My latest article for FashionUnited.com is on a subject that preoccupies me often but which is never really addressed honestly by fashion schools or the industry at large…Yet it effects the careers of the students who are most vulnerable and unaware that this grey area exists.
(I watched the brilliant documentary The True Cost last night and it made me even sadder for the industry that our students are now entering.) I can only hope that the new generation of creatives are filled with the revolutionary desire to make a difference that is often typical of youth. But that is another blog/article. Back to this one…
Walter Van Beirendonck said this week in an op-ed piece in the Business of Fashion that fashion students should not receive more business training. “We must do everything we can to prioritise creativity in fashion education,” he explained, “it is the thing that keeps the industry going.”
That I can’t make this statement without reservation is something that saddens me. The reality that encroaches on this vision of an artistic utopia is right outside my midtown Manhattan classroom window. Although fashion as an industry is often referred to as global, the fast fashion phenomenon has created a cultural divide between Europe and the US that is wider than ever. Historically, the American fashion industry paid homage to the Parisian houses by bringing new couture styles home to be manufactured for the US market. The Wall Street Crash of 1929, wartime unrest, combined with other contributing factors led to strides being made during the inter-war years that improved production and created a domestic ready-to-wear industry that financially exceeded the European one. There was no turning back. As the city’s skyline touched the clouds, the seeds were sewn for the apparel industry that we know today to spring up and usurp the spot reserved for a fashion industry… continue reading here