#CNI Lux Day 2: The Road of Excess Leads to the Palace of Wisdom. Or Does It?

Alice Newbold, Vogue Daily Editor, reporting live from the CNI Luxury Conference in Lisbon

There is something rotten in the court of fashion and luxury and we must stamp out the disease,” Stefan Siegel told the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference. “Changing the world is no longer an option, it’s an obligation, and at the very least we have to try for the sake of the environment and for our children’s futures.” The blueprint for his future-thinking company, Not Just A Label, can help the luxury and fashion industry make sense of how things must change.

Born in 2008 out of Siegel’s mission to infuse new life into an antiquated fashion system, Not Just A Label gathers over 20,000 designers from 110 countries into one online marketplace. This number will become 30,000 in 2019. Crucially as this “celebration of culture” continues to grow, there is no middle man. Its direct-to-consumer sales model not only gives the power back to creatives by implementing a 70/30 per cent profit split in the designer’s favour, it reduces the considerable environmental impact of industrial clothing manufacture and enables designers to create sustainably all over the world. He urges others to join him by rejecting and radicalising the current system.

“Fashion is a mirror to hold up to society, but what do we see? A society that values profits over the environment,” Siegel told the conference. “We need to slow down the consumption, stop poisoning our oceans with micro fibres and respect society. Ten million children under the age of ten work as child labour. And on the flip side,” Siegel said, “We’re pushing children into addiction by letting them blindly follow Instagram celebrities. There is no pride in making children wait hours for a new sneaker collaboration, we should be adults with moral integrity. When we encourage people to become famous rather than creating famous things and celebrate craftsmanship, we have gone wrong.”

‘Have you seen my Instagram?’ is not Siegel’s preferred barometer for a brand’s creativity. His own logo, a black sheep, represents Not Just A Label’s advice to brands within a saturated industry: stand out, swim against the stream and change the landscape of fashion. Now.

The fourth annual Condé Nast International Luxury Conference is in Lisbon, on the 18th and 19th April. For more information, visit the website