Deeper Than Fashion
Fashion. It isn’t just a $300 pair of Yeezys or a $150 Off-White tee. It’s not a brand new Gucci belt or even a Supreme backpack. Fashion isn’t about what brands are trending on Hypebeast or what your favorite celebs are wearing on the cover of Vogue. It’s much more than a price tag and the name on the label. In reality, fashion isn’t really about what you wear, it’s about how you wear it.
At its core, fashion is an expression of self. Anyone can throw on the exact same fit we see hanging on the mannequin at some prestigious store like Neimans but a true fashionista will allow their personal style to speak for them without ever having said a word.
Too often we get caught up in trends and hype and follow the crowd instead of creating or redefining our own aesthetic. Fashion is fluid. It shouldn’t be predicated on someone’s race, gender, class, or size. We have the liberty to curate our fashion sense and stand out instead of fitting into whatever the rest of the world is doing. Our clothes, shoes, and accessories are more than meaningless items that we spend thousands of dollars on for work and play. These fabrics carry our memories and our character.
What we wear is a reflection of our inner selves and shows our complexities and simplicities as individuals. You may catch us Monday thru Thursday in something business casual, Friday night in something a little bit more flashy yet polished, and the weekend in something loungy and street. All 3 styles showcase different aspects of our personality yet all give the public a small taste of who we are.
The way we dress is also good for our mental health and can help build our self-esteem. To take a line from one of the finest tastemakers of his era NFL legend Deion Primetime Sanders “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good.”
The right outfit can boost our confidence and will have us walking into any room feeling like a million bucks. People recognize this glow as a sense of self that can leave a positive impression and lead to building relationships, as well as providing us with another means to connect with people who have similar tastes in style. Just look at the fashion industry, streetwear culture, and sneaker communities as an example. Major events such as New York Fashion Week, Complexcon, Agenda, and Sneakercon all cater to similar demographics within the culture who are passionate about what fashion means to us and are eager to not only see what’s next on the horizon but even more importantly connect with those individuals who share similar experiences.
People from all walks of life have a story to tell about one piece or another and what it represents to them. We utilize fashion to embrace our heritage, make a political statement, celebrate achievement, and so much more. Fashion is a part of every aspect of our lives whether we want to accept it or not. What we choose to wear on the daily is a representation of how we view the world and how we want the rest of the world to view us. In the 60s it was tie-dye and bell-bottoms. In the 80s it was denim jackets and heavy metal tees. Fast forward to today and street style is running the game. No matter what era you were brought up in we all use fashion to express our uniqueness. It is part of our identity.
I know what you are thinking. Fashion doesn’t matter. There are many more important things going on in the world today that need our attention. It’s nothing more than a piece of fabric we are required to wear. It holds no real value. It’s meaningless and superficial.
Well, that’s where you are wrong.
Fashion is an industry and a vital part of our existence worldwide. Not only is it an economic force employing 100s of millions of people, but fashion also pushes us to be entrepreneurial, innovative, environmental, and purposeful. Fashion is one of the ways we tell the human story. The past, present, and future. In the words of one of the greatest fashion icons of today, Pharrell Williams, “Fashion has to reflect who you are, what you feel at the moment, and where you’re going.”
When it’s all said and done, it’s deeper than fashion.
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