You walk alone down a dark street, hood over your ears to block out the cold autumn night.  You keep an eye out to your left and right as you turn down the pitch black alley. It seems like the coast is clear, so you take out your supplies and start spraying.  Twenty minutes passed and you feel the bliss of creativity rushing through your veins when suddenly you hear footsteps and shouting directed towards you from the other side of the alley so you take off running, leaving your masterpiece unfinished.  When most people think of artists, this scenario is not the first thing that comes to mind; usually they think of pristine galleries with paintings displayed under bright fluorescent lights as appetizers are carried around on small trays and patrons applaud or scrutinize every piece of work.  These two different scenes seem like they have nothing in common, while in fact they have more in common than most people think.

Artist- Joe Iurato & Logan Hicks

 

 

 

Street art is a newer form of art that usually involves spray paint, brick walls, and quick getaways.  While early forms of street art were just considered graffiti and often gang related, the artistic craft has evolved into so much more.  When most young people today think of a modern artist, the name that usually comes to mind is Banksy.  Banksy and many others have taken what many people stigmatized as unsophisticated graffiti and turned street art into thought provoking and beautiful pieces.  Many street artists today can do works of art with a spray can and a brick wall that many prominent artists of the past couldn’t hope to replicate with the nicest oil paintings and a canvas.  Street art views the world as a canvas and while many critics say they’re eyesores around a city, some artists are able to turn a boring street corner into a beautiful landscape of color and culture with a barrier of entry simply being a couple dollars for a spray can and an empty wall in their neighborhood.  What most of these artists do is illegal since many of them don’t bother to get a permit or even permission to start painting and this part of the movement should not be condoned, but this form of art gives people that would otherwise never be noticed the opportunity to express themselves.  

Black-chinned Hummingbird by Ashli Sisk

And isn’t that what art really is?  A medium for people to feel free and express themselves without judgement.  Modern art began that way and in some places still is, but many people view it as something that only people in high society are involved in so it isn’t viewed as cool or popular.  But in reality the true artists, whether they paint on a canvas with oil paintings in front of a park landscape, or spray paint a mural of Lebron James in a Lakers jersey on a street corner in Los Angeles, they are all the same in that they want to express their creativity and skill for the world to see.  It is true that at one point, street art was just tagging to claim territory in inner cities, but it has now evolved to convey complex, beautiful, and sometimes painful messages about the neighborhoods or country that they’re painted in and should be given the same respect as artists of old whose paintings hang in galleries all over the world.

…to be continued.

Jewelry and accessories are one of the most popular ways to instantly glam up your outfit, however the type of gem stone used for your jewelry is an integral part of the jewelry design or the statement you are trying to convey. Since  the most precious gemstones available in the market today are made up by the popular demand on what to be admired in gemstones and jewelry, it is important that we shed light on some of the other gemstones that need to be explored. Gemstones like rubies, emeralds, diamonds, amethysts, sapphires, quartz and opals can be regarded as some of the most famous ones. However, there is a wide variety of gemstones that are much cheaper alternatives to the popular kids. These gemstones are comes in different styles, cuts and messaging, and we’re letting you in on these lesser known yet exquisite gemstones you should be exploring with your jeweler. See some of the seven that made our list: 

Andalusite Gemstone

Andalusite has a distinct feature which makes it very unique. It displays the phenomena of pleochroism which means that it displays different colors from different angles. It has been gaining popularity quite rapidly because of this attraction. It is mainly found in Canada, Russia, and Australia.

Andalusite Gemstone

Bloodstone Gemstone 

Bloodstone has a deep green color with specks of red throughout. Some bloodstones have no red spots at all. It is also known as “Heliotrope”. It has a certain significance in Christianity as they believe that when Jesus was crucified, the blood dripped onto the green jasper that was at his feet and that is how the bloodstone formed. Bloodstone is mainly found in China, Brazil and Madagascar.

 

Bloodstone Gemstone

Cavansite Gemstone

Cavansite is an attractive and vibrant stone and it has a sea blue color. It is believed that cavansite has the ability to stimulate the third eye and improve your channeling abilities. Canvasite is also believed to help cure headaches and migraines. It is found in some specific regions of India, USA and New Zealand. 

 

Cavansite Gemstone

 

Iolite Gemstone

Iolite is usually in shades of blue. It also displays pleochroism. If seen from one direction, it will have a sapphire blue color while another direction displays it as crystal clear. Iolite is found in multiple locations all over the world such as India, Australia, Namibia, and Sri Lanka.

Iolite Gemstone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kunzite Gemstone
Kunzite is found in varying shades of pink and lilac. It has a beautiful crystal look and displays an eye-catching luster. It was first discovered in the USA but the majority supply comes from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Myanmar.

Kunzite Gemstone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moonstone Gemstone

Moonstone exhibits a bluish white shine which gives it a somewhat magical look. The light it reflects seems to resemble that given off by the moon, hence the name moonstone. It found in Sri Lanka, India, Mexico, and Norway.  

 

Moonstone Gemstone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seraphinite Gemstone

Seraphinite has a deep green color with a silvery shimmer. It is believed to have healing properties which can help with the brain and nerves. 

These are all some of the many lesser known gemstones. All of these gemstones are distinct colors, shapes and properties. If you are looking to buy one but aren’t sure which one to get, make sure you do a thorough research about every kind of gemstone and you are sure to find one which you’ll love.  

Seraphinite Gemstone

 

 

Humans have always collectively adapted and evolved in different eras of technological and industrial changes. Lifestyle, design, fashion, and product changes being a derivative of these evolvements is what continues to pave a trajectory for continuous development and evolution. Focusing on how we wonderfully developed from merely nothing to what we now call the vintage era is generative of the human conscience and birth of inspirations.

There’s no single reason why this change happened the way it did.
When differently-abled and inspired minds collectively operate in a society, it gives birth to new ideas, styles, idealistic, and artistic approaches. In other words, our ability to interact with each other creative senses led to modern designs, inventions, and innovations.

The glamour and advertisements shift in the 1950s with the association to pop art led to innovations, which further led us to retro art. Engineers, architects, artists, painters, and every creative entity grew inspired, learned, and evolved. This evolvement birthed the classification of retro, primarily inspired by vintage in many aspects and the elixir of pop.
However, consistent evolution didn’t put a full stop at retro. It kept getting better, somewhat complicated, and led to the Contemporary styles that exist today.

The varying paradigm shift in terms of infrastructure, fashion, product, services, media, and tech has led to innovations that completely changed the overall outlook of development, design processes, and more importantly consumption.

This freedom of expression instilled broadness and openness to the people’s minds and consequently resulted in the simultaneous existence of vintage, retro, retro-vintage, and modern trends. Similarly, as designs dated back to the 70s and 80s were vintage and historically inspired; overcoats, popping retro art on billboards, loose pants, hats, old homes started to have a touch of modernity.

Elements of modern design from these eras show vagueness and limitations but interpret modernity. This infrastructure of contemporary design is well-inspired and is attributable to multiple ages without a pin-point focus on a particular period, but focuses on the references should not be lost.

Change in customer behavior driven by technological and industrial developments remains a continuous trend, but due to the lack of means and awareness in previous eras, consumption of latest trends a was attributable to passionate and financially abled households. We can rightly assume that the customer choice in the retro era was more subjective, thoughtful, and intentional. On the contrary, modern-day consumers are now more than ever equipped with different mediums that lead to the pursuant of new lifestyles, trends, and consumption habits, but the observable question is when a new change will come into effect. 

 

The struggle to break the typical stereotypes that define and cage the two genders separately when it comes to Fashion has been on for some time now, but the real wonder is if it had always been present, is here to stay, or just a borrowed generational trend. 

 Renowned fashion brands began to adopt this strategy and started exploring outside the binary box due to the modern-day movements like gender neutrality and gender fluidity that gained an impressive from 2017 till present day, and with the much-necessitated gender equality movement, the clothing pattern and fashion mentality began to adapt to modern times. The world had accepted and continued to allow the broader spectrums and definitions of gender and sexuality, but more than before, and Fashion might be the pivotal defiant to pave the way to a macro acceptance.

The recent transition in attitudes of people away from constricted thinking has been observed and is now being implemented to the plethora of forms and identities on the spectrum of gender; the odd thought pattern defining pink for women and blue for men or trousers for men and skirts for women were all conquered in era-defining ways in the 1900s and could be interpreted as a movement towards genderless Fashion, but the bigger wall may have been shattered.

So, is genderless Fashion a new thing? Has it always been? Affirmative on both arguments. Here’s why:

 Gender nonconformity

Humans have been judgmental in the past when it came to defining gender, but this thinking changed due to gender variance and started being more noticeable when individuals started desegregating themselves from pure male or female gender norms and begun to come out without permission from social cultures and standards. In the era when gender questions became to rise, and when the identity broke free from the binary constrictions, people who considered themselves agender and or transgender used to have a hard time deciding what to wear because of the social clauses inhibiting their fashion choices. The solution came about with gender-neutral clothes allowing individuals to take pride in their representation and their fashion choices. Decisions that we all might consider difficult, especially in an era when the moral and social constructs of the majority revolted against such actions. However, you still had people challenging these views and caring less about the consequences.

 

Fashion Industry Adaptation

With the sublimity in the thought pattern of the recent generation, the big and renowned fashion brands started to remove the tags from clothes like “for men” or “for women” only. And lo and behold, they introduced a new way defined as “for all” clothes. Men can wear pink dresses, or even skirts and women can opt for any clothes that they love to wear.  The fashion shows showcasing their latest designs stopped the limiting one gender ramp walk. Now women appear in men clothing walking confidently and as gracefully as a swan. Men walk in pink and skirts without raising eyebrows. If this had been the case a few years back, the idea of mixing both gender clothes on the runway could have been viewed as insane and bold but not anymore. It is now the norm. Pop culture known to historically perpetuate androgyny has been a reflector of the broader spectrums and definitions of gender and sexuality, and now, Fashion might be the pivotal defiant to pave the way to a macro and micro acceptance.

 

A slew of designers challenged this notion before now, offering a secluded place in the fashion industry for individuals who had finally found themselves and were the real pioneers of the questioning of gender; from those that didn’t see themselves on either end of the gender binary or those who already subverted and ignored traditional gender norms. Designers such as Rick Owens pioneered a genderless view of Fashion from the early start of his notability. In an interview with Refinery29, Rick emphasis on the misconception that gender expansion started with the millennials. “I don’t understand why this generation thinks they invented gender fluidity. They did it harder, stronger, and louder in the ’70s and 16th-century Japan.” Other designers like Yohji Yamamoto also held gender fluidity as an attachment to their creative process, and continue to do so till this day. 

 

Celebrity support

It can be argued that the first pioneers or “exhibitors” off gender fluidity and the genderless fashion movement were celebrities- specifically rock and roll, punk, pop and a few of others subverted genders. In more recent times, due to social media, virality and all its derivatives, celebrities, and public figures started supporting the movement by wearing genderless clothes on important international events. One of such new-generation pioneers like Jaden Smith, who wore a skirt for a 2016 Louis Vuitton campaign. He is considered as the spearhead of the movement, but then you’ve had fashion icons like Jared Leto, Ruby Rose, Lady Gaga and the likes always challenging this norm and Tilda Swinton being known to be the queen of androgyny. From trend set by renowned artists, the general public has quickly followed this and recently started to adopt some sort of androgyny to their style. Even mainstream genders have appreciated the step and adapted to genderless Fashion.  We can argue that genderless Fashion has been a celebrity identity mold in the 1900s, especially by musical icons that partially fused their dress sense to be a little bit on the other side, stars like David Bowie, Grace Jones, Elton John are the known pioneers of this, but not in the manner in which it is being distributed as mainstream and societally acceptable opposed to the reverence that it had back in the day.

 

In-conclusion: 

Yes, we do agree that gender fluidity and expression started in an era earlier than now, but as a statement, a differentiator, and more glaringly then than now. While having fashion choices that differ from gender norms is seen now as a fashion statement, It was considered a revolt against the social cultures that were more stringent then than now. 

The lighter side

On a general level, you don’t have to worry about tricky questions like “what to wear” or “what to match” your blue denim. We oblige you to wear anything you love, take a chance, hire a stylist :), join in on the movement because really no one but you should care! The world is abandoning the rigidity of gender structures, menswear, womenswear, and gender stereotypes, and we see gender being a thing of the past and people identifying as whatever they deem fit. Wearing a skirt, identifying with your own curated gender or your sexuality shouldn’t dictate how you should be addressed or viewed by society. We are finally able to witness an age when the only opinion that matters is yours and more importantly, your choice. So, wear what you love and live the way you want to, judgment-free zone here! 

Art, a silent medium to express one’s thoughts, emotions, ideas, and a unique perspective of life, is a genuine desire to discover and admire the intrinsic aspect of a personal point of view. It doesn’t have to be appealing but must be deep and meaningful, or so you thought. This short paragraph should raise questions. Is there ever lousy art? Who determines good art? If art is subjective, are you sure you like the well-known artists you admire or are you just a bandwagon passenger? How does one differentiate? Yes, questions.

We subjectively experience life; our expressions, emotions, light, and objects are all little stories in the humongous vastness and epochs of Universe. Humans experience intense emotional upheavals, and art can instill some of it in us. It is volatile in terms of perceiving, and the more curious the viewer of art is the more realms of imagination art open for him. Art makes us look at things from a different angle. It reconstructs the conceptions of reality to make life an intuitive experience for us. Consider art to be just blobs of dried paint or random lines fantasizing the artist views. It has always been a conflict between the mind and heart when grasping the concept of art. The connoisseur depicts smorgasbord of ideas and innovation through his art, making it sagacious and subjective. 

Is art really subjective?
The matter of subjectivity of art when dissected, make us realize that it is all about individuality, and everyone has a different thought process and a unique way of comprehending things. For instance, let there be a crowd observing an effortless painting drawn by an unknown artist. The men in the group will view and perceive the picture differently than women. The young will have a different set of thought going through their mind at the time of observing the art than the old. Aged people have sapience, have faced a lot of hardships, and have survived the ups and downs of the rollercoaster of life. Hence, the “wisdom” increasing age unfolds is colossal. The old will reflect upon the painting through the views they grew up on, dreams they achieved and desires they could not fulfill. So, what can we squeeze out of this example? It’s the personal point of view, life experience, and the minimal knowledge of intricacies of art that creates diverse opinions among the crowd. 

At the most initial, the artist creates something and leaves the observer the ability to judge, criticize, and analyze. At the current point of an artist’s career, with no notability, little achievements, and endless hurdles to face, what makes them worthy enough to be regarded for their art? What can segregate them from the rest of the lot?
We might like to argue that art itself does most of the job- it inspires people and makes them fell in love with the art and with little or no effort given to the name or the reputation of the artist, and a connoisseurs hype might with a slight chance influence the biased behavior in the future of the career of an artist. But even if the artist has garnered a lot of hype and built up a reputation for themselves, It is still up to the lens of the observer. Surrealism, when introduced to dull minds, was considered as trash and a great disaster but was gradually accepted as the artist’s wild imagination and a playing field for the observer to admire and interpret art based on their own thinking.
 
The valuation of art is a nebulous process, and it sometimes makes you wonder when it became imperative to “price art.” Should art even be priced? For this growing complexity in the art world, the establishment of art museums, art galleries, art evaluation centers, and critics engaging with each other on defining the real good art played and continues to play a crucial part. Often, the work of an artist might not be as impressive as the artist announces or claims, and since art itself -however good or bad – is the subject of the observer, an invigoration of interest built prior to viewing the art might be as a result of superfluous claims.

Its sincerely true that good art is subjective, but it is also not wrong to think that the connoisseur’s hype matters. The observers choice reigns supreme at the end of the day. Do you think the art you saw was good because you felt connected to its charm? Or was your opinion on the art being exemplary based on your unconscious subscription to the hype bandwagon?

Instagram, a perfect tool for expression- lifestyle, fashion, food, art, personal, style, products, etc. we often find ourselves getting caught up trying hard to stand out from the overwhelming influx of updates, mesmerizing pictures, and videos, that sometimes translates to real-life experiences. But even then, it gets repetitive scrolling down a feed, as everything looks identical, borrowed or refurbished to appear different but sadly still remains similar, probably, because it is; standing alone on the top of the mountain, eating a healthy avocado sandwich, holding another cup of coffee with cream, hashtag “startaperfectmorning”. But then, why do we have so much commonality and repetition in this age(being dubbed the social media age), and how deeply did IG(Instagram) influence this social curse. Or a blessing?

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram became -one of- the most popular social networks in the world. The amounts of images shared per day are approximately 100 million, with overall posts of more than 50 billion for the past 9 years. When it started, Instagram users all tried to identify themselves, come to terms with their online social status, and for some, the novel choice of curating an online persona or being un-apologetically original to draw attention became a choice. With the ongoing development of the network, it became clear the popularity index brewing, with some users being more popular than others, and then the rise of influencing marketing began with the concept of earning while sharing the “perfect picture.” Others less creative and lazier simply started to copy content to become famous overnight. The Internet has made the world a smaller place while making it disturbingly easier to mimic the image of anyone and brands, not to mention how much money creative industries spend protecting their copyright. Even when not about plagiarizing, an original image requires effort, technical and creative skills, and while buying presets for editing in IG is easier and doesn’t require unique talents, you still need to have an “eye” to be able to figure out what might be appealing to your audience or in individual cases, what might get you more money. As a result, we become entangled in the vicious circle of IG: what gets likes, and the plethora of recreations in millions of accounts to get likes…

People are social creatures, and before Instagram, social media platforms like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter all seemed to have similar social agendas: more social than transactional, influential and sadly, ostentatious. We valued the idea of sharing images, dates, facts, opinions, experiences with our families and friends, and even more-so open to the suggestion of accepting unknown friend requests into our circle. Instagram did come with a dose of this agenda, but not long lastingly enough until its evolvement into what would be a playing field for creativity and originality theft.

What has lead to a repetition of visual and creative content on IG?

Social Validation? Money? Oversharing? Creativity bubble?

The never-ending aspiration for popularity drive users nuts. So many people go into overdrive to establish themselves as individuals (influencers) through the exact same resources: consuming the same visual content, taking the same photographs and tackling the same demographics. This clime continues to make actual originality a target of copiers, and has led to countless occurrences of creatives and originals being targeted by their up and coming peers as well “big scale emulators”- established brand names before the social media era backed by million-dollar investments, with legal representatives ready to tackle an average creative working to grow an identity or an audience.

The underlying effect of this is the current landscape of intellectual and creativity theft. Some happening intentionally, others blaming such repetition on creativity bias: the act of being subconsciously influenced by someone else’s work that it reflects on yours.

But then is Instagram to blame for lack of originality or creativity? Or do we argue that people have always been un-original, but a smaller information loop, being a derivative of Instagram made it more glaring?

As the global fashion industry heads towards a period of century-long changes, the wheels are finally changing, and customers realize their power in driving these alterations. But what really does a fashion choice mean in this clime? We’re still figuring that out.

Here is our take some ethical fashion choices and how you can join the change this summer.

Be fashion conscious and support ethical fashion. For a modern customer, it is essential to understand that clothes you buy have an effect on the environment; from the production process to the utilization process, and supporting ethical fashion means respecting workers rights for appropriate production and compensation conditions.

Invest in quality and sustainable materials. While sustainable fashion might be turning from trend to strategy, modern consumers are investing their fashion budgets into long-lasting apparel. Meaning buying less amount of clothes, but of a higher impeccable quality from eco-friendly and sustainable materials to cruelty-free materials. Fashion stylists should promote such method of curating a wardrobe, as this allows a great capsule of interchangeable apparel that will function for years and, at the same time reduce the amount of fashion trash utilized every fashion season. This is especially important, as the fashion industry is still among the most polluting industries in the world.

A rule of thumb is the need to clear every new space before a shopping trip – for those of us unstung by the impulsive buying bug- you could find items similar to a prospective purchase. Follow that action by the soul searching question of “Do I really need this?” All answers, yes? Then get yourself that shopping feast you deserve.

Fast fashion is cool, but its glory fades. Fashion mass-market giants continue to make us look similar to one another, and while the price tags on these fast fashion items are as tempting, the production quality still remains weak and unethical. Hence it’s in the rule book to be decisive when shopping with fast fashion brands. On the other hand, it’s always a winner to add a modern bespoke touch to your style and wardrobe there are lots of small independent brands that specialize in making good original limited edition clothing with sustainability in their DNA.

Lastly, don’t get into fashion panic. Fashion marketers are there to make our lives a fashion hell already, don’t make it easier for them. Sale periods haunts you from season to season, and it’s significant stress to resist these attractive bargains, but before grabbing another 70% off sale dress, try to think if its a one-off, or a timeless piece. Let’s be honest, everyone owns that item we impulsively bought for a “friend’s wedding” we wear it once, and it stays 7 years in our closet without getting any special cleaning. In this case, getting a one-occasion outfit is fine, but after that one time, make it work for others- It doesn’t have to be vintage Chanel to go on resale market. Give the outfit a new life in someone else’s closet and clean your wardrobe for in trend or more timeless items.

Finally, don’t buy clothes that don’t fit you or your style, It never will. End of story.

Fashion has evolved to be more than just clothes and looking good, it’s being redefined to be about a way of life and thinking showed through apparel both on the supply and on the demand side. The fashion industry now expresses a more intentional attitude towards social transformations, and as more and more customers are gaining awareness and enlightenment in fashion production, there is a new wave of the modern customer- one conscious about garment production, choices, and purchases, and the environmental and social influences of these processes.

“Customers are more demanding than ever. They have more power than they used to. They are smarter and have higher expectations than ever before. After all, we taught them!” – Shep Hyken

A significant percentage of consumers today have become aware of conscious decision making with buying. People are buying less, adjusting their shopping habits, and investing in quality and value, and AKO is in full support of this, as this aligns with our mission. Don’t be afraid to join the change!

 

 

 

One of the significant challenges since we started AKO, has been related to our pricing strategy. While pricing might seem intuitive from a marketplace perspective, we knew what the available options were, we knew we wanted a pricing policy that reflected our values, and most importantly we wanted you to to be a part of deciding the pricing, which some were.

Our focus was and is still on correlations between creating and increasing value for you as a freelancer on AKO, being affordable and accessible by freelancers on different points of the spectrum in our industries, and doing so without feeling like we are ripping you off.

In the aggregate of things, for us to create, optimize and increase the value of the AKO platform for your experience as a freelancer, we needed to implement pricing, and there’s no better time to do so but now.

How are we going from a FREE platform to a paid one? We are not, we are giving you options, starting with this, and will introduce more options continually.

Here is one of the plans and pricing options to be implemented June 30th, 2019

Essential
Cost: free
Duration: Lifetime
Upgrade anytime

An Essential Experience

With the essential plan, freelancers still get access to all the vital features that allow you to explore AKO, consider starting your fashion and lifestyle career, side hustle, or creating an added service profile on AKO. The essential plan will enable clients to find, message, connect, and hire your services. However, there will be a periodical quota for these features and a renewal date.

Premium
Cost: $9.99/per month or $4.99/per month billed annually at $60/annually
Duration: Monthly or Annually
Downgrade anytime

A Premium Experience
For only $9.99 a month or $60 yearly, freelancers get unlimited access to all essential and premium features as well as get exclusive access to all new premium features, support, updates, invites, and information.

                                   Image on details on the Essential and Premium plans, features, pricing and availability. See more on akoapp.com/pricing. 

 

Our central focus in implementing this pricing was on affordability, transparency, and fairness for freelancers/businesses/professionals/agencies of any capacity, and this, as well as other plans and options, will be introduced, surveyed and implemented in the nearest future.

                 Follow us for  updates  on AKO Premium release on June 30th, 2019.

                    Send us  any questions, concerns, and suggestions on these plans and pricing at info@akoapp.com

“Knock off the middle man”    “Buy my work directly”     “I can’t have platforms taking a percentage off my hard work”    “It sounds too good to be true”

There are no direct responses to these concerns, as they are frustratingly expressed by freelancers that feel robbed off their creativity, and that have been taken advantage of multiple times by systems and platforms preaching the same message as we are- connecting them to clients. Because, quite technically, we also are middlemen.  

However, we are more than just middlemen or a platform for clients to meet and hire fashion and lifestyle freelancers, we are a community!  Founded by a fashion freelancer, built by freelancers, for fashion and lifestyle freelancers. We understand and can personally relate to these concerns, because we too have been handed these cards by other freelancing platforms. Ones that make you loathe the experience of paying some unknown person a sizable percentage of payment for your hard-work, the creative value, sweat, time and passion, you put into creating-a photograph, an artwork, a center piece, a design, a custom piece or in providing a service. We get it. Which is why we are doing it differently. 

We understood early on what our value preposition and revenue options were in order to maintain the community, and cancelled out commission and transaction fees from this pool because not only did we want to do this differently, our core values weren’t in any way reflective of this option. Accessibility, choice, transparency, and liberation needed to reflect in every component of the community. Because as freelancers ourselves, we craved for empowerment and seek to empower  with AKO. We crave for control over the terms that decide our creative efforts and abilities, because it goes beyond just being paid to provide a service.

What we are doing differently?

Making you the decider of your own terms of providing a service- as a stylist, a designer, a tailor, a photographer, an artist, an interior designer, a jewelry maker, a pattern maker, a furniture designer  or as a creative professional. You are in control of everything that relates to your craft! Your discoverability, your identity, your schedule. your requests, your payments!

You choose if you want to be discovered or not. 

You choose your identity as a creative. 

You set your availability.

You choose your clients. 

Your control your payments, as there are no payments on the platform. 

AKO isn’t  subjecting you to terms that constrict you as a professional on our platform. We are letting you decide and choose what works best for you, whilst we work as the bridge letting you connecting with clients, start a career, expand your client base, promote your accessibility, do more.

Join the community.

P.S.

“Knock off the middle man” – This would mean knocking us off, as well as all other platforms that keep us connected. Lets knock off a few middlemen.

“Buy my work directly”  – What if clients can’t find you directly, where else would they find you?

“I can’t have platforms taking a percentage off my hard work” – We 100% agree!

“It sounds too good to be true” – Yes, indeed. But it is, AKO is making the difference.

The Earth is indeed affected by our passion for looking and feeling good, and while there are campaigns around the world advocating for more sustainable fashion and lifestyle products and services, there are few actionable mediums and/or platforms enforcing sustainability. 

Across major spectrums of production and supply of services and products, from fashion design to interior design, the supply side of fashion and lifestyle industries typically adhere to archaic regulations and compliance that date back to the industrial revolution era, and initiatives towards sustainable fashion  have been restricted to usage and disposal of products, by-products,  and services of the fashion and lifestyle industries. Even though we comply with some ideally acceptable sustainable practices, little control exists over the next phase of the utility usage, which extends the issue beyond being able to afford custom made or made to order items, or being able to hire fashion and lifestyle freelancers to make or supply custom products or services.  

AKO’s goal is to serve as an actionable medium of sustainable fashion. Our approach to sustainability extends beyond the norm of buying ready-made fashion or lifestyle items from popular brands. We are pushing back against mass production practices that focus on cost and analysis methodologies, and that are based on standards and practices that are environmentally unsafe and unsustainable. 

As a fashion and lifestyle community, we have a personal stake in preserving the resources and output of these industries alike. AKO is re-structuring current consumption trends reliant on mass production and fast fashion, and as as a broader mission we seeking to create sustainable processes and enforceable compliance, as a crucial step in preserving the environment.

Yes, as a client, you have an unrestrained choice to hire fashion and lifestyle freelancers, custom jewelry designers, tailors,  fine artists, furniture designers and more. And as freelancers, you have the moral choice of choosing the best applicable standards or social conditions to your creative processes. But (you should) also hold more responsibility to do more than just consume or create. Recycle, repair and reuse, share used products by donating to goodwill, sell to vintage and thrift stores. These actions in addition to other ethical practices lend to the greater mission of leaving earth better than we found it. 

 

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