Of course, she looks glowing and perfectly natural even in the dullest light of a laptop cam. No make up, coffee in hand and determination all over her, Amber Valletta smiles as she repeats again and again why she thinks fashion should change its ways and take the big leap to eco-sustainability. Yes, she’s been advocating for the planet for years now, but no, she’s not going to stop—even if things finally seem to change, and the industry seems to be able to hear. Calm and focused, Amber is all about pragmatism: changing the way we interact on the planet is just a daily, simple task. One thing at a time. But first, coffee.
ELLE: How did this sustainable accessories capsule collection K/Kushion for Karl Lagerfeld come about?
Amber Valletta (AV): When I had my own business called Master & Muse, in partnership with YOOX.com, I wanted to do collaborations and thought Karl would have been the perfect person to start with. He was such an innovator. I pitched him my idea of a sustainable collection. He was enthusiastic and connected me to Pier Paolo (Righi), the CEO of KARL LAGERFELD. They were willing to make it work, but ultimately we weren't really set up to produce clothing yet. Unfortunately the collaboration didn’t happen at that time despite everyone's enthusiasm. However, Pier and I stayed in contact and developed a friendship. Right before COVID, he asked me if I’d like to come back to this collaboration. I said: absolutely! I have a long history and legacy with Karl.
ELLE: Was it hard to convince Karl and talk to him back then about eco-consciousness?
AV: Karl was an innovator. Though he didn't know a lot about the specifics of sustainability, his mind was open. He knew enough about what was going on in the world. Karl was always aware of what was happening in and out of the fashion business. It wasn't like I had to convince him. He heard it and he got it immediately. I think intuitively, he knew that it would be a cool, modern approach to design.
ELLE: When did your ecological consciousness awaken? What were the triggering factors?
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