ES x Clothing Is ____ .
So often getting dressed is treated as an outcome, not a variable. The “look” is the result, rather than a tool for facilitating more important results—results like your work, your day, your relationships, and your mood. And I get it. Clothing might seem frivolous on the surface. The word "fashion" even has a plasticky, insincere feel to me. But the truth is: we wear clothes every day of our lives. Every single day. You wake up, and you choose something to put on your body. The fabric touches your skin all day. Articles of clothing are arguably the most personal and intimate possessions you own. Your conscious clothing choices tell your subconscious self something about how you feel, what you think, and how you’re choosing to arm yourself for the day. Clothing can facilitate or hinder your work, and clothing can be a tool or a crutch. Your clothing determines the first impression you give others. It speaks about you before you have a chance to say any words. You can create or deny an identity with what you wear.
On a much larger and more important scale, your clothing speaks volumes about the culture of your generation. Clothing, unlike any other medium, is tied to both the intellectual and practical worlds. Influences of art and literature are an undeniable facet of fashion, but by its very nature, the clothing of a population must retain some connection to the everyday. It must be wearable and practical in our real lives (else we would not, in fact, wear it). Gianna Manzini aptly observed in 1935, "We should pay attention to fashion as a language, a witty manifestation of form, as one of the several ways in which the physiognomy of a people or an epoch shows itself.”
This is what Elizabeth Suzann is about at its core. It’s about garments that empower you to do your best work, to be your best self—clothing that helps you strengthen your identity, first within and then to others. The magic is: that looks a little bit different for everybody. Your relationship with clothing is unique and fluid and personal, and it can change from day to day. Clothing is a multifaceted part of our lives that can help us find confidence, power, and joy, and our garments are the ones I trust the most to do just that.
Our ES x Clothing Is ____ campaigns are intended to open up dialogue about what clothing means to each of us. Our first campaign, Clothing Is ____, launched in 2018 and left a literal blank space for our featured participants to fill out on their own what clothing means to them. We explored what role clothing played in each of their lives and captured rich imagery to go along with it.
Our second campaign, Clothing Is Political, launching in 2020, highlights narratives about the political nature of clothing, specifically from people of color. We dug deeper with this campaign, capturing dynamic imagery but also written interviews that explore many intersections of identity and how clothing is inherently politicized for many.
We hope you enjoy these two beautiful journeys with folks we respect and admire and stay tuned for more in the future.