Friday, September 26, 2014

The Purpose of The Fashion Industry

A couple of months ago my mom met a lady who wanted to consign a large number of Coach bags at a local consignment store. We've all heard of brand loyalty, but this woman obviously had a story. As it turns out, a few years back she had been diagnosed with cancer. Her husband knew she loved Coach handbags so every time she had radiation he bought her a new bag. She is now in remission and even though the bags were a light patch in what I can only imagine was a dark time in her life she wants to get rid of them.

Her story made me think of all the things I own and the story behind them. So many people view fashion as a shallow, materialistic industry but there is so much more to it. Fashion changes lives by manipulating the way we feel, talk, look, and act. Our clothes are connected to memories that pictures could not have captured. Fashion is more than just clothes and shoes and bags. The purpose of fashion is to make a difference. Marc Jacobs once said that as a designer all he really does is make clothes -- plain and simple. Marc Jacobs, you are very very wrong! Think of Nigel from The Devil Wears Prada. One of the best monologues in the movie occurs when Nigel tells Andy about all of the important, high profile personnel who have walked the halls of Runway and the hope that the magazine gives to the upcoming generations. Just like Marc Jacobs, Andy was wrong in thinking that fashion is entirely superficial and nonsense behavior. It's an important industry and without it the world would be vastly different. Designers do not simply make stuff, stylists do not simply dress people, photographers do not simply take photos, and models do not simply just walk down a narrow stage. They are all part of an industry whose purpose is to make the boring exciting and the dull glamorous. In my opinion, the fashion industry is a heroic one that doesn't get or give itself enough credit.

Photo from We Heart It