I saw this photo on 5 Inch and Up, a blog scribed by London-based Sandra Hegalstam, last week. Initially, I thought: wow, those shoes are awesome. Almost instantaneously I thought, but I could definitely make them myself. And then I realized that this was precisely the reaction I had at the end of last week when I celebrated Moo Piyasombatkul’s sunglasses collection, Moo. This in turn got me thinking about what will happen to the artistry of fashion. If we can all do it, why should we buy it? But if we don’t buy it, do designers go out of business? And if designers go out of business, where do we seek our inspiration?
In a New York Times article that was published last November, an opinions writer dubbed our generation, The Entrepreneurial Generation. While the writer mentions that we’ve earned the title because various social vehicles have allowed us to become our own businesses–we are constantly selling ourselves–I got to thinking about the implications involved with becoming the Generation in question.
On the one hand, we may have become so spoiled by the access we are constantly granted–I once heard a man refer to himself as the CEO of his twitter account–anything less than self-employment in a world as vast as the web can be rendered almost comical. On the other hand though, this access is what enables a man to say something as seemingly silly as “I’m the CEO of my twitter account,” and mean it. Ultimately, it’s not that silly; look at White Girl Problems, look at Shit My Dad Says, look at the entire range of Shit x Says that came afterward, and on a more marginal level, look at me.
Three years ago, I was a junior in college studying to become a journalist. Now, I’m a full time blogger–a profession I would have rolled my eyes at, mocked, dubbed ludicrous for the sake of “real” writers like Mailer and Didion while I was studying to become one of them. They are likely quite glad I left their trade untainted but the fact of the matter is, this truly is the era of the entrepreneur. We are all, whether consciously or not, doing something, running something, thinking something unique to who we are as individuals and putting it out into the world.
It is at this point that I fear the over-stimulation coming from virtually every angle–see: Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, blogs, and the apps that allow us to aggregate our different networks and consume them more seamlessly will pollute the way we think. Do we even still think? There are so many digital road blocks filtering our thoughts, it’s hard to recognize an unedited opinion anymore. Which brings me back to my point about the shoes photographed above.
Notwithstanding the consideration that they are ASOS-crafted, which means potentially designed in bulk for mass consumption, they still reflect the creative endeavors of an individual, with a job, trying to “make it.” They are playful and interesting, precisely the character shoes should possess. In matters of the self-inflicted small business though: do we, for the sake of recognizing the above, buy, or on the same note, DIY? (Image via)