The Fashion Issue
Issue # 48   November 2017

The Fashion Issue


Bidanya Barassa


 Khalifa Louie of Cool Pixx Studio


 Ruth Odhiambo


Bridget Makena

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I am passionate about... Passion. We love to talk about it as the thing that drives us. The one that makes us what we are. It makes us do stranger things like become editors, CEOs, founders, designers, stylists, make-up artists. Because I have had way too many people talk about having passion I did the next best thing: I finally Googled it.

Passion : ˈpaʃ(ə)n/ (n)
strong and barely controllable emotion.
The suffering and death of Jesus.
Synonyms: crucifixion, pain, suffering, agony, martyrdom.

The problem with passion is the fantasy that it is perpetual sweet fuel. That it will always be present and never run out. You see, passion is two sides of the same coin. It gives you a great high. But it also demands far more sacrifice than originally planned or anticipated. Once I read how relying on passion is a terrible idea. Because passion burns bright and white hot, but it is ‘barely controllable’ so it easily burns you, and itself, out. Or, to explain it even better, a theory by blogger Mark Manson dating back to 2014. “What’s your favourite flavour of shit sandwich and does it comes with an olive?” It really is about suffering for your art.

“What unpleasant experiences are you able to handle? Are you able to stay up all night coding? Are you able to put off starting a family for 10 years? Are you able to have people laugh you off the stage over and over again until you get it right? What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually. Might as well pick one with an olive.”

Then I read about something even more interesting. Instead of following your passion, find a problem, and spend your life solving it. Now there was something I could get behind. Except the world is filled with problems. How do you pick one and make it your life’s agenda? Here is the beauty of that. Problems are like old Christmas tree lights, all tangled up and wrapped around Santa, what was once a squeaky toy, wedged in a hard to reach corner and clouded with memories. It will take lots of patience and considerable time to unravel. With other interconnected problems found along the way demanding you dig into every imaginable angle but knowing, just knowing, you will get to the bottom of it even if it kills you.

The Fashion Issue is nothing if not about resilience. Of the industry, the people, their solutions to problems and yes, it has to be said, the passion that has driven them thus far. There is unpleasantness. There is exhaustion. There is frustration. There is agony! Come on, I’m in fashion dahling. I am drama-htic! But there is also beauty in the struggle like a flame torch sculpting ice, melting away the edges until eventually, hello David! Each page literally says this. This is important because from the outside fashion seems to glide along like a Zoolander 2 villain. It looks easy. You think you can do it. You think you have talent. You think you have passion. Until the day you realise this is not nearly enough. And you need something ….. more. Something like a BHAG - a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Not there yet? No worries. It is all part of growing up. It happens in life and what is a career if not a riveting, highly complex satisfying, confusing part of our lives?


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