Fashion vs. Style

I first became interested in the Fashion Industry as a young middle school student; I believe I was 12. Watching runway shows and seeing how glamorous people lived really appealed to me. I wanted to be that girl, the one who wore designers and had a driver and always appeared busy yet wasn’t too busy to enjoy lunch with my girlfriends. I mean let’s face it, who DOESN’T want to be that girl?!?!

As the years went by I still was intrigued by the Industry and ultimately decided to pursue fashion design by attending FIDM. During my application interview, I was asked what my ultimate goal was and I, of course, said to own my own fashion line. Because of that, my adviser recommended Apparel Manufacturing Management instead of Fashion Design, so I hesitantly changed my major because I trusted her.

Fast forward a bit: I attended school, graduated, and immediately began working. Initially, I was doing admin work in a healthcare facility but eventually I got the opportunity to work at a company that produced t-shirts and sweaters. I was excited! I finally got to work in the Apparel world!

Fast forward again, and we are where I’m at now. I have had the unique opportunity to be on the “other” side of business. So often, all most people see are glamorized images of buyers and people who work in the Fashion/Apparel industry. The truth is, the industry is so far from glamor in real life. There are crazy deadlines, unspeakably shady things going on, etc. I can’t really say too much for the sake of confidentiality.

Why is all of that relevant, then? Because seeing all of this drastically changed my perception and ultimately my idea of what I wanted to do with my life. For so long I thought I wanted to be the next Rachel Zoe or the next Stella McCartney. But the more I worked in the apparel world, the more I began to loathe “fashion.” Let me explain.

In my humble opinion, “fashion” has more to do with how you want others to perceive you versus how you really are. Have you ever seen those girls? The ones who constantly post photos of their Chanel makeup, their Louboutin shoes and their Gucci purses? Do they annoy you just a bit? For me, I’m more curious as to what they’re hiding behind all of those names. From this curiosity, my passion for “style” grew.

“Style,” again in my humble opinion, focuses entirely on expressing who you are as a person through your clothing. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing Simply Vera by Vera Wang or if you’re wearing Vera Wang Signature, the bottom line is you look and feel fabulous exactly as you are. There is not pretending to be someone or trying to impress others with your fancy dress. Style is admitting that you have flaws and then embracing them instead of doing everything possible to cover them.

That is why I am an Image Consultant and not a Fashion Stylist. Do runway shows still intrigue me? Absolutely! I love fabric and I find it very interesting when they are combined in different ways. But what I don’t love about the Fashion industry is the underlying message that you have to be rich and bored in order to be fabulous. It’s just simply not true! I want a career that means something. I don’t want to just style clothes in a manner that makes you want to buy them so that I can get filthy rich. That is not my goal. I truly have a passion for helping people love who they are. I struggled with low self-esteem; I know what it’s like.

You’re not in this alone. Your style is not indicative of anyone else but YOU. Embrace it!!

-Krystine Alaina

No Comments

Leave a Reply