With the mendacity and a malignant narcissist in Washington we are also faced with a tsunami of so called “movements” …there is Me Too, Black Lives Matter, Diversity in the work place, unleashed bigotry and god knows so many more but what is so bothersome to me is how this all plays out in the business of fashion.
In my decades of being directly engaged in the business, I never looked at a design or designer or brand (well a few brands) and said oh this is for this ethnicity and oh that was designed by that ethnicity and how come there aren’t more , for example, more black designers, Asian designers transgender designers and the list just goes on and on. My point is what is the difference? If it’s good design, if it’s beautiful, if one possesses great talent …. what difference does it all make … good is good, great is great and bad is bad and ridiculous is ridiculous no matter of any affiliation and yet the media has made that all about sound bytes and grabbing attention.
The band aids that have been applied to supposedly rectify the problems are blatantly no more than …are you satisfied now?... we took the bookkeeper and made her editor in chief or design director or I said I’m sorry for being so ignorant of how undiversified our executive work force is and more of late oh black designers are the it thing, the supposedly controversial issue of the year …why?
The standards for sales, merchantability, talent, cultural appropriation have not changed other than they have been brought to the forefront of our business. Add all that to so called fat shaming, plus sized models and deifying the untalented just because they may label themselves or be labeled by one of these cultural aspects of life and we have a business that is not only in flux but in a pressure cooker ready to explode.
I fully understand that the fashion business has never been a business of ladies and gentlemen and that for the most part it has been inhabited by Caucasians but how do so called intelligent writers, critics and editors have the audacity or the right to promote just because of oppressions, not based on talents or skills but based merely on what minority you might be part of or be included in.
Why aren’t there more black designers? What aren’t there more black nuclear physicists? Why are there more transgender editors? And the list keeps going but doesn’t it occur to anyone that maybe it’s simply because they have not chosen these professions as their life’s work? Doesn’t it appear as appeasement to the masses to avoid confrontations by merely saying yes, I know we have neglected diversity or by making a high-profile appointment and then continuing on as before?
Suddenly, apparently we eat the words we profess too uphold and that is everyone is created equal…I’d say well… that was a pie in the sky concept and now it is thrown in your face as certainly not being true and I am not discussing shootings in the street and the politics of policing but about the business of fashion.
Marinate on that ... look around ... look at the so-called collections… read what writers write and then tell me that if we are guilty of doing exactly what we say we are supposedly are out to repair!