The fashion industry. A mythical business entity that seems to exist in a world of glitz and glamor. As fashion students, we become accustomed to certain questions, comments and opinions on our chosen line of work. Here is a culmination of the assumptions fashion students are tired of hearing.
1. It must be so nice to have an easy major.
Like all programs, fashion students are required to complete gen ed requirements. Moreover, there's more to our classes than merely shopping and looking at fashion shows. Our curriculum combines consumer behavior with graphic design, marketing and accounting.
2. You seem too smart to be a fashion student.
Because no one pursuing a career in a $1.2 trillion industry could be intelligent or anything.
3. Can you hem my jeans?
First of all, not all fashion students are design students. Contrary to popular belief, there is a wide assortment of fashion programs. Fashion marketing and management (also called fashion merchandising) focuses on the business of the industry, meaning our classes center largely on marketing and finances. Fashion communication emphasizes journalism, while students also learn graphic design and photography skills. Fashion design tends to be the only major where students actually make garments.
Second of all, even if I were a design student, there's no way I would spend my already precious time to hem your jeans for free.
4. Can you give me any outfit advice?
Just because I'm studying clothing, doesn't mean I will instantly know your style. Fashion is subjective. That's part of the appeal. If we're friends I'd be happy to offer my opinion, but when random strangers ask for style advice, things get weird.
5. Did you see last week’s episode of "Project Runway?"
6. So you’re just in school until you can find a husband, right?
Yes. I spend $40,000 a year, work for free at my unpaid internships and suffer chronic sleep deprivation due to deadlines solely to meet a man. After all, there are so many straight guys in my classes. How ever did you know?
7. You’re basically Elle Woods, Blair Waldorf, Miranda Priestly, etc.
As much as I appreciate the comparison, pop culture does a horrendous job of reflecting our industry. While some representations are more accurate than others, movies and television shows tend to be very ineffective portrayals of the fashion industry.
8. How much are you judging me for wearing sweats right now?
I'm not. I promise.
9. Aren’t you worried work will get in the way of having a family?
Is this 1954? Yes, a career in fashion is demanding, but no more demanding than a career in politics, medicine or teaching.
10. You know the industry is really competitive, right?
Really? I had no idea. It's not like fashion students are encouraged to intern every summer from freshman year to graduation. Thank you for opening my eyes.
11. So your life is pretty much the
real life version of "The Devil Wears Prada?"
Well, given that they they were professionals running a major fashion magazine and I'm a college student I'm going to go with no. I've never had the option of experience of trying to track down an out-of-print "Harry Potter" book for a professor's children, but I'll keep you posted once I officially join the workforce. Now that J.K. Rowling is writing again, you never know.
12. You must have so much free time.
HA. Say that to the three midterms, two presentations and three essays I had to write this week alone, on top of working on my senior capstone.
13. We should go shopping together sometime.
I appreciate that you want to spend time together. Really I do. But can we wait until after the autumn/winter shows have ended? Please? Between classes, market research and ceaselessly following each of the collections I could use a little bit of a breather. Any chance you might be up for coffee or a movie?
14. How do you expect to find a job with such a specific degree?
Yes, a fashion degree is highly specific, nevertheless the fashion industry is a hugely profitable entity. An increasing number of colleges have begun offering fashion programs. Fordham University recently unveiled a fashion law program. Clearly there's a demand for the major.
15. I’m so into fashion. I’m in Forever 21 like all the time. I'm basically a fashion student.
One of the beautiful things about fashion is its ability to transcend boundaries, offering all people the ability to represent themselves in their apparel. That said, a degree in fashion is much more than shopping.
16. Yeah, I could never study something so superficial.
Please stop talking.