Why Marina Testino Wore One Dress to Impress for Two Months
By Irene San Segundo
When you are born into Fashion royalty and become a successful model, designer, and influencer there is nothing like using your voice to send a powerful message of conscious consumerism and raise awareness of the social and environmental impact of fast fashion. That is exactly what Marina Testino -niece of uber-famous photographer Mario Testino- has been doing for the past few months. Learn more about her and her #OneDressToImpress campaign on this exclusive interview with the fashion activist.
How long have you been working in fashion and how was your start?
My family has always worked in the fashion industry so I grew up surrounded by it but I did not work in it until I graduated college. After I graduated from Parsons School of Design, I launched a ready-to-wear label fusing fashion and art through a series of collaborative limited capsule collections called Point of View. Shortly after, I also joined the creative roster at Society Management (Elite).
When did you become interested in sustainable fashion or started noticing that the fashion industry is not sustainable?
I have always been interested in sustainability and always try to live my life the most sustainable way I can. However, it wasn’t until I worked IN the fashion industry that I noticed how much consumerism was affecting our world. I am trying to work more with sustainable brands to bring more awareness on the topic and hopefully inspire others to be more sustainable as well. I want to make a change, starting with myself, which is why I am taking my brand and creating sustainable collections soon.
When and how did you have this idea for the One Dress to Impress campaign?
I was constantly running around going from one event to another, and changing outfits in between. One day, I simply got tired of having the pressure to look different everywhere I went. This is when I thought, “Why do I have to choose something new for every event? What if I choose to wear the same thing every time?” The choice doesn’t always have to mean choosing something new, and it was totally liberating choosing not to choose.
How did you pick the outfit you were going to wear for two months? Why that one?
First of all, I wanted to wear something that would be suitable for different occasions, weather changes, and something that was comfortable- all which I found in this suit. I also wanted to wear a color that stood out and would attract attention. Not only that but, I believe the color red embodies power and confidence and that is part of the message I wanted to get across to people. Wearing something with confidence stands out more than wearing the latest fashion trend. I’m not saying people shouldn’t buy on-trend, but simply to shop consciously and buy what makes you feel good and empowered- which is what this red suit did for me.
What were the challenges you faced during that time?
Two months is a long time so I definitely started to miss wearing other things. I match my outfit to my mood every day and during the two months, even if I was feeling lazy or just wanted a discrete outfit, I didn’t have that choice.
Media all over the world covered the story, how do you feel about the response and impact of your campaign?
The response that I have received with this project is really amazing. My goal all along was to bring awareness of how important it is that we all try to be more conscious consumers. I have realized that this problem of overconsumption is something that people are very much aware of, but nothing is being done about it; so having so much media cover my story so that this project and its message get out is truly great. As of now, there have been so many people following my lead and doing their own #OneDressToImpress. It’s great to see that the point of my project was really taken and inspired others, which was the goal all along.
What is next?
On July 23rd I started my new project, #CarryOnSummer, as a continuation for #OneDressToImpress. For this project, I am traveling in Europe with only one carry-on and whichever items fit in it. It is similar to #OneDressToImpress in the sense that I want to show people how you can be creative with your outfits with a limited number of items and from that inspire people to shop more consciously. I can also show people how nice it is to travel light and how you only need a few summer essentials and still have a fashionable vacation.