We talk about fashion at length on PlusMinus Magazine. It is one of our great loves, passions and enjoyment. As a part of the industry we always aim to have a large amount of inclusivity in our content. Yet the industry as a whole doesn’t seem to always be the most diverse and inclusive business.
With any platform comes the responsibility to create change if possible. Enter GOLDIE magazine, a print publication for the over 40s. GOLDIE magazine is committed to share content about and for readers who are living their life to the fullest and not letting age get in the way of having a good time.
Co founder and EIC Rebecca Weef Smith decided that instead of just talking about diversity, she would do something about it. We grabbed 5 minutes with Rebecca to talk about GOLDIE, and her ‘Let’s show LFW what inclusivity really looks like’ campaign.
Tell us about Goldie Magazine.
We are a glossy real print-and-paper magazine for old people – that sounds hideous doesn’t it! However I try to word it I can’t quite get the idea across, we are on issue four and it’s still a work in progress.
GOLDIE shares a positive view on ageing, we are for anyone who loves life and expresses that love with fashion, style and intelligence. We were once Punks, Mods, New Romantics… and we still love any chance to dress up and hang out together. Fashion isn’t what GOLDIE magazine is all about but it is the heart of who we are.
We love your ‘Let’s show #LFW what inclusivity really looks like’ campaign, tell us more about it.
It’s been a bit chucked together if I’m honest. I only got the idea in my head on Friday morning and by Friday night I had started a campaign. It really isn’t like me to be so out there but I felt a real urge to do something rather than just talk about diversity on my instagram page or feature a variety of models in the magazine.
I have no idea whether this will work or not! It may just be me outside the British Fashion Council wearing leopard print and handing out flyers. In my head I want to hire a double decker to go from East to West London full of beautiful people who stop traffic and spread smiles.
I remember seeing a bit of film footage from an Ossie Clark show where it was all a big mix; you couldn’t tell who was modelling and who was in the audience. That is how I feel fashion should be: an egalitarian experience.
What inspired you to start your Campaign?
Age is – to paraphrase The Fashion Diversity Report – “still the most under-represented group on the catwalks at any fashion week.” I have been going on about the lack of older models in fashion for a while, but it was a press release this week about New York Fashion Week that made me quite cross.
The implication was that we have dealt with the diversity issue in fashion and can stop talking about it now. We can’t. There are still so many groups of people who love fashion and are being left out of the story. This is ridiculously old-fashioned and unfair. Fashion is for all. I have never been one for rules and a fashion system that dictates that you must look a certain way, buy into a certain vision, has never been my kind of fashion.
I have been in love with fashion for a very long time. My first fashion job was in a boutique when I was fourteen. My experience of fashion has been very loving and supportive. When I have been down, my fashion friends have been there for me. When I have been up they have celebrated my successes. It is that sense of belonging that inspires me to continue seeing fashion as a positive force for good.
What is the aim of the campaign?
I really just want all and sundry to have a chance to come together in their Sunday Best and show how fashion people IRL celebrate difference. I want to share the way that fashion unites us. In the current climate of division we can enjoy admiring each other’s style and way of being. Fashion makes us friends; we are a creative collaborative community of splendour.
I am sure that those brands and designers showing at London Fashion Week would love to be totally inclusive but perhaps they just need a little nudge. We can help them; we can give them a hand to overcome their fear of being seen as too much when they have the full range of diverse characters walking for them.
I truly believe that the industry I adore is full of kind loving individuals who in their own lives wouldn’t exclude anyone from a party. Given the chance they will extend that to the runways, catwalks and editorials they have control of. The aim is to draw attention to the positive that fashion can be.
What can we do to help?
Share my vision. Tell everyone you know, get your friends together and feel good about loving clothes. Don’t let others dictate how you should look or feel about how you look. Insist that you have a right to be totally gorgeously you. Smile at a stranger who looks good. Embrace difference in others. Don’t judge people for not belonging to the same style as you.
I would love it if everyone took a look at my fundraiser and if they can support it that would be fabulous. I want to make this quite a big deal but to do that I need a campaign budget. Money aside, I would love anyone who wants to celebrate the beautiful variety that is London Street Fashion to join us on the Strand on Sunday 17th February to turn the pavement into our catwalk.
This is a true fashion for all party, a chance to show the love that resides in all of us who love dressing our best. Because when we dress our best we open our hearts to the possibility of a better world. Yeah, I know that all sounds a bit farfetched but I’m old, you have to make allowances for me!