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Style, innovation & equality

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Presented by Samsung Connected Living

Living insights with Hope's Creative Director Frida Bard

Technology is constantly evolving our living conditions and changing how we interact with the world. Samsung Connected Living help you save time and achieve more with connected products. We asked three leading minds within fashion, technology, and architecture about the future of living.

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Words Konrad Olsson Photography Morgan Norman

Frida, what is the focus in your work at a the moment?

— To continue to develop our two cornerstones: a tailored look and our vision of workwear, and to bring this to the next contemporary level.

What are the most important issues to focus on as a fashion brand?

— Right now, I think it’s a dual challenge — sustainability is obviously an inevitable issue we all need to work on within in the industry, as is how we increase diversity. As an industry that loves to speak about inclusivity, we really need to do our homework and make sure that our ateliers and offices are as diverse as the images that a lot of brands present.

Why is it important to challenge norms in terms of gender and diversity?

— Why should you have to dress according to your gender? You should be able to dress however you like, regardless of how you identify. Diversity brings perspectives and for too long, the fashion industry has been too single- minded. We need to challenge that and bring forward more and other mindsets.

How can fashion be a force for good when it comes to well-being?

— Clothes and fashion are strong influences in people’s lives and we shouldn’t underestimate our responsibility as an industry. We need to encourage a way of looking at one another with tolerance and openness which includes an acceptance towards how people look, dress or express themselves.

What recent innovations within fashion has affected your work the most?

— The digital development in general with everything being available online. When I started out, I had to travel to a specific library to find a magazine or book that I wanted to look through — now I’m able to do my research wherever I am.

What technology will affect the fashion industry in the years to come?

— I believe we’re heading towards an exciting time where more and more parts of our production chain become more high-tech such as the introduction of 3D pattern and 3D pattern design. While HOPE is already careful not to overproduce, tools such as this makes it easier to work more with products on-demand and always produce according to known customer interest. With this, also new developments within the textile industry — alternatives for leather, cotton, silk and other commonly used materials.

What are the biggest challenges that the fashion industry is facing and how should we handle them?

— I think we need to shift focus from working according to a rather inflexible industry calendar — with seasons, production cycles, fashion weeks

— to working much more in sync with the customer. This involves both working more sustainable but also creating long-term design without losing news value. It’s a difficult equation but one we have to solve together.

What are you looking forward to the most? — I’m looking forward seeing how the industry embraces its responsibility in driving change towards inclusivity, diversity and tolerance, with more brands using their platforms for good.