I Study Fashion So I Must Be Stupid

The amount of times I have been judged by someone as soon as I tell them what course I study is unreal, usually by someone who considers themselves quite intellectual and is studying a ‘proper’ subject. Y’know because everyone buys into fashion but still looks down their nose at it. Like its not one of the biggest industries in the world, like it doesn’t employ 800,000 people in the UK alone, people of all genders.

So the thing is if you’re that academic and clever then why do you belittle someone in the first place? Does it make you feel better about yourself to put others down because you are ignorant to the creative industries? To the amount of work involved in creating that god awful slogan t-shirt you are wearing, from design concept to shop floor, and you still tell me fashion is stupid?!

*high fives Miranda*

So fashion Is a degree subject, not just BA but masters too, there are levels to this just as there are to any other course in the history of forever.

All courses have reading lists but you think because I study fashion I must sit and read magazines all day right?


This is beyond stupid.

Of course there are many accomplished journalists who write for these magazines, many of who are graduates themselves so we aren’t just filling our heads with the words of any old man off the street here! While this is a part of our reading, magazines mainly cover the wider context of the fashion industry and what is currently happening or we use back issues for historical research.

Our reading lists are just as long as yours and we still have to Harvard reference every little thing. Journals, databases, trend forecasting, garment manufacture, pattern cutting, fashion buying, marketing, psychology theories, company reports, we cover many different areas and it depends on what you are studying because this is the other thing …..


I am an International Fashion Business student, I am currently studying buying, marketing, trend forecasting etc. but jeez the amount of times someone has asked me what subject I am studying, and the comments that follow are;

Ooh I’ll look out for your clothing in the future

Call me when your famous” (yes someone really said that to me) FYI most people in the fashion industry aren’t world renowned designers, they are the hard working people in the studios/ factories getting this stuff created and shipped to you not flouncing around on telly.

I’ll look for you on the catwalk” what you think I model now too?! I really must be talented to have time to design, manufacture, market and model my own stuff! Shit I am wonder-woman?!

And the thing is all this comes from people who really just don’t have a clue how their clothes end up in the shops, in much the same way we have become detached from understanding our food chain and where meat comes from, a lot of people don’t understand how their clothes are made. 100-200 years ago both these industries were very different, people made their own clothes from scratch, people kept their own animals etc. people understood and did more, now we are just animals of convenience and this is sad.

People who think they are exempt from fashion are the worst.

“Yes well I am a doctor/lawyer/politician (jokes they wouldn’t talk to a peasant like me) CEO of some company and I don’t have time for playing dress-up. I have a serious job”

Oh dear, poor people. They don’t understand that they are the most targeted at by the fashion industry, the people who earn the big money. Yes, you don’t wear ‘crazy’ outfits to work because you’re a business man/woman and you are a professional, but what you do wear to work however, is a tailored suit of some description, usually designer because it’s the status symbol and yet you think you are exempt from fashion.

To the people who work in uniforms of any description, the amount of time and effort over the tiniest detail to ensure that you are kept safe really must be stressed. This is the most vital areas of the fashion industry, safety equipment and uniforms. This includes fire protection, durability, ease of access for many (firefighters can’t waste time with buttons) and longevity to name a few. These factors are crucial for your job and yet you don’t even recognise the time that has gone into keeping you that little bit safer.

Lastly to any parent, childrens-wear and infant clothing, particularly night wear, must satisfy the flammability requirements specified in British Standard 5722 by law. This requires rigorous testing to ensure your children are safe while they sleep.

What I am trying to say is that people study fashion for a reason not because they are an air head (although a few are) but because fashion is more of a social science. It is constantly changing and adapting to suit your needs, to make your life easier.

Fashion is involved in so many different areas, movies, TV, theatre, childrenswear, womenswear, menswear, accessories, corporate, uniforms, dance, sports, every aspect of your life.

Because when it comes down to it you need fashion, everyone does.

Fashion is helping to change body ideals, tackle gender issues, helping people in lesser developed countries earn an income (unfortunately many are exploited and this issue is ongoing) help the environment, help disabled people, break the mold and find a new lifestyle, try something new, see the future.

I’m not claiming to be a neuroscientist or able to tell you what E=MC squared means but please do not belittle me. I am not saying that my course is harder than anyone studying physics, what I am saying is I deserve the same respect that a student from any other department would get. I deserve to not be scoffed at and dismissed by someone who knows very little about my subject area, let alone a clue how to pass this course. Every uni course is hard, its all a test to prepare you for the world out there were all just as equal.

Everyone is better at some things than others. I am more visual and creative than other things but I can do math, in fact a lot of fashion involves math. Pattern cutting, grading, costings, working out quantities of product, understanding turnover and how many of each item to buy, creating critical paths and working out how to cut costs because at the end of the day fashion is a business just like anything else.

For those who still say no, I dare you to go and burn your whole wardrobe, underwear, socks and all and try a day without it.

Good luck to you!

And in future please be a bit kinder to us were actually nice people!


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