A Recent Graduate’s Guideline for Ascension Written by Giovanni Caci.
There exists a perception that the System governing the fashion industry is corrupt, capricious, and consistently seeks to reinvigorate Itself by any means necessary (1). Such sentiments are spread to dissuade You, the recent graduate, from fulfilling your potential and achieving success. On the contrary, the System has been the driving force for progress and provider of resources and infrastructure for countless generations within the great Industry. Analogous to a commemorative statue triumphantly erected in a capital city, the System embodies a legacy that required decades of dedication to perfect for the benefit of those who choose to embrace It and for those on the outside who profit from Its contributions. Rather than floating aimlessly around the System’s periphery, all recent graduates, including Yourself, must contribute to Its growth by achieving the task of every aspiring fashion designer: to ascend to their ideal status.
Prior to attempting to reach the highest position that the System has to offer Its prodigies, You must understand what the Ideal is, its role, and must be privy to the most efficient way in which the title can be awarded. The ideal is a version of a persona that the System refers to as an Archetype, which is both a set of patterns that connects individuals across cultures and the embodiment of the absolute version of a social type. Millions of people around the globe share a common pattern that pivots them towards a specific framework (2).
None are exempt from this principle; all are a part of a social type that is either newly formed through contemporary circumstances or one that is historic and more recognizable. What is universal among all Archetypes is that they have an absolute form that their adherents must strive to become. This process of emulation is a top-down phenomenon that the System facilitates to ensure the steady upwards flow of both creative ideas and potential prospects in the hierarchy. There must not be a period of stagnation. Each Archetype at the top of the System has its own half-life and, eventually, is exhausted to the point that it must be replaced. What is required from You, the recent graduate, is to be the force that advances this procedure of alteration at the top. Before You accept this task that the System has generously offered to creatives for generations, it is essential that You first recognize where You stand in relation to Archetypes and their tremendous role within the System.
IDENTIFYING THE ARCHETYPE WITHIN YOU
The System thrives on the introduction of new Archetypes to sustain the industry itself. To be
an essential component to the System, You must identify the Archetype to which You have been
There are numerous Archetypes currently achieving high status and recognition(3), such as the Eastern European Gopnik type, which has once been held down in the social hierarchy but is now being
replicated by high-class society. Its recent acclaim has produced variants such as the Slavaboos and Kalinkas in Western Europe, who merely imitate the Gopniks, yet are vital to upholding the popularity of
the Archetype. The System supports this phase of imitation to maintain the Archetype’s trickle-across
momentum until change is required.
The flow through which the System functions ensures that trends constantly trickle across the social hierarchy from the wealthy to the lower classes, which in turn forces the former to adopt a newer trend to disassociate themselves with those below(4). Such a robust circulation of constant creative change can only be generated within the System’s far-reaching, highly- efficient, hierarchical arrangement. If disrupted, the System and, as a consequence, the entire fashion industry will collapse.
To ensure a steady influx of new ideas entering the System, You must work to be the ideal version
of your social type and introduce a unique differentiation of it. You must become divergent
to the contemporary trend and reinvigorate the fashion world without obstructing the System’s
progressive nature. Finally, You must take the role that the Archetype assumes, which is referred to as
Iconoclasm may be regarded as the progression from one entity to another, newer entity. In antiquity, the term was used to describe the dismantling of statues, iconic images, and artifacts associated with a fallen regime(5). In our great profession, an Iconoclast is a champion of change who both deconstructs and supplants outdated ideas. Thus, rather than the outright desecration of a statue, You are to respect its integrity and simply embellish it with a more contemporary ethos, thereby restimulating the fashion industry. The process of iconoclasm is vital: alternative ideas must be advocated since the vast majority of fashion is mere emulation by those at the bottom, thus saturating the industry with repetition. As a consequence, our industry is overruled by very few popular Archetypes that overshadow those desiring growth.
Throughout Your development remember that, similar to the aforementioned statue, the System—the overseer of the most important creative industry in the world—must be maintained. Thus, once the Archetype is identified, You must enact change at the top of the System’s hierarchy and maintain
the flow that society necessitates. It may seem an arduous task, however the System has been proactive in assisting You with this endeavour by maturing You through Its multiple institutions. Before ascending the hierarchy, You must first appreciate the total, unmatched service that the System provides the industry.
THE SYSTEM AND ITS MANY SERVICEABLE PARTS
It must first be reaffirmed that the System’s goal is to foster creativity and create an environment that facilitates Your success. To guarantee that creative minds are nurtured at all stages of development, the System has in place resources such as the finest schools, grants, scholarships, and
numerous competitions to which they can apply and improve their craft, among many other assets that You and countless others have been the beneficiary.
As a recent graduate, Your career began at one of the System’s great educational institutions, which was tasked with ensuring that You and other carefully-selected talents were constantly encouraged to be alternatives to the status quo. You were taught to seclude Yourself from others and embrace that which makes You unique, then to yearn for acceptance and share Your viewpoint with the world. The System rewards those who succeed in their transformation.
For healthy change to occur within the industry, a new idea must be introduced to disassemble that
which is old and outdated. To be the catalyst for this change, all that is required is that You follow the
System’s reputable path to success. To do otherwise would result in the failure to achieve your destined
status. You will then inevitably work outside of the System’s scope, causing your career to plateau,
constantly descending the hierarchy and used within the System’s workforce as one of the many
who imitate those at the top to produce fast-fashion. Thus, everything must occur within the System,
nothing may occur without It. The System is the total solution for all who strive for greatness. It is the
benchmark for advancement in fashion, constantly generating new content by allowing the creatives
who provide Its lifeforce such as Yourself with the opportunities needed to succeed. Such consistent
progress cannot be attained in our industry without a well-organized mechanism governing it.
As is the case with all mutual exchanges, what is expected from You in return is reciprocity. The
System cannot continue to provide without the creatives who benefited from Its selflessness to
constantly ensure that It has absolute support.
HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT THE SYSTEM
The System is the cord which secures together all segments of our industry. Without Its binding force,
the industry’s parts will fragment and inevitably collapse.
The System is designed to accommodate all temperaments, personality types, and diverse
groups into its folds. This is achieved through a perfect balance of both organization and creativity.
One cannot function without the other, and a slight imbalance would enable an industry that will
be either far too restrictive, resulting in the total stagnation of our industry, or far too chaotic, which
will cause instability and lack of infrastructure. Thus, the System is in perfect balance and must not be
Those who have decided to work within the System have successfully ascended to the top of
Its hierarchy. Our most contemporary example is Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia, who has used
the tools within the System to his advantage and achieved the highest status available. His path
began similar to Yours: educated and trained at the highest level in The System’s institutions then
gradually built his reputation. Accomplishing his task as an Iconoclast, Gvasalia’s ideas now trickle
downwards and across to the masses, where they are being reproduced by all levels of the industry. So
long as the System is upheld, many more like him will continue to succeed, including Yourself.
Similar to Gvasalia, once Your task as an Iconoclast is complete, You must then become the System’s
custodian and secure Its preservation for the collective good. You must endorse Its traditions and
embrace the cycle that has guaranteed the success of all the great fashion designers of our century to
FINAL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
You have a difficult, yet necessary task to accomplish. Throughout the process, You must
remain humble, creative, and observant of the System’s codes and guidelines aforementioned. In
so doing, You will become the Archetype who will reshape the future of our great industry and receive glory, status, and recognition.
The Pantheon of Idols awaits You.