Known as an actress, producer, model and activist, Angelina Jolie now intends to shine as an entrepreneur.
The American actress has announced the launch of a fashion brand, Atelier Jolie, which stands out for its collaborative, ethical and eco-responsible approach – among other things – not to mention its desire to reconnect with the traditional fashion design process.
Celebrities have been launching new brands in the fashion and beauty sectors for several years.
There's Rihanna's brand Fenty, focusing on cosmetics and lingerie, Lizzo and her brand of sculpting underwear, Yitty, and Selena Gomez with her Rare Beauty makeup brand.
So many labels that have managed to win over consumers, no doubt thanks to their creators' large fan communities, but also (and especially) thanks to their commitments.
Stars are no longer content with launching brands in already crowded sectors, but are now trying to respond to specific consumer demands, whether on ecology or inclusivity.
And this is the key to success, it seems.
Jolie is now taking things a step further with Atelier Jolie, a new kind of fashion brand that seems, on paper, to meet all the criteria favored by increasingly mindful consumers.
Karl Lagerfeld, Alessandro Michele, Jeremy Scott and Olivier Rousteing are some of the big-name designers who have put their creativity at the service of a brand, in turn becoming its greatest ambassadors.
But this trend seems to have faded in recent months, with an unprecedented wave of designer departures, and an increasingly pronounced craze for designers to launch their own labels.
With Atelier Jolie, Jolie is taking things in a different direction, since it is the tailors, artisans and other behind-the-scenes craftspeople that she intends to honour by facilitating relations with end consumers, and by offering an online resource to access clothing manufacturers.
The idea is to buy your own designs, not those made by a designer brand.
"Everyone can create. Why then do we covet designer labels?" asks the actress when presenting her brand.
"Designers often sketch or approve designs, but it is the tailors who make the difference and who I truly love creating with. And yet, these makers rarely receive the credit and respect they deserve," she continues.
Indeed, world-renowned designers will not be central to this project, which aims to promote artisans, emerging designers, and the creativity of consumers themselves.
The art of upcycling
Another point not to be overlooked is eco-responsibility, which will be, according to the brand presentation, core to this new project.
Jolie does not go into detail on the subject, with very little information on the specifics, but it is clear that the focus will primarily be on upcycling.
It involves enhancing or repurposing items otherwise destined for the trash. In other words, waste.
More precisely, it will be about using only vintage materials or deadstock, with the intention of not drawing on new resources, and even building a model entirely based on the circular economy.
"We will use only leftover, quality vintage material and deadstock. You will be able to repair or upcycle pieces from your closet you wish to revive, perfecting fit, breathing new life into what could have been thrown away, and creating quality heirloom garments with personal meaning," states the American producer.
Evidently, the Hollywood star intends to play a role in the fight against climate change by offering an alternative brand with a reduced environmental impact.
It remains to be seen if all of its processes will be rooted in this eco-responsible concept.
A collaborative model
The people likely to be the real stars of this project are consumers themselves. Jolie says little about the exact role consumers will play, but there's no doubt that they will be at the centre of the creative process – more than her, in any case.
"We can all collect, appreciate, and be influenced by the designs of others. But the highest form of self-expression – and I believe the most fun – is to create for ourselves," she explains.
She continues: "I am building a place for creative people to collaborate with a skilled and diverse family of expert tailors, pattern makers and artisans from around the world. A place to have fun. To create your own designs with freedom. To discover yourself."
But the former special envoy of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees does not intend to stop there, and even hopes to build "a community of creativity and inspiration, regardless of socio-economic background".
The actress specifies that this will include bringing together a diverse and varied team, with the establishment of internships and training for refugees "and other talented, underappreciated groups, with positions of dignity based on skill".
It's an unusual project that could shake up the codes of the fashion industry, if only because the star seems to position herself as a go-between, an intermediary, who would not be at the heart of the creative process – an unusual set-up for a celebrity brand.
Now, we'll have to wait until Fall 2023 to find out more about this new brand concept.
"It’s all new, and I’m more of an artist than a businesswoman. I hope to see you there, and to be one of the many creating with you within our new creative collective. Bear with me. I hope to grow this with you," concludes Angelina Jolie. – AFP Relaxnews