Sustainable Hollywood – VOGUE

Samata interviews Suzy Cameron


At the beginning of this year, British fashion entrepreneur Samata won the Red Carpet Green Dress challenge, a competition set by Suzy Amis Cameron and James Cameron – one of Hollywood’s green couples – to design an eco-friendly dress to be worn on the red carpet. Since then she has been named global campaign director of Suzy Amis Cameron’s green-thinking organisation of the same name. Here, Angel catches a few moments with Cameron in LA.

How would you describe your personal style?

“Simple and classic. I tend to wear monochromatic outfits – all one colour from head to toe. I did that when I was younger and still do that to this day. It is about style that is timeless because even though fashion can be cyclical classic pieces always look on trend.”

How has your personal style developed over time?

“My personal style has developed from growing up in Oklahoma, middle America, where I was wearing jeans and cowboy boots and where people were not running around in miniskirts . Heading to Paris when I was 17 and modelling exposed me to high fashion – which influenced me to dress on-trend, not extravagantly but always in fashion. I still managed to incorporate my roots into my style, for example I would couple a cute miniskirt or minidress with my cowboy boots and experiment a little. It was a very hip time in the late Seventies and early Eighties and I even still have Levi’s I wore in high school!

“These days my style is really is about simplicity, comfort and classic lines. Trying to stay on-trend all the time is very time consuming (I have five children!), so I choose pieces which are comfortable whilst also being simple and understated. I have a soft spot for cashmere – even though that is not a particularly sustainable fabric I do invest in quality so it is sustainable in the sense that it is not just throwaway fashion and I keep it for a long, long time.”

What is your red carpet style?

Classic and simple – if a piece is not what I want I may customise it – I have worn a dress before which had chains hanging down the sides and I sewed them inside to make the style more simple.”

How do you find dresses for such a demanding red carpet schedule? And what style do you like?

“When Jim and I go to big events I borrow red carpet dresses and give them back – as I can’t wear them again it is a great way of recycling and being efficient for me. It is not easy to find a sustainable dress as much, as I would love to wear them all the time – I had no idea how challenging that would be and at one point I was going to one or two red carpet events every week for about three months! When Avatar came out we were out non-stop for a year and a half doing red carpet events. I had a stylist who helped me but it was really hard and we couldn’t find many sustainable dresses. There is a definite need for sustainable red carpet fashion.”

Can sustainable fashion ever become glamorous?

“Absolutely – we have proven it!”

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