Botter warns of climate emergency

Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter, artistic directors of Nina Ricci and founders of the Botter brand, are what the fashion industry calls ’emerging designers’. With this status comes a lot of media attention, which they use to confront the fashion world with climate change. Their Spring/Summer 22 collection, Global Warning, was no exception.

Presented as part of the official Paris Fashion Week calendar, ‘Global Warning’ is Botter’s latest creation. The unisex line was unveiled by appointment in Paris on September 28 and in a video on the FHCM website. The message is clear: global warming is accelerating and time is running out.

Protecting the Oceans

The creative duo collaborated with the NGO Parley for the oceans for their SS22 collection. The organization is committed to protecting the oceans and marine life. This has enabled Botter to offer a summer collection made from sixty percent recycled ocean plastic (figures via WWD).

The designers are both Dutch, have Caribbean roots and since their debut at the Hyères festival – of which they won the Première Vision Grand Jury Prize in 2018 – have been telling a story focused on the world of the sea. But more than a source of inspiration, the marine environment for Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter is a matter to defend.

Botter – SS22 (via FHCM)

“Making clothes is no longer enough,” Rushemy Botter said in an interview with Vogue magazine last September. It makes sense, then, that the brand loaded the presentation of its SS22 collection with a powerful message to warn people of the threats and climate disasters that are altering or destroying the ocean’s balance. The result is a video with a dark and frightening staging.

Sirens of ocean ships, sounds of waves and sea breeze and a dynamic rhythm. Although filmed in a sophisticated concrete environment, the video moves the viewer towards the coast. But here we are very far from the paradise beach of the Chanel spring-summer 2019 fashion show. The bluish atmosphere simulates a crueler reality, that of the endangered oceans. The models wear diving masks, recycled umbrella hats (designed by the company Piganiol), walk at a fast pace and tap the camera screen as if they want to literally wake up our ecological activist soul.

The designs are true to Botter’s style: oversized polos, tailored pieces and fishnet tops. The palette is predominantly blue and beige, with yellow and orange-red accents. There are also references to diving, such as compact materials, buoy-inspired bags and bathing caps. As for the jewelry, the necklaces were made from fish hooks, designed with the Japanese company Dowluck.

Botter – SS22 (via FHCM)

By opting for a message of climate urgency, Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter add their presentation to the list of shows that have confronted the fashion world with the topic. Think, for example, of the ‘Black Tide’ collection by Marine Serre (2019) and the spring/summer 2020 collection by Francesco Risso for Marni (2019).

Botter – SS22 (via FHCM)

According to a report published in August by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the number of weather, climate and water disasters has increased fivefold in the past 50 years as a result of climate change – mainly caused by human activities. The fashion industry is aware of its impact on the environment and has taken numerous actions to limit the damage caused by its industry.

The luxury ready-to-wear brand Botter was launched in 2017. The collections are distributed through the webshop and at international retailers such as Dover Street Market, Ssense, KM20, Boon the Shop, Printemps, Nordstrom and Galeries Lafayette.

This article was previously published on FashionUnited.FR, then translated and edited into Dutch by Ilona Fonteijn.

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