Bring­ing the suit out of its cor­po­rate shadow

A fledg­ling fash­ion com­pany aims to make the suit — tra­di­tion­ally seen as a male power sym­bol — ac­ces­si­ble and wear­able to ev­ery­one. Nine­teen-year-old Billy Stafford talks about what sets his busi­ness, Olive Way, apart.

Living Now - - Eco Fash­ion - By Billy Stafford

Our mes­sage is clear: we want ev­ery sin­gle per­son, re­gard­less of gen­der, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, or race, to ex­pe­ri­ence what it’s like to feel em­pow­ered and ex­tra­or­di­nary. While ' fash­ion' could be a rather ma­te­rial sub­ject to some, we think that pre­sen­ta­tion and per­cep­tion play an in­cred­i­ble part in in­flu­enc­ing peo­ple’s ac­tions and in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the world.

The suit is a sym­bol — by mak­ing this sym­bol ac­ces­si­ble and wear­able to ev­ery­one, we take one step for­ward to­wards a fu­ture based on merit, not cat­e­gori­sa­tion.

In a realm where no idea is orig­i­nal, and some­one out there is al­ways more pro­fi­cient, we rely on our pas­sion to cre­ate the dif­fer­ence that sets us apart.

We have four key mes­sages that are fun­da­men­tal to our busi­ness: We want to re­move suits from the heav­ily An­glo, mas­cu­line, and cor­po­rate scene, and bring them to a whole range of peo­ple. From the LGBTQI+ com­mu­nity, to peo­ple of colour, to women and men alike, ev­ery­one de­serves the op­por­tu­nity to wear a beau­ti­ful tai­lor-made suit, with­out hav­ing to break their bank for it. In 2016 only 15.4% of world­wide CEO po­si­tions were held by women; an atro­cious statis­tic. Even more alarm­ingly, only one CEO out of the 500 big­gest cor­po­ra­tions in the world iden­ti­fies as a woman of colour – that is 0.2%. It’s easy to un­der­stand now why the suit may act as a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of power and in­flu­ence. It is in suits that deals are made, fates are sealed and de­ci­sions trickle down­wards.

2. Let’s talk about sex

If we want to make the suit avail­able to ev­ery­one, we have to de-gen­der it. We’re paving a path of fash­ion-for­ward, an­drog­y­nous, and in­ter-sex cloth­ing for an en­tire gen­er­a­tion. We are all born es­sen­tially the same, as blank can­vases. All gen­der iden­tity is im­i­ta­tive and con­structed, none of it true or nat­u­ral – what we choose to do with our bod­ies is fun­da­men­tally per­for­mance art.

Peo­ple’s abil­ity to ex­press them­selves and their iden­tity should not be lim­ited to the clothes they choose to put on their back.

3. Stop killing the planet

The days of cor­po­ra­tions suck­ing the earth dry of its re­sources to make profit are over — at least for the new wave of busi­nesses. All our ma­te­ri­als are sourced from Aus­tralia, and then man­u­fac­tured in Udaipur, In­dia, through a third-gen­er­a­tion tai­lor­ing fam­ily. At no point in our process line do we use ‘cheap labour’.

4. Col­lab­o­ra­tion is key

Start­ing this busi­ness has been an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity to work with up-and-com­ing youth (such as this range of amaz­ing mod­els). Col­lab­o­ra­tion is ex­tremely im­por­tant to us, as it al­lows us to work with like-minded groups and in­di­vid­u­als. The way that new and up­com­ing busi­ness can thrive and sur­vive in 2016 and on­wards is if they’re do­ing good for the world. n

You just love yoga? You will love be­ing a yoga teacher too!

At the Aus­tralian Col­lege of Clas­si­cal Yoga we teach au­then­tic, tra­di­tional yoga.

In yoga we leave the ego be­hind, and ex­pe­ri­ence re­al­ity pure and sim­ple. It’s chal­leng­ing, as life is chal­leng­ing.

You’ll get in-depth train­ing in asana, anatomy, phys­i­ol­ogy, and the vi­sion of yoga. Your life be­comes real and vi­brant. ACCY trains yo­gis, not just yoga teach­ers. The In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute of Ki­ne­si­ol­ogy Aus­tralia is the lead­ing Touch For Health / ICPKP col­lege & we now have two cam­puses: Crows Nest & Oran Park.

We are of­fer­ing a brand new syl­labus for stu­dents & health care pro­fes­sion­als who are in­ter­ested in Touch For Health, Pro­fes­sional Ki­ne­si­ol­ogy Prac­tice, com­ple­men­tary & func­tional medicine, en­ergy psy­chol­ogy & nu­tri­tion.

The Touch For Health Cer­tifi­cate & the Ba­sic Ki­ne­si­ol­ogy Prac­ti­tioner Pro­gram en­able you to start your ki­ne­si­ol­ogy ca­reer in 12-16 months. Stu­dents have the op­tion to con­tinue with the Di­ploma of En­ergy Psy­chol­ogy & the Di­ploma of Di­etary & Nu­tri­tional Sci­ences. Join us for the In­tro­duc­tion to Ki­ne­si­ol­ogy sem­i­nar on 15 Jan­uary.

Katha Jones is the founder of IIKA & the lead­ing ex­pert in Spe­cialised Ki­ne­si­ol­ogy & Ki­ne­sio­prac­tic® Care shar­ing 20 years of clin­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, dy­namic lec­tures & su­per­vised stu­dent clinic.

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