But I Have a Degree in Fashion Design

Bonjour mes amies!

For years my dear amies and family suggested that I start blogging, being on social media, and essentially sharing me with everyone.

“You travel so much, your style is amazing, and you’re such an interesting person. The world needs to see this. You’d inspire so many people.”

I was reluctant to take this leap for more reasons than one.

One of my concerns was that I did not want to be lumped into the “vlogger/influencer/blogger” category.

To me, anyone could create a website or social media account and begin uploading photos of their stylish #ootd (outfit of the day).

I didn’t want to be a part of that; pure vanity metrics.

My choice was not a slight to any vlogger/ blogger/influencer because while I wasn’t on social media at the time, I did enjoy watching fashion and style vlogs on Youtube.

My hesitancy to not go the blogger/vlogger/influencer route was solely because I invested beaucoup time and money obtaining my degree in Fashion Design. My understanding of fashion surpasses what’s “in and out” this season.

I studied Fashion Design in Seattle, Washington, and then Milan, Italy. As fabulous as that sounds (it truly was), design school is NOT filled with fashion shows and sketching.

I took this photo in 2006. I captured a flatlay before “flatlays” were a thing!

I spent weeks on end only having a few hours of sleep for many reasons, some being: I needed to hand sew beading on a gown, or the pattern I spent six hours making was 1/16″ off.

Design school required countless hours of studying garment construction, textile science, chemistry, sourcing and production, and history. Very little time was allotted to the fabulous fashion illustration courses one may think of when fashion design school comes to mind.

After graduating from design school, I became an assistant buyer, I launched a clothing line (pattern making, construction, marketing, and sourcing was done in house), I found myself working as a textile designer for a trés, trés notable fast-fashion brand in Istanbul, Turkey, and the list goes on.

Again, I’ve devoted much of my education and career to all things design, so being considered “just a blogger” didn’t settle well avec moi.

And then came the guilt.

“Am I overreacting by being offended if I’m known as just a blogger?”

“Should it matter if mes amies didn’t know that I have extensive experience and education in Fashion Design?”

And lastly, the most shameful thought…

“Is having a fashion design degree significant?”

That last thought is an insecurity that I’ve always battled with since returning to the US.

In the EU, art, design, and aesthetically pleasing things are taken trés, trés seriously. In the US and especially in a city filled with JDs and attorneys, I always felt that my degree was, well, ridiculous.

I am finally in a space where I am confident and comfortable with being in a room filled with Ph.Ds and saying that I have a degree in Fashion Design (one of three degrees.)

I am also finally secure with validating my own feelings and being ok with not wanting to be seen as just another blogger/vlogger/influencer. I paid my dues to the fashion industry, well before “influencing” was a thing.

Mes amies, if you’ve worked for it, own it. Never feel slighted externally but more so internally regarding your accomplishments.

Ciao for now 💋

2 Comments

  1. Dawnjalice Brown

    That is us as black women in a nutshell feeling the need to validate ourselves. So many insecurities come built in like a shell on a nut. We just have to break through and realize, it’s not that serious and I don’t care if…

    Like

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