Hello my dear puzzled readers,
Yes, I was as puzzled as you are when I saw this title to an elaborate article telling us about this panel where 4 men and 4 women (keep the gender division politically correct) discussed Fashion issues today.
These fashion insiders discussed possible improvements in the rapidly changing landscape of the fashion industry.
From "star designers" who are in and out of jobs at fashion houses, to "too many runway shows", on to "we might be relying too heavily on customers and sales figures"...... They finalized their discussion with a shattering conclusion: "future fashion designers will need some business savvy"!
In the past 10 years, I (R.R.) have been consulting young designers, mature fashion companies and lecturing in many & different conferences and panels about all the above issues.
Nothing in those issues is new.
* Designers are opting for their own labels.
* Runway shows are not the ideal venue to see clothes.
* Brands are so obsessed with listening to consumers....
* The "new" need is for the holy triangle: Disciplines, Design & Business
(which I will refer to as DDB).
* Fashion should match your personal beliefs, a point which I totally contradict. This is what fashion educators are doing today with a complete disregard to DDB.
The customer is the ONLY person who can act upon their belief, and yes, it is about business, figures and sales!
Fashion education can touch all the above points but they are still too detached from the "real" world of commerce. If the fashion insiders are claiming that designers are too obsessed with listening to the consumers, where is the guideline you can give them?
There must be a solution and not only a claim!
I am totally aware of this claim and have been dealing with it in my own business for the past 30 years!
There are very distinct guidelines of how to listen, who to listen to, how to analyze comments from the public....The honorable panel was far from touching all these points. Throwing the responsibility on the educator's shoulder will not do as I have so often seen and experienced.