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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

5 comments:

  1. This is one of the most well written, thought provoking article I've read on the ties between fashion/memory/emotions in a long time. I have a bunch of beautiful things my ex boyfriend bought me, sadly I will never wear them since they remind me of a bad period in my life.

    XxMO
    www.madame-ostrich.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Madame Ostrich! It sucks when beautiful things you love hold bad memories, but it's also super amazing whenever beautiful pieces hold great memories. I remember about 4 or 5 years ago when MTV had the show You'r Cut Off where rich girls where cut off from their parents and forced to live a "normal" life. One of the most surprising things I learned from the show was that so many of the girls didn't want to sell/giveaway their clothes not because they were expensive, but because they held special memories (albeit their definition of special is VERY loose).

      Clothes are more than cloth. They're like photo albums you can wear, but waayy less tacky.
      Thanks for commenting and have a great day!

      Munachi

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  2. I get you and madame ostrich. Sometimes when I see fashion on TV, on youtube it feels so remote and shallow for me. The clothes seem unwearable. Then I try one trend, I bring it home to me and what mishmash of style I have, it all makes sense. I put on this kind of jacket because it reminds me of that, I wear this color today because it represents so-and-so for me. Yeah, fashion is more than the clothes, and so is fashion journalism. It's a chronicle of our time...

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    Replies
    1. I haven't really thought of it on a day-to-day perspective, but now that I think about it I really do choose the pieces and colors I wear on the daily based on the memories and mood they represent. Glad to know someone else has a connection to clothing and fashion similar to mine :)

      Munachi

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  3. This popped up when I googled "What is the point of the fashion industry?". Although well-written, this still doesn't provide any real reason why this:
    http://9gag.com/gag/aOVBeVN?ref=fsidebar
    contributes anything to society at all.

    ReplyDelete

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