About nine years ago, I remember being in great distress from failing to do a fashion internship that I had secured. It honestly felt like the end of the world that he had it just having to tell them I couldn’t accept the offer anymore.
He was with a company called AF Vandevorst, now closed for business. The closure came long before the pandemic. The reason given was the inability to retain the brand identity in the rapidly changing fashion industry. Life has taken me down a different professional path, one that hasn’t really been affected by the pandemic and doesn’t involve fashion either. However, I still wonder every day what could have been if I had tried harder to break in. Sure, the idea of being in the industry made me happy to a degree, but if I want to be honest, working in an ever-toxic, literal, and figurative fashion. Now with the pandemic, the whole thing seems like a recipe for disaster. Perhaps the stars are right to align the way they are.
Earlier in the week, I learned that one of my favorite former Man Repeller fashion blogs, recently renamed Repeller, was officially shutting down. After months of controversy along with the pandemic, it was reported that the blog could no longer fund itself.
Things seem bleak for fashion and those who work in the industry. Guilt overcomes the desire to enjoy because so many inequalities have been exposed. In less than a year we have gone from flashy fashion weeks, moving showroom installations to online fashion shows and wearing stylish lounges.
We have been amazed at news of illness, death, unemployment and almost everything negative. Who honestly has time for the essentials? This would be a fair argument, but the reality is that fundamentals do not run themselves. Language can be just as powerful and dangerous. It is easy to dismiss the arts and those involved because of the language that has been shaped by the pandemic, though it is well intended.
I feel like it made us cocaine ourselves and so just think about top priorities. As cases continue to rise and uncertainty intensifies, compassion should be at the heart of how we approach things. Everyone has hopes and dreams and in our darkest hours these sustain us despite their appearing and feeling unattainable.