During fashion shows usually, those who sit in the front are the special guests, and the model who closes the show is the designer’s muse or favorite model; however, something unexpected happened during the Dior Spring-Summer 2021 show that left the guests confused and the model who step out last overshadowed.
Representing the climate action group Extinction Rebellion, a woman emerged from the crowd holding a yellow banner with the quote “We Are All Fashion Victims.” The environmental activist also included the extinction symbol. Attendees to the event included LMVH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton executives like chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault and Antoine Arnault, head of communications and image LVMH, questioned if the moment was part of the show.
“I think it was part of the show. It’s hard to tell these days,”Arnault said, according to WWD. The publication also added that he later informed that this wasn’t planned by Dior’s Creative Director of women’s wear, Maria Grazia Chiuri. The executive also described it as a “kind of a non-event.”
The unclarity of the message itself was the reason why all the guests were confused. “It was a surprise for everybody,” said Pietro Beccari, Chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture. “It was so well done, you couldn’t tell what it was.” Sidney Toledano also said he “had no idea what was going on.“ According to the Chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, he “saw the girl go past, and it looked like she was walking in the show.”
“I don’t think we’re destroying the planet,” he continued as reported by WWD. “We’re committed to reducing our environmental impact by cutting our carbon dioxide emissions, tracing our raw materials, and so forth. They shouldn’t be targeting us. I think there are industries that pollute much more.” He also added: “It wasn’t nasty or aggressive, but I think her message wasn’t clear. You couldn’t tell if it was part of the show or not.”
In 2012, LVMH launched an initiative to commit to sustainability. According to the conglomerate, the LIFE (LVMH Initiatives For the Environment) program was created to elevate the group’s environmental performance and Maisons. In 2020, the company named Hélène Valade as the new environmental development director. Valade is in charge of developing the ecological targets LMVH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton would perform through “Life 2030” for the next decade.
The plan intends to follow four concrete objectives. Among the goals is “to mitigate the environmental footprint of product creation,” also preserve natural resources, reduce CO2 emissions by 25% and ”target an improvement of at least 10% in environmental performance indicators including water and energy consumption and waste production. The Maisons are also committed to improving their energy efficiency by 15%,” as reported by the group.
The conglomerate also launched a website to support working relations with fashion models and ensure that they are treated fairly and with respect. According to the company, the initiative is to “promote responsibility, transparency and empowerment” while ”raising awareness among models that they have an active role to play in promoting these changes.”