Tuesday, May 28, 2013

REPOST: On the Street……Centro, Mexico City



The other day I posted a photo of a young design student from Centro Design School in Mexico City.  I said that it was nice to see a student that actually looked like she was interested in working in the fashion business.


Well,  that ruffled a lot of feathers (or fabrics).


I received several emails protesting that a student’s hectic work schedule doesn’t allow “looking good” to be high on his or her list of priorities.


It seemed a lot of you were hurt that I just didn’t understand how tough it was for overworked fashion design students.


Sorry, I understand completely because I lived that life 25 years ago.


Above is a top collar that I hand Stitched in a tailoring class (I would show you the finished suit but Mom threw it out !!;( )   I too spent countless days and nights in the sewing lab just like fashion students today.


However, I wish the 45 year old me would have given the 20 year old me this advice….To be a successful fashion designer, it’s not all about what happens in the design studio.


You have to learn something about how to manage a business (especially since most designers start their businesses balancing between being the designer, accountant, press agent, etc), how to articulate your design concept and how to personally embody the spirit of the brand you hope to build.


Do you think Karl ever says “I’m too busy/tired to look like Karl today?” (And before you say “oh he has massive numbers of people helping him” believe me, he is more busy than any design student.)


Most design schools don’t do a great job teaching this reality to students so you can put off until after you graduate to start learning these other skills and habits, but why wait?  Start manifesting these skills/habits now.


At least challenge yourself to start personally embodying the spirit of your design aesthetic; Karl looks like his designs, Giorgio looks like his designs, Raf looks like his designs.  It’s not easy, but neither is the fashion industry.



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  1. galina

    May 28, 2013 at 5:17 pm


    • Coco

      June 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Amen +1! And, it should apply to all the creative arts, not just the fashion business.

    • andreea

      June 11, 2013 at 6:29 am

      each person has their own road


    • Oni

      July 8, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      I’ve been a designer for 10 years now, I work for a big design house in LA, and I also do my own thing on the side. One thing I know for certain is that as a designer you have to not only do the part, but you have to look the part. I’ve turned down assistants because they had dirty hair or were not dressed appropriately. If you can’t put yourself together how seriously will you take your job>?

  2. irene laura

    May 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    well, I think on one side appereance does not matter that much as long as there’s talent, but I honestly can’t disagree with your comment of that post because (don’t know if that’s good or bad) how you look is very important for the world of work we will have to live in once we complete our studies. Especially in fashion !


    • Hannah

      May 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Ah, but the world of fashion is based on appearances, so saying appearance doesn’t matter seems a bit hypocritical if you intend on working in the fashion industry.

    • Smartypants

      June 2, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      So agree w/@Hannah…It sounds very strange to say looks do not matter if your vocation is in the fashion industry – Tell your potential clients/customers that looks and appearance do not matter…why listen to the designer who does not care about mere “appearances”…

  3. Beth Krommes

    May 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Bravo, Scott.

    • Ronnie

      May 31, 2013 at 1:59 am

      Totally Agree!

  4. Hannah

    May 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Amen, Scott. Couldn’t agree with you more.

  5. Eva

    May 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    What a great article and if you ask me you’re absolutely right!

  6. Izela Cadena M.D.

    May 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    SOOO TOOOOOTALLY AGREEEE! That´s exactly what I was talking about! Dress (at least dress, not to say be prepared in all the other aspects of it) for the job you WANT, not for the one you have ;) nice post Scott!

  7. FripperyVintage

    May 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    It is so interesting how people project themselves into your work. Fashion students related to the photo in a completely different way than say a non student. I just took it as a beautiful girl working hard at something she loved.

  8. Bibi Broderick

    May 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I am glad you wrote this reply.

    I went to art school, I worked for 21 years in advertising and taught at the University level for 7. I am now retired and am a full time artist.

    This advice to look good, always, by what ever means we have at our disposal is good advice. If people think you care because you took the time to dress nice, making connections is that much easier.

    • Mimi Drop

      May 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Perfectly said. Looking amazing will help you in any career.

      • whyamireadingthis

        June 14, 2013 at 10:13 pm

        Looking fashionable won’t get you very far in engineering or science. It’ll get you a lot of confused looks and (if you’re a woman) some weird comments. Just for the record.

        I also wouldn’t take a construction worker, or mechanic, or someone like that seriously if they dressed fashionably.

        Yes, engineers probably aren’t the intended audience for this blog, but I like to point out the exceptions to blanket statements,

        • charlie

          June 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm

          Thank you for pointing that out. It’s often forgotten by people in the fashion industry or interested in it that most of the world’s population actually DOESN’T work in a job where looking good, let alone fashionable, is a priority of any kind.

          And students are students, not businesspeople. They go to school to hone their skills, not display them. The attitude that students should already be showing off before they’ve even learned is baffling to me, and seems to be the foundation of a very damaging shift in how education is administered.

        • Lilah

          July 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm

          Exactly. I’m an engineer and I love fashion, but I always make sure that I dress conservatively if I’m going to a client meeting. You want to give the impression that you are practical, and not frivolous which unfortunately dressing fashionably can indicate to some. As a woman in this field, I need to be especially careful about that.

    • magpie

      May 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      So true. I will add that looking good–being able to think about and construct a purposeful self-image through style–is not just an obligation for those in fashion; it’s a privilege!

      I have to bill 3000+ hours a year (and there are many who outwork me by far), and even when exhausted I’d give an arm and a leg to be allowed to construct outfits for work that went substantially out of the corporate casual code.

  9. Wayde

    May 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Scott; I am in complete agreement with you.
    What some of these students don’t realise is that they will be instantly judged by what they wear and how they appear to the likes of industry professionals, clients and the general public, your appearance could be (and in a lot of cases will be) your fortune!
    In all honesty, how much longer does it take in the mornings to put in a little effort, let yourself get slightly carried away with your own style and emerge looking like someone who has the passion and focus to be successful in a creatively charged industry.
    One piece of advice I would give is; if you want to emulate the success of a global fashion house then study the designers, think about what makes them the powerhouses they are – surely you’ll find that personal style and direction a pretty high on the list.
    To the next generation of Designers: GOOD LUCK! We’re rooting for you!

    • solange bernardi

      May 29, 2013 at 10:53 am

      …Perfect, Wade!!!!

      • evabaslo

        June 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm

        couldn’t be more agree with you wayde , :)

  10. Ivy

    May 28, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Precisely! One if the first and most basic steps towards being taken seriously is to be presentable. Especially in the world of fashion one cannot expect to be successful if that presentation is slobbish.

  11. Edan

    May 28, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Dear Mr. Schuman,
    Thanks so much for that letter. Getting laundry and ironing done (once a week – if it is just one person) and setting out your clothes the night before is something that will really set you up for the day regardless of what work you do. I formed the habit much later in life, wish I had done it all my life.

  12. alessandra de leonardis

    May 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I totally agree with you !

  13. Nicole A. Murray

    May 28, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I (mostly) agree. I took a few sewing classes at FIT and I would look around and think how…unstyled most people were. If they cannot curate their own look and instead look boring/sloppy/unoriginal, what fresh take will they have to offer the world?

    …Then again, many students NOT are there to design. They are for just construction, merchandising, marketing, illustration, etc, where they don’t necessarily have to have their own style point of view. They just need the hard skills and an interesting look would just be extra.

    • Reader

      May 31, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      I’ve taken quite a few construction classes at FIT, too. Most of the students wanted to be assistant designers or start their own businesses at some point. There are some beautifully dressed students, many of whom re international students. Not everyone has the money or the energy to dress well. I judged their ability by what they designed and sewed, and maybe what they wore to an interview, not by what they wore every day.

      • Coco

        June 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

        “Don’t have the money or the energy to dress well” ?!
        It seems to me that the primary lesson of The Sartorialist is that money doesn’t buy style – and, I’m sorry but, if they don’t have the ‘energy’ to dress well, how will they handle an intense, hard-driving business like Fashion?

        • Christie

          June 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm

          I see many designers whose style of dress isn’t exactly amazing. Alexander McQueen looked stylish but he was always pretty casual. Who would have guessed that he would have created such amazing designs?

          I also think it’s easier for some to look great while for others it’s hard. Some people can take $100 and turn it into $1000 because they are an easy size to dress and have the ability to look great in a potato sack. Others have to work a lot harder because they don’t have the fashion industry’s ideal body type.

          In my experience with fashion school, the (aspiring) stylists and merchandisers always looked impeccable and had an outgoing personality type. The designers were usually more disheveled, introverted and off-the-beaten-path. It seems to me that Scott and many others (usually those that work in PR or styling) want the designers to fit the mold of what is acceptable and fashionable to today’s standards.

          • anna

            June 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

            I agree with you completely. I’m not open and outgoing and I’m trying to change myself to fit the form world wants me to be.. I don’t know if I can do it. It might be that I just can’t work in this industry if it’s going to kill me and my personality. having two characters in you is not easy at least isn’t for me..

            But I understand Scott too. We designers should look like we know what we are doing. After all, our creations are parts of us and if we look messy it makes our work look bad. I personally am bit ‘lazy’ like people are saying here, I don’t wear make up, I don’t really do anything to my hair (I like hats..). I have bad days. But I try. I have my get-yourself-together-shoes that make mw feel better and clean shirts that never fail me.

            problem is, school doesn’t teach us marketing. Fashion promotion is another thing and designer students can be bit lost. My school wants us to produce marketing material with three hour training. So we get beaten and learn.

  14. JV

    May 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm


  15. Mònica

    May 28, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Many truths in the same post!! Usually schools do not teach to the real world! Long time ago I sewed a top collar like you! (sorry for my English!)

    • Paula

      June 1, 2013 at 5:44 am

      Tough skin, it’s what came to my mind when I saw the sewed piece of material….the advice that my 42 year old would give to my 20: if want it, wear it…

  16. Isabella

    May 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Sometimes we lose ourselves in whatever world we happen to be in – easy for students as they’re in a whirlwind of deadlines and assignments. Thanks for the perspective, Scott! And a reminder to everyone that excuses don’t get you anywhere.

  17. holly

    May 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Having worked for a tailor as a seamstress / hand sewer, I totally appreciate the beauty of your photo. What goes on inside a well tailored garment is completely different from almost anything you can buy off the rack.

  18. Ellen Bowers

    May 28, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Thank you for a well thought out response. There’s always more than meets the eye.

  19. patricia

    May 28, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    many times it all comes down to inspiration.
    I once had an assistant that was very organized and a hard worker, first in and last out everyday. But what I will always remember about her was her amazing sense of style. She didn’t have a clothing budget but the way she put together her outfits will always be what I remember most about her, all while riding her skate board to work. We all couldn’t wait to see what she was wearing everyday.

  20. marie

    May 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    TOTALLY AGREE, and its perfect that mexico was the fashion example because we really love fashion and we know how to dress! your blog is beautiful! i love it and i would be so hapy if you could check out mine and say what you think! http://www.thestyletographer.com

    thanks! xo from MEXICO!!

  21. *sp

    May 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    to this post all i have to say …..

  22. Michael Richards

    May 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Man, you are my hero!

  23. ugo

    May 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I so agree, looking the part is definitly a part of building the brand one wants to potray to the worl, and as we have learnt from Victoria Beckam no one can do as much justice to your pices as you can.

  24. Erica

    May 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Well said! Good advice for any kind of profession. If you haven’t already seen it, Louis CK does a hysterical rant on twenty year olds. It can be found on YouTube.

  25. Jennifer

    May 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Those who learn the lesson early are going to create great designs, appear to be a great designer, and demonstrate all the habits of a thoughtful professional the moment they leave school. And they will begin to reap the rewards as well. Those who wait, will wait… Choice is a wonderful thing…

  26. Albertine, NYC

    May 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Not only a fashion student but any student should dress properly no matter what. Whoever complains about not having time is just coming up with excuses; it is not a matter of time, but a matter of discipline. The earlier one starts to pay more attention on what one wears, the easier and more effortless it gets with time.

    It is an eyesore nowadays seeing young girls in classrooms in sweatpants, the hair all messy, smelling of whatever they are eating in the classroom. There is no excuse for such sloppiness. It may happen to everyone once in a while but not on daily basis.

    With time sloppiness becomes part of who one is. It creeps in slowly, and gradually it shapes one’s ability to look for and appreciate beauty. And what is even worse it affects your social relationships in many ways. By dressing properly one shows respect not only to the others but to herself/himself as well.

  27. yoshsiko higashi

    May 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    「Sorry, I understand completely because I lived that life 25 years ago.」
    You’re a gentleman comment. Is fine!

  28. El Presidente

    May 28, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Great advice Scott, and not just for fashion students – for everyone!

    Although technically informative, most schools (in any field) don’t formally and effectively teach the broader concepts of success.

    You have to listen to someone with time in the game….unless you want to learn the hard and long way.

  29. NYS

    May 28, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Life doesn’t get any less hectic and sadly the shopping budget doesn’t grow that much after fashion school, med school, or in my case, law school. Use this time for trial and error, develop personal style and have fun with it!

    • berenger

      May 29, 2013 at 5:11 am

      Yes my student days were a wonderful time for experimentation – and a chance to wear things I wouldn’t be able to once working. It’s about loving style. Dressing myself is where my interest began, and it remains my base-line.

  30. Lujac

    May 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    That is really well put as I am a studying sleepless architecture student also pursuing my fashion interest as well.
    Lujac Desautel
    San Francisco, CA.

  31. reba

    May 28, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    While I agree that the reality is that you are judged by what you look like, how you dress, etc., I don’t think it’s right. And, as I work in marketing, I understand your argument about being your own ‘brand’ and embodying that…however, one’s success should not be a result of how they look or how they dress but rather a result of their talent, their hard work, their passion. I think someone can be incredibly talented, work extremely hard, and have a lot of passion (yes, even in fashion) but not ‘look the part’. (Isn’t part of being a designer, being an artist — not necessarily a good ‘stylist’?) And this is what should be encouraged….not external appearances. No, I don’t work in fashion so I don’t understand it and perhaps I’m being too idealistic but I think we should encourage the importance of the ‘inside’ rather than the ‘outside’.

    • SQ

      May 29, 2013 at 6:19 am

      I completely agree with this! Artist definitely doesn’t have to equal stylist. As I said in my last post, there are many extraordinary designers – like Alexander McQueen and Mary Katrantzou and Alexander McQueen – whose personal style does not reflect on their art. This is no way limits the beauty of their creations. There is no need for people to create a personal showmanship brand like Karl, and often, as with Gaga, this personal brand can even detract from the work itself. Furthermore, even with someone like Karl the personal style of the designer is not a perfect reflection of the designs themselves. It is obvious that each Chanel show does not reflect Karl’s wardrobe but his vision. The vision and the wardrobe of the artist are clearly two totally separate things and should be treated as such.

      • berenger

        May 29, 2013 at 11:54 am

        I encourage you to take a closer look at Mary K and Alexander Mac…

        Errmm they are certainly not figures of fashionable dress press, but both abound with style. McQueen’s own look is incredibly studied and does very much reflect his designs: He draws upon British heritage and laces it with titilating amounts of aggression and sex. The Fred Perry boot boy look with a hint of chav rent boy/man is a wonderful amalgamation of street style and British gay culture.

        Mary’s all black with flashes of colour is not conventional or fashionable but is distinctive and stylish. It is very well considered and effective.

        • cr

          June 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm

          I agree with you berenger, there’s no doubt that Alexander McQueen had style and I would bet anything that it transpired into anything that he wore on any given day at any given period in his life.

      • Celia

        May 29, 2013 at 11:58 pm

        I don’t think Scott is advocating style over substance, or personal style over talent. Nobody’s saying that one should prioritize appearances over merit, but that in an industry of visual aesthetics, the artist’s presentation of himself/herself can bolster the presentation of their work. It’s smart sense when you’re trying to convince others to believe in your talent and ability to make deliberate design choices, when you yourself appear to to be deliberate in your own.

        Would you hire an accountant if he openly fudged the numbers on your invoice and his office was a jumbled mess of papers? A doctor could be a brilliant diagnostician, but if you saw him not wash his hands after using the bathroom, I doubt you’d go back.

        • Myvoiceandyours

          June 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

          Bravo Celia,well said!

    • Gaidig

      May 30, 2013 at 1:33 am

      Encouraging development of aspects beyond the superficial is all well and good, but if you do not place value in the external and/or demonstrate that value in yourself, you shouldn’t be a part of (or be studying to be a part of) an industry whose focus is people’s external presentation. I do not believe it is possible to have a passion for fashion without believing in the import of external appearances.

  32. milex

    May 28, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Wow. It have to inspired my new post.

  33. Evelyn

    May 28, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    What a nice, positive message! It’s a good “push” from someone who was in-the-know. Like some of those who posted comments to the original photo/message, I was put off by the message not because it’s too hard for fashion students to dress cool, but by the “Mexico City students rock at this, you folks in other places suck” (I’m unfairly paraphrasing here!) message. I love the message now — the tone thing never fails to snag me ;)

  34. Daniela lopez

    May 28, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I totally agree with your point of view! Love this post!!

  35. Sophie

    May 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Teaching in the design studio context for Interior Architecture at an Australian university, this level of professionalism is exactly what I expect.

  36. robyn

    May 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I totally agree with you on the first part. It sounds like you are saying that designers always have to wear what they design in the second part of that.


  37. mu11e

    May 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I really respect that you took the time to respond to that ruffled reaction and illuminate your point, without stepping down and taking it back. What you say is very true in my opinion, and I think you illustrated that well here.

  38. Hilary

    May 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    On a similar note, but in a different field, I notice the same thing in INTERIOR design school. I was always amazed how many of my classmates would be willing to regularly show up to class in stretch pants and sweat shirts. After all, aren’t we in the business of aesthetics, appearance, and decoration. And convenience and crazy schedules aside, if you’re someone who has chosen to spend lots of money and time to study something like fashion or interiors, wouldn’t you WANT to dress well just like you want to design well? The two seem interconnected from my point of view.

  39. Jaclyn

    May 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Nothing bothers me more than being in a class full of fashion students in sweat pants.

  40. Ames

    May 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Well, stated. I think you can apply that principle to anything in life, any profession. One of the reasons we all love fashion so much is because how we feel in what we wear. It’s never good to spot feeling.

  41. Colleen

    May 28, 2013 at 9:34 pm


    I’m just a regular philosophy major, but I never EVER leave my apartment anything but well-dressed… even if I have a big exam or just pulled my second all nighter in a row! I take great pride in the way that I present myself because it really is the first thing that my professors, advisors, and potential employers will see.

    And I know that I sure as hell wouldn’t hire or want to work with some shmuck shlumping around in leggings and a hoodie.

    • PJ

      May 29, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Right on, sistah.

  42. Salva

    May 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I agree with everything you have said Scott. It is a difficult challenge to juggle everything we do in our lives but it is an important PRACTICE one needs to become part of this atmosphere that we all love. If you do it, all who watch will enjoy it (even strong blasphemous criticism is part of the joy) and learn (new and old looks come with lessons that catch on & linger) and hopefully buy from you (the student and potential fashion designer). Go do what you can to enjoy what you wear.

  43. ttea

    May 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    So very true. I’ve never understood how people in the fashion industry can be so hypocritical. It’s odd that you should be able to go out and tell people what to wear and how to look, when you yourself look as though you really couldn’t care less what you looked like.

  44. Caitlin

    May 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Everything you’ve said here is so right! As a classical musician, I’m always surprised at how so people in my field don’t understand the importance of making a statement in their dress that compliments the one they’re making with their instrument. We try so hard to capture the imagination of our audience with how we sound, why not add to our impact by using our creative forces in as many ways as we can? As a student and now as a young professional I always make an effort to look interesting and put together, and it’s helped me to navigate my profession. Anytime it’s advantageous to be noticed and remembered, which for me is always, looking sharp definitely helps. I’m surprised that this wouldn’t be more evident to students of fashion!

    • Laura

      May 29, 2013 at 4:00 am

      Dear Caitlin,
      That’s funny, I sometimes feel that my school is more a catwalk than a conservatory! I’m also a classical musician, and at our school especially the girls pay a lot of attention to looking the part. I think anyone saying it doesn’t matter how you look fools himself. I was taught at a very young age that it is very important to look good while giving a concert, as people focus a lot on presentation. So I totally agree!

  45. Sheri

    May 28, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    This is an excellent post. As a professional woman with over 20 years of experience in my field, I have seen over and over the importance of managing your image at all times. Who recommends you for your first job? Your professors. Who helps you find other opportunities? Your fiends, many of whom were originally classmates of yours. If you do not start building your image during school, you are missing a great opportunity. For better or worse, what you wear is a huge part of your image, even if your field has nothing to do with fashion.

  46. Mafer

    May 28, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Yes, yes, yes. Bravo! Look the business if you want to get in it.

  47. Erica

    May 28, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Completely agree.


  48. Isabel

    May 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Excellent! This is good advice, even for someone not in fashion school but aspiring to pursue the career sometime soon.

  49. Grim

    May 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I agree with the posts that say your advice applies to everyone’s life. You should embody the ethos and aesthetic you wish to express and the great thing about the Satorialist is that these are everyday people expressing who they are and how they wish to be. At base level it is about claiming agency and an identity- even a politics – in a very easy way. Am I a considered individual who expreses who I am- or have I given up? In short- do i allow others to narrate and limit who I am- or do i tell my own story and identity- and meaning.

  50. Angèlica

    May 29, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Bravo, Scott!!! A well deserved dose of reality. Successful ones will take it on board, the rest will whine.

  51. Thuy

    May 29, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Good point! I do many other things outside of my 9-5 job. I’m busy all the time and I always work at a well put together look before I leave my house.

  52. Gina

    May 29, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Well said!! Bravo!

  53. Albertine, NYC

    May 29, 2013 at 12:41 am

    To reba, my fellow commuters and everyone who justifies the sloppiness in the name of encouraging the beauty inside:

    Stressing out the importance of “the beauty inside” has been misinterpreted as an invitation to neglect “the beauty outside”. Who said that it is wrong to pursue them both?

    The Italian poet, Petrarca comes to mind. As per his confession, he used to dress up before starting to work in his study. He was there by himself and was not being dressed up to impress anyone or out of mere superficiality; dressing up was part of a ritual, and it helped to give his working day routine all the solemnity it deserved.

    A couple of years ago a group of young women showed up at a meeting with the U.S President at the White House wearing flip-flop!!! I truly believe that things have gone way too far, and it is about time that our beauty inside give a piece of mind to the beauty outside in a Baudelaire-like ranting to the glass vendor:

    “I examined all his glasses with curiosity, and then said to him: “What, have you no coloured glasses? Glasses of rose and crimson and blue, magical glasses, glasses of Paradise? You are insolent. You dare to walk in mean streets when you have no glasses that would make one see beauty in life?”"

    And yes, I am also talking to you my fellow commuters in the subway. I’ll never have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty you no doubt harbor inside, but for God’s sake, brush your teeth, dress up and let me get a glimpse of that beauty outside so that I could handle a bit better the misery of the commute.

    • LIZPR

      May 29, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Albertine, NYC – I’d VERY much like to buy you a drink for your beautiful comments. :)


    • lola

      May 30, 2013 at 1:16 am

      and you confuse sloppiness for none-stylish looks, like mexico girl has. even more, in my country we value attitude, and let me tell you some great girls have tons of it, in their joggings, go figure! something else that is really bothering me in this defense of the hard cold true” …what other HCT there is for the rest to learn”? if i dont look like what? else i wont get what i want…hard cold truth leaves humanity nd individuality out, and seriouslly in my mind that comes too close with narrow minded commnets on how other people should” look or wont get…………
      highschool!!!!” vibe!. fat chicks wont ever be cheerleaders, right? hard core truth, also. hey, i think we should all accept that, peolpe are judged on their looks, for good. healthy statements everywhere!!! if we defend these kind of statements what else are defending?

  54. Art

    May 29, 2013 at 12:44 am

    HAHAHAHA oh fashion students.
    Really good advice and topic!

    fuck excuses, can we see MORE good shots from Mexico now? por favor!

    gracias ;)

  55. Ursula

    May 29, 2013 at 1:05 am

    well said Scott. It is a reality that the fashion industry is notoriously tough yet if one has great passion for one’s pursuits it will come easily to embody your own design philosophy. And yes Mr Lagerfeld is a man who has boundless energy andis constantly busy.

  56. Mia

    May 29, 2013 at 1:07 am

    I understand the students, because I have the same problem, although I don’t study fashion design (I wish I did) I get too lazy at college to dress up because I just feel that there’s no time for it and also no point in dressing up for a reading room, but on the other hand I know I should have been able to make time for it, especially if I wish to work in fashion business.. after all fashion is based on appearances
    I’m going to work on it!

  57. Michelle lao

    May 29, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Hi Scott, I have been following your blog for a while now and I must say that one thing I miss from your older/earlier posts is commentary like this (including the comment on fashion students dressing the part). It would be great if you injected more of it into your posts because you have such interesting insights and they clearly inspire spirited discussion which is always enjoyable to read, even when it turns into a (heated) debate, I always enjoy a bit of healthy disagreement and am fascinated by everyone’s point of view so I thought this was great!


  58. Rachel

    May 29, 2013 at 1:32 am

    One of the reasons that I admire your work and the honesty behind it. I absolutely appreciate the fact that you would take the time to recognize a single designer for her effort in her appearance. The fashion industry is one that I desire to be a part of and I have come to accept the designers who adopt a plain style. But I adore those that represent that which defines their brand. Thank you for your insight and creative mindset.

  59. Linda Fraser

    May 29, 2013 at 1:36 am

    These types of people will be making excuses all their lives. Wait until they have children and know what being overworked and stressed and busy really means. But it is worth it! Life gives back in relation to what you put in, I have found.

  60. filmjolk

    May 29, 2013 at 1:48 am

    or you just do it Martin Margiela style ;)

  61. fff

    May 29, 2013 at 2:00 am

    You are so right. The successful people are the ones who willing to put extra effort than other regular people. The “little” extra effort differentiate them from others.

  62. Denisa

    May 29, 2013 at 2:06 am

    I totally agree with you Scott. Nice post. Have a great day.


  63. Kelly

    May 29, 2013 at 2:07 am

    and this is why you work as a patterndrafter. no one cares what you look like.

  64. John B.

    May 29, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Very interesting Scott.

  65. almu

    May 29, 2013 at 3:04 am

  66. Laurence

    May 29, 2013 at 3:41 am

    Alexander McQueen didn’t look like his designs.

    • The Sartorialist

      May 29, 2013 at 8:42 am

      McQueen had a very defined personal style. His wardrobe choices were clear and consistent.
      What would be interesting to investigate was how his style changed in relationship to his weight and mental health.

  67. Laura

    May 29, 2013 at 3:51 am

    Dear Scott,

    I feel like your critique about the way the fashion institutes prep their students is not only applicable on fashion, but on so much more. I am a classical music student (violin), and my fellow students and I feel that while all the focus at the conservatory is always on studying and theory lessons, in the end we should also be learning how to sell or present ourselves, how to be your own manager (until you can afford to actually have one), how to organise concerts, build up relations and contacts, because without all this you are just one more good violin player amongst thousands, graduated but without any prospects of having a decent job, when you spend all those years studying and working so hard. The competition in classical music is killing, and institutes should be aware of the fact that nowadays it isn’t only about having the perfect technique, it’s also about knowing how to use social media to build up your network (for example).
    It is a very interesting conversation which I think would apply on a lot of studies focusing on practical learning.

  68. Shopaholic

    May 29, 2013 at 3:59 am

    WELL SAID (Written)!!! This is so true. As a pour student I used to be asked by my fellow students were I could find the time to dress up so elegant and well composed. I used to have three extra jobs to be able to go to the university and nonetheless I have time to dress myself as i wanted to be seen, a succesful and well composed young woman. I always found gems in the second hand stores and altered my clothing when I wanted to add something extra to something cheap I bought on sale for example (I had never money for expensive designer clothes). Clothes and your appearance/image is a simple thing to be able to control as it defines how you. I states to other how you want to be perceived and treated in this world. A fashion student should have that passion and understanding and dress the part.

  69. LesFleurs

    May 29, 2013 at 5:05 am

    This applies if you work in a cake shop! As I said last time; dress for the life you want not the life you have. He’s right, that’s the business of art and the fashion business is that of looking good. If you want to be a whiny misunderstood genius, stay in your bedroom and pray that your employers and clients don’t all plead poverty and lack of imagination too. Good for you for repeating what was common sense in the first place.

  70. Gian Luca M

    May 29, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Scott docet…

    Gian Luca M


  71. Colleen

    May 29, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Good post Scott. Wish you would write more. Very interesting.

  72. Elena

    May 29, 2013 at 5:13 am

    First of all, I 100% agree with you that students who represent fashion industry should look stylish, second, I don’t understand people reaction on your post ( that fashion school is tough) what I want to say is studying and being on top is always hard ( no matter which school it is) but it doesn’t mean that all students around the world look crappy!

  73. Phyllida

    May 29, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Scott, that was pretty inspiring. I’m a student, and sometimes I let my look slide – doesn’t everyone? – but you’re right, it’s really important to maintain your look. It’s not just about dressing to develop yourself to suit the environment in which you work, but it’s also about self confidence. Developing your look and your sense of style builds your sense of self too.

  74. Taipei Style

    May 29, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Despite the fact that each person has different circumstances, I totally agree with you. Appearance is very important nowadays, specially if you work in the fashion industry. Is your introducing card, whenever we like it or not.


  75. Dan

    May 29, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Whoever made up the excuse that they are too busy to dress nicely is an idiot.

    It takes a few minutes each morning to make/get something that works.

    I did an architecture degree which is by far the most hourly intensive course (http://sheffield.tab.co.uk/2013/05/16/revealed-who-has-the-most-hours/) and there were many many people who always made an effort to look good.

    If you can’t be bothered to take the time on a FASHION degree you should quit now!

  76. Inga

    May 29, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Well put!

  77. Michael Scott

    May 29, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Nice work. I remember that the students who landed the best jobs straight out of school were men and women who were not necessarily the most creative or talented in terms of design but who were groomed, appropriately dressed, socially adept, consistent hardworkers, and confident.

  78. Judith Budapest

    May 29, 2013 at 7:24 am

    nice manifesto
    you should write more!

  79. Mary

    May 29, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Great post, totally agree with you.

  80. lila

    May 29, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I agree with you that it’s important to look the part. However, having gone to fashion school I can also attest that as you’re not meeting with clients and are spending much of your time behind a sewing machine (something i doubt karl lagerfeld knows how to use anymore), your motivation after 3 hours sleep to look the part can dwindle. I don’t think it should be judged, either. I am positive none of these students would do this when put in front of a client after 3 hours sleep, it’s all circumstance.
    Also, while you noted many designers who consistently look the part, there are also so many who don’t. Take Alexander Wang at Balenciaga whose collection was sophisticated and tailored, and who he himself appears in black jeans, a dirty white t shirt and uncombed hair. Also the Rodarte sisters, who likewise never appear to be representations of their brand.

    • Marta

      May 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      That’s not an excuse …ask any medical student , how do you have to look after 36 hours shift at your class at 7 am , the answer is completly clean and well dress no mather how difficult your day it was …

  81. LIZPR

    May 29, 2013 at 8:44 am


    It wouldn’t have occurred to me to take offense at your original comment; you were simply appreciating a design student who looked like one, and that is all.

    But given it’s the fashion industry we’re talking about – image is crucial, and it’s linked to what’s going on in the person’s head, too. I’ve always viewed fashion as one thing, and style quite another – style is how you express yourself, and understanding one’s style is about knowing what works for you while acknowledging what’s current.

    A smart design student will always reveal this in his or her appearance.

    I come from the classical music world, where I think universities need to talk about the realities of the industry, too – the press kit, the image, the photo shoot, etc. I believe in all this so strongly it’s why I incorporated styling classical musicians for their photo shoots as part of what I do. To combine music and fashion! Nothing new there in the rock n’ roll world, but classical is catching up!

    Thank you,



  82. Christina

    May 29, 2013 at 8:45 am

    AMEN. Compared to working and building a business and a career, the life of a student is a PIECE OF CAKE.

    Here is my advice to all those amateurs that are complaining in fashion school….Toughen up and LOOK THE PART. Either that or dress like a Doughnut because you are about to get EATEN ALIVE.

  83. J

    May 29, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Exceptionally diplomatic response. I have stumbled upon this site today and this particular post has made me giggle, as has the comments on the original.

    As someone who has worked in Higher Education for far, far too long, all students, regardless of subject discipline, complain about how heavy their workload is. As most of them have never been outside the education system since they were small children, they have no perspective with which to judge just how demanding life is once you leave the education bubble. With the exception of medicine, completing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme is no more demanding than a 40 hour/week job. But didn’t we all think we knew everything there was to know when we were 24?

    If you want to be a scruff in school, be a scruff, it’s the only time in life you can get away with it 24/7. However, from my experience, some students will stretch their limited pennies and make time in their busy schedules to think about what they wear and that is down to one thing: choosing to make it one of their priorities.

  84. Amanda

    May 29, 2013 at 9:42 am

    You. Rock.


  85. Rebecca

    May 29, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I’m just gobsmacked that fashion students are being criticised for dressing sloppily. When I think of the fashion students on my campus when I was studying art! They looked like they were heading to a science fiction convention, or Harajuku, or both. I can’t believe there are fashion students out there who would wear sweatpants! Tell me these sweatpants of which we speak have been deconstructed, overdyed, slashed, studded and worn upside down! Or if you really claim you’re too worn out to present well, do what the rest of us do and invent yourself a damn uniform.

  86. Mariko

    May 29, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Thank you for this inspiring post. Not having enough time is never an excuse in any field. If you have pride in yourself, your work, and your aesthetic, you would take a moment to look in the mirror before going out to start your day. You never know who is looking at you. What might seem small and subtle to you might leave a big impression on someone. I believe that how you dress and appear reflect who you are. You can tell when someone is being worn by the clothes rather than them wearing the clothes. I love your blog because what you capture is precisely the people whose styles are the embodiment of their being. And that says a lot about the person who captures these images too. Thank you, Scott!

  87. Francis

    May 29, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Excellent post. Good advice. Though I have no idea why you need to bring Karl Marx into it.

  88. Joyce Acosta

    May 29, 2013 at 10:39 am

    It takes the same amount of time to put on a together look representative of one’s own design aesthetic as it does to put on a t or sweatshirt, flannel shirt, ripped jeans/tights/ shorts, boots, and a sweater hat…

  89. Allison Egan Datwani

    May 29, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Love, this comment and ditto to my industry, being a yoga teacher. I’m about your age Scott and share often that it is about having the good habits all day long that keep your clients and self inspired.

  90. Just James

    May 29, 2013 at 10:51 am

    A great pair of jeans, a well fitted T or simple blouse/shirt, stylish yet comfortable pair of shoes/boots, a good haircut/grooming is all a design student needs to look presentable. Oh, and perhaps maybe a killer bag ;) This was my go to uniform during my gruelling four years of studying fashion design.

  91. Leoraul

    May 29, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I love when someone comes back with a non-apology right statement.

  92. Dora

    May 29, 2013 at 11:01 am

    You are right. Not only in design, but in any kind of job this advice is priceless. I am a journalist (eager to get involved in the travel industry) and (at least I think that) my style of writing reflects on my image. It’s a long story to explain how since you can’t have any visuals, but trust me, it does.

  93. Dora

    May 29, 2013 at 11:02 am

    *ps: and no, I don’t roam around with a backpack :p

  94. Turi

    May 29, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I think you’re spot on with this.

  95. PJ

    May 29, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Inspired and inspiring, Mr. Satorialist. Stand your ground! Thank you for the reminder to always look our best, regardless of life’s quirks and quivers, and regardless of our age! Boomers, take note–you are not exempt. Folk on vacation–you’ve been put on notice: just because the “people who count” won’t see you, those who are where you are will, and they’re not happy seeing your sloppy, shoddy dress and lack of manners. Best advice ever, paraphrased from the grand and great Coco: “Always dress as though something wonderful is about to happen!”

  96. Maria

    May 29, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Love it!!

  97. Giovanna

    May 29, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Right on Scott. I think people should dress for the job they want. Like it or not every time we leave the house our clothes say something about us. A design student who leaves the house in sweats says “I don’t really care.” No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t care.

  98. SHelley

    May 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Yeah, this makes so much sense.

  99. carole

    May 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    BRAVO Scott!!! You are so on target. You have to look like what you want ot be!

  100. Erick

    May 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I think the fact that the fashion student dressed they way she did may also have to do with her culture and upbringing. It’s hard to know for certain, but since she’s studying in Mexico City, it wouldn’t be farfetched to think she’s Mexican, Latin American, or even of European descent. A professor of mine who teaches Latin American studies told me that she enjoyed that I went the extra mile with my wardrobe and that she noticed Latin American people, at least in the American college and university setting, typically put more effort in their wardrobe.

  101. anonymous

    May 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I went to design school as well, not fashion but landscape architecture. And believe me, what Scott says is true. You can have all the talent in the world, but without other things, that are not really taught, like marketing, knowing your demographic and getting a brand, nothing happens. Nothing.

  102. eugene

    May 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    can anyone produce a photo of Karl not looking like Karl?

  103. Maya

    May 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    people on the Internet lately is more susceptible than usual, for my part I think you’re a professional in responding, it means that you are aware of what your readers think: D

  104. jb

    May 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    completely true, they need to teach this in architecture schools as well. i was told by more than one instructor [architect] in the mid 80′s that how you present yourself is very vital to your success. they emphasized all the time, you do not know who you might meet, ie a potential client or someone who can recommend you. i only wish it has sunk in sooner…

  105. Amaia

    May 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I totally agree with you Scott. I see Fashion as a way of expression through clothing so I would expect a fashion student to express himself/herself through his/her clothes everyday.

  106. Amy Rebecca

    May 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    THANK YOU for that response, it is 100% true. You are choosing to work in an industry that is all about sending messages through appearance, creating an illusion through what is visually seen, people. YOU ARE PART OF THE ILLUSION, PEOPLE.

  107. Stina

    May 29, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    As a fashion student who graduated from CSULB, I COMPLETELY agree with your stanse on looking fashionable all days, heckticly busy or super slow. Our fabulous professors dressed current & always expected us to come to class prepared, not only with our assignments complete, but our apperance complete as well.

    I completly agree that students should begin building their wardrobe while studing. It will be a great asset once they graduate, (& are paying back thier student loans while searching for work).

    Great post! I enjoyed hearing so many opinions!

  108. Claudia

    May 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    tome 2 cursos en Centro..excelente universidad! Scott lo que haces esta increĂ­ble, eres mi inspiraciĂłn y me identifico contigo en muchos sentidos!

  109. Melissa

    May 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I am trying to study design to start my own business while also working full time. I am 37, I love what you wrote, its great feedback and I agree. Thanks for the advice, and for being frank!

  110. Annie

    May 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    A fashion recruitment consultant once told me ‘not to bite the hand that feeds me’ – she was implying that I should dress for the job I want and not for the one I was in.

  111. Paco

    May 29, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Bottom line: the stylish mexican design student surely has a bright future in the blooming fashion industry in our country. Viva MĂ©xico.

  112. Bernadette

    May 29, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Dear Scott, AMEN it is a profession of many hats indeed!
    I have been making couture suits for women and bridal wear for 25 years now and a lot of staying alive (financially) does not involve scissors, chalk and cloth. Huge expectations to have omni present with multi media visibility – that is a full time job in itself!
    My established clients couldn’t care less what I am wearing for our fittings (sometimes they are in very casual gear themselves) but I always make an effort to look groomed, good and “fashion”/classic style for initial meetings (definitely helps a client feel more comfortable if you are seen to walk the talk).
    Shame your mother tossed the suit you made at college but I can see from the hours you invested in that collar piece that you must have given the suit your best shot and a lot of your time. I only survive doing what I do because I LOVE IT. My passion and gratification from producing something beautiful for happy clients sustains me much more than the volatile income I receive from my work … it was never going to be about making lots of money. BX
    PS The front cover shot from the Riviera book – DEVINE!

  113. George S.

    May 29, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Good post Scott! As somebody who went through graduate school in physics I can only say anybody whining about your original post really and truly is simply whining.

    I would have a set of homework problems where 24 hours of work would solve one problem..out of say 3.

    To be in design you have to EXEMPLIFY what the hell you are studying. Anything less and its simply pathetic… And I am not saying its easy, but it is certainly what the hell you have to do.

  114. celeste

    May 29, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Well said.
    A few years ago I volunteered as a stitcher in the costume shop of the Theater & Dance Deptartment at my local university, and the students cared about what they made and what they wore. Even if it was jeans and a t-shirt, it was thought out, not just a “grab what’s clean and get to class.”

  115. Garet

    May 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Excellent post; and, this advice really applies to a variety of professions.

  116. Jacqueline R.

    May 30, 2013 at 12:00 am

    I’d just like to support Scott’s statement about learning the business side of any artistic venture. I’m an interior designer, and I wish, wish, wish I would have double majored in design & business or at the very least, thought of business practices in my choice of internships. Now I learn by trial and lots of errors, and by reading business books. With a 2-year-old and a business, going back to school is not an option.

  117. paul

    May 30, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Astonishingly well said.
    I am a trained studio production potter, and likely the least fashionable person to read your posts most days. I do because it is refreshing to see your unique stamp on each shot. Same advice to the kids coming up in any art media. LIVE IT. Make it a part of you. Fashion/whatever. It is about drive, success, vision… but ultimately you do it for yourself and for your own happiness. If you aren’t happy in the studio of whatever you do and can’t burn 16 hours in a blink of an eye on an idea- then find it. It is only work if you make it so. You should be a part of what you do.

  118. DeeDee

    May 30, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Totally agree with your comments, Scott. I can see this from a number of angles; I am also in my forties and studied fashion design when I was younger. My oldest son is now a university student and tells me from time to time that ‘he doesn’t have time’ to do whatever. I look at his carefree lifestyle, his relatively easy hours(compared to a full-time adult worker) and think ‘you’ve got to be kidding me!’ I would suggest it’s all about your priorities, we can all find time to do the things that are important to each of us.

  119. Teresa S

    May 30, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Well said. I think that goes for many trade professions. I’ve done some hand stitched pieces myself. They were such a labor of love/angst. Worth every stitch.

  120. Frances

    May 30, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Althoug working in semiconductor industry, I like to feel my existance by my wardrobe and outfit, I change my style everyday to present myself. Not to mention being a fashion student.
    The outfit is the presenation of inner soul, aesthetic, and personality, which does not need a lot of efforts to achieve. It speaks itself.

  121. allen

    May 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

    couldn’t agree with you more. thoughtful dress/looking good/call-it-what-you-will should be the default, always. if it requires effort, or what you consider effort, then well,…..

  122. Juliet

    May 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Sure, looking good will help you get ahead. This is so trite i wonder why it need be hammered again. That it should be seen as a reflection of originality/creativity at all levels is a bit more questionable, in my opinion. There are creators who don’t need to feel like they are on perpetual display.

    Plus, when you go to a lecture, you’re not there to shine, gather attention, you are there to learn and listen. Studying is a time for interiority, after all: think, learn, listen, compare what’s for you to see in the world. There are so many other opportunities to drag attention and try our personal style onto the world, after all. Everyone is entitled to a TIME OFF, however boring it is for street style photographers. School is a good place to play OFF, even for fashion students if they want.

  123. Lisa @ Making Lifes Lemons

    May 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm


  124. Jessik

    May 30, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    At the cost of sounding antagonistic, I think you have an easy public here Scott – wanderers to your site tend to be lovers of style and fashion, so fashion and style is important to their/our everyday life- and an important qualifier in their/our way to view the world.. Anyhow – I agree that students should learn the basics of business, marketing and self promotion not just learn how to design. However, I don’t believe that looking good and stylish should be high in the priority list of students (even fashion students) – what matters is learning a craft , experimenting, finding a voice and a vision. Exemplify that vision can be useful but I see it as secondary if not tertiary or straight unimportant if you ARE talented, have a vision and drive. Mary Katranzou the most talented designer out there at the moment (in my humble opinion) is neither stylish nor does she try to look good – (not saying that she does not look good – but you can tell that this is not her main preoccupation) but when you see her, hear her you are struck by her charisma, her intelligence, her vision, her humanity. I don’t think she needs to be more stylish – her aura and smarts will carry her anywhere and not just in the fashion world. But to go back to your point, granted, if you are an average student, with average vision and talent – looking good and stylish might help you differentiate from other average fellow students, but if you are outstanding – this does not concern you! In brief, focus on BEING OUTSTANDING so you don’t have to worry about how you look!!!

    • berenger

      May 31, 2013 at 7:19 am

      I’ve been pondering on this one quite a lot.

      I can see both sides, really, having been a fashion student, worked in the industry and now lecturing undergrads. As a fashion student I just loved fashion and dressed the way I wanted to dress, which was outlandish and stylish – even if I do say so myself… This was the perk of fashion student-dom for me. In the industry I had to, bit I also enjoyed it – as I loved seeing the style of others.

      As a lecturer of fashion the pressure has been greatest, from the students mostly. They respect stylish staff more… I have enjoyed s year away from fashion school teaching because of this. At first I had a day or two of being un-stylish! I wanted to feel like others do, like I didn’t have to. So I can understand students who want to wear sweats etc. One day I deliberateluy wore a bag that I knew wouldn’t work with my outfit. But I soon became obsessed again, re-discovering my groove and my genuine love of style. I do think style, like happiness, is hard to hide.

      I think Mary K is very stylish – just not in a conventional sense. Her intelligence shows in the way she dresses, as well as in her words.

  125. Cheryl

    May 31, 2013 at 1:07 am

    HI Scott! I actually found the post as a good reminder of how important it is to “look the part” all the time, no matter your field of study/career. I am not a fashion design student, but a graphic designer in her 40′s. I have discovered on more than one occasion, that chance meeting with your next client as you are grocery shopping or taking a stroll through the park will be determined by how put together you look. Shallow? Maybe,… but true.

  126. Tina

    May 31, 2013 at 4:59 am

    Well said Scott! When I was in design school, no matter how exhausted I am I still manage to keep a habit to look polish and represent my style when I get dress each morning, there should be no excuse for that.
    After all, all well respected & talented fashion designers have their signature look!

  127. Elia

    May 31, 2013 at 6:04 am

    really awesom post. I also remember my fashion design student years… It was kinda fight for look like the most profesional designer at the university, trying to inspire the rest and trying to show what you exactly want to show..

  128. HUNG

    May 31, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Well said and we should strive to be better!

  129. Divya

    May 31, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I sincerely think this advice is applicable to ANY profession. Unless you are a lab rat there can be no reason why you should not embody your brand. No matter which field you are in, you are in the selling business: it could be an idea, service, product, lessons, news articles etc
    And in the selling business image matters. So looking your best is necessary. This is not about dressing for others but for yourself. It is about embodying a persona, and representing yourself in the truest and best possible manner.
    Everyone has stakeholders. Now think of your stakeholders as your customers. Would you sell your vision/product to your customers in sweatpants?
    If you are well put together or at least have the semblance of a neat appearance, you feel more secure and confident. And that confidence is contagious. Soon you realize there is a spring in your step and your sit up tall. What’s more people pay attention.

    I leave you guys with a story that has stuck from childhood. I come from a country where 80% of the people live below the poverty line. We had lots of help growing up but the person whom I shall never forget is Nelly. She was the flat cleaner, very similar to the charwomen of England. She came from one of the poorest parts of town and had barely 3 sets of clothes. Yet she showed up to work every day more neatly dressed than my own parents. Her limited wardrobe limited her stylishness and range but not her neatness! It was her appearance that got her the job. It was her appearance that made her approachable. It was her appearance that instilled a sense of trust in all of us in the early days. Just looking at her gave us a sense of peace because we knew we were in good hands. She may not have been the most confident person but we certainly never got that impression. Surely poverty is a good excuse for almost anything ? But it wasn’t for her.

    Nelly was in the cleaning business and her brand was neatness and she embodied that brand! So we all are in the selling business and we would do our customers disservice by not representing our brand day in and day out.

    Founder of Shopgodt.com

  130. Kati

    May 31, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Preach it Scott.

  131. Sarah

    May 31, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    You are so right! Let me just say that one the most elegant men I’ve ever known is a boat mechanic.

  132. Emma

    May 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I revert to the Buddhist aphorism: “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” “Everything” includes dressing.

    • Bernadette

      June 1, 2013 at 7:18 am

      Oh Emma, so beautiful and so true … excellent observation and quote. B

  133. Krystal

    May 31, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I totally agree with you here! Some people in fashion and in business don’t understand that image is everything. You wouldn’t have empty hamburger wrappers littering the steps of your storefront shop, you wouldn’t allow someone with a birds nest on their head style your hair, nor would you allow vagabonds and dirty looking people to cook in your restaurant. You need to look the part! At all times! Your image is a part of your brand, and in fashion, your outfit choices are almost as important as your business card.
    When I was a fashion student, I was in such high hopes that I would pass Proenza or Schouler on the street and they would hire me instantly because I looked so astonishing in my hand made outfit! The camera was always on for me. And no I didn’t get hired by a big design house, but I have had many opportunities because I looked stylish.
    Dressing like a hermit is not so much a necessity to the industry as it is a disservice to your self and realizing new opportunities.
    Besides, nothing makes me feel better about being exhausted than looking good while I’m at it!

  134. Ashley

    May 31, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I am a full time fashion design student, not only am i in university but i also work 20+ hours a week alongside university, i still manage to dress appropriately for uni. Its not about not having the time, its about not having the crap in your wardrobe, if you have a smart/casual comfortable style then there should never be a chance for you to look like crap, then any personality and style can be added on top of that.

  135. Reader

    May 31, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I’m well aware of the pressure put on design students. I prefer not to reinforce it, because, real world concerns, notwithstanding, one’s superficial appearance has little to do with learning and developing, which is the purpose of the educational process.

  136. SusannaVesna

    June 1, 2013 at 1:29 am

    I totally agree with your previous post and this Reply-Post! People “supposedly” go into fashion because they are creative, so I never understand why can’t some of them use that creativity in their personal style!! Whenever I see a “designer” dressed up like shit (excuse me!) with no particular taste, I go like: “I would never wear his/her designs!”. It totally spoils one’s image and it’s sad, cz they might have great ideas.
    Use your designer taste to dress yourself up well too!

  137. Daniel Rose

    June 1, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Perhaps you have to dress in a particular mode to please the status quo and perpetuate the importance of posturing and pose, but when you are learning the language of others, searching for your own voice / aesthetic, and usually pretty poor, dressing in a self conscious way is not high on the list of priorities. But perhaps it would help to further elaborate on how you think a fashion student should dress? These are my thoughts….

    • MS

      June 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      Considering that getting involved in FASHION INDUSTRY is what you want to do as a career it SHOULD be on your list of priorities, don’t you think?

  138. Amanda

    June 1, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Scott, I like that you recognize that how you present yourself is important in the world of growing a business.

    But the funny thing is, getting dressed can be more for yourself than for your audience. You give yourself the luxury of time to consider how you want to be seen that day. And when you do, you hold your head higher, you speak with more authority, and you give the world the best of you. To me, that is really the magic of fashion.

    Keep it real! – Amanda

  139. cr

    June 1, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    The thing is, if you have a sense of style, a truly innate sense of style, it is not an effort to dress with style, nor does it cost more, nor does it take more time. And even if it did, it wouldn’t matter because you’re just unable to leave the house in something that doesn’t respect your own personal style. Whether you’re going to school, for an interview, on a date, or going to buy milk at the local grocery store. This is not about being chic. It’s about personal style. Now, it’s not because you have style that you’re going to be a good designer. It’s just part of the equation.

  140. Ly

    June 1, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Scott,

    I admire how you stand your ground once you truly believed in something. You speak from true experience. I do believe that you are the walking image that reflects your work. If you work in fashion you must be interested in fashion and design, and so you must/should look the part.

  141. TT

    June 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    That’s right in every aspect of business. I work in finance, and sure I dress like a corporate banker Mon to Fri. Appearance matters, and my customers expect someone dressed properly. I can’t have a meeting with a potential customer or my job mates looking like a fashion designer. Sure it doesn’t make me a better professional, but at least they won’t be wondering if my company was the right choice because of my appearance.

  142. Nora

    June 3, 2013 at 10:32 am

    I am not in a fashion profession, but my personal brand is important, and no matter how tired I am (I have a 10-month-old), I make a point of choosing my wardrobe carefully and doing my hair and makeup. It’s as important to my career as to aspiring designers. I don’t think it hurts that I look good to my husband either.

    It doesn’t take anymore time or money, just a little planning.

  143. Ag Rojo

    June 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Totalmente de acuerdo. Lo comprendí después de que no lograba nada porque la escuela te da las bases, lo demás viene con la experiencia y a través de los años, si lo hubiera sabido habría estudiado negocios y arquitectura al mismo tiempo, y así las cosas hubieran sido diferentes. por eso si puedes combina la parte de negocios con la parte de diseño al mismo tiempo después de todo el diseño también es negocios. saludos! p.d. sorry no english!

  144. Hannah

    June 4, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I was surprised by that original post but not because she was well dressed but more at your surprise at her being well dressed. I am a fashion design student myself and the way myself and fellow students dress is of a huge amount of importance to all of us. I know we would never dream of going into class poorly put together and I totally agree with what you say about it being an important part of a future carer in Fashion! another great post, thanks Scott!

  145. Manon

    June 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    What surprised me more about that post was that all commenters but one agreed that a simple blouse was “fashionable”, less the backlash against Scott!

    It’s unfortunate but you’re judged by your appearance, and if you want to be in the business – whichever one that may be – you should dress the part.

  146. Jackie Perez

    June 6, 2013 at 3:06 am

    I emailed about the insensitive post. I hear what he’s saying, and trust me I do my best to invest in “aesthetic” in all mediums. I don’t think he’s quite grasping what it is to be a student in the USA, especially one in the arts. Eva Longoria made an amazing argument for students in recent interviews since she received her Master’s Degree in Chicano Studies. I think he’s out of touch with that aspect. I understand he wants to clarify his point, but the original post came off very insensitive. I think the apology was insincere, especially coming from a fashion blogger. Who in my opinion is the lowest on the fashion food chain.

  147. cetriya

    June 6, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    saying you cant dress nice because *you’re busy* strikes as laziness to me.

    I’m currently an illustration student, and even though I use a lot of stuff that can easy dirty my clothes, I still dress well. Its not hard to put on some dark denim with a nice blose and belt.

    Also being on a strick budget, I shop with a list of ‘needs’ and maybe get a few ‘wants’. Your needs are your basics like tanks, dark denim, business slacks, confortable flats and blouses, that all match with each other (my colors are neutrals, whites, grays, citrus and purples). My wants are anything that catch my fancy but might not match with anything in my ‘needs’ (such as different colors, dresses, trendy).

    pair them with the right accessory and work bag, and complements will follow.

    I”m also with you in that design/art schools don’t teach business aspects and that you’ll be much busier out of school trying to pay back all thoughts loans while making a name for your self.

  148. Whocares

    June 7, 2013 at 11:49 am

    @Jackie Perez Not sure what your problem is. If you have no time to dress nicely, fine. If you’re too busy, fine. It appears you are grumpy because you feel students in the US just have it too hard, they cant even dress appropriately? Therefore you refuse to take useful advise and instead look down on fashion bloggers? Blogging is a form of cross promotion and marketing. It’s a way to build your brand. A lot of good bloggers are actually professionals; journalists, photographers. It’s big business. You, yourself should be learning to promote and endorse yourself as a student (in your appearance, in your professionalism) not be hung up on being juvenile and petty. If its soo hard being a student in the arts, then why dont you support one another and lift each other up instead of using insults. Who do you think help accelerate trends, creates trends in he fashion world? – Fashion bloggers. I’m sure Eva Longoria has worked her butt off over the years to look that good.

  149. Aly

    June 8, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    I completely agree Mr Scott. I’m an Interior Design student and even if I’m too tired, have been staying up for weeks on end to finish my projects.
    I will still make sure I am still presentable.
    You never know when you might bump into someone that might be a helping hand later on, a future client or a future boss.

    Whenever I am presenting work, I dress to compliment my designs.

  150. INES

    June 11, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    (literally “how they see you is how they will treat you”)
    Mexicans , especially cityfolk know this and follow the rules of social engagement. Many will say it is unfortunate and superficial but it is what it is and not only in Mexico. It has kept Mexicans (in Mexico) held to a high standard and expectation. Appearance matters no matter what.

  151. Pamela

    June 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I think the picture was lovely, and yes If you know that Mr. Schuman is there for an article you just don´t hesitate and look impecable.
    There comes a time when the process of making your piece, for my leather gets very dirty, even if you have an overall(not cool but necessary for protection) the point is that you can always have a change of clothes, if you know you are going out, have a shoot, going for coffee, there is no justification.
    You are selling your brand at every moment and you have to be creative with your closet and take advantage, money and size are not an excuse.

  152. Late Bloomer

    June 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    There is something else about looking like your designs: you can actually try them out on the street, try if they really do feel like you. If they don’t, it will help develop “your” expression as a designer, and its great to be able to do that while still in school. School pressure is SO much easier than industry pressure (and I know — I had a business producing for designers before I went back to school for a degree in design myself)!!

  153. Sze-er

    June 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I love this. If you love design, you live design. Those are words I live by; to be fully immersed in what you love is a different experience.
    Let’s face it, the industry is all about asthetics.

    I remember as a crazy busy design student juggling 2 jobs and full time school all on very little sleep, I still strove to show my style because it’s me and what I live for.

  154. Starr

    July 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I think this piece of advice is applicable in almost any design faculty. As an architecture student, I find myself dressing more and more similar to my design aesthetic these days. I think it’s important to become synonymous with your brand, particularly in this industry where being distinguishable from others is important.

    Dress as if you are your own creation.

  155. Diana from San Francisco

    July 2, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    When I went to design school most everyone was dressed beautifully – now lets get this straight we did not have money (well some did, but not most). We made do. We could not afford designer clothing (or groceries for that matter) instead we admired and where inspired, but we wanted our own look – we refashioned, we sewed our own, bought vintage, used, found, we borrowed, etc. We looked good! We looked like fashion students. And yes, I was up all night sometimes working on projects and the following day, I still managed to look my best.

  156. jenny

    July 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    you are what you eat…..represent your art…were in fashion…you have to look good!

  157. Lulu

    July 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I don’t mean to offend any students of fashion, but I’m about to complete my Masters of Architecture, a much more rigorous program, and my peers and I ALWAYS look good.

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