What Does Fashion Mean to Me?

                 The fashion industry is worth more than the GDP of the United Kingdom, spending more than $500 billion dollars in advertising annually. Consequently, it’s no surprise that fashion is such an integral part of people’s everyday lives. Regardless of whether you follow it or not, fashion means something to everyone. To me, fashion is a key element of self expression, a way of giving an immediate sense of yourself through choices you have made. Fashion has always been a way to acquire a sense of identity. Fashion intrigues people, a statement proven by the wild popularity of television programs like Gossip Girl, described by star Blake Lively as showing “…clothing so beautiful you can watch our show on mute and still be entertained.”. Fashion can be a showcase of personality, to convey how you feel on a given day, but just as much an exhibition of social class, illustrated through the products of brands like Hermes. However, fashion is also a critical part of many cultures all over the world, using clothing to present their station, marital status, age, and what region they are from. Tribes of people in places like Nigeria, utilize fashion as a sacred way of honoring their ancestors, paying homage through specific ways of dress, bodily painting, and jewelry. Fashion means something to different generations, religions, and lifestyles. During the women’s suffrage movement, women wearing pants was as much a political declaration as it was a fashion statement. When Coco Chanel declares “…fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” she is seeing how fashion reflects more than outward appearance. People of the fashion industry use their influence to make a difference, such as Karlie Kloss’ campaign, partnered with STEM, to teach young girls to code. Ergo, when someone asks what fashion means to me, I say that fashion is a community of passionate people working in a rich history of influence, presenting a modern industry where creativity is fostered and rules are unwelcome. Because I do believe that fashion is a community, needing more than one person’s perspective to get the big picture, one must always remember to work as a team.

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