Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Advantages of the young and privileged in the fashion industry

Perhaps you've heard of Kira Plastinina, the fifteen year old Russian fashion designer with the multi-millionaire father who recently debuted "her" designs at Rome Fashion Week. Paris Hilton was paid $2 million to sit front row at the show and wear her t-shirt. Notice the parentheses around the word her -- she doesn't actually design anything -- she has a team at work for her. Nonetheless, she visits her office after school everyday to approve designs and give suggestions.

Looking at the website, the Kira Plastinina line is ideal for young ladies who really like tulle, hot pink, and hearts. It's very cutesy and youthful, if not fresh and innovative. Some despise Kira for good reasons -- she's rich, privileged, and her daddy's the reason for her success. After all, what happened to the idea of the starving artist who achieves success as a brilliant genius after years of hard work? Then again, can you blame this girl for being born into a privileged life of the post-Soviet Union bourgeoisies? If you have the resources for this kind of endeavor, you might as well use it to fulfill your own career plans -- granted that you're working hard. Even though she admires Paris Hilton as a style icon (my, my, why), Kira doesn't party or sneak out at night like American celebutante, Cory Kennedy.

This girl doesn't have the ability yet to become a great fashion designer, but at least she's making a name for herself. Even though she has it easier than other fifteen year old aspiring designers, at least she's staying in school, making plans to attend design college, and working with her design team everyday. That, my lovelies, is just as commendable as any Cinderella story. Kira is someone I'd love to meet someday, as someone else who has always wanted to work in fashion and takes initiative to achieve that dream.

It's probably very true that the young and privileged may have a better chance to enter the fashion industry. Fashion assistants don't even make enough to cover a year of my prep school tuition -- and yes, I do admit that I am privileged and very lucky to be where I am. While I am interning in the fashion department for Seventeen Magazine this summer, I do not have to worry about housing or living expenses because my parents will pay for it. However, I will be keeping a record book of all my expenditures -- I refuse to max out my credit card. I never have to complain about not getting new Taryn Rose pumps or buying a new See by Chloé dress -- within reason, of course. I can write and learn about fashion as much as I'd like without ever having to worry about getting a paid job -- but I do have a job, in fact. I'm saving money to pay for my first month's rent out of college. I have never been denied of anything because of money issues, and I do recognize that I am blessed with privileges and opportunities in life that 99% of the world's teenagers would only fantasize about.

Still, I've come to realize that there is nothing with being young and privileged and wanting to work in the fashion industry. I will never have to worry about money even though I refuse to rely on my parents when I become an adult -- and hopefully neither will Kira and other privileged teen aspiring fashionistas around the globe, but we must learn to make the most of what we have.

If we have a lot to begin with, we have a lot of expectations to live up to in the future. An article I once read in New York Magazine said that the number one dream for privileged teenagers was that they would rightfully earn success themselves. Just don't forget the important values in life while you're at it: family, friends, faith (if you're religious), hope, and love.

Miss Couturable
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