maggie baird
Maggie Baird with children; Billie Eilish and FInneas O’Connell

Every year, RCGD Global taps Oscars-goers to collaborate and wear sustainability-made looks down the Academy Awards red carpet and one of the 2022 ambassadors, Maggie Baird (the mother of Billie Eilish and Finneas), is sharing her experience with GRAZIA USA.

The climate change activists wore a custom deep blue Benedetti Life gown with corset-style bodice and ruffled hem to bring sustainable fashion to the forefront on Hollywood’s big night. In partnership with eco-couture material brand TENCEL, each element of the outfit was made from sustainable and plant-based materials including TENCEL filament yarn.

Designer Matea Benedetti was inspired by the underwater world and the “strange beauties of the sea” for the design.

Baird joins a long line of A-list RCGD Global ambassadors to promote eco-fashion at the Oscars, including Lea Seydoux, Kaitlyn Dever, Marlee Matlin, Naomie Harris, Olga Kurylenko, Kellan Lutz, Sophie Turner, Emma Roberts, Priyanka Bose, Lakeith Stanfield, Zoey Deutch, Camila Alves, Danielle Macdonald and Laura Harrier.

Other 2022 RCGD Global ambassadors include Paloma Garcia Lee who stars in the Best Picture nominated West Side Story and actress Tati Gabrielle.

Ahead, Baird talks to GRAZIA USA about the process of creating the gown, daughter Billie Eilish’s style tips, and her excitement to watch Billie and Finneas perform “No Time to Die” at tonight’s 2022 Oscars.

GRAZIA: What was your involvement in making the gown?

Maggie Baird: My involvement in making the gown was being shown sketches which were amazing and beautiful and zeroed in on the elements I really loved. I definitely wanted something with sleeves and something comfortable. I loved the skirt of this dress that was originally with a different top and I loved many of the design elements that I was shown which ended up in the top of this dress. I love the colors. Initially I was shown the dress in green which was beautiful and to make sure we had the most sustainable fabrics available we ended up with blue and the black was added which made the look very breathtaking. The dress is extremely comfortable too which is always a plus.

G: Most people don’t get to call style icons their daughters; being one of the lucky few, did you get any style tips for tonight’s look from Billie?

MB: Billie has very good taste and very strong taste so I certainly involved her. I showed her all the sketches, got her feedback. She loved this one and we both agreed on the beautiful color of blue between the several [shades] that we were shown. I was thrilled when she chose the same one I liked because I love her style and her taste.

G: Why is wearing sustainability-made designs personally important to you?

MB: I am so excited that people are looking at sustainability more seriously now. We are in a crisis and it is urgent that people take stronger and more impactful actions. I’ve been focused on this in my life for decades and we have known for so long the changes that needed to be made and have taken way too long to make them. But there is still hope, and I’m excited by the technological advances and the adaptations that people are starting to make including what they wear.

G: Why is RCGD such a significant project for you to be a part of?

MB: I was so happy to be introduced to RCGD Global, I think what they are doing is so important and can be incredibly impactful. Not only in major events like the Oscars but inspiring people in their everyday wear to be able to learn about sustainable options in fashion including vintage options and fabrics made with technological advances. In my case, especially focusing on plant-based fabrics is interesting and informative. People are embracing it even on red carpets, hopefully will increase the awareness people have of the options in their wardrobe. I also really think it’s great that it inspires designers to think more sustainably in what they do by shining a light on designers who are already doing it.

Also, our family is very concerned with sustainability in all forms. We have a nonprofit called Support + Feed that focuses on addressing climate change, food justice, and everything to do with Billie and Finneas’ touring we look at through a lens of sustainability. Adding this fashion element is so important to us, and we’re so grateful to RCGD Global for letting us learn more help reach our goals to live a more sustainable life.

G: Billie and Finneas are performing the James Bond theme “No Time to Die,” how does that make you feel?

MB: I don’t know if I can adequately describe the feeling of getting to see Billie and Finneas perform “No Time to Die” at the Oscars. Of course, I’ve grown up with the Oscars and watched it every year and marveled at the songs. I have always loved the Bond songs in particular because Goldfinger was an album cover that sat on my parents’ shelf. Billie and Finneas wanted to write this song so much, and I was there for every step of the process, and it was always thrilling. So to have reached this incredible milestone, particularly after this long period of a pause with COVID-19, is beyond words for me. I’m just thrilled and so moved that they have had this opportunity to make something so beautiful.