Fair Fashion Center features in Museum of Modern Art exhibition

11 October 2017

The research of Glasgow Caledonian’s Fair Fashion Center (FFC) is a capping focal point of The Museum of Modern Art’s new exhibition, Items: Is Fashion Modern?.

The exhibit features 111 items of clothing and accessories that have been instrumental in the 20th and 21st centuries, continuing to hold currency today. The FFC’s process, known as The Quantum Redesign of Fashion, has been interpreted through the lens of the pieces in the exhibit, forming research data that was visualized by acclaimed information designer Giorgia Lupi. Ms. Lupi beautifully translated the information into an aesthetically compelling mural visualization design, extending over three walls. The exhibition will be open to the public October 1, 2017 through January 28, 2018 in the Sixth Floor Special Exhibition Galleries space.

Driven first and foremost by objects, not designers, the exhibition considers the relationships between fashion and functionality, cultural etiquettes, aesthetics, politics, labor, identities, economics, technology and more. The FFC’s Quantum Redesign model will be featured among designer commissions, retail extensions, digital activations, online courses, public programming, and scholarly publications.

“We are thrilled to be a part of such an important exhibition and conversation,” said GCNYC Vice President and Fair Fashion Center Founder Cara Smyth. “We are so grateful to MoMA for offering a venue and space to celebrate fashion’s history as well as the innovation of its future, including a shift in focus toward sustainability.  Fashion is a microcosm of many industries, with vast links that span all the way from agriculture to the consumer. Correcting and healing the fashion industry will ultimately cure more than just its own impacts—it will provide a model for every industry to become a respectful and regenerative eco-system.”

To frame the discussion surrounding the exhibition, MoMA gathered an esteemed panel of industry experts including Imran Amed, Business of Fashion; Mickey Boardman, PAPER Magazine; Kim Hastreiter, PAPER Magazine; and designers Shayne Oliver, Helmut Lang, amongst others. Among the items will be designs as well-known and transformative as the Levi’s 501s and the Little Black Dress, and as ancient and culturally charged as the kippah and keffiyeh. 

Lupi visualized the “Quantum Redesign of Fashion” showing how shifts in business and product development can mobilize the United Nation’s efforts to fight all forms of poverty and inequality and tackle climate change.  Illustrating the integrated sustainability issues facing both industry and the world, the Quantum Redesign identifies the sixteen sub-businesses that constitute the fashion system and trace the relationship between them, and their impacts on each other.  The artwork outlines how changes to sub-businesses of fashion can deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

The research of FFC focuses on achieving sustainability through profitable means.  Working with global brands and retailers, the FFC aims to tackle impacts created by fashion’s value chain by developing actionable solutions that align with the constructs of business. The FFC is moving company efforts beyond corporate social responsibility and integrating sustainability across all business units. This pragmatic approach enables rapid incorporation of impact mitigating and socially supportive practices that improve business prospects, offset risks, and accomplish the goals of a more sustainable future.