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Dear Garance…

5 years ago by

Dear Garance,

I’ve wanted to email you for a while now to tell you how inspired I am by you. As a 21 year old student, I am struggling to craft and understand a career that is my own. I am interested in what is unreal and what is real simultaneously. I’m in awe of the fantasy and dream world that fashion occupies, and yet, unimpressed with the falsehood that comes with it — understanding even more so after listening to your podcast.

Do you have any advice for how to achieve a career similar to the one you have?

Thank you for the inspiration,



Dear Isabel,

You’re asking me about working in fashion, and being afraid of the falseness you perceive in that world.

You say that you are interested in what is unreal and what is real simultaneously – which is why fashion attracts you so much.

I always felt the same.

And I still do.

Fashion is magic. Making magic requires being behind the scenes. As with magicians, once you know the tricks and have had fun and been in awe discovering them for a while, very soon the magic is gone. When you work in fashion, you get to see all the ropes – and soon you forget the dream.

As you grow and learn, there are many traps. Because keeping the magic alive and staying focused on your dream is a superpower few of us really know how to harness.

In losing it, people can become insensitive, they can become become blasé. They can choose to forget about the real world. They can start to wear a mask. They can end up replacing the pursuit of magic by the pursuit of power.

Falseness comes when power is perceived as something you have to be given – and that can be taken away from you. Falseness is playing the role you think will work better for you in society. Falseness is fear, and it is everywhere – and even more present in industries whose missions are to create beautiful illusions. Illusions or perfection, illusions of beauty, illusions of grandeur.

But here is the thing.

The world needs to be revolutionized, repeatedly, by young dreamers. They are the ones who come and smash the fears. They change the conversation and they shift the power.

Dear Isabel, fashion needs young dreamers and young doers more than ever. Young people like you who are the way of a better, more inclusive, more environmentally conscious, more friendly, more creative, more authentic fashion.

Young dreamers with no fear.

I guess that’s what I was. I had nothing to lose, so I had no fear. I just did my thing, the thing I believed in and that felt true to me. I didn’t worry about what people where thinking of me until that part of my mission was done. Then one day, I was an insider. I was part of the industry. I started caring about things of the ego. Where I was sitting. Who was saying hello to me. Slowly, falseness entered my world.

What I had seen as a broken dream then, I understand now just as a sign that this specific mission was done.

It was time to move to another one, and to find new dreams.

And that is what I want to tell you today. Life is long and you won’t have just one career. Make peace with your fears and make peace with the fact that fashion may well be the passion of your life, as it could be the dream of five years of your life. It won’t make it less interesting. Go for it. You will learn, change, and evolve. Some of your dreams will be broken but new, stronger ones will emerge. One day you might decide you’ve had enough of this.
You can change, go away and work on making pottery – or politics – for a few years, and then come back – or never do.

Yes, your future will be as simple as that. You don’t have to worry about choosing the right path forever because you will make your path by following our dreams, and your energy.

Not the other way around.

It comes down to this : Nobody can give you power, and nobody can take your power – your power is in you.

Don’t think about what an industry will do to you, think of what you will do to an industry. Not from a place of ego but from a place of personal, quiet, decisive power.

Go for it, give it everything you have. The world needs you more than ever.



If you subscribe to our newsletter, then on February 1st you were one of the lucky recipients of this new series, Dear Garance! We get TONS of emails in our inboxes asking for advice of all sorts. We decided it was high-time we start answering some of them. So that’s exactly what Garance will do in her newsletter on the first day of each month — answer one of your questions! If you have a question you’d like Garance to answer please submit it to [email protected] We encourage questions of all types; love, relationships, family, personal dilemmas, the meaning of life, and of course, career. And if you’d like to read Garance’s upcoming advice columns on the first of each month, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here!


Add yours
  • Merci Garance, merci Isabel. Cette jeune fille de 21 ans, c’est moi aussi. Ces mots sont tellement réconfortants ! xx

  • What a great post . I couldn’t agree with you more Garance. I have found that the acceleration of change in society, is reflected in us as individuals. Our ability to be successful is tied directly to our ability to accept and thrive in a changing world ! You can lay out plans for the future and one should , but always be aware of a changing world.
    Dress The Part

  • This is so extremely beautiful and I am so glad I read this. In the middle of my Humanities studies, I also studied Fashion Design and I was extremely sure that this world/job/industry is for me. I was so fed up studying Humanities everyday and I wanted something to express myself. While studying at both colleges at the same time, and getting to know the world of Fashion and especially how it works and how people treat others in this industry, it was no longer appealing to me. I am a highly motivated person and I always thought that, by being motivated, confident and competitive I would be a great fit for Fashion, but this is where I lost it. I could no longer express myself, because by taking interships and working 12 hours a day with no payment, it wasn’t creative anymore for me. Like Garance said, it lost its magic. And I am SO glad it did, because I realized some things for myself. I love Fashion and it’s my passion, but as a hobby. If I make that my job(at least now), I am gonna burn out. I love it because it’s a place where all kinds of Art meet. Not because it pays well or someday might become famous from it. I didn’t let things get to me, I finished my Fashion degree with the highest honors and the same for my Humanities one. I am now going to apply for Masters in the field of Humanities again, and I love it. Because I have my passion, but I want to make this my job. Don’t let yourself be afraid, you can start and stop and rewind and start again, anytime. Life is small, uncertain, beautiful. Do whatever you love. You may understand that you only love it a certain way(like myself), or that it’s the only thing you want to do for the rest of your life. Challenge yourself! This is how you’ll grow. Sending you and Garance my love and positivity. xxx

  • Teresa Matas February, 25 2018, 8:23 / Reply

    Thank you very much, Garance et al., for the opportunity you bring to readers of your posts who seek advice and counseling.

    In appreciation of your support, I wanted to share a truly apropos quote of the philosopher from Ancient Greece, Aristotle… “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation”.

    Teresa (From Alicante, Spain)

  • thank you for this post.

  • <3 That was a really great advice

  • “Falseness is fear” etc,I couldn’t agree more.Its great to read what you have to say on this matter as one who has been on that journey within the fashion industry.Young people need to hear this advice which unfortunately is very rare.Well done for putting it out there with clarity.

  • Barbara March, 1 2018, 4:55 / Reply

    Le pouvoir est en toi… qu’elle clairvoyance et quelle sagesse ! Plus que jamais merci pour ta générosité et tes réflexions qui sont toujours très intéressantes. Nous aussi , avons besoin de toi

  • Creative artist and designer

  • Carolyn July, 23 2018, 3:01 / Reply

    SO much TRUTH in this letter. I’ve been following you for years and always in awe of your wisdom and insight. As someone who works in the film industry, I too, have found myself thinking that the dream of the magical world of filmmaking is filled with so much falseness and ego, that maybe my dream was just an illusion and/or waste of time. But, like you write, I am learning to realize that for one, my dreams can continue to evolve and maybe that means a new career or maybe that means realizing the power I have to make changes (big or small) in the industry. Thanks for always being thoughtful and real and putting positive energy forward.

  • Thank you for making this type of so nice and exciting video game platform. I am very very impressed and like to share this one with all of my friends.

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