RS: The one lesson I think fashion will not learn from this, which is the one it should learn, if I am being brutally honest, is that it should be less greedy. It became too much this economic machine. For the majority the first desire is economic growth. Everyone just had less growth, so everyone is going to try to catch up. And you can’t do that with only one or two collections a year. The audience at the moment is more interested in surface fashion than in depth fashion.
MP: Traditionally fashion was a very strict group: connoisseurs, journalists. It’s not that the elite isn’t there any more, but this system is broken. Intellectuals don’t want to be vulgar or cheap or oversimplifying, so the result is no one listens to them, and the ones who couldn’t care less, they have a super-big voice with content that isn’t so good.
RS: Fashion became pop, and the winners now are the ones that scream hardest, not the ones that speak most intelligently.
MP: If you want to go on working, you can’t escape. Companies are criticized because they do too much, but we are judged on the money. I heard once somebody say, “Oh, that designer is really terrible, but they sell so much, it means they are good.” The last few years our numbers were not so good, and in every single discussion, that was the point. So if you want to survive with your company, with all the responsibility of people working for you, I doubt we will do less.
RS: If you make seven children, you can’t say after, ‘I am going to junk five.’ It’s up to a new generation to change the system. Maybe it’s happening and we don’t even know. There has to be a system that grows beside the system.
MP: We are in a capitalist world. That’s the system. It’s easy to say consume less, produce less, but then we need to be ready to have less jobs. Communism was trying to change it, and it didn’t work. Still, today I feel optimistic.