Monday, August 19, 2013

A Vicious Industry

Let me tell you about the fashion industry…  (There are many exceptions to this article, but this is just a general opinion of mine.)

It is an industry mostly (not all) filled with people with materialistic goals. I have been going to a University for a bachelor of design degree in Fashion Communications at one of the best universities for fashion in Toronto. Essentially, I thought it was my dream, I thought I discovered my passion; I thought it is a world of happiness and joy. 2 years into the program I am starting to think different. It started to seem like success will come to those who possess expensive clothes, and those who deceive the world more into thinking they’re superior. Every person seems to want to fight to be the best. The industry feeds off of that attitude and keeps trying to sell more and more products, marketing intelligently to have people spend crazy amounts of money- I’m talking thousands of dollars- into a wardrobe “investment”. Because, as marketed, it is what gives a person confidence into thinking they are better than everyone else.

But what is "better" exactly? The industry requires you to keep running on your toes to keep up with the fashion world, with all the updates, events, products and news. It requires crazy amounts of research put into new designers, what the best products are, and what the trends are this coming season.

This whole cycle is vicious. To be in the fashion world, ridiculous amounts of hours are put into sometimes useless school work, or just into finding the perfect piece of clothing, in which you also put hours and hours of work just to be able to purchase it. Then, you put hours and hours of work into being out there and looking your best at every moment so that you would be worthy of a job if you end up meeting someone important in this industry, or just to network. It is a whole cycle of getting people to compete with each other into knowing more useless things and looking the best. 

Don’t get me wrong; I am a big fan of elegance, sophistication, good quality clothing, and simplicity. I am also a big fan of people who know how to brand themselves, and have an eye for detail and professionalism. But, this can come along without being succumbed into such a vicious cycle of competition and endless spending. It seems like success comes easy in this industry to those who are able to afford living without the hustle of trying to make money in order to afford a pair of shoes on your wish list. It almost takes you away from what really is important in this world.  It keeps taking you back into being addicted to fashion news, what’s happening on the runways, what you’re supposed to buy now to feel better about yourself, trying to predict what is going to be trendy next, and so on.

But, what about the outside world? What about other things happening outside of this industry? What about war, science, environment and health? What about the people who are trying to afford health care, education, living or the people who are just trying to eat, when all we are worried about in this industry is how we’re going to buy those $600 perfect ankle boots and how we can look worthy for a superior company to hire us. Sometimes it feels like the amounts of hours put in this industry for the things that won’t really change the world is pointless.

Yet, it’s really not about the fashion industry, it’s about the person trying to make it in the fashion industry. It’s all about how a person incorporates the outside world into this materialistic fashion world to make a change, and therefore be happy.

If I step back and look at this cycle I realize that some people, including me, need to change their meaning of “happy”. If those Alexander Wang boots, that Celine bag, or that Chanel dress are what your happiness only revolves around, because it is meant to be a step closer to success, then there needs to be a change.

P.S. I am just talking about the fashion industry as a whole, and in general. I am not saying studying fashion is useless, because it does teach you a lot; mainly a lot of skills and it gives you no choice but to adapt to a productive work ethic.


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