I am proud to announce the launch of my brand new podcast for Condé Nast: “Creative Conversations With Suzy Menkes”.
Now you can come with me behind-the-scenes for in-depth interviews with the fashion industry’s most influential designers, thinkers, and executives. First up, Maria Grazia Chiuri, the creative director of Christian Dior – the first woman to lead the brand, and one who has enriched it with her distinctive feminist and artistic vision.
Coming next, milliner Stephen Jones, with more fashion luminaries to follow.
To join the conversation, just visit the links below to download and subscribe:
And, of course, you can also follow along on my Instagram for updates. Below are a few excerpts from my conversation with Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri – I hope it whets your appetite to listen to more.
Maria Grazia Chiuri on…
“Although the couture shows in July are cancelled, I would like to find another way to realise couture. I have an important relationship with the studio and the atelier. At this moment [the staff from] our ateliers are working at home. We are in contact with them over video, but it is very hard to realise a couture show in this way. We have time, because we normally start at the end of April. I have some ideas in mind, but I want to find a new solution to realise couture.
“Now I am very focused on a new idea, which I can’t yet speak about, which could help us to promote couture in a different way to the world. If you want to understand couture, you have to see the real piece properly. It is very important for us to promote the craftsmanship of our collection and the idea is, on one side, to work with our customers with a personal wardrobe and the other is to see if we can show our customers new craftsmanship.”
“When I first arrived at Dior, they said to me, ‘Dior is a feminine brand.’ While this is an important sentence, we have to reflect on what it means to be feminine. So for me it was very important to work with these women artists, because they reflect on femininity with a different point of view. Women artists talk a lot about the body, and we do that in fashion too.
“So, it was my idea to have a conversation with these women as they are so inspiring – and at the same time it was very important for Dior to give a platform and a voice for the artists to another audience that are not used to the art world.
“Fashion can do a lot to support art and promote a different vision of women around the world.”
“The reaction was so huge. I never imagined in my life that the 2017 ‘We should all be Feminists’ T-shirt would have such an impact and such an important reaction from the audience.
“I think fashion has to reflect on this argument, this idea of feminism. We are always reminded of our industry and business – but in fashion we must not forget to speak about identity, and I think my collection is about that.”
“I have been organising my apartment – normally I don’t have much time to do this. Rearranging pictures, books, and a little bit of the wardrobe.
“For the last four years I have been living between Paris and Rome – it is impossible to organise well. So this is a good chance to do something now. I spend a long time reflecting on my job and fashion, because in these difficult circumstances it is not only about business, but also identity – and it’s a good opportunity to reflect on the future.
“I am happy that I am working with Dior and the women artists, writers, and dancers, and to help them have a voice – I really like it a lot. The conversation with these women is something I really like to do; this relationship is a new way to work. Also during this time I am in contact with these women – we speak about the situation and our personal life. It’s like a community, in some way, and that is the part I am very happy about.”
Read more at Vogue.co.uk