Moments of hope and inspiration weren't always easy to find over the course of this dark year. A reliably bright place to look for them, however, was in FRONTPAGE, our weekly digital cover story.
We were lucky enough to facilitate conversations in 2020 that not only inspired or entertained us, but also challenged us to be better; to engage with our sense of duty and responsibility as publishers, as people, and as human beings. From creative advice via Marc Jacobs to the wisdom of Naomi Osaka to Janaya Khan's piercing call to action, we were constantly given words that helped us to keep going.
With that in mind, and presented in no particular order, here are 10 of the best things we were told this year:
“I used to want a break from it all for a couple of weeks or so. But after this quarantine period, I never want another break again. I was having the time of my life and I want to get back to work and travel and meet people immediately.”
“For me, [goals] are just knowing I tried my best every day at something. And being able to go to sleep at night knowing I didn’t regret something.”
"I’ve been talking with a few designer friends lately, and I’ve asked them, 'How did you keep your archive?' Quite a lot of them say, 'We don't have anything. We threw it away, or we sold it.' And I think there was a long period, probably 20 years, when I thought, 'You know what? Get rid of it.' Because it's like a turtle with a heavy house on its back. We have to carry it around, and it's too intense.
And now I start to realize we've got to take care of it, because I'm going to be sad if we don't. It's not only for museums and stylists and magazines. It's also for the very young audience. I realize now that, for young kids, my brand means for them what Martin [Margiela] meant for me. And this is very beautiful. It's a very rewarding thing. It's very emotional, and perhaps it’s the most satisfying thing. Seeing somebody in the street wearing my brand is more satisfying than a good review."
"I’ve never had any assistants, and I never had a mentor. If you’re really talented and skilled, you’ll find your way. You don’t need a guideline. You just find your way to be successful. All the artists I respect internationally, when you look at their background, they normally haven’t had a mentor or worked for anybody. If you look at all the great artists in history, they are all self-taught, and that’s what makes their work original."
"You’re not going to get anywhere by pleasing people. You can do as you’re told and be a nice boy, but you’re not going to disrupt anything. You’re not going to bring change if you’re too respectful. I think there has to be respect in terms of the admiration for the quality, the make, the skill, and maybe even the approach, but then you have to throw out everything you know. Hold on to quality and integrity — but move on. You can’t be too attached to history, and you can’t be too attached to rules."
"50 percent of the [US] population is not white. But does everything in American life represent that same number? Could you go to Congress and see 50 percent of the Congressmen being non-white? If we count members of our government proportionately to Blacks, does it add up? That's a 'no.'
This is what’s wrong. This country was founded on 'no taxation without representation,' okay? So our brothers, we're paying our taxes, but we're not being represented... Politicians are acting without the consideration of their work for the people. They're acting without the consideration of inclusivity for people, so they can’t understand people. The only way that happens is through proportionate representation."
"That's the kind of world that we live in — one where there are literal agents of the state who terrorize people who look like me, who look like you. And the only way to stop it is to have the most bold and audacious and ethical asks that we can. That means letting go of this idea of reform. We have to transform if we want to stop these murders from happening. We have to change the system itself. So our asks have to be huge, because we are strong enough to carry them. My God, we've been carrying the burden of injustice and bigotry in this country since we got here. So we can manage the bold and audacious newness of the kinds of asks and the kinds of justice that we deserve."
"We’re at a turning point in history where it's like: Where do you want to be in this chapter? Where do you want to tell your grandkids you stood? And who do you really think is going to win? I'd bet on the winning team, if I was you.
Here's the thing: If evil prevails, there will be no history books. In order for there to even be a history book where we're talking about 2020, good has to win over evil before 2050. We have to accept it as a moral issue. I don't want to liken this to other genocides and other tragedies that have happened in the course of global history, but a lot of us would feel like if we could go back and undo certain parts of human history, we would. We're at one of those points right now. We can collectively make the change we need to make: completely dismantle the current policing system."
“I just want to show people that you can do it and that you don't have to be afraid. It is a scary world, but you can still do it right.”
"I have those moments where I’m like, 'Fuck all of this. I don’t want to be here.' But I choose this. No matter how bad those moments are, I’ve always been that person who’s had to push myself. What else am I supposed to do, just die? So, it’s two choices: give up and die, or keep going."
2020 was the year when so much didn’t happen — sometimes it was disappointing, sometimes it came as a relief. From sporting events to sex parties, Highsnobiety's latest collection "This Never Happened" is built around the events — big and small — that didn't happen this year. Dropping December 28 exclusively at our online store.