The Outsider: Going beyond the traditional fashion map

Article for ΠMagazine

Fashion as we know it – in the western world, has borders. Its map, centered in specific places such as Paris, London, Milan or New York, was settled a long time ago and was transmitted from one generation to the next. Certainly considered as granted, this traditional mapping has been deeply questioned these past few years. As an industry that produces often standardised content, fashion has always had a problem with diversity and inclusiveness – with a lack of racial diversity being the most pronounced transgression. However, going beyond tangible features, we find that the current fashion model is telling us that creativity is located in specific cities. Questioning such assessment makes us understand that it is based on a set of subjective realities.

While these last few weeks we have seen a lot of systemic issues highlighted in the public space, we are now well aware of the fact that a real supremacy is taking over every aspect of our social life. This supremacy, rooted in whiteness, aims to devalue everything that does not adhere to its system of values. Fashion as part of society – created and shaped by social actors– is also impacted by these mechanisms that tend to homogenise aesthetics. But what would result if one were to challenge the normative rules of the traditional fashion map? What would happen if we expand the notion of fashion design and went above the traditional definition imposed by a system that bases its legitimacy on abstract visions?

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