Letter From the Editor: Why We're Getting Fearless in June

I know a couple of fearless women. Their names are Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power, the co-founders of Who What Wear, who decided to leave their coveted print magazine positions to start a website in 2006. For perspective, this was the same year the NY Times ran the story “AOL to Turn Netscape Site Into a Newspaper of Sorts.” Does it seem like that headline’s from a million years ago? Well in terms of the internet, it was. Their peers in the fashion industry thought this move was mental. As we all know, it turns out they weren’t crazy—they were just crazy smart.

Kerr and Power didn’t let fear—What if it fails? What if we’re wrong? What if we run out of money?—stand in their way. They took a risk that has been paying off for over a decade (and allows this grateful editor to spend her time writing to you fine readers). This sort of bravery is what inspired our June theme: Fearless. We’ll be turning our lens on those in the fashion industry who have the confidence to take risks and blaze new trails. In an industry that thrives on change, those who push beyond the norm are essential. We honor them this month.

Our feature The New School by Editor Aemilia Madden rounds up some of the young faces in fashion who are doing things a bit differently than their predecessors. We’ve got an interview with Harris Reed, the celebrated 21-year-old student whose gender-fluid line draws inspiration from current social and political issues. The designer just walked in the Gucci Resort 18 show and is dressing Gen-Z darlings such as Harry Styles and Amandla Stenberg. Add Reese Blutstein (a “late-bloomer” influencer whose corner of the internet has injected much-needed life into the saturated blogging world), Charli Howard (a body-positive ambassador who is bringing change to the modeling world), and more to the mix, and you’ve got the makings of a can’t-miss story.

Gone Digital by Associate Editor Kristen Nichols is a shopping guide that’s so perfectly Who What Wear it makes me grin just thinking about it. The piece will feature about-to-break brands that were born on the internet and aren’t following the traditional retail path. The old-school way would be to open a brick-and-mortar location or to sell to multiple large retailers, cast only a certain type of person (thin, model) in your imagery, and show only a certain type of e-commerce images (high-res, full-length, from all angles). We’re interested in what the new guard is doing. Think: direct-to-consumer models (hello, shopping through Instagram comments!), inclusive casting and imagery, and always, always thinking social—and really, digital—first. Get ready to gird your wallets as you fall in love with these fearless brands.

In celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we have an upcoming profile on the UK brand Art School by Senior Editor Gina Marinelli. The line by design duo Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt focuses on redefining the limitations of ready-to-wear fashion by celebrating the nonbinary body. Even though it only launched last year, it’s already been picked up by Matches Fashion, one of the most forward-thinking e-commerce giants. With additional support from cool girls in the music scene like Jorja Smith and Rita Ora, we’re predicting a meteoric rise for Art School.

Now that you’ve been given the lowdown on what’s to come, why not add your voice to the mix by joining our Who What Wear Insiders Facebook group? We’ll be asking our community for their style expertise to include in a few of our stories this month.

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