The 2006 film based on the novel of the same name, The Devil Wears Prada, features Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, a malicious and conniving fashion magazine editor. All of the stereotypes about what it’s like to work in the fashion industry this film deems true. But how true to life really is the movie? Is the industry really as harsh as it says it is?
Here's a break down of the top 7 myths that this book and film promote about life in the fashion world.
Myth 1: All Fashion Designers Know How to Create Patterns & Sew Clothing
Of course, everyone thinks fashion designers all know how to cut & sew clothes. That sounds accurate, but it’s not necessarily true. All designers go through different journeys to start their own clothing line. Sewing, styling, and design require an investment in trade learning, but the lack of experience should not be a hard and fast barrier for designers who want to learn how to make clothes or who want to start a unique clothing line using wholesale apparel products or factory designed products featuring their own brand label.
Myth 2: All Fashion Greats Are Ruthlessly Cutthroat
Having a scary boss like Miranda Priestly is not a hard fact of working in fashion. Most fashion communities prioritize supporting other designers and fashion entrepreneurs. Everyone works together to build each other up, share tips, mentor rising stars, and support each others’ businesses. For designers who are just starting out, there are plenty of resources out there, like Startup Fashion and The Boutique Hub, to help you learn and grow into a more skilled start up fashion entrepreneur.
Myth 3: Successful Fashion Designers Dress to the Nines at All Times
Vogue promoted the idea that fashion designers only wear high fashion brands, as opposed to CEOs in other industries like Mark Zuckerburg who’s well-known for wearing the same type of jeans and t-shirts each day. This is certainly not true, as designers flaunt their personal style in many ways, shapes, and forms. Go ahead and be that designer who shows up in your gym leggings, baseball cap, and a pair of Balenciaga’s if that’s what’s true to you.
Myth 4: Extreme Dieting Is Normal
Do you remember that scene in “The Devil Wears Prada”, where Emily tells Andy that she doesn’t eat anything because she wants to lose weight before attending Paris Fashion Week? While "sample size" has long been the status quo for fashion models, designers, and influencers, as fashion grows more and more accessible, its identity has evolved to be more inclusive. Major brands now feature a more diverse selection of models, influencers, and sizes to represent a broader segment of the population. Emerging fashion houses have also made strides in marketing to a more modern fashion consumer who looks and feels more like the everyman and everywoman who will eventually buy and love their apparel products.
Myth 5: All Fashion Designers Have Tons of Celebrity Clientele
High-profile figures dominate fashion’s headlines. That’s usually because many successful fashion designers are generally forward-thinking, grounded, and focused professionals who use networking and relationship building as a means to get ahead in the game. Sometimes that puts them in touch with celebrities, but sometimes it does not.
Myth 6: Attending Fashion Week Is More Glamour Than Grueling
Ah, Fashion Week. Is it as exciting as social media makes it out to be? Aside from Instagram posts filled with extravagant celebrations, there’s more to Fashion Week than what everyone assumes. Behind every piece of artwork is the blood, sweat, and tears put into it. Things are more chaotic behind the scenes than at the front of the runway.
Myth 7: Fashion Shows Are The Only Shows Designers Worry About Attending
Fashion trade shows are crucial tools for designers who want to stay ahead of trends in fabrics, styling, and fashion innovation. Whether it’s MAGIC in Las Vegas or COTERIE in New York, attending trade shows can help you learn about materials that you may want to consider for your future fashion line as well as network with other brands to increase your connections within the fashion community.
If you’re a fashion designer, fashion buyer, or boutique owner, these 7 myths from The Devil Wears Prada might be things you’ve heard of your entire career. Even though there is a little bit of truth behind every myth or stereotype, breaking them is so more rewarding than abiding by them.
Can you relate to any of these stereotypes? Comment below.