Céline Semaan is consistently on the pulse of now. She is a force of change. The New York-based, Beirut-born cultural catalyst and thought leader is the founder of the “Study Hall,” an annual think group. “It is is a unique cultural movement that brings together concerned citizens, scientists, law makers, designers, and industry experts to explore solutions on a global scale,” she says of the event under the umbrella of The Slow Factory. Its upcoming session will focus on answering the oxymoron sustainability at scale. “From micro, innovations that start in the lab, to macro, infiltrating the system and creating positive impact,” she explains. It will aim to inspire the fashion industry with a series of tool kits to help meet the Sustainable Development Goals. “We have received so many amazing case studies and testimonials on how Study Hall has impacted people’s personal and professional life and careers,” offers Semaan. “We have seen our hotel partners (shout out to Ace Hotel x Everybody World!) team up with recyclers and turn old sheets into t-shirts. Dapper Dan and the United Nations Office for Partnerships are exploring ways to better serve the communities in Harlem.” She adds that Study Hall is also working closely with Swarovski, Adidas, and the United Nations on education and innovative initiatives launching this fall.
On the topic of launches, tonight Semaan will expand her reach exponentially with the start of a monthly podcast “Study Hall Live Radio.”
Introduce us to the Study Hall Live Radio.
Launching tonight, during NYFW, it will be a monthly open conversation live. A sort of a round table, discussing topics related to sustainability as a culture, expanding on our London Study Hall, digging deeper into culture, fashion, and race; the politics of sustainability; as well as inclusion, diversity in the industry.
We want to unite the fashion industry and ignite a revolution to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced, and purchased, so that what the world wears has been made in a safe, clean, and fair way.
I will be the host, and will focus the conversation on cultural appropriation, fashion, and race as well as sustainability, and environmental actions the fashion industry needs to commit to now.
Who are your guests for tonight’s launch episode?
We’ve invited NorBlack NorWhite, an Indian street wear brand that is changing what “made in India” means and looks like. The design house and cultural platform is committed to redefining stereotypes around contemporary India and offers a space for people to embrace the idea of identifying with multiple cultures.
Also joining us is Thanushka (Thanu) Yakupitiyage, a Sri Lanka-born, Thailand-raised activist, cultural organizer, immigrant rights, and climate justice advocate, multidisciplinary artist/storyteller, and DJ under the artist moniker “Ushka.” Her deejay sets genre blend a wide range of electronic and global club music. She’s also the co-host of the podcast Bad Brown Aunties. Thanu’s recent audiovisual installation called “MigrantScape” showed at The Shed, documenting the lives of immigrants in New York and El Paso/Juarez. She currently works for the international climate campaign 350.org.
Jazerai Allen-Lord is an activist, strategist, and storyteller focused on changing the conversation surrounding D&I and social sustainability in streetwear and sneakers. She recently launched a unisex sneaker with Reebok and is currently working on a number of projects for New Balance, Village Capital, and like-minded clients with her team at Crush & Lovely.
Korina Emmerich is a First Nation fashion designer, who’s intricate work marries Native designs, techniques, and knowledge to street style silhouettes, a mix between traditional and current she leads the way in sustainability with upcycled materials and locally produced garments. The EMME Team stands with the Fashion Revolution movement and its beliefs in sustainable action, human rights, fair wage and transparency in the industry. Emmerich of EMME has built her brand on the backbone of expression, art and culture. Leading the charge to embrace art and design as one and weaving it into her brand story, her colorful work is known to reflect her indigenous heritage stemming from The Coast Salish Territory, Puyallup tribe.
When and how can we all tune in?
Tonight, 7pm EST. http://studyhall.earth
What are some accounts – Instagram/Twitter you follow that you can suggest to our readers?
My favorite accounts are: