Why Fashion Matters
Fashion is the most immediate and intimate form of self-expression. Faster than anything else, what we wear tells the story of who we are – or who we want to be. Yet even as fashion touches the lives of each and every one of us, it can seem mysterious.
Who better to guide readers into the dizzying world of fashion than Frances Corner, Head of London College of Fashion and a leading expert on this rapidly expanding, increasingly global, always exciting industry? In 101 provocative entries Corner teases out the glorious intricacies and contradictions of an industry that simultaneously values technology and craft, timeless style and fast fashion, the bespoke and the mass-market, consumption and sustainability, cold-hard numbers and creative expression. From ‘Karl Lagerfeld and High-Tech Fur’ to ‘The White Shirt’ to ‘The One Trillion Dollar Business’, each entry offers a unique avenue into fashion and its impact, both positive and negative, on lives around the globe. Accessible, instructive and hugely enjoyable, this book will be essential reading for anyone involved in fashion, business, education and beyond.
"I am a fashion activist and I am committed to using the power of fashion to tackle social, environmental, economic and ethical issues. Many people see fashion as ephemeral and frivolous but I see it as a creative, enterprising and a multi-faceted industry that is vital to our economic and personal well-being.
In 2016, the industry was projected to reach a staggering $2.4 trillion in total value. If it were ranked alongside individual countries’ GDP, the global fashion industry would represent the world’s seventh largest economy. It is the second biggest worldwide economic activity for intensity of trade , employing over 57 million workers in developing countries with 80% of whom are women.
Although, it is not just the fashion industries economic power which is important, it is also the impact it has on each and every one of us. Fashion has the ability to change and shape lives through its personal connection to us all. We all have to wear clothes and every piece of clothing we buy represents a personal choice – it is this intrinsically human relationship between us and our fashion, that makes it political. Whether you are wearing a knitted pink pussy hat on a march, wearing an item, colour or brand of dress to express your beliefs or using your business to improve working conditions, fashion can and does encompass the political."
- Frances Corner