Long time no blog eh’ – I’ve no excuse really apart from the fact that work and book have been ever-present on the ‘to do’ list and the blog had to take a breather.
So, I was debating whether to make a comment about the below article because it will label me as old, bitter and twisted (most of which is true) but at the same time, there was something in Colin McDowell’s piece for the B.O.F that really resonated with me – so I will share it, and then you can make the judgment on my bitterness.
The jist of his article is based in the premise that the hiking up of tuition fees (in the areas of Art and Fashion) will alienate the creative hub of England and will produce graduates from the privileged classes who are lacking in the ‘design hunger’ and who want to take the easy road to success..
Now to be fair, I don’t think that is a new situation. I don’t think the increase of fees will help the situation, and I agree with Colin about alienating the raw talent that cities like London nurture, but I think (and this is from experience) that over the last 10 years, there are already too many fashion graduates entering the industry expecting a cushy journey or exotic trips and instant fame.
Is there someone to blame? Or is it how society is now with an instant gratification generation expecting something for nothing?
The number of grads I have met who seem to think their first job should be senior designer or sourcing manager is quite scary, the knowledge they gather at college is basic and theoretical and is a great starting point, but it’s just that, a starting point.
It takes years to learn the industry and to understand the nuances of the process, It simply doesn’t happen in 6 months, yet trying to explain this to a first jobber is like telling them their dog died! It leaves them distraught and crest fallen.
Are colleges really to blame for this? Do they teach students that anything is possible and in 6 months they will get to be head of Dior? I don’t think so.
Or is it the preconceived notion from the likes of E! that the fashion industry is a ride to easy town in a pretty frock? After all Lindsay Lohan became creative had of Ungaro (albeit for 1 miserable season) – so therefore anyone can do it – and fail?
Whatever the case, the industry is changing and graduates expectations of it need to be kept in check.
Maybe the increase in college fees will prompt the colleges to really analyse what they are teaching and nudge them to make the courses more vocational and industry realistic, maybe it’s the job of the industry to re train the graduates once they start at the bottom rung, or maybe we have lost the likes of raw talent that once graced the streets of our cities and are let with a team of ‘i-want-it-now’ graduates.