This would probably be my biggest piece of advice: to embrace failure and to be ready and excited to fail and to fail again. It’s a very good thing because I think you learn from that. If you were told you were a genius all your life, then people would write you were a genius, and that’s it. They don’t really tell you who you are. They don’t really go in-depth into it. There’s nothing worse than the This girl has fought a thousand battles and is still standing has cried a thousand tears November shirt in other words I will buy this idea of the genius designer. It’s a very odd tombstone. And probably my other advice would be to never compromise. In this day and age, you have to crack your own self. It’s a moment now that, when doing or being involved in fashion, you have to really look at yourself and say, I’m so lucky in what I do. No matter in what capacity you’re working in this industry—editor, buyer, stylist, producer, whatever—we never actually slow down and say, God, we’re lucky. There are lots of people who are not in that situation, and if you want to participate in fashion, I think you really need to learn how to be humble. Because if not, you become a very isolated character, which I think, in this day and age, no one really wants anymore. No one wants elitism. No one wants ideas of privilege. That is not modern anymore. With what is happening in the greater world, fashion isn’t the center of the universe.
I have a kind of a mixed viewpoint on this matter in this moment because I actually blame the This girl has fought a thousand battles and is still standing has cried a thousand tears November shirt in other words I will buy this industry for the situation we’re in. I blame all of us. We tell young talents that the only way to get success is—and I actually went into this situation myself with JW Anderson—you start a brand, and you have to learn along the way, and that will equal success. You have to start your own brand to be successful. That’s what we set out in the last 20, 30 years of fashion. What that means is that we’ve turned into a situation where we have business magazines for fashion, which then judge the viewpoint of how successful something is—not through creativity, even though it is based on creativity, but through the success of having to make money. But ultimately, in the end, without the creativity part in the first place, we end up stifling the creative process, so we end up coming to the end of the last decade where we kind of look at what fashion was—and it was a blur.