There are a billion stereotypes about the fashion industry. That no one eats more than three pieces of pasta per year. That everyone is catty. That you can’t be a guy and work in fashion without also being gay. But beyond those, there’s also this underlying assumption that fashion just isn’t that important. It’s seen as frivolous. But is it?
Anyone can look at clothes. If you give someone a list of trends, anyone can memorize them. And anyone can wear a pretty dress and get their picture taken. Clothing is just a method to look a certain way, which is kind of superficial. So should we be concerned with fashion when people are dying? No. And yes. Fashion is not, and never will be, important to everyone. But in a society in which we form opinions of others seconds after meeting, clothing is an important part in presentation. Fashion is the gear turning behind clothing. It’s everything that each stitch represents. And it’s a 1.7 trillion dollar industry. As illustrated in China, clothing production is incredibly lucrative. Having a lot of factories gives more people jobs (yes, these jobs are typically incredibly dangerous and unethical). That boost in employment boosts the economy of a country. Essentially, the fashion industry is responsible for a lot of jobs: around 75 million. Which kind of makes it really important.
In the past, fashion has been used in the form of patriotic scarves and raised hemlines as a way to support one’s country. Now, with a push towards Made in the USA clothing, a new form of patriotism has arrived. Fashion has raised our awareness of how things are made. It’s drawn our eyes towards horrific factory fires and unsafe factories. This alone is important.
Trend analysts have to predict trends before they ever happen. Writers at fashion week have to figure out what a collection boils down to, and what the takeaways are. Even models have to learn how to market themselves through social media to gain a following and to gain influence. Designers do more than just sketch (which is already difficult enough). They’re also having to communicate with factories, figure out what the next step for their brand will be, and work to minimize costs.The thing about the fashion industry is that it’s an industry. It’s not just a bunch of people with feather boas for brains. Is it frivolous? Maybe not. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!