Stereotypes of the fashion industry that needs to be Busted

A single sided story create stereotypes and a change in the narrative of fashion was much needed! This article talks about common myths of the fashion industry and how they need to be challenged.
Image Source: WWD

"Fashion means breaking stereotypes by not being one"

Connie R

If most of what you have learned about fashion has come from The Devil Wears Prada, then there is some serious unlearning and learning to be done. Snapshots of grand beach house parties hosted by celebrities, glamourous fashion weeks, and glittery jittery all night after-parties showed in movies, shows, and shared across different social media platforms create an unreal fetish or even disregard towards the fashion industry. Be that as it may, not all that you see on a superficial level means what goes on in the background.

In the end, everything, including fashion, is just business. As a general rule, the legendary myths and generalizations related to this business are misrepresented, bogus, or simply outdated. While certain generalizations are in some cases saturated with truth, however, the generalization of it is not true to its core.

Here, we have scrutinized the most widely recognized fantasies about working in this business and busted them. In case you are a curious individual or you're keen on being a part of this industry in your journey, keep reading to debunk the most common myths or stereotypes that need to be shattered, instead of sheltered.


 Stereotype #1: Fashion is expensive

 ‘Being well dressed hasn’t much to do with having good clothes. It’s a question of good balance and good common sense.’

– Oscar de la Renta


Fashion is more often so associated with the rich or the elite class. But this myth needs to be busted as fashion is inculcated within every individual, whether consciously or unconsciously. Fashion is not only on-ramps, or in designer showrooms, but also streets and thrift stores, or even footpath vendors. Fashion is a form of art. 

The pipeline theory is a great way of understanding this: An item is first introduced by designers and trendsetters and it further gains popularity with the help of media channels. As time passes, it becomes a copy in the mass market and is finally discounted and can be purchased by those on a budget.

One doesn’t necessarily need to buy Prada bags or Versace t-shirts, as art also lies in styling in a way to make the ordinary look extraordinary. Everyone can afford fashion, from designers to premium brands, fast-fashion retailers to vintage stores, it is accessible to everyone.

One does not necessarily need to burn a hole in their pockets in order to look fashionable. In fact, many times, the inspiration of a trend lies in the lower-class people. We can take an example of the ripped jeans inspired by beggars or low waist baggy jeans inspired by prisoners whose belts were taken away to prevent being used as a weapon.


Stereotype #2: The journey is like a walk in a park

''When I design and wonder what the point is, I think of someone having a bad time in their life. Maybe they are sad and they wake up and put on something I have made and it makes them feel just a bit better. So, in that sense, fashion is a little help in the life of a person. But only a little.’'

– Miuccia Prada


Even though social media platforms like Instagram make everything look like simply a slick festival of fashion influencers traveling to exotic places, glam photo shoots, celebrities wearing cautiously curated street style looks, fashion weeks and their VIP front-row guests, celeb-studded after-parties and the list can go on and on, therein, in reality, a great deal of off-camera difficult work that goes into these events.

After all, these events don’t set themselves up overnight. All of these events are a result of a ton of running, hustle, and no rest. Working in this environment needs a lot of endurance and the capacity to work under immense pressure and tension so as to comply with tight schedules and not to forget, it’s extremely dynamic in nature.

Despite the fact that going to parties, attending events, and socializing is a great advantage that accompanies this business, it's just a little portion of what people in the fashion industry does. In any event,  even when people are attending and celebrating occasions, they are working and making associations, just in a fancier manner and showy setting.


 Stereotype #3: Rigidity in gender roles and norms

 "Conformity is the only real fashion crime. To not dress like yourself and to sublimate your spirit to some kind of group identity is succumbing to fashion fascism.’'

— Simon Doonan


Ladies in gowns, and men in suits, ladies in heels and men in boots, ladies in pink and men in blue, ladies overdressed and men having no clue.

There was a time when the gender norms in terms of fashion were rigid and there was rarely an occasion where one could witness people crossdress. However, in this day and age, these claims don’t stand true and are outdated since those lines are getting blurred each passing day.

Earlier, we could see the distinction in a woman’s pearls and a man’s tie. Today, we often spot men and women wearing the same Nike sneakers on the streets. It’s not that today’s fashion brands are just getting lazy to create distinction in gender outfit pieces, but there is a reason why they are making fashion gender fluid.

The style needs to wipe out those 'labels'. This implies design needs to deconstruct sex generalizations with regard to wearing styles. Jaden Smith is known for wearing skirts, Cara Delevingne’s pansexual identity reflecting in her clothing style, transgender models such as Tracey Norman, and Valentina Sampaio are just a few examples, to begin with. The world is wearing off their labels, and so is fashion.


Stereotype #4: Everyone is very narcissistic, shallow, and catty in this industry

. '‘Delete the negative; accentuate the positive!’'

– Donna Karen


One of the biggest myths of fashion business is that everyone is like Miranda Priestly: strict, tough, rude, rigid, and cutthroat. It is a myth that everyone in this industry is shallow and selfish. Of course, there are catty and selfish people present everywhere, in each industry but not every woman wearing pencil heels or every man in a sharp suit is mean.

Not everyone is looking for a way to rip someone else’s eyes out in order to climb the social ladder. Most of them are just there to do their work and build lifelong connections. And it’s a well-known fact that deep connections cannot be built with a shallow personality.

In any work environment, there are both cold and warm people. One should just make it a point to recognize and associate with the warm ones. 


Stereotype #5: It is all about celebs and designers

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening"

-Coco Chanel


It is untrue that fashion belongs only to an exclusive bunch of people, mainly designers, supermodels, and film stars. The family of fashion includes many more crucial designations acting as the backbone of this industry.

Fashion journalists, forecasters, managers, graphic designers, photographers, PR, merchandisers, stylists, sales associates, account managers, creative directors, wage workers, technical designers, etc may not be photographed by paparazzi in quirky outfits but without them, the industry wouldn’t have survived.

In light of this, someone aspiring to enter this line need not be a good designer or model. It's important to choose your own niche and be committed to it.


Stereotype #6: Fashion is short-lived

"There's never a new fashion but it's old."

  - Geoffrey Chaucer


Fashion is known for its dynamic nature. And while it is true that fashion hops on from one trend to the other in almost no time but that does not make the nature of fashion necessarily short-lived. Think of a basic white tee and blue denim, or little black dress, or a pair of a leather jacket as a winter essential; these are trends that managed to make a permanent place in people's wardrobe.

What makes a company, brand or an individual fashionable is the capacity to take inspiration from the old or the classics and give it a contemporary flair. The life of fashion moves around in a cyclic motion and trends have a habit of making a comeback in an evolved sense.

Designer Karl Lagerfield rightly said that Style is eternal.

Living in this madness called life; vibing with sunsets, music & fashion. Slave of nature and art.

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