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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNT chapter.

“[fashion]: because your personality isn’t the first thing people see.” – Anonymous

Sartorial fashion has an intimate relationship with the physical body and, by extension, the personal identity of an individual; that is why there is a greater attention paid to apparel fashion. But, there is fashion all around us, there are fashions in furniture, there is fashion in automobiles, and in various other things in addition to just clothing. Fashion encompasses the way in which things are made; to “fashion” something is to make it in a particular form. The definition of fashion is “the cultural construction of the embodied identity;” it is also defined as a “prevailing style of dress or behavior at any given moment in time,” meaning, fashion is characterized by change.  

Why is fashion important?

Fashion is seen as a vain, frivolous, and ephemeral industry by those who do not understand its importance to the world, and more importantly, its impact on us as human beings. Clothing is vital to our most basic needs of warmth and protection, but it is also a form of self-expression–it’s how we present ourselves to the world. Fashion is very personal; it allows you to choose how you wish to reveal yourself to the world all around you and it is a way of communicating without saying a word. When we are young, we are taught not to judge a book by its cover, yet it’s practically human nature to do so. I would even go so far as to say it’s an impulse or a habit. Basically, when people first look at you the first thing they see is how you are dressed and your style is the first words you speak to someone – so what are you trying to say?

What does fashion say about us?

The manner in which somebody chooses to dress themselves also says a lot about that person as an individual. What’s important to them – faith and modesty, how they spend their money – expensive watches and designer brands, how much they care about their appearance – shined shoes and shirts without wrinkles, as well as the content of their character – how they carry themselves. The best part about fashion and what makes it truly unique is the way you look is completely up to you; you have complete control over everything and you decide what to put on your body, when it comes to fashion there are no limitations. 

Fashion is no joke.

The fashion industry is an incredibly large industry with an astoundingly wide-reach. How large? It’s the second largest worldwide economic activity for intensity trade, it’s a $3 trillion dollar industry employing well over 57 million people, 80 percent of which are women. In fact, the fashion industry is one of very few where women shine and are the majority.

Lately, this industry like many others has been really overwhelmed by COVID-19, but proof that the fashion industry is a force to be reckoned with lies in how people have reacted, by using apparel as a means of protecting themselves from this virus and by using apparel as a way to raise funds for combatting this pandemic. So, to all the anti-fashionists and naysayers that fail to see the importance and the vitality of this industry – can you see it now?

“I’ve decided fashion can be two things. It can be as simple as something you put on to make yourself feel beautiful, or as dynamic as something illustrative of culture, time and its transformations,” – Anna Wintour.

To society, to the economy, to each and every single one of us – fashion matters. Faster than anything else, what we wear reflects who we want to be and tells a story of who we are, and if all we are is just stories in the end, might as well make it a good one.

Just call her the next black Anna Wintour. Don Davis is in her third year at the University of North Texas. She is currently pursuing two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising, and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She is also pursuing two minors, one in Marketing and the other in Photography, with the hopes of one day becoming a print and digital reporter, more specifically, a fashion writer, and then getting promoted to fashion editor. However, her ultimate goal is editor-in-chief.