London Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, Arise Magazine Fashion Week, Boston Fashion Week, Chicago Fashion Week, South African Fashion Week, MTN Lagos Fashion and Design week, Lagos Style Week, Calabar Fashion Week, Rio Fashion Week, very soon you will see Lucy’s Teddy Bears’ Fashion Week…the fashion weeks and shows are endless.
I’m sure by now you’re wondering where I am going with this, I will get to my point soon just be patient. I have spent a number of years in the fashion industry and I have worked or sat in at a number of fashion shows. A few years back, the only fashion week worth discussing were the international shows in London, Paris, Tokyo, Milan and New York etc. These are shows executed with military precision, shows that only host the most dedicated and hardworking on the fashion scene. Important guests from the fashion world and designer’s personal clientele are always seated in the front row and placed very strategically too, so God forbid two feuding celebs or fashion pundits or even unmatched people were seated next to each other a la Nicki Minaj and Anna Wintour of which I believe were seated next to each other as a publicity stunt (did you see their body language? AWKWARD!!!)
Ok, so where was I? Yes, a few years back only the PROPERLY done international and local (Nigeria) fashion shows were worth anyone’s attention. There is Backstage coordination, stage production and management, opening faces for designers, fittings done with military precision, passionate stylists, incredibly talented and hardworking make-up and hair stylists…it is always about the total package with the tiniest detail taken care of season by season, year in year out to keep all fashion lovers across the world continuously engaged in the industry.
Unfortunately, these days it seems like just anyone and everyone can awaken from their slumber and declare a Fashion Week. Hence, I pose this question to them;- Based on what grounds, what sort of qualifications do you possess and how much experience do you have that gives you the audacity to wake up one hot afternoon and decide you want to have a fashion week? As someone who is passionate about the business of fashion, I take this very seriously. People no longer host fashion shows/weeks just for the unveiling of new collections, empowering young entrepreneurs in the industry, for the exhibition of art and talent. Nope. Most fashion shows now are seen as a means through which fast money can be made. It feels very insulting.
Fashion is art. Pure art. The exploitation of art only cheapens skill and talent. We all know this.
I also want to use this open letter to commend various creative directors such as; Style House Files and the Arise Magazine team. Companies and individuals of this caliber have used the initiative of fashion week for its original purposes and myself and the general public have benefited immensely from their respective projects; MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week and the Arise Magazine Fashion Week. For other fashion industry workers who are set to embark on equally credible projects, I commend you!
For the rest of you who see fashion shows and fashion weeks as a means through which you can make fast money – You are as fake as they come.