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With the platform of online designer-shopping becoming increasingly saturated, it takes a lot for a start up to truly create a space that is both innovative and interactive. This is the proposal of Acreati, founded by Ling Lin and Charlotte Flore Rommerts. A website that allows the user to "shop through visual stories," bringing together photography, art and fashion, and changing the way in which we perceive the products that we are buying. The interpretation of the designs allows a new perspective to be portrayed, and showcases the individuality of both emerging designers and hard-to-find pieces. Rather than endless pages of faceless fashion, Acreati takes you on a visual journey through the art direction of the items.

At what point did you think: "the pace of fashion is wrong – we need to change something about the shopping experience"?
It is actually quite a personal experience for both of us. For me, it sort of magically happened when I grew older, and I started to look for quality garments that lasted longer. I want to wear clothes that are unique and that I know someone designed and made with considerable thought and care. I don’t have the urge to change my outfit every day as I did when I was younger, and Charlotte has the same experience.
When I go into shops and see them filled with mass-produced items, I realize about the unnecessary waste. I believe quality comes before quantity. When things are made with care, people treasure them more, and we don’t want to get rid of them after one season. Fast fashion makes people forget about the makers who actually put a lot of work creating what we wear. Communicating the stories behind the collection gives us more insights about what we are consuming. We want to tell these stories, hopefully helping people know more about what they are buying, and shop more consciously.
With the faceless fashion market increasing, how do you aim to bring a personal experience for both buyers and designers?
We create visual stories that tell the tales behind the work of designers and artists. Even though we combine works by artists and designers that weren't intentionally made for each other, there is always a cohesive, underlying concept or theme that connects the two. But we want to create stories that also speak to our audience. That’s why we bring fine art and documentary photos, as they usually convey strong emotions and moods that people can personally relate to. It’s more than being aesthetically pleasing.

Are the designers involved scouted by you, or is there an application process?
We scout designers that we believe share the same view about fashion. We also have a list of criteria when scouting designers, namely product quality, design aesthetics and story, visual presentation, and level of customer service. Of course, designers are more than welcome to apply!
Will the images be sole branded, or will it work in an editorial manner where you can shop through the credits of multiple designers?
We don’t do editorial shoots. We create visual stories based on a designer’s collection. We first get the lookbook images and we ask designers about the stories and inspirations behind the collection. We then look for a photoseries or artwork that conveys the same story, or shares a common theme. Then we put them together. We are thinking of creating editorial shoots in the future.
Your Instagram carries a flawless aesthetic of contextualising the role of art in the fashion world. Do you think social media carries a responsibility for fast fashion, or is it in fact influencing people to be more creative on a global platform?
Thank you. We believe we are all responsible for fast fashion, both the fast fashion companies and the consumers. The reason why fast fashion works is because it hits the right spot of consumer demand.
Social media is a great platform to share and exchange information. We discovered a lot of great designers and artists through Instagram. It is a great place to get inspiration as well. It brings people together and it can facilitate collaborative creation. Social media gives us a lot of opportunities. At the end, it depends on how we use it!

Lucy Bonner

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