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Not A Hobby: Why It’s Important To Take Fashion Seriously And Study

Learn about things and discover what you’re most brought to, and if by then you feel like making a living out of it is what you desire, go for it.

If you ever wanted to make a career in Fashion, I’m sure you’ve heard things like ‘but why don’t you try something safer?’ or ‘are you sure? It's hard to stand out’ or even ‘that’s not a career, you should find a real job'. People say that as if Fashion is just a hobby, and not a potential professional choice – or worse, as if the whole concept of Fashion could be totally defined by the clothes we wear, when we know it is so much more than that. Let’s not forget about the fact that we’re talking about one of the most lucrative industries in the planet, one that creates and guarantees people’s jobs all over the world – so how could it not be considered as a career option? Also, this is an industry with some specific aspects to be considered, some that are not usually found on many others. More than its economic value, fashion holds loads of cultural impact and historical volume. We can’t even begin to count how many cultures have been kept alive by its garments and clothing, or even by specific sewing techniques applied to them. Fashion is not only a sign of the times but a representation of time itself, one can study the whole human history just by going through the pages of a fashion history book. It is way more complex and plural them people might think at first, and Fashion deserves to be well respected because of it known and undoubtable importance.

I’m not here to say you have to choose fashion as your major to be passionate about it – but you do have to do your research to actually know what you’re talking about. There are many ways to keep informed about the subject, like reading books and fashion magazines, listening to podcasts or watching videos and masterclasses – even TikToks and pop culture elements might help. All of those things will be a great start on getting to know fashion a little better. Most part of the professionals that are currently in the industry - them being designers, models, fashion journalists, stylists and everything else – started their passion from being total newbies, and many of them have developed a deep sense of style not from paying too much attention to what they wore, but by always looking into fashion magazines and other channels. So if you want to get started or to grow in the business, make sure to have your reading always up to date.

To make things a little more clear, we talked to Natália Janiques, a brazilian student that’s majoring in Fashion in one of the best colleges of the country. Like many of us, she also discovered her interest in fashion at a very young age, so when asked about how did she find out her passion, her answer was quick and straight. “My mother is a jewerly and fashion designer. So my very first sight of interest was when I watched her make those giant wedding dresses. I even learnt how to sew when I was seven, but I left it aside for a while. It was not untill the pandemic that I got back to it as I couldn’t stop looking at all the magazines my mom had. When I got back to it, I learnt most of the things by myself as I watched Youtube videos and TikToks, read a bunch of books and got really good at drawing”, she said. But even if you identify with all that, you might still struggle to make your choice and set your foot at making fashion your path. “Because it‘s not a conventional major, I felt a little lost even though I’ve always felt deep connected to the fashion world. I talked to my sister, the most important person in the world to me, before I could make this decision. But once it was made, I was sure it was the best thing for me”, Natália completes.

About the classes, she says that the best thing about it is how deeply explored creativity is – a total must to be part of the fashion pack. “The whole program is based in literally everything you need to know about this world, and you can find out what you like or don’t like and dive deeper into things from there. It’s such a wide world that you can work in more than one market at once, so we really need to know at least a little about every part of it”. Also, don’t think that to know about the practice and how-to-do things is enough, theory and history are just as important – if not more. “Those are probably the pilars to become anything in the industry, we have to know what came first in order to create, practice or write new things. How else would we be able to come up with something valuable?”

With all that being said, I believe we have enough to make anyone see fashion as a lot more than a hobby, but a way to make a name and a living for yourself. “People from the outside tend to think about Fashion and not more than a hobby, but I believe it is one of the markets where you most need abrangent knowledge. What we really need to do to break that idea is to stop listening to people who talk about fashion without any base to it and start giving space to the ones who really work hard on that. Fashion is like any other job, and you wouldn’t trust a doctor who has only watched Grey’s Anatomy”.

Starting a fashion career can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time, as the fashion world can seem like a huge strange place with complex rules and options at first, but it’s really not that hard and it is definetely a viable path. If you’re just getting started and thinks that everyone around you already instinctually understands fashion, just know that this is not something they were born with. Just like any other skill, it takes some tie and a little practice, but it can always be learnt. The people around you who seems like they have a naturally keen eye for fashion have only been practicing for longer than you – but you have a lot of great resources to get you to where you want to be. At first, once you’re aware about your passion and has made up your mind about starting to learn fashion in all its layers, your primary goals should be to observe, understand and study the various aspects of a fashion statement, them being outfits, magazines and so on. Just don’t settle for having just a fashion hobby if that’s not what you want. Learn about things and discover what you’re most brought to, and if by then you feel like making a living out of it is what you desire, go for it. Fashion is much more than a hobby or a concept, it is a career path as viable as any other, actually, as Natália Janiques said, it is instant language.

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