Farewell, Fashion, My Frien(emy)

Work mantra for sure. Steve Martin knows what’s up.


Dear Fashion,

So, this is it. This is our last week working together. And this is my final goodbye.

I gotta admit – I’d be lying if I said I am 100% devastated to leave you (or take a break from you… or whatever lies in the cards for us in the long run). Our relationship has certainly had its ups and downs. But to say that you’ve taught me nothing and have done nothing to help me grow into a stronger person… well, that would just be a lie.

Here are some of the most interesting lessons I’ve picked up from working with you in the last five years.

1. When it comes to welcoming industry newbies, you are not one to sing “Kumbayah” and hold newbies’ hands every step of the way. First of all, you’re not a huge fan of words: being the creative cat that you are, you seem to prefer communicating visually, emotionally… and non-verbally. A fierce advocate of blending “instant satisfaction” with the “sink-or-swim” method, you’ve never really struck me as all that patient; direction and guidance are rarities when it comes to your style of teaching. And, quite frankly, your expectations for what I should be doing, and how I should be doing it, and how I should figure out how to do it typically end up being… well, ridiculous (“What do you mean you want me to figure out how to ship these twenty 40-pound cartons to Canada by myself on a Friday afternoon… and FedEx picks up in thirty minutes”). But hey, I’ve gotten used to it. Your craziness helped me foster a really strong friendship with my homie Google. #homiesforlife

2. The impossible is never impossible. And even if it is actually impossible, you expect it to be made possible, at all costs. “Feasibility” is not a word in your vocabulary. With you, the question is never “can it be done”; it’s always a question of, “when will it be done?” Admittedly, I fought you on a lot of these “impossible” ideas… but in the end, I think you won most of those battles. And you know what? I got used to that. Rerouting mistakenly addressed goods from one Italian address to another, on behalf of a third-party factory that speaks only Chinese? Done. Selling clothes off of sketches and hitting the sales quota? You got it. Telling customers they can’t sell our clothes, but still keeping the channel of communication open and positive? Psh, got this in my sleep. (Okay, “in my sleep” is definitely an exaggeration… these are all pretty difficult tasks, and they all made me want to rip my hair out at the time. But I survived, and I’m proud I can say that. Thanks for pushing me.)

3. You are craving something much more than just superficial validation. There’s this preconceived notion that you are only about all that glitz and glamour, that everything is just about looks with you. There’s truth in that, for sure, and I know it alienates you from other aspects of the real world at times… but over the years, I’ve gotten to know you a little better than that. I know there’s a lot more to you than meets the eye. Sure, you thrive off of your posse of aspiring designers, models, and PR gurus – you certainly need these creative minds to stay relevant – but what I think a lot of people don’t realize is that you desperately crave fellowship with grounded, practically-minded, and socially-conscious people who will help make your dreams become a reality. You crave it a lot more than people think. And my wish for you is that you start shedding light on that desire, and that you let those brilliant minds who operate a little differently than the creatives, into your life. You have tremendous power and influence, and I think that if you can find a way to integrate some of those practical minds into your creative posse, you can really bring a lot more light into the world.

Ultimately, Fashion, I’m glad we got to know each other over the years. Steve Martin once advised, “Be so good they can’t ignore you”; with your tough “love” (or whatever you call what we’ve had over the years… “mentorship”?), you’ve pushed me to chase that goal daily, because there’s no way we would’ve been friends for this long if I hadn’t embodied that mantra in my work. There were certainly times when you tested me, tormented me, made my blood boil… but honestly, surviving all of that has empowered me in the end. I feel like I can tackle anything now, and I have you to thank for that.

So thanks for everything, Fashion. I could say “good riddance”, but I think part of me actually looks back at our relationship over the years with fond memories. And who knows? Maybe we’ll work together again in the future. But for now, I think space is what we need right now… and I’m going to enjoy our time apart.

Peace out, Girl Scout. *deuces*





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