Zuzu Vala

Fashion has always been related to exclusivity. People who could afford fashion novelties were part of the high society. Time and money spent on fashion and appearance were strictly reserved for high society, and even today, when fashion is highly democratized we still have social distinction codes that come out through fashion.
Norwegian-American economist and sociologist Thorstein Bunde Veblen named a model of product adoption from the upper class to a lower one a" Trickle Down Theory" or" The Theory of the Leisure Class'' because fashion dynamics were constantly coming from the elite who wanted to differentiate themselves from the rest of the society. That's why fashion for Veblen is a hierarchical industry based on a will for identification and differentiation. In the past, fashion was driven by the elite, but that was changed during the second part of the last century; fashion revolution came from the street, young subcultures, and democracy. Although visual codes always communicate social affiliation in our world nowadays, fashion has moved to another level where political correctness, sustainability, and inclusivity create distinction for everyone who wants to be associated with social justice and environmental responsibility. So today, even high-end brands like Stella McCartney, Prada, Gucci, and Saint Laurent postulate their adoption of ethical, fur-free, and eco-friendly production along with other social and political statements supporting cultural, physical, sexual, gender, age... Not long ago, Benetton was a leading brand for communicating inclusivity in terms of race; nowadays, the concept of inclusivity extends to any difference embracing individuals on a deeper level. London-based photographer Zuzu Valla had an opportunity to work on a campaign for Vogue Portugal with disabled models. These photographs not only communicate inclusivity but another view of Beauty and acceptance. For creatives these messages are always essential because fashion reflects time, through these changes we can better understand our society, humans and moments in history. Artistic works and campaigns like this help us understand and resolve temporary obstacles. We believe in the power of art and fashion as a strong communication channel.


Zuzu Vala

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