Madara Freimane, co-founder of What’s Your Legacy, tells us how a denim dress came to symbolise her personal revolution.
“I’m growing up in Latvia and like any typical teenager I shop the high-street. I read a lot of fashion magazines, follow the fashion blogs & street style blogs that are just starting to emerge. I try to look a bit different to my friends. It’s difficult when we mainly shop in Zara. I have fun searching for unique things to wear.
It’s 2012 and I move from Riga to London. I’m here to study at the London College of Fashion and there is so much fashion everywhere. I discover four floors at Topshop! Now it’s not about finding something unique because anything I can imagine is in these high-street shops. Imitations of and inspirations from all the major trends and labels, stacked high and crammed onto the rails. It makes me feel uncomfortable.
I start to ask questions, ‘Where do these clothes come from? How are they made? What will happen to them all?’ The more answers I receive the more righteous I feel. It’s overwhelming. Fashion is my thing, I love it, I want to make it my career but I can’t settle for this.
I start to research Minimalism. I stop buying clothes. No more fast fashion for me. No more four floors at Topshop on Saturday afternoons. No more late night fix from Asos. No more raiding the sales for things I might wear one day.
I still follow the fashion bloggers though. I discover an emerging label called Marques / Almeida. They use denim. They design in London. They were recently students of fashion just like me. I see a dress they have made. I stalk it a little bit online. It costs more money than I have ever spent on a piece of clothing. But I’m saving money because I’m not buying clothes.
Over the course of two or three months I fall in love with the dress. Eventually I buy it. When I try it on I feel confident. I feel proud. My dress has a story. I know where it comes from and why I bought it. I asked my conscience and my conscience said yes. This is the future. My future.”
To hear more from Madara Freimane join us at our next Work It event at Gigi’s Dressing Room on Thursday 4th April