Sarah Marie Day of Luméra Magazine is Ready for Sustainability to Be the Main Event of Fashion Month
Beyond the artistic runways, extravagant after-parties, and avant-garde clothing, Fashion Month is a reflective time for Luméra Magazine co-founder Sarah Marie Day. This month, four years ago, Day attended a New York Fashion Week discussion panel featuring Journalist, New York Times Bestselling Author, and UK Vogue’s Euro Sustainability Editor Dana Thomas.
Day studied fashion design and journalism for six years in Germany and France, but up until the eye-opening discussion led by Thomas, her knowledge of sustainable fashion consisted of reading the bleak news and walking into classrooms where the professors would ask for those wearing Zara to raise their hands. She had never experienced solution-based sustainability before, so it was only fitting for her to pick up Thomas’ book Fashionopolis: Why What We Wear Matters, inhale it within the next couple of weeks, and move forward with her newfound passion for sharing positive solution-based fashion writing, photography, and collaborations.
From there, Luméra Magazine was created. In a nutshell, Luméra is an online creative platform where a community is harnessed through collaborations with up-and-coming brands, creating unique products within the sustainable fashion space. Living up to its name, a combination of light and period of time, Luméra and its dedicated team are creating a new wave of slow fashion and shining a light on small brands at the forefront of the movement.
When scrolling through the online magazine, it is clear that Luméra upholds a standard and aesthetic that proves sustainability can be editorial and high fashion. “There’s a big misconception in the sustainable fashion industry. People think if you dress sustainable, you look like you came out of a forest and are dressed in beige linen, that’s it,” says Day. Determined to change this narrative, Luméra’s team has a list of requirements for their brands to meet– the most important criteria are a brand's devotion to solution-focused sustainability initiatives and their fashion-forward communities.
Luméra is built on community. As a reader, you witness the impact of the community they have created through their team’s expertise and passions within the industry. As a fashion journalist who previously worked for French women’s magazine Madame Figaro, Day found it crucial to engross herself in fashion as much as possible to write from the most educated and authentic perspective. “I wanted to learn the design side to be able to tell the quality of fabrics, learn about the history, and have a wider understanding of fashion to really become an expert,” she says.
Some of their most clicked stories are their style guides, with the “Vintage Shopping Guide - Paris” being the crème de la crème of all style guides. Day says a New York City vintage guide is on the way, and she hopes it receives the same response the Paris one has. “The image of vintage is no longer something that is old and dusty, but it's something that's exciting and unique,” she says. “I think that's pretty cool that the outlook is changing, and people are becoming more aware of that.”
Day has a prominent history with vintage fashion, from studying in Paris, France– the fashion capital where Parisian women’s timeless approach to style always stands out. “The women have such impeccable style. If you think back 50 years ago to what women in France were wearing and the fashion in the movies, that’s now the items in vintage stores,” she says. “It's cool to be able to wear those beautiful items now with the new mindset on vintage.”
Vintage is always top of mind for Day regarding Fashion Month and dressing for events. She says she appreciates the stories that live behind vintage clothing and that she can uphold her standards of sustainability by spotting quality pieces. “These are the clothes you can pass along to your grandkids,” she says.
She also has experimented with clothing rental after diving into the article her partner Holly Kelsey wrote for Luméra, “Rental Fashion- An Entirely New Ballgame.” Luméra deemed rental a “quiet revolution in the slow fashion movement.” As a firm believer in capsule wardrobes, Day says, “I immediately thought this is the perfect opportunity to find outfits for special occasions like a wedding, Christmas, or New Year’s.” She quickly experienced the epiphanies most rental advocates have: save money and lower your carbon footprint by renting instead of buying. She says she was excited to discover more platforms after Luméra’s first article that are doing rental differently by making it a peer-to-peer model and honing in what Luméra likes to promote: community-driven fashion.
She recalls the Stine Goya show ‘Homecoming’ from Spring/Summer 2024 Copenhagen Fashion Week, which took place on the street of the designer's atelier, where the models shared an experience around a community dinner table in the middle of the street. Day says she has been looking for authenticity and realness amongst the entire fashion community for a while, and Stine Goya’s show was that spark of hope she was looking for since fashion’s clean slate of the pandemic.
She says, “It's cool to see that in that city, for example, they actually took academics as a chance to change things and to move in another direction.” Day’s Fashion Month goal is to focus on the community and for New York, Paris, London, and Milan to learn from their friend from the north, Copenhagen. “I really liked how the brands who didn't meet that criteria, Copenhagen Fashion Week, took the time to educate them,” she says. “They had meetings, online events, and one-on-one coaching to help the brands because those brands want to be sustainable, but it's such a fluffy term, and maybe not everybody knows exactly what they can do.”
Thanks to Copenhagen's devotion to cleaning up Fashion Week with a community-based approach, Fashion Month has pushed sustainability headlines to the forefront alongside the runway and designer talk. As a supporter and observer of Fashion Month, Day says she is ready to see others like her step up and normalize vintage fashion and clothing rental alongside sustainable brands.
Day also recognizes this strong ethical and solution-based commitment amongst the brands featured on Luméra. “The brands we feature have a powerful and engaged community that wants to support them. They have discussions, and they're super authentic,” she says.
Day says that Luméra’s light isn’t dimming anytime soon, as exciting new brand collaborations and features are on the way. The universe Day and her team have created continues to prove that sustainable fashion isn’t about sacrificing style; it’s about redefining it. Let’s continue to educate ourselves, support sustainable brands, and inspire others to do the same.
-As always, elevate your wardrobe with respected fashion and embrace the shift in style.Photographs taken by Luméra co-founder Andrew Day
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