Opinion: The state of the fashion degree industry

“Fashion victims: is this the death of the high street?”. “Fashion icons are mourning the death of the industry as we know it“. “Fast fashion speeding toward environmental disaster, report warns”. “Fashion industry ‘at risk of real decimation’ by Brexit deal”.

Do these headlines sound familiar? Do they sound ridiculous? To this I hope you answered yes.

The media seems to be shedding a negative and despairing light onto our beloved fashion industry, with positivity being very few and far between.

However, as upcoming members of the industry, we, as fashion students, should not be discouraged. In fact, I believe we should be excited.

The beauty of fashion

For some, fashion is self-expression, for others, a hobby and for most it is simply a means of keeping warm. No matter who the person is, clothes are worn and therefore clothes are bought. The key aspect the media is forgetting, is trends. Trends are the blood that runs through fashions veins, the oxygen fashion breathes.

‘Trend’ is defined in the dictionary as “a general direction in which something is developing or changing”, constantly updating, evolving, adapting. Therefore, fashion can be whatever it needs to be in each moment. In the alternate life we are currently living, there is no place for traditional brick and mortar retail, changing rooms are a figment of imagination and disposable income has shrunk for many.

Fashion is a chameleon. If fashion can survive world wars, adapt to varying cultures and climates and shape the way we feel about other industries, such as music– then a pandemic is a curable solution. 

As young people who have experienced this unfamiliar period and have been fashion consumers throughout, the creativity and innovation we can bring, after such a bleak time, will shed light on the influence and joy fashion brings.

The death of retail grandmas, such as Arcadia and Debenhams, leave a needed gap in a previously saturated market; a gap for the pioneers of a fashion industry like never before. Better than ever. The beauty of fashion is that is it adaptable.

An industry refresh is needed, and it’s our job as fashion students to step up. 

By Freya Fowler

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