When Fashion Became "Pop." Thoughts?


Mar 1, 2015
I was reading an interview with Raf Simons about his exit as creative director of Dior – the interview as a whole is really interesting – but a few quotes in particular stuck out to me.

"Fashion became pop. I can’t make up my mind if that’s a good or a bad thing. The only thing I know is that it used to be elitist. And I don’t know if one should be ashamed or not to admit that maybe it was nicer when it was more elitist, not for everybody. Now high fashion is for everybody."

"You know, we did this collection in three weeks," he tells me, not defending the show but, rather, stating the reality that now faces high-fashion houses. "Tokyo was also done in three weeks. Actually everything is done in three weeks, maximum five. And when I think back to the first couture show for Dior, in July 2012, I was concerned because we only had eight weeks."

"When you do six shows a year, there’s not enough time for the whole process," he explains. "Technically, yes — the people who make the samples, do the stitching, they can do it. But you have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important. When you try an idea, you look at it and think, Hmm, let’s put it away for a week and think about it later. But that’s never possible when you have only one team working on all the collections."

Here's a link to the article. http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/bof-exclusive/bof-exclusive-raf-simons-i-dont-want-to-do-collections-where-im-not-thinking

I believe in ********izing fashion in terms of people having access to various styles at whatever price points, but with the rise of fast fashion in particular, and designers having to produce multiple collections every year within three to five weeks, there has been a noticeable decline in clothing quality and perhaps innovation over time, which has been discussed on this forum. I’m not saying I want a return to elitist fashion in the sense that only certain sectors have access to certain designers, but I do wonder what the pervasiveness of fashion has cost us, not only with the clothes themselves, but our attitudes toward clothing generally.

Designers are stretched thin and turnovers seem to be increasing every year, and creativity is sometimes sacrificed for the bottom line. When I look at vintage clothes and see the fabrics, seams, lining, fit, and overall quality…we shouldn’t have to accept lower standards to have easier/wider access.

More and more designers are also speaking out about the hectic pace of fashion today, and how they crash and burn as a result. See this article here as another example.


I don’t have an easy answer to the question of elitist fashion being better – or any answer really, as I don’t want anyone excluded from anything. However, in my more uncomfortable moments, I’m also not sure if fashion becoming “pop” is entirely a good thing. I love bloggers and how more voices have a chance to express themselves these days (never liked the idea of certain magazines and editors/writers dictating all fashion), but the excessive focus on image, mass consumption, feeding into the short attention span culture of today, and corporations no longer caring about quality because they know they'll have enough customers who don’t care….Thoughts?


Jul 17, 2008
There were always different tiers of quality and style, and big businesses not caring for style always existed. Even sweat shops are hardly a new thing. Internet just makes it seem like everyone is wearing the latest thing, but is not always possible to see the difference in quality in photos. There are still good quality clothes out there, and we still have to search hard to find them. The main problem is that overconsumption of cheap 'stuff' is using up the planets resources at an alarming rate. I was reading at an exhibition by UCL that 40% of the worlds resources were used the last 40 years.