"My degree is in Fashion" - Did you just roll your eyes?

Tuesday, 14 November 2017
At age 7 when I loved to design clothes with brightly coloured pens and cute little stickers, adults used to laugh or smirk at me. At age 13 when I decided I wanted to have my own magazine people laughed and smiled sarcastically. When at age 16, after 3 years of saying I wasn’t going to uni, I announced I actually wanted to go, and I wanted to study fashion journalism or communication, those listening didn’t just laugh anymore, they also rolled their eyes.  

Now I’m 21, and I graduated 5 months ago with a 2:1 in Fashion Communication and Promotion. Since the day I started looking at universities and started to write my personal statement, I’ve noticed the look in people’s eyes when I told them what I was applying for or what I was studying. I’ve had rolled eyes, I’ve had looks of disappointment, I’ve had jokes made at my expense, you get the picture. When you tell someone that your degree or major is in fashion there is often a stereotype or negative stigma attached; and trust me, the fashion students and graduates have noticed. Dumb, vain, stupid, lazy, unaware, airheaded are just some of the things we’ve been called.

(^Me on the day I handed my dissertation in, after months of blood, sweat & tears)

“Studying a degree or working in fashion isn’t a proper career path, it doesn’t add anything to society, you’re just wasting time and money. Maybe you should do something worthwhile with your life. ” I bet these thoughts have crossed the mind of many people who know a fashion student or graduate. According to the Independent there are over 320 fashion degrees available in the UK, with anywhere between 20 and 150 students studying each course, each year. Working on averages (my maths probably isn’t perfect) that’s over 30 thousand students in the UK, and that figure doesn’t even include foundation degrees, MA’s or short courses.

If anything fashion students and graduates are a breed whose numbers are very quickly growing, and we have a whole lot to offer. The fashion industry brings £28 billion to the UK economy, and in my opinion that’s a whole lot of money. Oh yeah, and that’s alongside the 880,000 jobs fashion supports in the UK. So you may roll your eyes next time you hear that someone is studying or working in fashion, but I’ll let those stats speak for themselves – fashion, fashion students, fashion grads and creatives in general add a whole lot to society and I’m pretty sure to your life too.

I’m about 95% sure that at some point today, potentially right now, you’ve worn clothes. You’ve probably done a food shop, whether online or instore, this month. You’ve been exposed to up to 10,000 adverts, and that’s just today. Oh, and I can pretty much guarantee that you own or use some form of technology, cause without it you wouldn’t be reading this lil’ article.
In all of those circumstances and situations a fashion grad or creative has been involved in the process of getting that item or service to you, in one piece and to a good standard. Designers, buyers, managers, marketers, artists, communicators, freelancers, assistants, data analysts, writers, photographers, merchandisers, the list goes on. These incredibly talented, creative, hardworking people influence the daily lives of millions without them even knowing, and often that is the beauty of it.

So next time you roll your eyes at the young girl who wants to be a fashion designer or journalist, or condescendingly laugh or smirk at the teenager who wants to go to university to study fashion or another creative degree. Or you compare that young person to your child or nephew or cousin who’s a teacher, or secretary or builder or pharmacist or public speaker or bar tender, maybe stop yourself first, and think. Because next time you go shopping, or watch a TV show or use your phone, someone just like them is the reason you’re doing what you’re doing, wearing what you’re wearing, sitting on what you’re sitting on or watching what you’re watching. The person you’re talking to or laughing at is probably hardworking, creative, diligent, passionate or talented. So give them a pat on the back and tell them to follow their dreams, rather than roll your eyes or laugh at them, you never know, they'll probably change the world one day.  

God Bless 
1 comment on ""My degree is in Fashion" - Did you just roll your eyes?"
  1. Girl this article was so powerful. I get the same kind of thing too when people see that I'm into fashion, and social media managing. They think that it's not an actual career and it is. But people just need to realize that we do make an impact in society, and it's not just a joke. Just keep being you girl, and don't let those people get to you.


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