Fashion today is like rolling craps in Vegas—and even if you come up sevens, there’s no certainty of winning.
There are designers who maintain their relative independence, but even they are backed by corporations. Marc Jacobs and John Galliano continue to exercise their creativity thanks to Bernard Arnault and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (which launched Lacroix). Azzedine Alaïa operates in his own quiet way thanks to Richemont, and the rarely seen Martin Margiela had backing from Renzo Rosso of Diesel—that is, until Margiela retired from fashion as invisibly as he entered it.
They are rarities, though. What it comes down to is that in fashion, as in politics, the powers that be have to constantly sell themselves (sometimes I feel as if President Obama were running a fashion business). It’s all about hype, megastores and megamarketing. But what the fashion moguls should realize is that if all they’re selling is the same old same old, all that’s left is body coverings—garments with no imagination. Here’s hoping fashion’s creative spirit never wanes and women get tired of the clothes in their closets. Penny-pinching has its limits, after all, and the temptation of fashion will always be there.