This was the title of a panel at the 92nd Street Y that I went to at the last minute a few weeks ago. Someone on my Twitter list had an extra ticket and I decided it would be interesting to listen to Cindi Leive, Ashley Olsen, Isaac Mizrahi and Robin Givhan speak about the future of the fashion industry.
I went away wishing that the event had just been a presentation by Robin rather than panel discussion, since she definitely had the most thoughful and interesting commentary on the fashion business, standards of beauty in the media, and the role of clothing in our lives.
But nevertheless, attending the event forced me to rethink some bleak truths:
The power of celebrity to sell products, whether it's Ashley Olsen as a designer or Michelle Obama as a trendsetter.
We live in a time where the same idea will be sold at dozens of different price points and quality levels, and it is up to us as consumers to decide where within the range we will participate. This decision is to be repeated ad nauseum. As a designer, the goal is to figure out where in the spectrum you are comfortable being, and where your skills and aesthetic tendencies are best utilized.
No one really knows what the future will hold - you could've had me and a few of my friends in the industry up there instead of the panelists and although our opinions may stem from less practical experience, our guesses could have been just as valid.
Above, an image by illustrator Anna Higgie