Yes. I mean it.
We don’t need BFAs or MFAs to design. A formalized education does warrant the status of designer.
Although Ekhaus Latta were RISD graduates and earned their respective BFAs in Sculpture and Textiles, they were quick to announce before the beginning of their talk that they only admired clothes and did not receive any formal instruction to design and construction. This truth, married to Otto Von Busch’s point saying everyone is a designer because everyone designs their own world is the biggest take away point of the entire Fashion Cultures course.
Previously, I would have believed that a BFA/MFA is required to effectively call one’s a self a designer. Now I see a different understanding. From what I’ve observed and listened to, one needs to have the eye and the passion. Both are not taught. Though often strengthened through professional and academic instruction. And it seems this is a final point for a few in this program, as well. Which makes me wonder how differently the future systems of fashion of will appear now that it’s become, at least seemingly, more inclusive to those who did not receive the formal education. I wonder if most of the current tensions the industry is experiencing is related to the one track single mindedness of the journey. Perhaps with more room at the table with industry professionals like Ekhaus Latta and Teflar, I wonder if new solutions and scenarios will be conceived because, whether we like it or not, the industry is becoming DIY and self-made. I’m really inspired by this tipping point and I think that we are entering the industry at such an amazing time.