Fashion An Open Letter to American Fashion Designers

Fashion An Open Letter to American Fashion Designers

Fashion

We are living in unprecedented times. It feels dramatic to say, but clearly, as so many industries and cities grind to a halt in the face of COVID-19, it’s true. And more importantly, there’s a very real human toll to the coronavirus; we at Fashionista are thinking of David Lat, our colleague and founder of our sister site Above the Law, who is currently in the hospital in serious condition. We’re wishing him a very speedy recovery.

It is easy, I think, to feel powerless in the face of something so uncontrollable. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but it has been deeply challenging for me to work on fashion and beauty stories knowing the difficulties which likely lie ahead for so many of us. I want to do more. 

But here at Fashionista, our corner of the world is fashion and beauty, and our industry is feeling the effects of COVID-19 just the same as everyone else. We have been trying to offer both stories which can serve as escapism and stories about the impact of coronavirus; our peers at Business of Fashion, Vogue.comVogue Business, WWD and The New York Times have all been doing an excellent job tackling every angle of our current crisis. 

Still, as worried as I am about…well, everything, I worry for our American designers the most. We have so much young talent here, designers who are showing a lot of promise who might not be as protected by massive conglomerates as their peers in Europe might be. (Though of course I recognize that they, too, will have their own set of issues in the coming weeks and months.) I know that this time has been extraordinarily scary and uncertain for them, and the challenges to their businesses are unlike anything most of them have faced yet in their careers.

Which is why, if you’re an American designer, I want to hear from you. When I was promoted to editor-in-chief last fall, I told many people that I felt lucky to be a temporary custodian of such a valuable platform in our industry — and that having this platform means nothing if I can’t do something with it. I know everyone on our team feels the same way. 

So we want to share this platform with the American fashion community, because we need to work together now more than ever. If you’re a designer, I want to hear from you: If there is something you think we should look into, flag it for us. If you want to write an op-ed about your own particular struggles or successes, even anonymously, send it to us. Hell, if you just want to scream into a void, you can let my inbox be that void. You can find me at tyler@fashionista.com. 

And I want to thank everyone who reads Fashionista. I got my foot in the door of this industry through an internship here, a website I read so obsessively in college and grad school that I knew the publishing schedule. I know what it has meant to me, and through stories I’ve been told by countless others, I know what it has meant for my many of my peers, too. We want to continue to deliver on that for you, the reader, during these crazy times, and my inbox is open to you as well.

It has been a real honor and privilege to be even a small cog in the wheel of the American fashion industry, and I am grateful to have come up in it at a time where kindness and collaboration is celebrated. 

We’re going to get through this together. 

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