This past week, 21-year-old creative influencer, model, actor and designer Luka Sabbat released a collection of clothes and gear titled, "Unfortunately, Ready to Wear," created in collaboration with Milk studios and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The line consisted of five pieces, meant to protect their wearers from the future effects of global warming. The line is prepared for infectious diseases, heat waves, air pollution, extreme storms and environmental refugees.
The exhibit opened February 9th at Milk Studios in Chelsea New York. Sabbat designed headphones designed to alert users of incoming weather, a long jacket to protect from environmental extremes and diseases, complete with a netted face mask, a bandana to block out dirty air and a backpack with solar panels that doubled as a sleeping bag. Next to each "fashion" essential were signs describing their importance. Videos showing interviews with Sabbat, clips of the creation process and shots of our world's environment were projected onto two walls. Also around the gallery were photos shot by photographer Noah Dillon. The photos showed models wearing Sabbat's designs in destroyed areas of Malibu, California, where huge wildfires recently wreaked havoc.
The NRDC is a non-profit charity based in the United States that works tirelessly to protect and preserve the environment. Due to their partnership with Sabbat, they set up a table at Milk for the opening of the gallery in order to promote environmentally conscious thinking and to convince event goers to sign a pledge to better and preserve their environment. Displayed on the table were pins and stickers depicting the five threats of global warming that Sabbat focused on within his collection.
At one point in the night, those who attended the opening gathered around Sabbat to listen to the young influencer discuss his project. Sabbat told his listeners that he had made the gallery intentionally hot through the use of fans blowing hot air, in order to underline the event with a taste of the pressing, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous reality of our planet's shifting climate. He reminded those around him that they have a choice in their day to day life to avoid the earth's increasingly unpredictable climate, and that those living in third world countries would feel and suffer from the effects long before those residing in a first world country like the United States. In reply to those complaining about the stuffy room, Sabbat said, "It's conceptual."
Although those attending the event did not seem too preoccupied with the environment, and rather more interested in the open bar and taking photos, collections like Sabbat's have the power to educate a larger audience about important issues like global warming. Luka Sabbat, although an already successful artist and creative, used his platform to spread awareness, and in his speech he urged others to utilize their own platform, no matter how small, to speak out on issues important to them. Although this new generation is often criticized by its predecessors for an obsession with smartphones, social media and superficiality, empowered, young individuals like Luka Sabbat continue to prove them wrong.