03 May OP-ED: How DC Can Improve in the Fashion Industry
by ATFDC Contributor Emily Cirillo
We’ve accepted the sad truth long ago that Washington DC will never be New York. DC is smaller, more political, and doesn’t have the same sense of fashion. Over the past few years DC has slowly become more fashionable, thanks to society’s renewed interest in politics, the importance of DC, and Michelle Obama’s fashionable stint as First Lady. If DC steps up its game could it improve its place in the fashion industry over the next few years? There’s no simple yes or no answer to this question, but if the district makes a few changes it can definitely be on the road to improvement.
One major thing that DC can do to improve its place in the fashion industry is improve its Fashion Week. This September DC will host its fashion week that includes shows and networking events. This is not the first fashion week that Washington, DC has held before. Fashion weeks bring in money for the cities hosting them, but in order to improve their standing in the fashion industry it needs to do more. Fashion week brings in designers, but not the best or renowned like New York or Paris does. Also, and most importantly, the appearance of Anna Wintour will put DC Fashion week on the map. Ms. Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, is one of the most important people in the fashion industry. Her presence at events makes them important and newsworthy. Without Anna Wintour, DC Fashion Week is not that important and, quite frankly, doesn’t do anything to improve DC’s place in the fashion industry.
Photo Credit: Style Activist
The District has had a growing interest in fashion over the past couple of years. We’ve learned that Washingtonians love clothes and are willing to spend the money. Washingtonians are becoming Fashiontinians. So now is the best time to turn our interests into a reality. In 2010, Mayor Bloomberg of New York launched several initiatives to improve the fashion industry and business in the city by 2020. DC could launch Fashion Draft DC or Fashion Campus DC as well as other initiatives. It would not only improve DC’s economy and create jobs, but it would improve DC’s place in the fashion industry. As of now, fashion is not a staple in DC’s culture or economy, but improving Fashion week and creating business/fashion initiatives will help it become well on its way.
Emily Cirillo studies Political Communication and History at George Washington University. Besides writing for ATFDC, she writes for her college newspaper and is a sister of Epsilon Sigma Alpha. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism.