O N N O W
I N T E R V I E W
S E R I E S # 7
published by Naz Kisnisci
With Evelyn Mora
10 March. 2021
ONNOW “WHAT’S ON?” Interview Series Questions for Evelyn Mora
Hi Evelyn, nice to meet you! You’re the founder of Digital Village and creator of the Helsinki Fashion Week TM, both impressive and pioneering platforms and events. Could you introduce yourself further? Is there something you’d like to add that our readers might not know about you?
Thank you for having me here. I'm an entrepreneur, inventor, strategist, consultant, artist, curator to name a few things I do... I am 28 and I'm an Aries. I love vinyl, fresh vegetable soups with a lot of seasoning. I shop only in Vintage stores and buy products from young sustainable brands. I am a very value-driven person and expect the same values from my team, my friends and in general everybody who I work with.
Could you briefly share with us your thoughts and vision on the current fashion system?
I think the industry is transforming but not fast enough. There is a lot of greenwashing happening both in the traditional and the digital fashion world. I think that what the main actors must do is the groundwork, design the structures of their activities and aim to tackle challenges.
As mentioned previously, you’ve founded Digital Village, a Social Metaverse devoted to social sustainability and digital artistry. What inspired you to create a dedicated space for digital art? What are the requirements to be part of the community?
Digital Village is focused on the mass so we are very much deploying a strategy to be friendly to all the profiles, we do generally focus on Gen Alpha, Gen Z and Millenials. Anyone can join the platform, there are no requirements per se. My motivation to build Digital Village
came from the potential I see in a multidisciplinary way of working as well as from my vision of the future which I see being multidimensional. I am also inspired by problems, obstacles and challenges which we aim to solve on the platform.
What were the challenges when creating Helsinki Fashion Week TM? Was it well received by the Finnish and International Fashion scene?
The main challenge was the local industry (modelling agencies, other small fashion events) who did not believe that an event like fashion week could be successful and meaningful for the industry. Now, however, they want to be involved and echo the work and ethos of the platform. There have been attempts of Helsinki Fashion Week before but they have all been unsuccessful. With sustainability at its core, the perfect timing and most importantly the context and curation, the event was well received by the global fashion industry. Our project has always aimed to create concepts and new ways of tackling challenges around sustainability. To me, in the end, it's all about the impact that the platform creates and of course measuring those impacts is key. Numbers often tell the truth on what is impactful and what isn’t, such as the reach and not the size, the engagement, the EMV and so on.
What does Digital Village offer to its community? How would you like this inspiring network to evolve in the future?
We have a big vision for the Digital Village. We put the Users first and aim to build the entire set of services and the elements to benefit the user and create collective prosperity. The Digital Village is a digital layer of our physical existence. The Metaverse is built on Unreal Engine 4, a game engine owned by Epic Games. The user experience is designed using methods of digital sustainability and the environment is built with recycled assets collected via the Digital Village Refinery. The DV allows you to sell, buy, showcase, and
invest in digital assets and digital real estate. The Community is part of the ongoing technological renaissance and will be used to facilitate human interaction, transparent understanding, overall societal improvement, tackling climate change and building better societies. The DV is a space for culture and socially conscious co-creation where the digital and physical merge, where limits and boundaries between the 'real' world and the virtual are blurred. By highlighting the connections and contradictions of how the digital intertwines with the physical and vice versa, the DV illustrates how new dimensions of existence can be forged from observing our inputs and interactions on the platform. The DV curates digital stores, museums, and cities within the Digital Village Metaverse. Currently, It is being developed through ongoing discussions with several parties such as the city government departments of sustainable development, global luxury brands, and internationally recognized museums. The Metaverse will be curated in line with strategies that serve the DV User primarily.
Through your platforms, we can see how sustainability, recycling and circular economy are at the heart of your interest. Could you explain to those who aren't yet familiar with these concepts, what they are and why they are so essential for the future of our society?
Sustainability, recycling and circular economy are all concepts that can be studied online, there is a lot of material out there so it’s no secret on how you can be sustainable and implement the values into the core of your activities, but to me, it all starts with your mindset, your intentions, your end goal and the issues you are aiming to tackle.
Is there something that you’d like to add from a professional perspective?
Professional integrity has been in my mind a lot lately, some people do not prioritize it, unfortunately. Often their sole aim and purpose are to reach their financial goals or worse, fame. It is very important to
make sure that the values of your clients, collaborators and partners are the same as yours, otherwise, the collaboration can not be successful if you chase different outcomes.
What is, in your opinion, the truest way to be conscious in the fashion world?
By living by your values, showing examples and being mindful about your daily choices.
In your recent Sustainability Report, you emphasise the importance of rebuilding our system in a more inclusive and flexible matter. Furthermore, you aim to develop the traditional fashion industry positively and flawlessly, using the instruments provided by the digital world. Could you tell us a little more on this subject?
I think we need to focus on developing our real-life into a better one, tackling challenges we face on earth, instead of abandoning and replacing. We must understand the workload that comes with trying to change an industry to become better, the issue is not that sustainability is hard to understand, the issue is that it takes a lot of effort to do all that necessary work to create impact. Digital offers a lot of opportunities but also traps and challenges that must be studied and researched, a lot of testing is required. If as a digital company you want to change the fashion field, the first step is to understand the industry.
Which brands featured on our platform ONNOW are you keeping an eye on?
I love many of the brands you have featured, but currently, my attention is drawn to brands that are gender fluid, unisex and in general promote freedom of self-expression.
At PAP Magazine, we place great importance on sharing innovation in the fashion industry. In this world that relies on online sharing, how important is the support between innovators and creative platforms?
Vital. I think we are still in a very early stage to work in extremely interdisciplinary ways. The most innovative solutions that I have come up with have always been a result of collaboration with an organisation outside of the traditional fashion and art fields.
What is the outlook for digital fashion? Do you think that with the evolution of social networks, we will give more importance to digital rather than physical fashion?
I don’t think that we should put digital and physical against each other, it is not a question of this or that but a question of HOW. How are we going to connect these fields to tackle challenges and create something that serves our communities better?
In recent years we have seen a proliferation of AI influencers. Many have criticized the lack of mutuality and ethics on their part (or rather their creators). It is indeed hard to identify oneself in a being built entirely by the human ideal. How do you plan to make the digital world accessible and understandable to all, even those who are more reticent about the subject?
It is all about my intentions, my agenda and the purpose behind what I do and how I manage to implement my values to my work. What are my values and how they serve the collective.
What advice would you give to our readers that are interested in integrating the fashion scene but want to do it in a way that ensures a sustainable and ethical future?
Work work work work and work some more. There is no easy way to success, ultimately it depends on what your definition of success is, for some it’s money but for me, that is not the number one on my
priority list. I am all about tackling issues so I would study the problems first and then collaborate, innovate and try, fail and try again.
Is there a difference between Sustainability and Digital Sustainability? If so, could you kindly elaborate for our readers?
Yes, digital sustainability is a term we introduced to the industry in summer 2020 but it is in direct connection with our physical environments so it’s a full circle. I am running a working group around Digital Sustainability which you can join by registering digital sustainability.network. The framework and the structure of Digital Sustainability and how it’s something that every company can and needs to adapt to.