Monday, 13 April 2015

What Do You Study? Fashion #InternSeries

So if you study fashion I think this will be a very relatable post for you that you might actually enjoy, fingers crossed. I'm talking about something I experience as a fashion student on a daily basis but mostly on nights out. This is something me and my uni girls often discuss about how uneducated others can sometimes be on what we actually do.
So first off it's the meet and greet, often the worst part. You have a nice conversation introducing yourself and then they ask what you study which I obviously then reply 'Fashion Business and Promotion' yet it's like the last three words are completely disregarded. This is then followed by the 'look' - which they either approve or disapprove of what you are wearing. Usually this is then followed by a witty comment like 'Is that supposed to be in fashion?' or 'what do you think to what I'm wearing?'. This is when my politeness start's to fade away, I'm wearing what I'm wearing because I like it, I feel comfortable in it and it's to my taste and just because I study a fashion course doesn't give anyone the authority to openly judge. If not that then it's a rude comment like 'oh that's easy' or 'so what actually is it you actually do, sew and stuff?' like fashion can't be a serious career. Oh god writing this is winding me up and this is only the first few sentences of the typical conversation.

It get's worse, the questions continue and the more insulting they get! Here are a few of my favourites:

'So what's the big trend for next year?'
Trend forecasting is something I cover within my course and turns out I'm actually pretty good at it but if I received money for every person that asked me this question then I could probably pay off the huge amount of debt I'm in from studying in the first place. However my whole course doesn't revolve around trends, it actually is a balance between many different subjects. For example buying and merchandising - which begins in the design process where you have to evaluate the historical success of previous designs but also bring something original and modern to the table to keep things moving forward. It involves maths and finance through sizing of garments, how much to buy to each product and that will be spread out between the graded stores to ensure there is enough stock - buy too little and then you haven't met the demand of the consumer or buy too much and it ends up losing value and then has to be marked down. Which if you haven't already guessed is your responsibility. You have to consider the economy like exchange rates when pricing garments and also shipping costs, hopefully picking the most eco-friendly when possible. You also have to be good in sales and negations to get that garment from the supplier for the best price to ensure that the company you work for can make a profit. Working with people all over the world you have to be quizzed up on different cultures, their language and beliefs to ensure you respect their way of life. These are only a few things which are off the top of my head but it's more than you think. Which leads on to my next question...

'Would you not like to do something more academic?'
So because I study Fashion my intelligence level goes down to rock bottom especially frowned upon by people who study - history, english, law, finance, maths, the sciences etc (sorry to be generic I know it's not everyone). When picking during my A Levels I even felt as if my school gave me less help when applying because it wasn't a red brick university (as they often don't provide such courses) or something they could boast about like going to study at Oxford or Cambridge doing a course which didn't fit me. People's attitude towards creative courses sickens me and to be honest I think the only people that really appreciate how much we do are other creatives, which I feel is a shame. I think a lot of my flat mates would be happy to vouch for how much work I actually have to do and how effort is put into each project. In some ways it's actually harder to do well as being original in such a big industry with many things that have been done before is a challenge within itself. There is no right or wrong answer it's all based on opinion, feeling, emotions and connecting with other people. So in conclusion my answer is no, I wouldn't like to do something more 'academic' subject and I would love to see them try and do some of the things I have had to complete.

'Can you make me something?'
Funnily enough designing and making the clothes isn't the only job you can get in Fashion but those tend to be the main assumptions, oh and working in a shop of course. That along with doing nothing, knitting and drinking tea - basically my life summed up by others. After I've explained what I actually do, like they are actually paying attention, I find it funny how they then turn and say that they don't even really like their course that they are just doing it for the money. Oh dear, happy to insult me doing something I enjoy and which I am determined to make a living from and they aren't even happy themselves. To be honest if anything this kind of attitude drives me more to have a job which doesn't feel like one and make a comfortable living which I hope to meet these people again and (struggling to put this nicely but) shove it in their face.
I then walk off trying to avoid it ruining my evening and then repeat the conversation with a few others in the room, sounds fun right? Lucky for me I'm very happy with my life especially in that department and I don't often let peoples comments get to me. I have a very supportive family that are very proud of my achievements and they are just happy that I'm happy. Here's to the supposedly well educated, most intelligent idiots I've ever met, I'll see you at the top - if you make it.

Does it all sounds familiar? Would love to hear your experiences in the comments!


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2 comments

  1. I have had the exact same experience and completely relate! I just graduated in International Fashion Branding and have spent the last 4 years defending doing fashion and trying to prove to people that it's not the easy subject that everyone thinks it is but in the end all that matters is that you love it and I absolutely loved my course and don't regret my decision at all.

    Ax
    www.alicerosieallsop.com

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    Replies
    1. Such a pain isn't it?! One day maybe it will be a more respected course x

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