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Release 02: What-Else Introduction


To everybody that works in the fashion industry every single day.

I keep trying to define what I’m trying to say with what-else and it ends with me asking myself more questions. I thought I would share them with you to introduce a new set of conversations I’ve created. These aren’t completely understood or being communicated as  facts but they’re discovered points of view that could raise a question/concern from someone else that could maybe conclude some of them. I think asking other people the questions I can’t answer is part of the point.

We need to go backwards before we can understand what change could look like.  This is the work and conversation I’m trying to bring with what-else.

I love my job and the people that I get to experience this industry with and it’s because I care that I also critique it. I believe we, as contributors to this industry, should always be striving to grow throughout our careers just as the industry as a whole should feel the same responsibility to evolve, and must be held accountable to do so.

This is what I’ve been thinking about.

On Transparency:

Providing accessible information creates a broader understanding of industry knowledge, which could contribute to  a better understanding towards the decisions we make in creating change. The impact of this shared industry knowledge could allow fashion industry freelancers to feel empowered in asking for entitlements as well as setting a baseline of transparent industry standards for the fashion industry employers to abide by.

What if there was a structure that allowed equal access to cost and payment information towards freelance workers in the creative industry. Possible negatives may slow today’s market however this type of information in the long run can allow growth.

On making:

What are we saying?

How do we say it better?

Do we understand what we’re communicating for ourselves, from ourselves?

On union support:

Our government responds to workplace health and safety issues to affect necessary change. Could specifically outlining the health and safety concerns faced by freelancers in fashion be a way to gain government attention on this issue?

Could there be a type of governed education that shares information on how to support and cover yourself as a freelancer specific to fashion.

On the gray area:

The gray area of undefined information in the fashion industry that works as a positive for freelancers and how it works as a negative- speaking to creative agencies/model agencies/creative freelancers of different levels of experience would be interesting to look at on this.

On fashion hierarchy:

Does the overarching hierarchy in the fashion industry help or inhibit its creativity? How do we make it clear that terms such as ‘luxury’ and ‘diversity’ will never just be boxes to tick but should be understood and captured in the individuals leading the fashion industry forward? Fashion ultimately speaks to what is going on culturally, socially and politically in the rest of the world. So why do we continue to alter the image to not show the whole truth? The internet has globalized and commodified ideas about fashion, status and desire that has propelled a hierarchical and invisible brand ladder to be climbed by its consumers. Money and an affirmed audience and consumer from internet success might be a factor, but this is deflating if it’s going to control new thought and determine ideas for designers.

On the internet:

Don’t accept everything you see…not everything is what it seems.

Trusting your imagination is how you will discover new ideas

I love the internet, but we are now creating for the internet. Creating for an output and response from the internet. What are we excluding and what are we limiting? This is a major gap.

Parameters and limitations force you to think about how to solve problems. Problems are so good – embrace them.

On the fashion economy:

How can we better communicate fashion as an economic asset to the world to receive better funding and support?

Fashion is becoming connected to technology, Hollywood and sports more and more

Fashion is a giant circle jerk. The circle should want to contribute to fashion not just exist as part of it. This is an ongoing problem.

The consumer of fashion is more limited than who I personally speak to  – this doesn’t mean we should only speak to those who buy, this is where fashion becomes closed. Fashion is everything happening everywhere- creating within fashion should offer anyone viewing it to consider or think about something different- this is why it’s important to consider e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e.

People buy into authentic experience and ideas- selling = giving a shit and understanding it.

Fashion isn’t a completely correct reflection of society due to the demographic it is constantly marketed to. So, then, what is the purpose of fashion?

On creative directors becoming fashions leaders:

The importance of  purposeful individuals that have a skill to critically think, which is to question without judgment and be able to find places for everything to make sense.

A change in power across major global companies requires either a revolution or a evolution to the brand. A revolution is someone with ideas that maybe aren’t understood at first but will bring an injection of identity- a freshness. An evolution will be someone who can continue the story, someone who has brand synergy.

Where are we needing a revolution and where are we needing an evolution?

It takes great international pressure to change a situation: Revolving in the existing definition of this industry will always be hard if its current leaders continue to only evolve.

The end:

Fashion is fake news – defining ‘new’ from old narratives.

Question everything.

Fashion is money. It is an essential human need and also completely inessential. The truth of fashion imagery exists somewhere between that.


Charlotte Agnew

Fernanda Ly by Charles Dennington for What-Else 2022.

USFIN Atelier by Alex Johnstone for What-Else 2022.

Taara McClaren by Mia Rankin for What-Else 2022.

Bambi by Jess Ruby James for What-Else 2022.

model Fernanda ly @ Priscillas

photographer Charles Dennington @ M.A.P Sydney

creative director Charlotte Agnew

hair Fernando Miranda

beauty Claire Thomson

location China Heights Studio and Gallery, thank you to friends Edward Woodley and Nina Treffkorn.

USFIN atelier staff Aya

photographer Alex Johnstone

creative director Charlotte Agnew

location USFIN atelier, thank you to friends Daniel Jianing and Xena.

model Tarra McClaren @ Kult Models

photographer Mia Rankin

creative director Charlotte Agnew

hair Madison Voloshin @ Assembly Agency

beauty Isabella Schimid @ Assembly Agency

model Bambi @ IMG

photographer Jess Ruby James @ M.A.P Sydney

creative director Charlotte Agnew

hair Madison Voloshin @ Assembly Agency

beauty Isabella Schimid @ Assembly Agency

a very special thank you to the friends and community that continue to support the ideas towards What-Else, this wouldn't be possible without you all.