18. If it’s cool and fashionable – run from it before it eats you up.  

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I just got an email from Bag, Borrow and Steal the handbag rental people asking me, "Are you on Trend?" and I have to say, no, I'm probably not and I'd like it to stay that way.

Trrrr-end. The whole point is that it's ephemeral; by the time one fashion is ubiquitous it's already the beginning of the end for it.

The web spreads trends far faster than ever before, and globally. So it's easy to keep up with them and often just as easy to latch on and design something similar. This may work if you are a high street fashion chain focused on selling affordable throw-away clothes (whatever you feel about the ethics of that) but it can be disastrous if you're a small studio. Why? Well, in practical terms you just won't have the speed of distribution - even if you're selling mostly online not many people will see your stuff fast enough if the fashion proves fleeting. Far more importantly though, if you jump on a lot of the new fads, then before long you'll be just a copyist, with nothing distinctively yours. Okay, you may make some money from it, but probably not for long, and meantime you'll have missed opportunities to build your own distinctive brand style.

So please, I know it's tempting, but don't get eaten up by the big monster of "currently cool". Find your own way, develop your own look and feel, and have the confidence to be yourself, not a pale shadow of some other artist or designer. By all means be aware of trends and influenced by them - you will be in any case, whether you embrace this or not. But don't follow fashion - find your own style and one day fashion, fickle as ever, just may follow you. At least for a while.

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2 comments: to “ 18. If it’s cool and fashionable – run from it before it eats you up.