Atelier Jolie and The Future of Fashion
How Angelina Jolie’s namesake brand could forever shift the high fashion narrative.
Ever since Kylie Jenner and her eponymous Kylie Cosmetics burst onto the scene back in 2014, it seems like each week a new celebrity brand hits the market. Whether it’s a skincare line, a ready-to-wear collaboration, or a top-shelf liquor, celebrity labels have become ubiquitous. An easy way to cash in on name recognition, celebrity brands and partnerships have proven incredibly lucrative, especially in the age of influencers. With one viral TikTok or Instagram post, a celebrity line—think Hailey Bieber’s Rhode Skincare or Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila—can sell out within seconds, as overly eager and heavily influenced consumers clamor to be on-trend. But, despite their hype, celebrity-branded products are usually nothing more than shiny new labels slapped on recycled ideas, contributing to an over-saturated market and an increasingly feckless consumer culture.
However, that could soon change with the launch of Angelina Jolie’s namesake house, Atelier Jolie.
Unlike other celebrity lines, Atelier Jolie doesn’t seek to further aimless consumerism, nor does it seek to “go viral.” Essentially, the brand aims to be a sort of counter-cultural nexus between creativity and morality, with an ethos rooted in sustainability.
In short, it’s the exact opposite of its celebrity counterparts.
While JLo Beauty, Rhode, and SKKN, to name a few, push names rather than products, fueling avid consumerism rather than refining it, Atelier Jolie is about pushing exploration, diversity, and sustainability. Of course, we’ve seen the “sustainability” tagline before with new brands. However, Atelier Jolie’s sustainability goes beyond greenwashing and glossy annual reports projecting carbon neutrality. According to the mission statement posted to the brand’s webpage, Atelier Jolie will use “only leftover, quality vintage material and deadstock.” Unlike other brands that only use token deadstock pieces, Atelier Jolie’s entire line will come from deadstock. This is a first for high fashion.
Not only does the brand’s commitment to using only deadstock make it unique, but its business model does, too. According to the house’s website, customers “will be able to repair or upcycle pieces from [their] closet [they] wish to revive, perfecting fit, breathing new life into what could have been thrown away, and creating quality heirloom garments with personal meaning.” While some luxury labels will fix or refresh pieces you’ve purchased from them—think Hermès for handbag maintenance and Tiffany for jewelry cleaning—there are no luxury brands who will take random pieces from your closet not made by them and turn them into something brand new, much less of heirloom quality.
Yet another distinctive feature of Atelier Jolie is its structure. Unlike other luxury houses that are run by creative directors, Jolie has chosen to spotlight the garments’ actual craftsmen—the seamstresses and tailors who bring life to each piece. Rather than having creative directors who sketch and approve designs, Atelier Jolie is set to be a consortium of “expert tailors, pattern makers, and artisans from around the world.” Finally, the house will focus on bringing in talent from “under-appreciated groups,” including apprenticeships for refugees, and creating “positions of dignity based on skill” for all employees. This structure stems from Angelina Jolie’s humanitarian efforts and sets Atelier Jolie apart not just from its luxury competitors, but from the rest of the fashion industry.
Ultimately, with is mission of self-expression, inclusivity, and sustainable design, Atelier Jolie could completely alter the narrative around high fashion. Perpetually marred by press surrounding sweatshop wages, worker conditions, and burning deadstock, high fashion frequently comes under fire for its frivolously wasteful practices. However, Atelier Jolie’s refreshing credo could forge a brighter future for high fashion; one not characterized by wastefulness and greed, but by boundless creativity and unyielding ethos.