by Lígia Carvalho Abreu

From Left to Right: Perennial 2 2016 Spring/Summer Collection and Perennially 2015/2016 Fall/Winter Collection. Photos: Rui Vasco, Courtesy of Moda Lisboa

Traditionally, fashion business is based on the following logic: a strong business corporation supports a brand and a fashion design, making them profitable to the eyes of the CEO and shareholders.

We are used to thinking that in order to be successful, a designer must be part of this system. Those designers who are not “lucky enough” to a have strong business corporation behind them ought to be, at the same time, a creative director, businessman, a marketing and human resources supervisor, among other things, or rather too much stress and distractions, less time to focus on the creative process.

However, within this economic model, the creative process and the benefit sharing of profits are confined to the company and its members. It is a closed model of fashion business, not open to the truthful participation of civil society, ruled by the will of the shareholders achieving the expected earnings, where the pressure of satisfying consumerism dictatorship smashes creativity and where a designer’s breakdown, dismissal and new hiring frequently occur.    

Technology gives fashion the means to be democratic and inclusive, that is to say to make the community an effective participant of the creative process as well as benefit from it.  

This open system of fashion business is adopted by Away To Mars[i], which is the first online platform, supported by a group of trustees, to promote design-thinking, co-creation, crowd funding and profit sharing with the creative and consumer community.

Away To Mars Perennially 2015/2016 Fall/Winter Collection. Photos: Rui Vasco, Courtesy of Moda Lisboa

 

You do not need to be a designer to participate in this interactive model. If you are a creative person or a fashion design thinker, you can freely submit your work, individually or as a team of up to 4 people, for evaluation via the online platform of Away To Mars.[ii] Every year there are procedures of selection going on. The works must be accompanied by an image and any other material helpful to describe the concept and the influences behind it, its utility, colours, patterns and all the individual features that make it original.

 If you want to use a copyrighted logo, pattern or character, proper licensing must be obtained before uploading the work to the platform. Away To Mars does not accept stolen work, incitation to violence against humans and animals, hate, sexual harassment, racism, sexism, religious or political discrimination or any other offensive material. Your freedom of artistic expression is, though, limited by other fundamental principles of the rule of law, notably the principle of equality and non-discrimination.      

All the submissions will be fairly and equally evaluated by the general public and peer designers and all the participants receive a Designer Improvement Report with outlining comments made by the community during the discussion period, and a customised consumer report detailing potential markets.  

Away To Mars Perennial 2 2016 Spring Collection. Photos: Rui Vasco, Courtesy of Moda Lisboa

 

The most inspiring ideas, which include a crowd-funding campaign, will be selected and translated into a technical language by the Away To Mars team in order to be produced with the involvement of the author. The authors will receive support to develop their designs, photo shoot, showcase at an international fashion show and have the opportunity for their products to be co-branded.  If your design is among the 10 best selling items of the year, it will become part of the permanent collection.  You will earn a percentage of royalties for each item sold. 

You can also be part of this interactive model by helping the author to   improve their work by giving your advice about the specific parts of their design. As a member of the public involved in the creative process you can receive, among other gifts, discounts and credits to be used on the Away To Mars’ online store.  The most active members will be selected to help the Away To Mars’ team develop the next collection.

Away To Mars Perennial 2 2016 Spring Collection. Photos: Rui Vasco, Courtesy of Moda Lisboa

 

Fashion is culture. And culture, in a democratic society, rises from the freedom to explore those places, without boundaries of the human mind and spirit, to experiment, to create and to share the thousands of possibilities of creative thinking.  This is a ground for innovation and quality aesthetics, which makes fashion design go beyond its comfort zone and empower the community and its freedom of artistic expression. This is the goal of Away To Mars: to create a collaborative community of thinkers, reflecting on the present time – the customers’ needs, the way they behave and think -   and the evolution of style, in a constant search for inspiration and innovation; an image of man situated in his time, aware of the needs of present and future generations and overwhelmed by its anxieties, fears and dreams, transposing all these onto the creative process:  

Perennially 2015/2016 Fall /Winter Collection. Photos: Rui Vasco, Courtesy of Moda Lisboa

 

Perennially investigates the dynamics between time, verticality and consumer perception. Addressing these three dimensions can involve any individual, regardless of their gender, front and back, inside and outside, left and right, analepsis and prolepsis …To make room for another flow, another method[iii]

 

Perennial 2 2016 Spring/Summer Collection Photos: Rui Vasco, Courtesy of Moda Lisboa.

 

Perennial 2 investigates the dynamics between time, ephemeral and consumption. Keeping the inclination on this dimension, the infinite division of the spectrum of what is and is not in perfect equilibrium between people, time-space and product-body. [iv]