What is it like to be in the Fashion Industry? Many say it is glamorous and fast paced excitement, while others say it is stressful, sleep depriving, and heart wrenching. I’ll tell you the truth! It’s all of the above, and more! It is a wonderful way for designers like myself to sit down at a table, and envision a creation, starting with a sketch and a small square of fabric. We educate ourselves in the finest schools, take low paying (if at all) internships to get our feet in the door, and work our way up, ever so slowly to where we are able to put our namesake upon a design we can call our very own.
Something that always shined in this business was the ability for all designers, editors, and stylists to come together with one goal; making all women who turn to us, fill their closets with clothes that ultimately get their breath of life when women put them on and feel happy as they begin their day. For us creators, we are astonishingly humbled to know women enjoy their lives in something we made for them. There is no greater feeling than to get a note in the mail, or a message in our inbox from a woman expressing her gratitude to us for making her look great, feel great, and get complimented wherever she goes. There is truly no greater honor.
It is for this reason, I was extremely disappointed and angry to read an article documenting a very serious controversy surrounding famed Vogue Fashion Editor Anna Wintour. It is being reported that she is discouraging designers, like myself, to stay clear of dressing Ann Romney because her politics do not align with the common place liberal beliefs in the fashion industry. That is pure discrimination which would result in a lawsuit against any employer should that be the reason behind excluding a prospective job application, or employee termination. How dare she…
It is widely known that Hollywood and Fashion take a far left position on politics and contrary to what you may believe, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I welcome the difference in opinion because that’s the epitome of why America is by far, the greatest country in the world. We are a free people who can think and vote as we wish, without fearing professional consequences or having our freedoms being taken away.
It is these same freedoms that come under attack when people like Anna Wintour exert her pressure upon us. We should be allowed to operate our businesses, which we built, at our discretion, and under OUR leadership. Her sole job it is to promote fashion to ALL women, of every color, race, nationality, religion, etc. Pressuring designers to turn to the evil disease of discrimination is an horrendously wrong turn for the industry.
In the most challenging times, which include global unrest, changing value of the US Dollar, shrinking profit margins to accommodate stores, and most of all, the intense effort to keep craftsmanship right here in the wonderful city of NY, we shouldn’t be dictated to by the “Queen of Fashion” that our ambition of seeing our designs on a wonderful woman like Ann Romney should be put back in our notebook as an off limits concept. How offensive!
Fox News reports: “Over the past year, the Vogue matriarch – who many say has enough power to make or break fashion careers – has become one of President Obama’s leading financiers. Wintour has raised over half a million dollars for the incumbent, hosted numerous lavish dinners in his name and even enlisted designer pals like Marc Jacobs and Thakoon Panichgul to design pro-Obama products”
It is one thing to be a fund-raiser, deploying designers to design for President Obama’s re-election bid as reported by Fox News, but it is another, to actually pressure designers to “say no” to the possibility of being honored by the possible next first lady if she should grace us with wearing something that ultimately took all our blood, sweat and tears to create.
I for one want absolutely nothing to do with this attack on women. This pressure upon designers should offend every woman in this country, not just the conservatives. Women all over should ask themselves why they read Vogue Magazine and think about why a magazine editor should be dictating who is deserving of our designs.
So I will close this op-ed by saying I hope all women, of every belief, faith and political stance, see this for what it truly is; an un-American, undemocratic, and unladylike attack upon not only Ann Romney, but the millions of American conservative women she insulted with this decree. After all, while the Devil wears Prada to cover major flaws, Ann Romney is pure class and I would be proud to have her wear my clothing as would most other designers.
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FGI Rising Star Award Winner 2011 for Womens Ready To Wear
Graduate of Parsons School of Design 2005