Here's What Fashion People Are Actually Hoping For In 2017

Whether or not you feel strongly about setting New Year's resolutions for yourself, it's refreshing to conjure up some intentions when walking into a new life stage, whether said stage begins on January 1 and lasts 12 months or not. The fashion industry operates on a totally different calendar — and as if the spring/fall division wasn't enough, now we have pre-fall, resort, in-season, and all these other arbitrary labels to reckon with, which further divvy up our year. Still, it's a business that reflects the going-ons in the world — and one that could very much benefit from some self-reflection, as it still has ways to go in terms of inclusivity and representation.

The practice of self-reflection isn't lost on those who shape the industry, from the editors who determine what makes it into magazines, the stylists who filter through the runway to the red carpet, and the designers who inspire us all to muse about what's going to trend next. We asked them about how they're hoping to grow in 2017 — and, more importantly, what the industry as a whole can do to better itself this year. Whether it's manufacture closer to home or to stock mules all year 'round, some of their answers may surprise you.


Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.
Anne Fulenwider, editor-in-chief of Marie Claire
"So many — and so hard to summon inner wisdom when all I really want to do is lose 10 pounds; let’s start with regular exercise. Leaving the office by 6 p.m. every day. Having more people over for dinner. Incorporating community service into our family life. Using my voice for good in this crazy political climate. I’m exhausted already — but, really, I’d like to emulate my late mother, who managed to create a little magic wherever she went, have plenty of people over for dinner, and maintain her goal weight throughout her life!

"[For fashion,] sustainability: Our industry is the second largest polluter in the world after oil and gas. We can fix this. The fashion industry is so powerful. Let’s focus and use that force for good.
Photo: Courtesy of Industry Standard.
Nicole Najafi, founder and designer of Industry Standard
"To say 'no' more and hear 'no' less. To shop small, female-owned brands — I quit fast-fashion just after the election and have never felt better. I'm not a big spender and I don't have a lot of time to shop, so Zara was my go-to. After the election, something in me woke the hell up, and I realized what a mistake it is not to support small, female-owned brands like my own. Sure, it might take a little more time and cost a little more, but it's worth it to support other female entrepreneurs and get a better, more honest product. I'd also like to see more attention to ethical manufacturing. Brands that manufacture ethically make a cost sacrifice to do so, and we need to support and praise them in order to encourage others to follow suit.

"[For the industry], positive body image, diversity, and ethical manufacturing: I feel like fashion used to be the mean, popular girl in school, and that's finally changing — we want to embrace all body types, ages, and races, whether it's on the runways, in ad campaigns, or on social media."
Photo: Courtesy of Girlfriend Collective.
Ellie Dinh, founder of Girlfriend Collective
"I really want to learn how to sew, and I think 2017 is the year it happens. A huge part of our business is understanding and refining our garment construction, and there’s no better method of learning then just doing it yourself. My goal for Girlfriend Collective is to divert over 10 million water bottles from landfills and oceans through recycled polyester; that may sound crazy, but in the nine months of our legging campaign we saved over five million, so I have total faith that we can do even more.

"The fashion industry absolutely needs to be held accountable for their manufacturing processes and how we treat every person in our supply chain. It’s easy and far too normal to make a quick buck through cheap labor and criminal working conditions. I’m hoping that 2017 is the year we start to demand better practices from where we buy our clothes. A huge part of that is education, so consumers know what to ask and look for when shopping ethically. Plus, transparency! Let’s lift the curtain on manufacturing and start sourcing ethically and sustainably. Also, no matter what the weather may be here in Seattle, the fashion industry should continue to sell mules year-round. Because we need more of them (at least I do)."
Photo: Courtesy of Krewe.
Stirling Barrett, founder and designer of Krewe
"My personal resolution is to buy more sustainable products that I can wear over 30 times. I often buy jeans that I wear repeatedly, so I want to continue to invest in products that I'll wear more often. [I want] to grow Krewe from just a sun brand to a sun and opthalmic brand. We're really excited about the opportunity to translate the design that we used in our eyewear to optical while being able to reach that consumer in a different way.

"I hope the industry continues to embrace more companies that are based outside of the fashion hub, and that there's a continued opportunity for independent markets and brands to grow into something worth talking about."
Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images.
Leandra Medine, founder of Man Repeller
"Lead by example, so that my team is consistently regarded as a hard-working, kind, and compassionate one (who makes really, really great stuff). Spend more time empowering and encouraging them to take ownership.

"[I hope the industry addresses] the burnout tethered to fashion months. Also, stop being so damn cynical about the future of the industry: We're inside a revolution — great, important, enlightening things are bound to happen, I just know it."
Photo: Eugene Gologursky/WireImage.
Naeem Khan, founder and designer of Naeem Khan
"For myself, it's refining my collections further. I want to show in Paris for couture. My resolution is: How can I create something which makes America proud, which makes us continue with the globalization in my field? When you look at couture from Paris, it's always the Parisian or the Italian designers who make the most flamboyant, artistic things — why not Americans? I want to be one of those people and I want to strive to make us get there.

"For [fashion], it's to produce in America. Let's redefine our industry with local production and by hiring local craftsmen. Look at all the people who come here from different parts of the world who have such amazing talents. I'm building a facility in Miami where I'm moving and producing all of my bridal and all of my most important [work] in America itself. I feel that as an industry we [should] concentrate on that and on not taking the easy route of sending stuff abroad because it's cheaper. I'm moving in that direction."
Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.
Betsey Johnson, founder of Betsey Johnson
"Keep waking up. Being happy. Loving my family, my boyfriend, my work, you know. I think you want to get to that point and when you get there you should say, 'Wow, this is really great.'

"[In fashion,] I think everything’s big and corporate right now. I would never start out my business again the way I did in 1978. It’s a different world. There are other designers that stand out and do their own thing. It’s very hard for me, because people want to make a successful business out of me. There never was any fooling around for me, only going into my own business with my own money. I really wanted to establish clothing that I wanted to wear — and luckily, there were more girls out there that felt the same way. It worked after all these years, and it’s still going, which I’m real happy about. I have the best life in fashion design right now. I don’t have the stress and the pressure of having my own company. I would never do that again.

"I don’t really know where fashion’s at — I don’t think it’s at anywhere. I think it’s personal choices: ideas that you pick up from TV, from movies, from music — pretty much everything that’s available. There’s inspiration out there, but then you have to go, 'Okay now, what do I like?' You get to know what that is."
Kendra Scott, founder and CEO of Kendra Scott
"In 2017, I’d like to take my family somewhere in the world I’ve never been. I love finding inspiration for my collections when I explore a new city or a new culture, and the experiences and memories I get to share with my family along the way are invaluable.

"2016 was a big year of 'firsts' for Kendra Scott. From our entrance into the beauty industry with our line of nail lacquer to the exciting launch of our first home collection, it was our most wonderful year of growth to date. In 2017, I want to continue to push the boundaries of our brand, and continue to surprise and delight our customers.

"I hope that in 2017, we will give philanthropy the place it deserves in every business. Over the past years, my company has led the charge in making philanthropy a top priority in our business, and I am constantly searching for new and innovative opportunities to engage in the community. It is my belief that if more companies began to recognize the mutual benefit philanthropy can have upon business, our world will be in a much better place.

"This year, I hope our industry uses fashion to celebrate every woman’s beauty. Women of every age, color, shape, and size deserve to feel like their most beautiful selves. As fashion designers, it is our job not to create rules of what is beautiful, but to create products that make her, the customer, feel beautiful. In 2017, let’s keep the customer at the heart of everything we do. "
Photo: Courtesy of Alison Lou.
Alison Chemla, founder and designer of Alison Lou
"2016 was a great year for me, ending with the opening of my first-ever retail space on the Upper East Side here in New York. In the new year, I’m hoping to continue to grow my team, as well as creating a few new collections to share with the public. I don’t like to hold myself back when it comes to my business. I was so excited to be able to collaborate with both well-known and up-and-coming companies this past year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this new year will bring as far as making new connections and expanding Alison Lou into new, unexpected areas.

"There have always been a lot of problems in the fashion industry with bigger retailers copying smaller label’s unique designs and claiming them as their own. I hope the industry starts to hold fast-fashion accountable and give credit where credit is due. I would also love to see some fresh creativity and beauty come out of the industry this year — on top of focusing on my own line, I really enjoy seeing what all of my other friends are up to! It’s easy to stay inspired when everyone around you is so innovative."
Photo: Courtesy of Brother Vellies.
Aurora James, founder and designer of Brother Vellies
"I think for me it's about continuing to fight and grow and be able to make things the way I want to make them: It's a luxury to produce things ethically and have a customer who cares about that, so I’m going to continue trying to push for that everyday of 2017 despite some pretty insurmountable hurdles. [Also, to continue] to grow as a company: We grew 300% last year and I’m hoping for continued growth next year as well.

"I hope that we can stop glorifying people who don't support us in our time of need. The election was a real wake-up call for me regarding celebrity and what it means to have that power. There are a lot of people that we have embraced as an industry, to then choose not to speak out when LGBTQ, female, and minority rights were threatened time and time again [in 2016]. The fashion industry is made up of those people. I hope we can resolve to give our love and support only to those deserving of it. [In 2017,] make it count. Don’t do it unless it stands for something."
Photo: Courtesy of Norma Kamali.
Norma Kamali, founder and designer of Norma Kamali
"Spend more and more and more time designing, inventing, and discovering! Make sure I work on balance in my personal life and career.

"[In 2017, I want the industry] to simplify its show-and-sell schedule. [I hope] we adapt to change quickly and stay ahead of the disruption."
Photo: Courtesy of Hearst.
Robbie Myers, editor-in-chief of Elle
"A personal resolution for 2017 is to remind myself and others what a privilege it is to be an American citizen, and to be a better one.

"Career-wise, I want to try to remember that I have to check spam and clutter since there are now two black holes where occasionally important emails get off-roaded to linger…

"Diversity is an issue I hope the fashion industry addresses in 2017. My resolution for the industry is that we give designers more than one or two seasons! "
Photo: Courtesy of Condé Nast.
Phil Picardi, digital editorial director of Teen Vogue
"I promised myself I'd read more this year, so I'm starting with promising to read The New York Times cover to cover every single Sunday, and I'm aiming to average four books a month. So far, so good! I just finished Christodora, which is an amazing book about HIV/AIDS.

"I’m tired of 'fake news' as an excuse. Sorry, Mr. Trump, bad news does not equal fake news! It is time for a revolution. Out with the old school and in with the new. Digital media is the ultimate revenge of the indie. Buckle up, we are ready to create a traffic jam.

"I want more diversity! I want Fashion Week to be figured out, are we “Buying Now” or “Seeing Now”? We need some fresh faces and a churn of talent. Let’s say goodbye to the establishment, it's time to go rogue!"
Photo: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images.
Tadashi Shoji, founder and designer of Tadashi Shoji
"I love to travel around the world and gather inspiration for my latest collections — I always get a surge of creativity whenever I visit a new environment. My resolution is to keep my creative flow going! We have had so much interest in our brand that it has allowed us to grow exponentially and expand into a wide range of categories such as fragrance, shapewear, lingerie, bridal, and kids — our vision is to become a full lifestyle brand. We also can’t wait to introduce fresh new designs for spring '17 that are both bold and sexy. We are an ever-evolving brand and therefore committed to opening stores around the world, including in the Middle East. We are also excited to broaden our audience by embracing a younger demographic."

"Addressing unsafe working environments in the garment factories is very important to me. Workers in many countries face poor working conditions. My hope is that international labor standards are enforced and regulated to protect the workers."
Photo: Courtesy of Maidenform.
Micaela Erlanger, stylist to Lupita Nyong'o, Winona Ryder, Meryl Streep, and more and ambassador to Maidenform
"I should probably wear more of the fabulous clothes I have in my closet, because I certainly do get stuck in a routine. That means wearing half of that stuff means knowing what to wear underneath.

"I'm really excited to see where technology is leading fashion. There's so much innovation happening right now, whether it's in performance fabrics or in couture and in 3-D printing. I think there's some amazing textiles. I'm excited to see what people are able to create with the access to technology that we have now.

"Another important thing is sustainability in fashion. We're seeing a huge movement in that, in part because of the technology that we have access to. I'm thrilled to see designers take that into consideration. It's important."
Photo: Courtesy of Paper Magazine.
Drew Elliott, chief creative officer of Paper and creative director of America's Next Top Model
"David Beckham abs by spring. Go to Hawaii. Support my boyfriend, Christian Cowan, for his first New York Fashion Week show.

"[In terms of career,] Paper will continue to create culture, not just report on it. We will evolve into an entertainment company with meaningful stories. I'm tired of click-bait and fluff: We will stand for content that informs, educates, and entertains audiences of all ages, shapes, sizes, races, and genders. [Also,] Hollywood, here I come — I want to explore more in the film and TV world!"
Photo: Courtesy of Karen Walker.
Karen Walker, founder and designer of Karen Walker
"Create more mental space. Allow the creative process more time — by stretching out the creative timelines and also presenting less, but more frequently. I think that the industry has sped things up too much, and it has the potential to become slightly overwhelming to the customer and damaging to the people inside the machine. Take a deep breath and slow it down a bit."
Photo: Courtesy of Staud.
Sarah Staudinger, founder and designer of Staud
"It’s difficult to run a business, constantly create, and remain creatively inspired. This year, I would like to allot more time to painting, sketching, visiting galleries, and other creative processes I enjoy. I think it’s difficult to shift mindsets from numbers in one meeting to design in the next. It’s important to me that I feel like I'm balanced in both worlds, and this year I'd like to dedicate a lot more time to just marinating in inspiring things. [I want] to continue to grow the business organically, and provide an environment from my employees that they are more and more excited to come to work every day (because I am!)."

"[For the industry], transparency in all areas. Also, I think in 2016 we saw the beginning of a really powerful and diverse mix of aesthetics and design that wasn't just trend-driven. I would love to see that continue to grow. Nothing is worse than when everything feels and looks the same. I think it’s our job as designers and aesthetes to keep the world on their toes and inspired, and we should strive to do that more and more every day."
Photo: Courtesy of Dresshirt.
Marieclaire St. John, founder of Dresshirt
"A personal resolution is to pick up a hobby that’s just for fun. In terms of my business, I want to take a minute to appreciate things as they are happening. As a growing start-up. you are often just looking ahead, but it’s important to see how far you’ve come as well.

"I’d like to see more promotion of homegrown manufacturing. With poor working conditions abroad and a need for jobs at home, I think we should invest in helping what’s left of the U.S. garment industry thrive. Part of that means helping it to become more accessible, getting some of the older factories online, and creating a digital archive for young designers.

"My new year's resolution for the fashion industry is to put less emphasis on social media. I think we’ve seen lots of prominent socialites or Instagirls remove themselves from the platform recently, seeking 'a break' from their devices. It is not yet known how it could be affecting our health longterm, but I think there should be more focus on the experiential for the experience, not the 'gram."
Photo: Courtesy of Karla Welch.
Karla Welch, stylist to Sarah Paulson, Ruth Negga, Mandy Moore, Michelle Monaghan, and more
"The same as every year, wear more stuff out of my closet! [I also hope] to enjoy all of my down time, and to find creative ways to give back to my local community.

"[The industry should address] sustainability — less is more! [In 2017, I hope that we] use our social platforms to inspire, to create consciousness of a world bigger than our fashion bubble."
Photo: Courtesy of Hearst.
Nicoletta Santoro, creative director of Town & Country
"One of my resolutions is to take some psychology classes. Further understanding your fellow man is never a bad thing. I want to expand my creative vision in 2017. These are uncertain times and being complacent is creative death. This is a muscle I think all creatives constantly try to exercise, but I believe it is now more important than ever. So I'd to expand my creative language and channel it back into my work.

"The fashion industry is enduring more challenges now than it has a long time. A big part of that is simply all the uncharted territory and the vast noise that comes with it. Everyone is seeking the elusive 'answer' to the industry's woes, but it doesn't seem to have formed just yet. In the meantime, we should focus on encouraging raw genuine creativity and the production of original ideas. Sometimes, I feel I'm witnessing literal fashion plagiarism, and I believe that only proves that creating truly original things is still as hard as ever, even with all the remarkable bells and whistles our society has produced. And I believe the solution is simple: going slower. By slowing things down and paying less attention to the noise, we can reset the creative equilibrium.

"I’d like to see the industry wage battle against this aforementioned sameness and promote a focus on innovation and individuality, if not occasional chaos. And I mean unscripted chaos, not the kind which is just artificially orchestrated for likes and Instagram success. Is taking legitimate risks in a confusing unpredictable time scary? Yes, it is. But takings risks is important if you want to make things that matter."
Photo: Courtesy of the CFDA.
Steven Kolb, president & CEO of the CFDA
"My personal resolution is to put others first. My business resolution is to support diversity. In 2017, I hope the industry will continue to look at new fashion week business models. My resolution for the fashion industry is to respect others as you would want you would want them to respect you."
Photo: Courtesy of Hearst.
Adam Glassman , creative director at O, The Oprah Magazine
"Fortunately, I don’t smoke, my weight is under control, and I’m under six shots of tequila on most work days, so I’m not real big on making personal resolutions once a year. I do motivating resolutions whenever the mood strikes— that way, they’re a lot more meaningful and a little more attainable. Well, winning the Powerball lottery is high on my list! But I’m also trying to master the 'art' of simultaneously posting snapchats, tweets, and Instagram stories as I watch fashion shows, take notes, and return emails—all while attempting to have an actual life.

"I hope the industry figures out how to get people back into the stores! There is nothing more depressing than seeing all these 'For Lease' signs in key shopping districts. And speaking of shopping, isn’t time to embrace the buying power of people outside the millennial market?

"Raise your hand if you remember down time! Between pre-collections and main collections for every season, all we do is stare at runways. We need to be able to digest what we’ve seen before rushing off to the next big thing. And I really hope we can solve the age old question of 'Why would I buy my winter coat in July? And my spring sandals in February?' Let’s all sit down together (during those eight minutes between shows) and standardize the delivery process."
Photo: Courtesy of Hearst.
Michele Promaulayko, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan; editorial director of Seventeen
"A big personal resolution is to pay more compliments to the people I care about. Often I'll think nice things and just not say them out loud. So, that! Also, to wake up earlier and to meditate every day. I’m trained in Transcendental Meditation, but I’ve been slacking lately.

"I have so many career resolutions. A few top ones: to drive the conversations that matter most to young women and to ensure that Cosmo and Seventeen each have an authoritative voice in those arenas; to find fresh partnerships and platforms that will help us surface our content to new audiences; and have even more fun at work if that’s possible, since we have so much fun already! That’s a worthy resolution, isn’t it?

"Body-type diversity and body acceptance became the thrust of major campaigns in 2016 for retailers, brands, and media. It would be great to see these initiatives continue to grow in 2017.

"We lost so many fashion icons from the music industry last year — people such as David Bowie and Prince. These artists taught us that having style is a way of life, not just about what you wear. I’m looking forward to fashion brands identifying some new talent that can pick up the mantle. On a lighter note, I really hope they engineer a way to make gorgeous shoes that don’t kill your feet! "
Photo: Andrew Toth/FilmMagic.
Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week
"In 2017, I’m hoping that I can better manage my time. I also hope that I can grow my business this year and continue working on exposing myself to multiple media platforms.

"I believe that the industry needs to continue addressing the issues regarding the timing of fashion deliveries in stores. It's ridiculous seeing furs in stores in August. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to be able to purchase clothes in their appropriate seasons?

"My resolution for the fashion industry is that they'll be able to sustain jobs being lost."
Photo: Courtesy of Time, Inc.
Melissa Rubini, fashion director at InStyle
"In 2017, I want to spend more time doing things I love, and make them more of a priority. With that in mind, I decided to start playing tennis again.

"I'm a Capricorn, so this area [career] is always full of resolutions. I enrolled in a business program at Harvard, and I’m super-excited about it.

"On a professional level, the fashion calendar (including the scheduling of appointments and shows) must be improved to be more productive and concise. Industry-wide, I think there is a lot of improvement to be made in the fashion community when it comes to diversity, body expectations, and the way women are in general portrayed. I would be happy to see some progress on those fronts.

"[For the industry,] celebrate women, their strength, style, beauty, and talent."
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