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Should We Sacrifice Creativity for Good Business?

If we were to strip bare the world of all of creativity, a huge part of our human nature would cease to exist.

So when Raf Simons resigned from his position of creative director (chief designer) from the fashion house Dior a few weeks ago due to the pressure of fashion hindering on his ability to create, I wondered if we weren’t sacrificing creativity for business. Rarely does a Raf Simons come along; creative geniuses like him are rarities, which is why we must preserve creative powerhouses’ talent in the best way we can.

Here’s the issue: the world needs art and beauty. It needs stories about love, great blue ceilings painted by Michelangelo, Tchaikovsky compositions that bring you to tears, Operas that stir emotion in its viewers, and fashion that is both beautiful and individual.  We need our Da Vincis and our Rafs as much as we need our stockbrokers! For what is a world void of beauty, creativity, and passion? What is the world without art, fashion, and music? And if Raf Simons left Dior because he felt the pressure from creating 10 clothing collections a year to boosts the shares for LVMH (the Parisian company that owns Dior), then is business slowly taking over creativity?

Creativity is something even ancient humans took part in – it is a way to symbolize our values, create beautiful things, and frame ideas of different time periods. So, are we not losing something distinctly human when we lose our artistic creators?

In an industry that thrives on clothes, creating ones that will sell is a must (duh). So when Raf, who raised Dior’s sales by 60%, leaves because it’s too much pressure, isn’t Dior sacrificing more than it should? If it decreased its collections from around 10 a year to around 5 or 6 (2 couture shows, 2 ready to wear, 1 or 2 resort shows), it would be producing less merchandise, but might have a better chance of selling merchandise because its clothes would be coveted. The better the clothes, the more publicity: the more celebrities will wear them, the more they’ll be featured in magazines. Yes, some companies can thrive off their name-brand recognition, but only if their products are well crafted and innovative. Without those elements, the name brand disappears.

Fashion thrives on good business and good clothes, which is why Simon’s departure is so devastating. Simons, who felt overworked, raises some concerns about the fashion industry. Why would it sacrifice its creativity for excessive office hours and the epidemic of being overworked? If fashion would rather overwork its creators than give them slightly more freedom to create the clothes they wanted to create, it might become a bit better than it is today.


Image sources: the-talk.com, Pinterest.com

Lindy is a current senior at Kenyon college majoring in Anthropology and Art History. She enjoys travel, books, cinema, art, food, and Scottish Whisky. Someday she hopes to travel around the world with a corgi named Max.
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