I’ve wanted to email you for a while now to tell you how inspired I am by you. As a 21 year old student, I am struggling to craft and understand a career that is my own. I am interested in what is unreal and what is real simultaneously. I’m in awe of the fantasy and dream world that fashion occupies, and yet, unimpressed with the falsehood that comes with it — understanding even more so after listening to your podcast.
Do you have any advice for how to achieve a career similar to the one you have?
Thank you for the inspiration,
You’re asking me about working in fashion, and being afraid of the falseness you perceive in that world.
You say that you are interested in what is unreal and what is real simultaneously – which is why fashion attracts you so much.
I always felt the same.
And I still do.
Fashion is magic. Making magic requires being behind the scenes. As with magicians, once you know the tricks and have had fun and been in awe discovering them for a while, very soon the magic is gone. When you work in fashion, you get to see all the ropes – and soon you forget the dream.
As you grow and learn, there are many traps. Because keeping the magic alive and staying focused on your dream is a superpower few of us really know how to harness.
In losing it, people can become insensitive, they can become become blasé. They can choose to forget about the real world. They can start to wear a mask. They can end up replacing the pursuit of magic by the pursuit of power.
Falseness comes when power is perceived as something you have to be given – and that can be taken away from you. Falseness is playing the role you think will work better for you in society. Falseness is fear, and it is everywhere – and even more present in industries whose missions are to create beautiful illusions. Illusions or perfection, illusions of beauty, illusions of grandeur.
But here is the thing.
The world needs to be revolutionized, repeatedly, by young dreamers. They are the ones who come and smash the fears. They change the conversation and they shift the power.
Dear Isabel, fashion needs young dreamers and young doers more than ever. Young people like you who are the way of a better, more inclusive, more environmentally conscious, more friendly, more creative, more authentic fashion.
Young dreamers with no fear.
I guess that’s what I was. I had nothing to lose, so I had no fear. I just did my thing, the thing I believed in and that felt true to me. I didn’t worry about what people where thinking of me until that part of my mission was done. Then one day, I was an insider. I was part of the industry. I started caring about things of the ego. Where I was sitting. Who was saying hello to me. Slowly, falseness entered my world.
What I had seen as a broken dream then, I understand now just as a sign that this specific mission was done.
It was time to move to another one, and to find new dreams.
And that is what I want to tell you today. Life is long and you won’t have just one career. Make peace with your fears and make peace with the fact that fashion may well be the passion of your life, as it could be the dream of five years of your life. It won’t make it less interesting. Go for it. You will learn, change, and evolve. Some of your dreams will be broken but new, stronger ones will emerge. One day you might decide you’ve had enough of this.
You can change, go away and work on making pottery – or politics – for a few years, and then come back – or never do.
Yes, your future will be as simple as that. You don’t have to worry about choosing the right path forever because you will make your path by following our dreams, and your energy.
Not the other way around.
It comes down to this : Nobody can give you power, and nobody can take your power – your power is in you.
Don’t think about what an industry will do to you, think of what you will do to an industry. Not from a place of ego but from a place of personal, quiet, decisive power.
Go for it, give it everything you have. The world needs you more than ever.
If you subscribe to our newsletter, then on February 1st you were one of the lucky recipients of this new series, Dear Garance! We get TONS of emails in our inboxes asking for advice of all sorts. We decided it was high-time we start answering some of them. So that’s exactly what Garance will do in her newsletter on the first day of each month — answer one of your questions! If you have a question you’d like Garance to answer please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage questions of all types; love, relationships, family, personal dilemmas, the meaning of life, and of course, career. And if you’d like to read Garance’s upcoming advice columns on the first of each month, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here!