The fashion world
At first glance, one might think that talking about fashion refers to a territory dominated by women, a cultural, communicative, and creative space designed by and for them. However, the fashion world has room for both men and women.
Even though the female consumer is the industry’s strong target, the leading companies on the scene are male-dominated.
A research study carried out in the United States revealed that men still manage international fashion despite being the market’s highest spenders.
Data from Paris Women’s Fashion Week
Let us resort to cold data to outline this reality. If we look at the Paris Women’s Fashion Week show calendar, out of the more than 90 catwalks presented, less than 30% of the brands have female creative directors. LVMH, Delphine Arnault, is the only woman among all the company’s male executives.
The study called “The Glass Runway” (The glass runway) presented just days ago, was prepared by the Council of Fashion Designers of the United States. In it, 191 companies participated and included the retail, creative, and corporate sectors, of which 530 people completed it.
In tune with the pattern seen in other industries, the study revealed very little difference in ambition between male and female fashion students. Women lead the number of students in design schools. However, the woman manages only 14% of the top fashion brands—a reality without doubt, paradoxical.
The consumer sets the trend
There is no doubt that if something that matters to the fashion industry today, it is to sell their creations. Fashion design, conceived as art, creation, and innovation, has been relegated by the need for survival, that is, to have benefits. The firms and brands produced according to the clients’ tastes and analyzed through exhaustive market studies. Thus, no matter how much it appears on most international catwalks, it will not become a trend if a garment does not convince. And in this monitoring, men have the power of decision and leadership.
Raf Simons has talked endlessly about the complications and shortcomings of running a company; The pressure and little time cost him his job at Dior. Something similar happened to Nicolás Ghesquière and Alexander Wang when they left Balenciaga. The advance of the industry and the need to comply with immediacy is an obstacle for any gender. However, with the small advances that we have made in the last year and with much work still to be done, women in large positions seem to move more towards reality than a possibility or a simple social manifesto.
The world of fashion is changing
Similarly, the sexism in the CFDA survey may seem surprising, considering that there are more female CEOs in the fashion industry in the world and the United States.
The summary of Diane Von Furstenberg’s situation, an emblematic businesswoman whose name baptizes one of the great empires of international beauty: “it is necessary to sensitize and alert the Human. Resources departments of all companies, even those in industries outside the fashion.” We face a social, generational, and cultural question that goes beyond a merely focused fashion analysis. The truth is that efforts must be strong to promote professional participation without distinction of gender, emphasizing skills, and experience over other less relevant denominators such as age, sex, ethnicity, etc.
The world of fashion is changing. It’s the right time to start thinking about leading the direction of an industry that serves women. No male discrimination. Yes, gender equality
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