Leading with Empathy towards the Fashion Industry

A Monet painting goes for millions  and will proudly grace the walls of a family through many generations as a work of art that will continue to be appreciated through the ages. Unfortunately those in the artistic world of fashion know that their field is quite the opposite. While I am aware that we do have museums enshrining past fashions, I mean it is a part of our history, a Victorian gown is not typical wall decor for most. Nope your art, comprised of many hours of tedious stitching and alterations, has become transient and new creations are expected each season. Your canvases are not flat, predictable or re-sizable, they are comprised of the countless contours of our bodies, with the challenge of making a design that is versatile enough to be conformed to fit them all! Wow, seriously wow, that is a daunting task to undertake, my clothed-self thanks you!

When you were a child full of wonder and unbiased creativity, I am going to guess that maybe you “borrowed” clothes from your parents or siblings closets, turned t-shirts into dresses with scarfs for belts and clunked around in over sized heels. And you likely freely accessorized with anything that appealed to your sense of style, maybe embellished a tank top with a glittery sticker? Do you still allow yourself to feel that sense of adventure and fun when you create? Were you the one that was consulted with when your friends were trying out new clothing combinations? Did you feeling like you were following a calling to contribute to your world by helping others express themselves with their wardrobes?

Developing our own style I think is a way to live out love for ourselves and celebrate our uniqueness and authenticity, and you help give us the nuts and bolts to play with and come up with something original. How amazing does it feel to see a glowing smile from a client wearing your design and know they feel confident and beautiful? I hope you have realized that feeling is priceless and cannot be measured on a profit spreadsheet.

I hope to re awaken the imagination and inspiration that led you down a path of clothing creation, while also being aware that you are trying to keep up with consumer demand by having enough physical resources and human power to produce the clothes. You also need to be able to reach enough potential customers through marketing and to swing all that by making enough to pay all the hands and hearts involved in the entire process, while hopefully making some kind of a profit and receiving positive reviews. I am not arguing how formidable a feat the 21 century fashion industry can be.

My intent in writing this is simple, I desire peace. I doubt I need to inform you that your industry has many critics with lots complaints creating conflict not contributing to peace. This is likely because they were shared with bravado- boosted blaming (I’m recovering from this habit) which does not inspire caring or consideration. So this is me initiating something new… a compassionate conversation! So instead of starting a cat fight with judgments, condemnation, and insults, what if we decided to center our attention on what we have in common, Shared Human Values like Freedom and Expression? And if we both sincerely give a sh!t about both of our Shared Human Values and are willing to give consideration for one another’s perspectives, concerns, and challenges…I know we could collaborate and re-create peaceful and poshy ways for people to be fabulous with fashion.

Celebrating creativity

I can only guess at your challenges and concerns, unless someone from this large industry would be willing to converse with me. Although I am very well aware of all of my concerns, there’s definitely more than one, I hope you’ll take the time to really hear them and know I would like to do the same for you!
It has got to be hard and I bet you often feel overwhelmed and stressed figuring out how to make a dress that will aesthetically accentuate such a diverse range of body types? Because of this challenge, I guess that is why when they are pictured on runways and in magazines we usually see your fashions on models who are at least 5’8 and a size 2 or less. I heard someone explain that their less curvy bodies represent that more predictable, flatter canvas. I get it, I mean working with a mutable canvas adds another creative obstacle.

Have you considered that your art work is not just a service of contributing art; it is also a service of clothing humanity? And it is illegal for us to be naked, so we do rely on your service, unless we can make our own clothes. I can’t because I don’t sew, I safety pin. And I don’t want to wear clothes held together with safety pins, its just not safe! What I think would meet your need for contributing quality service and also a customer’s need for consideration and support when shopping, would be to show them on people of a variety of heights and shapes. Then we could actually guess what they may actually look like on. That is really helpful as a consumer. I am simply applying practical logic here to include all women’s needs. This would make it much easier for most women to consider your clothes, because only a small percentage of women have a fashion models physique.

Are you aware that just seeing a picture of a model has been found to be a common and very effective trigger for instigating insecurity in young girls and women of all ages? They are so often a size that is rare and often unachievable without compromising health and their airbrushed images that grace the magazines erase humanness, honesty and connection, in my opinion. On top of that I also heard  model Cameron Russell giving a TED talk where she shares that she believes the most insecure women were likely models! Can you even imagine just how much self-worth is compromised and triggered by this model/fashion trend?!? There are so many huge conflicts in this world, we just don’t need this, it’s really, really depressing to me, which means sometimes it is expressed as rage! So many women are not feeling secure in themselves because they’re comparing themselves to unrealistic standards and becoming like slaves to their physicality. While models bodies are talked about as if they were car parts ( I actually read that in a blog) without human feelings. And while I appreciate the joy of dressing, I believe our styles got nothing on the beauty of our souls. I think this has repercussions beyond what you can imagine and I think it seriously impairs what is integral to the healing of our planet; the healing and uniting of women across the globe. What I see is comparison, cruel critiquing, competition and so much separation. To me, it seems your industry, along with all the beauty related industries, prey on our insecurities as a marketing strategy just to get us to buy more products.

I also see advertising that tries to convey that their brand adds value to a human being. A request is that we all consider how much blood was spilled to try and end inequality based on the superficial-ness of skin color and how we now ruthlessly judge the clothes that cover our skin!! SO SAD!!!
Would you like to contribute to the world in a way that encourages people to love and accept themselves and be healthy and properly nourished? Do you agree that a planet of miraculous creation/evolution deserves to have the diversity of its beauty celebrated??

And please know that I am aware that because of what is called an American obesity epidemic you also have to the challenge of accommodating to a consumer base that is literally expanding. While I am all for everyone accepting and embracing their bodies, I am equally concerned that we consider how those larger sizes are decreasing our quality of life. Just as I am worried about the demand for models to maintain such slim figures and how that affects their quality of life. In a world of infinite possibilities and ideas, there is a solution to this, that will meet everyone’s’ values for fun, expression, creativity, health, happiness and well-being.

Being able to supply stores in every state, maybe multiple countries, multiply that by each new piece for the new fall collection.. how will all that get done? Considering the development of such large global clothing companies means that many in your industry are trying to provide enough products for millions! Using blinders to block all else except profit, a common business model, I can appreciate the cost effectiveness of the decision to turn to third world countries to find factories to make those clothes. And I’d have a hard time believing you don’t know how those contractors treat their employees and the ridiculous wages they are paid. Sometimes I wish the 1st world would wake up as the 3rd world, then maybe we would really give a sh!t about Shared Human Values for Health, Safety, Equality, Freedom…. for everyone! This World offers infinite possibilities, I know it is possible to have newly crafted wearable creations for all seasons and still respect a human’s life and their contribution. Are you willing to strategize?? Pretty please!!!!

We are creating new clothes at such a mind boggling rate and then just a year later the “fashion police” tell us they are not cool anymore. Where does the material come from and where does it go? Every new design means mass raw material as crops of fiber and unless they are grown organically poisonous pesticides are poured into our Earth just so we can have more and more and more clothes!! I am terrified about this cost to our planet and I chose to honor Mother Earth by rocking out what she has already graciously given and encouraging others to do the same. We are so innovative and creative, the possibilities are endless! Just one idea would be to re-use fabric from unwanted clothes and re-create them into something new. Are you aware how stuffed our closets already are? The excess of donated clothes not wanted here are often sent to 3rd world countries, whose people unfortunately started adhering to the unelected officials of fashion law and are now not as accepting of our older clothes. So now imagine how much material makes up our landfills?? And what will future generations do when the soil is too poisoned to provide and the landfills overflowing?? Do you want to care with me so that they have the ability to play with fabric and create their own styles too?

A friend of mine worked several years in New York during fashion week helping to construct sets and tear them down. And every year he saw perfectly good material used as backdrops and wood with so much more to give just pitched for the garbage!! Thankfully he knows how to rock our resources and dumpster dived what the divas discarded. Sorry I called “you” a diva, it fit the alliteration so well and isn’t the definition of a diva kind of like someone who thinks they are so much more important than others? So then the cost of their convenience could likely be expected to be paid by the planet that 6.5 billion people share?
Would you be willing to rock out your own unimaginably genius nature and discover new exciting ways to revere your home planet that sustains you, so you can continue to have a life to get dressed for??

I appreciate all you have contributed.. so many ideas and options for us to use in our expression, I ask that you remember that you don’t own it, expression. For some getting dressed isn’t about being accepted, or conforming to what is sold as cool, it’s a fun and functional way to contribute to the lives we are leading. I wanna pretty much be in my play clothes at all times, always ready to climb a tree. Our physical expression can also be a way to send a message about what we like or to show that we identify with a particular sub culture where we feel belonging. Often those sub cultures create their own style and it gets noticed, copied and mass produced to people who may never get to appreciate the inspiration that birthed it. Years ago when the kind of pants I used to only see when I went to raves were being sold at major department stores, I felt annoyed and disappointed because those buying them probably would not discover that if you dance in them a certain way, you’ll look like you are floating.

And there are those of us who have every right to honor the comfort and well-being of our feet and backs and will not give that up just to fit in to what is being sold as feminine. I do appreciate your understanding of how clothes can be worn in ways that you consider to be more aesthetic and appealing, although it’s our free will to say, “That’s like your opinion man and we’ll decide for ourselves.” I’d hope those who do the critiquing in your world consider the golden advice that has been given throughout history about treating people in ways you would like to be treated.

Okay one more concern… the sizes, what is up with the sizes, is it part of your plot to drive us mad?? All men need to know are 2 numbers and they can buy pants. Just a suggestion, couldn’t we have pants with height, waist and hip measurements, maybe an inseam?? I want my sisters spending less times trying on clothes and more time enjoying their lives in them!

Thank you for following your passion, falling in love with texture, dreaming about patterns and fantasizing about new silhouettes and holding the enjoyment of the endless possibilities fashion offers.

Let’s have a conversation?!?!


Author: Maria

I'm a Metaphysically Mystified mUSe, Masseuse, and Mediator. Cosmic college educated, side-stream explorer, energetic facilitator of healing with a compassionate core. Passionate about promoting peace for all the precious priceless people of the planet while being perposterously playful and present. An aromaticaly Divine hip gypsy.....who surrenders to sound to shape the invisible. Synchronicities rock my world!

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