an interesting ‘outlier’ but our influence began to grow after we sold the first ever piece of digital couture to appear on the blockchain – for US $9,500.
Since that landmark moment we’ve worked with numerous physical fashion brands to help them begin the transition to digital practices. Of course this year, entirely unexpectedly, the global pandemic hit and suddenly the fashion world needed to align with our ideas about the value of non-physicality. In 2020, the acceleration of the industry towards our way of thinking has been quite incredible. That said, we haven’t yet seen the expression of digital fashion that really exploits the vast capacity of the 3D environment.
In your opinion, what will be the destiny, or the way, of the Fashion system, specially the runway?
For The Fabricant, a truly digital runway experience would be one that is fully immersive, emotionally engaging and multi-sensory, while showcasing collections in ways that are innovative and inspiring. This year’s ‘digital fashion weeks’ were quite old fashioned in their approach, and were essentially short films broadcast on the internet. We know the digital environment is capable of so much more. But, of course, these were initial iterations.
Digital fashion is a work-in-progress and it will take time to explore and embrace its multiple possibilities. For us as ‘fashionauts’ in this new world, the prospect of exploring this unchartered territory is endlessly exciting.
We envision a new fashion system that is more open, collaborative and democratic, where fashion lovers are no longer viewed as passive consumers but active and engaged partners with brands. We’re working on a new platform called LEELA (launching SS21) that allows brand audiences to influence the direction of fashion collections and actively participate in the creative process, submitting their own ideas and iterations of garments, and evolving brand stories. It will make a new fashion paradigm that’s more exciting, engaging, innovative and profitable as new business models and revenue streams emerge for both consumers and labels. Digital fashion makes this new era possible and it will influence the fashion industry for the better. We can’t wait to see it happen.
Through your website and instagram profile, you propose many different amazing contents. There was one that made you dream more than others? Your favourite and why?
Being at the forefront of a new world, we’re in the incredibly fortunate position of being able to break new ground with most of our projects. Pretty much everything we do hasn’t been done before. At our hearts we’re creative technologists that believe in the power of collaboration to recalibrate our world for the better, so the thing that makes us most excited is when we see our community interact with our garments to create their own interpretations of what we do. Since we began we’ve dropped free digital pattern files on our social channels to give everyone access to the world of 3D fashion. We encourage our followers to use the digital patterns and then showcase their reworkings of our garments alongside our own creations. The talent and creativity they bring every time is mind blowing. We never get tired of seeing their work. The series we have on Instagram, which we call ‘Collaboration for Transformation’, are some of our favourite creative reinterpretations and each of them are brilliant and inspiring in their own right.
Discover more about The Fabricant here!