An Open Letter to American Fashion Designers


We live in unprecedented times. It’s dramatic to say, but clearly, as so many industries and cities shut down in the face of COVID-19, it’s true. And more importantly, there is a very real human toll for the coronavirus; We at Fashionista are thinking of David Lat, our colleague and founder of our sister site Above the Law, who is currently hospitalized in serious condition. We wish him a very speedy recovery.

It’s easy, I think, to feel helpless in the face of something so out of control. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but it’s been very difficult for me to work on fashion and beauty stories knowing the difficulties that probably lie ahead for so many of us. I want to do more.

But here at Fashionista, our corner of the world is fashion and beauty, and our industry is feeling the effects of COVID-19 like everyone else. We have tried to offer both stories that can serve as an escape and stories about the impact of the coronavirus; our peers at fashion, Vogue Business, WWD and The New York Times have all done a great job tackling all angles of our current crisis.

Yet, as worried as I am about…well, everything, I worry most about our American designers. We have so many young talents here, very promising creators who are perhaps not as protected by massive conglomerates as their European peers. (Although I of course recognize that they too will have their own set of problems in the weeks and months to come.) I know that this has been an extraordinarily scary and uncertain time for them, and the challenges facing their businesses look like nothing more. of them have yet faced in their careers.

That’s why, if you’re an American designer, I want to hear from you. When I was promoted to Editor-in-Chief last fall, I told many people that I felt lucky to be the temporary custodian of such a valuable platform in our industry – and that having this platform means nothing if I can’t do something with it. I know everyone on our team feels the same.

So we want to share this platform with the American fashion community, because now more than ever we need to work together. If you’re a designer, I want to hear from you: if there’s anything you think we should look into, let us know. If you would like to write an op-ed about your own particular struggles or successes, even anonymously, send it to us. Shit, if you just wanna scream into the void, you can let my inbox be that void. You can find me at [email protected]

And I want to thank everyone who reads Fashionista. I got my foot in the door of this industry through an internship here, a website I read so obsessively in college and graduate school that I knew the publishing schedule. I know what it has meant to me, and thanks to the stories that countless other people have told me, I also know what it has meant to my many peers. We want to continue to offer that for you, the reader, in these crazy times, and my inbox is open to you as well.

It’s been a true honor and privilege to be even a small cog in the wheel of the American fashion industry, and I’m grateful to have come to this at a time when kindness and collaboration are celebrated.

We will go through this together.

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