There is something about the term “fashionista” that makes me cringe, perhaps because it conjures up images of fashion victims wearing either head-to-toe labels or poorly made clothes from painfully trendy sites. To me, fashionistas are fashion lightweights who might outwardly appear on trend, but who don’t know the first thing about the inner workings of the industry, the labels they wear, or why they’re wearing them.
For this reason, I have coined a term for those of you out there who know that fashion is both psychologically, sociologically, environmentally, and philosophically impactful on a grand human scale. Fashion isn’t just the clothes you wear; it’s the statement you make about your identity and what you want the world to know about yourself. For those of you who know the importance of fashion beyond surface appearance, I dub you “fashionados” – a convenient portmanteau of “fashion” and “aficionado”.
Another reason this freshly minted term makes me happy is that I think it applies to so many creative, stylish women in the Middle East. When I think of fashionados, I think of Alamira Noor Bani Hashim, who co-founded the inventive eatery and avant-garde dining experience The Dinner Club by No. 57. I think of Dana Hourani, Razane Jammal, Diala Makki, and so many others. These women, in their own unique ways, have discovered the perfect balance of personal branding, personal style, business savvy, and cultural sensibility.
If the first thing you check in the morning is Business of Fashion, and not Tumblr, you’re a fashionado. If you have a rough idea of what parent companies own which brands, you’re a fashionado. If you are in the know about up-and-coming brands, not just high-fashion labels or big-box retail stores, you’re a fashionado. If you’re knowledgeable about China’s slumping economy and the effect it’s having on major luxury brands, you’re a fashionado. If you read Savoir Flair, you’re definitely a fashionado. Take the simple quiz below to determine your status.
The Fashionado vs. Fashionista Quiz
1. Who just landed a coveted position as the new Creative Director of Dior?
2. Where is Elie Saab’s atelier?
3. Who is the most followed model on social media?
4. Where is the fifth largest Fashion Week in the world held?
5. What was the latest season added to the fashion calendar in 2009?
(Answers: 1. Valentino designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, 2. Beirut, Lebanon, 3. Kendall Jenner, 4. São Paulo, Brazil, 5. Pre-Fall)
If you answered at least one of those questions correctly, you’re well on your way to securing the elite honor of being an official fashionado. However, if you weren’t able to and want to become as well-versed in fashion as a longtime insider, click on the helpful links below to begin educating yourself on the industry. These articles will give you the kind of knowledge that will impress even the most cynical fashion editor.
- How to go from Fashionista to Fashionado
- An Open Letter to the Fashion Industry
- What Does Price Upon Request Actually Mean?
- Why Are There So Many New Seasons in Fashion?
- What is the Difference Between Fashion and Style?
- What Makes an “It” Girl an “It” Girl?
- Why the Industry Should Adopt a Global Ban on Underweight Models
- What You Need to Know About the Nike vs. Adidas Rivalry
- What is Disruption and Who is Doing it Best?
- Identity Crisis: Do You Really Need to Have a Signature Look?
- Is Fine Art Becoming More Accessible?
- Rumor Has It: Where Fashion’s Top Designers Are Likely to End Up
- Rebooting the Fashion Industry Model – How to Adapt and Why
- 5 Predictions on the Future of Fashion Retail