Throughout the past couple of years, we’ve seen fashion introduce new mainstays to the industry – digital fashion weeks, less-defined gender silhouettes, and an increase in comfort wear have all made their prominence known. They also all point toward an influx of community-focused listening.

To dig into this refreshed approach to fashion, we tapped NYC-based innovators Ismaila Traoré and Tyler Mansour at this year’s PROJECT Las Vegas to discuss the impact of community and collaboration on the growth of today’s fashion industry.

PROJECT brings together some of the most dynamic members in contemporary men’s and women’s fashion under one roof. After getting familiar with the caliber of brands that showed out at PROJECT New York last month, we were eager to see what Las Vegas had in store. Inspired by PROJECT’s forward-thinking mission to bring together dynamic players in fashion under one roof, we set out to discuss our predictions on where the industry will grow in the upcoming years.

Traoré, a creative thinker at Wieden+Kennedy and the co-founder of the multidisciplinary creative agency, Coral Studios, brought a collab-positive perspective to the stage. Noting some of the greatest in the game, such as Virgil Abloh, they added that strong community ties and authenticity are the basis of any successful collaboration – a practice that Traoré is well-versed in.

Coral Studios’ Air Max 95 was created in 2018 to “educate the public, create a story, spark a discussion, and give back to the world”. Supporting The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the sneakers were much more than just a bold design, they also proved that we can use fashion to impact the world in a greater way.

Mansour, the founder of Makeshift Studios, jumped in to speak on the importance of cutting through the noise and staying focused on your vision when working in a collab-heavy environment. While the consensus of the discussion was that a larger community focus could lead to more interesting projects, there is a balance that Mansour has demonstrated through his many years of success between collaboration and intuition.

Mansour is the man behind the lens of some of footwear’s most iconic visuals across various mediums. Flexing his ability to showcase utility, design, and style into one effortless-looking image, he is the picture of success in staying true to your craft and vision. Having dealt with every iconic sneaker drop within the past decade, Mansour expressed the importance of simplifying the process by putting an emphasis back on the finished product and letting it speak for itself.

While we discussed the age-old question of whether brands are “just incorporating community or partnering with another brand for the clout,” we concluded that the future of fashion is unexpected, inclusive, and, without a doubt, will give a platform to genuine community-based projects and collaborations that will positively impact the world beyond fashion.

Stay up to date with PROJECT’s next move at projectfashionevents.com and follow @projectshow.

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