Sweatpants Forever / Fashion Journalism

Sweatpants Forever: How the Fashion Industry Collapsed

I’m sure many of you have read this by now. I think it’s an elegantly written primer for those outside of the industry. However, I wish that journalists would spend time framing the issue outside of high-end designers. Certainly, that is the easiest framework for most, as, of course, like any industry, is complex. But we all know that this effects more than just Proenza.
I think the only outlet that did a good job of touching on issues outside of the Designer or Contemporary market was Racked.com (R.I.P.).

Do you ever wish that fashion journalists would spend time away from the glitz and the glamour? Or do you just figure that is better left in the trades?


I think it’s a complete ad for Sternberg. He either paid for the placement via PR or knows the author. I’m not buying that we all want to wear " basic" sweat pants. The information around the shameless promotion of Sternberg was good ish. Venture capital backed lines will fail. The endless deliveries every 2 weeks aren’t needed. Quality product that is well made and interesting, even minimally interesting is. Sternberg admits that he wasn’t a designer. He’s a marketer. If he was so great at economics, why didn’t he see that too much debt is a recipe for disaster. He’s correct that a 300 M+ fashion business model is doomed to fail, but smaller profitable ones may just work.

A better talk to listen to is Li Edelkoort on Dezeen . Fashion will be reset from the growth growth growth model that we do not need. I think it’s a perfect time for small designers to provide their newness.

There’s nothing wrong with responsible adornment. We dress up to entertain ourselves, or perhaps we enjoy quality. Fashion isn’t dead, but we can hardly call the endless churn , especially of " fast fashion" actually fashion.


Oh, good call out on possible Sternberg ad @Designla. I was reading with my emotions.

But what I was trying to get at is, the explanation about RTVs and the desire from retailers to have exclusives isn’t only for known labels, it affects everything in those stores. That wasn’t explained by the author. That these practices, among others, have been disastrous for not only the Batshevas but the footwear people and the make-up people and the sock people. Those suppliers that may not supply the most glamorous or name-brand goods as well. To truly show the scope of the problem.

Re: Li- I have a lot of respect for her, and have had the luck to be able to see a few of her presentations in person. They are truly moving. However, when she posted her manifesto a few years ago (2, 3?) about how the fashion industry is broken, and needs to change was not wrong, but it was too late. And I wonder if Li’s influence having been, at least in my professional world, superseded by WGSN, (which is a great tool, but even in it’s high-concept think pieces about using less or being a conscious consumer, still is ultimately about product) that it will take a while for the industry to truly reset and look towards thinkers like Li.

Even if we get back to thinkers, will it be too little too late because we are so trained towards immediacy?

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All agreed! Too many vendors, too many “brands,” which make everything look the same, even if it is an exclusive. No one needs that much.

Li tends to think that everything is always ending, yet had the $$$ to stay in South Africa for months, and survive because of “the industy.” I too saw some of her slide shows in person. I paid ofr the one from SA and was VERY disappointed. I felt, as a client, that she phoned it in.

I think that the big investment house days of fashion may be over, or maybe not. Materialism is how insecure people still show their "wealth."  We all need cheering up and plain sweats just won't float that boat for long.  Small artfully curated lines seem to be what may interest the fashion purists.
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