International language of fashion

As many of you may know, I am pursuing my Image Consulting Certificate from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

One of the things I’ve discovered is that fashion is an international interest. In my current class, there are students from Switzerland, Mexico, Lebanon, Russia, Japan and more. I’m struck my how universal the interest is in fashion. It’s the thing that binds us worldwide.

I think that’s because fashion is an extension of our personalities. Fashion helps us express ourselves in a range of settings or occasions. Fashion helps us be comfortable – in the truest sense – no matter where we are or what we’re doing.

It’s more than just the clothes we wear. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs, clothing technically  falls in the basic/physiological needs category.

Maslows Hierarchy

In actuality, fashion also satisfies many other needs. It can keep us safe from the elements or harm, such as winter snowsuits or fire retardant coveralls. It can help us achieve a sense of belonging, through team uniforms or designer labels. It can improve our self-esteem by making us feel better about our selves, our bodies, our looks. And, it can help us achieve self-actualization through creative outlets such as fashion or jewelry design, or makeup artistry.

That’s what makes fashion so universal…fascinating…personal. It’s also why fashion is about more than just the clothes we wear.

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