Creative Burnout

Creative burnout hitting the fashion industry hard
Interview by Kai Ryssdal || Friday, November 6, 2015


Models present creations for Lanvin during the 2016 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collection fashion show.

Dior, Lanvin, Baleciaga. These are just some of the iconic names in fashion that have suffered high-profile departures from designers in recent weeks. One big reason is creative burnout. Simply put, fashion designers – and other staff of the major fashion houses – are being spurred by the ubiquity of the internet and the trend of fast fashion to create collections and shows at an increasingly rapid rate.

We had on fashion journalist and former editor of Harper’s Bazaar Kate Betts to explain the reasons behind the pressure that fashion designers are under and, quite frankly, why we should care.

Kai Ryssdal: Why are all these people leaving, what’s going on?

Kate Betts: There is too much information, too much product too fast, too much demand. And fashion is the fastest creative cycle, historically speaking its faster than technology. It was a six month cycle, but now it’s a three month cycle and actually if you talk to a designer at a major house like Dior or Chanel, it’s a three week cycle. They have to create whole collections in three weeks.

Kai Ryssdal: So how does that work in the studio?

Kate Betts: It means they have to come up with the ideas, communicate the ideas to the seamstresses, the people who create the samples, create the samples, fit the samples, make the clothes, ship the clothes back to the studio, fit the models, produce a runway show.

Kai Ryssdal: How often do you have runway shows though? Because most of us not in the business say, “Well, there’s New York Fashion Week again, they do it every year,” so what’s the big deal?

Kate Betts: They have a runway show in the fall and the spring, then they have haute couture which is in January and July and then they have Cruise, which is resort, which is twice a year. Some of them are creating men’s and women’s collections, so multiply that number by two and you have a lot of shows. And if you think about it in a bigger cultural context, you know, nobody is asking best-selling authors, or screenplay writers, or producers or directors of movies to create a new product every three weeks.

Kai Ryssdal: Who is providing this pressure? Is it the designers themselves, is it the houses they work for, is it major retailers, is it the high-end retailers?

Kate Betts: It comes from all different directions. I mean the retailer wants more product, the public wants more product and information. They’re consuming information and product at a much faster rate because of the internet, obviously. But they’re also consuming it because of fast fashion. Fast fashion has become kind of the scapegoat for all of this. But I don’t think you can point the finger at one specific person, or system, or part of the culture. I think its just everything is much faster now. In the fashion world you’re not just seeing the creative talent leave, but also the business side, great managers are leaving because it’s too much pressure.

Olympic USA Sweaters

Opening-Ceremony-Sketch-Women-532x899On February 7, 2014 team USA debuted their new sweaters at the olympic opening ceremony in Sochi, Russia.  To put it lightly, the USA sweater design has caused quite a hype.  Criticisms Rebena has been hearing are things like:

“It looks like freedom barfed all over the USA team.”

“Sweaters look like a slap at Putin’s gay policies.”

“Why does Ralph Lauren hate America?”

“It’s like a knitted representation of a Toby Keith song.”

Rebena understands the hoopla.  Yes, the sweaters are loud.  Yes, they are patriotic.  For petes sake, yes, they do look like Ralph Lauren’s grandmother knit all the Team USA sweaters herself.

Now, before you spread any more social-media hoopla, take some time to get to know the origin of the sweater.  It’s 100% American soil.  The yarn comes from a 1860s-era farmstead in East Jordan, Michigan.  How amazing is that?  100 percent domestic wool from a small farm in Michigan.  Think about that.  For the wool workers, this sweater has created more jobs and is building a better economy for the state that needs it most, Michigan.  On a side note, more than 40 local vendors from small-town America helped Ralph Lauren produce its entire olympic wardrobe attire.

USA-Olympic-SweaterIn regards to the design of the sweater, Rebena keeps thinking about how stunning it is.  It’s an authentic an American treasure.  Rebena is loving the granny patchwork vibe.  Don’t like patchwork?  Well, may all of the haute players would wag their pretty little fingers at you.  (Dior Homme – Helmut Lang – House of HollandJonathan Simkhai)  Rebena thinks the sweater collage represents the American athletes well, as they each have their own unique story to tell.

If you’re still not on board with the sweater, you might want to chew on this.  For the first time in American olympic history, 100 percent of the purchase price of the Limited Edition Team USA Opening Ceremony Cardigan will be donated to the U.S. Olympic Committee, an organization supporting the United States of America’s best and brightest.

We think Oregon rancher Jeanne Carver sums it up best:  “It’s a parade uniform for our very best athletes on a world stage. They look sensational. They are making all of us proud.  There is power in the whole effort.”
Olympics: Opening CeremonyNow for the German uniforms..  Did a unicorn fart all over the team before they marched in?  😉  Have a great day folks.

Every fashionable wardrobe deserves a cloche hat.  Invented by Parisian milliner, Caroline Reboux, t


This gallery contains 6 photos.

Every fashionable wardrobe deserves a cloche hat.  Invented by Parisian milliner, Caroline Reboux, the bell-shaped hat became especially popular during the 1920s.  We’ve been wearing them since.  Here are some of our faves. Right to left:  Caroline Reboux, inventor – Dior, … Continue reading