Formal Education and Fashion
In recent years, we have seen a variety of figures rise to fame through Instagram and hence receive jobs and credibility. They have done projects that sold out, collaborated with the biggest names and influenced the masses. Before social media these types of figures didn’t exist on the same level, there are no more socialite, now they are “Influencers”, look at Ian Connor, Ass Pizza or Gully Guy Leo, all have risen to fame through their Instagram pages. Leo has released multiple clothing projects, although fairly new to the scene, Ass Pizza has done a variety of projects with his group the Spaghetti Boys, most notably collaborating with Off-White and Ian Connor has done everything from working with Pink Dolphin to styling Kylie Jenner.
Ofcourse these influencers are relevant now, but let’s look at the other end of the spectrum, Virgil Abloh, with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in architecture, he has definitely gone through the higher education process. Virgil Abloh has been relevant in streetwear for quite some time now, from being Kanye West’s creative director, to projects like Pyrex or Been Trill. To a lot, he may seem just like these influencers, and in recent interview with W Magazine, he was dubbed the king of super influencers, but he is quite the opposite, being part of the select 8% of the US with a master’s degree. Now let’s look at the greats in menswear today, Raf Simons, a degree in industrial design, Hedi Slimane, a degree in art history as well as an apprenticeship with a tailor, Martin Margiela, a degree in fashion from the same school that produced the Antwerp Six. These are the designers that have stood the test of time, I mean even take Rei Kawakubo, the second living designer to be honored by the MET, who has been designing for close to 45 years, has a degree in fine art.
Now I know all these influencers maybe very popular right now, but name a socialite from the past that has stayed as relevant as these designers have. You could argue that social media is going to keep them relevant, but as I mentioned before, time will tell if there is a new path to the fashion industry.