Designed to inspire

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She declared that fashion is dead, dreamed as a child to become a restaurateur, ‘hybrid’ is her favorite word and fresh cut grass is her favorite smell, Time magazine named her as one of the 25 most influential people in fashion and she thinks that never ending curiosity is what makes her the queen of trends.

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If you had not guessed it by now,  I had the great pleasure to meet in person, Miss Edelkoort. Li Edelkoort, one of the world’s most famous trend forecasters, and a super inspirational woman who dreams of transposing the rules to create ingenious pandemonium.

This story all began like a weird joke where a Fashionista and a Caesar got to meet. To be more accurate, it was a blind date. In a very nice hotel, In the last of the summer, a date that turned into a romance, based on passion and innovations, design and inspiration.

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So yes, the Fashionista is moi, and Mr. Caesar is actually ‘Caesarstone‘ the leading company who pioneered the original premium quartz surface. The brand that use stone as the material, while his core is, creativity, enthusiasm and, of course design, that designed to inspire.

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I wasn’t Caeser’s first romance, actually, I’m one of many, as every year they team up with world wide leading designers, but this summer something special happened, the ‘Caesar of Stone’ and ‘The Queen of Trends’ got together to find the next big thing of the stone design arena, and I had the chance to see it all.

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If that wasn’t exciting enough, a week later I was invited to the Caesarstone factory for a special tour and a photo shoot and… I Also got an exclusive 30 minutes with the queen and here some of the highlights she shared with me over a fine glass of wine while she visited “the dynamic, hysterical, confusing, the land full of joy” – Israel.

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Q – What was the first human trend?

A – getting warm, and very early after creating the clothes, then man started to make his clothes based on his fantasies, asking to define him being different and unique by what he wears.

Q – What is your favorite trend?

A – Material becoming a message. I believe that every material has life in it and that’s one of the reasons why we should have more respect to all kind of materials.

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Q – I heard you talking about ‘imperfection as a trend’, do you think it has something to do with the fact that it got so popular today to share a (fake) perfect life on social media?

A – People’s longing for authenticity comes as a reaction against the digital age, and more recently, as an overdose from reality entertainment, which includes social media. It is about finding a balance between the unique and the serial.

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It reminds me of a graduation project by Sang-Hoon Lee, a Korean Masters design student that came from a culture where being perfect was paramount, he felt rejected by society after he started to lose his hair. He responded  by finding strength in a collection of tabletop he designed. His poetic concept called I’M PERFECT, and the idea was collecting cast-off rejects from the porcelain industry and white cups and plates that were imperfect and had a wobbly edge or a cracked lip…. They were beautiful because of their imperfections. These pieces sold out in a matter of days and were another example of serial design that is also one-of-a-kind.

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Q – You mentioned that what inspires you the most is Women, who were the most inspiring for you?

A – There are many women that inspire me, but above all, my personal heroines are Rosanna Orlandi, Rosita Missoni and Barbara Hulanicki. They are all the forerunners of a new generation of women who will lead the future of design. A hybrid discipline that will merge form with function, sense of touch with emotion, retailing with flair and spirituality with well-being.
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Q –  When you said in 2015 that ‘fashion as we knew it’ is dead,’ you also said that it might be a good thing – a momentum to rethink – what do you think about it today, a year and a half later? Was the change positive?
A – To my surprise, I released my Anti_Fashion Manifesto, received a positive support from clients and other players in the industry. It felt like it’s coming from a collective acknowledgment that something was deeply wrong in the current fashion industry.
Part of the manifesto was my personal wake-up call to challenge creative minds of the field to bring fashion into our contemporary timeframe.
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What seems clear 18 months later is that the industry and consumption will never be the same again, but I do think that with the awareness, the alternative education and a change in the production methods, we will be able to see a change in the status quo and I even think that fashion design itself becoming more creative, again.
“I have to go, but it was a pleasure…” Li stood, finished the last sip of her wine, smiled warmly and wished me good luck… I’m not a fortune teller but at that moment I just had the feeling I will see her again…
To be continued.
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Photographed by Mark Segal
Location: Caesarstone factory
Make Up: Shiri Paska for Mac Hair: Ariel Ettedgi

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