Letter to the future | Eduarda Abbondanza

Inspirational words from ModaLisboa's president

To keep spirits high and creativity strong, Polimoda has asked its community of fashion industry experts to write about the future. 

We are living in an unprecedented time. A time we didn't choose, a break we didn't ask for and a future we don’t know. Because of this unexpected and abrupt break, the Fashion cycle collapsed. It was a matter of time because as global brands were constantly launching products onto the market, they created an unsustainable system. It is unsustainable in terms of product — this flawed system generates a huge excess of waste — and in terms of humanity. It is impossible to maintain the excellence and creativity required of luxury brands and designer fashion at this rate. An idea of globalization was created to which we all adhered, but which we know to be wrong. It is wild, it has no rules, it has no ethics, it has no thoughts regarding human beings.

We now have an opportunity to do better. The restructuring of the Fashion system is in the hands of global brands, which have the power to break the wheel. And in the hands of luxury brands, who have an obligation to set quality standards. But true freedom is in the hands of independent brands. They are more versatile, faster, more agile and adaptable. It’s these authors who can dictate their own pace and respond to those looking for — to those who demand — change.

It is in independence that creation lives with purpose and conceptual relevance. It is also in independence that there is greater ease in sustainable thinking: small productions, handpicked materials, fair processes. Especially because it is in independence that it has always lived the conceptual side of clothing thinking, translated into the preciousness of materials and the superiority of the design of each piece. But we must bear this in mind: you can't change just by change’s sake. It cannot be a gratuitous, bottomless process, made just to follow a market trend, otherwise, we will fall very quickly into the comfortable place we already knew. And it didn't work, either for us or for our planet. There is hope for the future if there is a clean, deep and honest resolution. But there is hope. And this is the most beautiful thing we could ask for.

Eduarda Abbondanza

President of the ModaLisboa Association, professor and consultant

Eduarda Abbondanza was born in Lisbon, and always made it her mission to surround herself with books, culture, art and thinkers. While living between Milan and Lisbon, she graduated in Fashion Design from CITEM and interned with Ana Salazar and Rafaella Curriel. After founding her brand with Mário Matos Ribeiro, Abbondanza/Matos Ribeiro, they both created ModaLisboa in 1991. Five years later, what was just a fashion week became ModaLisboa Association. Eduarda is a guest professor of the Master Degree in Fashion Design at Faculdade de Arquitectura de Lisboa, creative and design consultant, President of ModaLisboa Association and the mind behind the biggest platforms supporting young designers in Portugal today.