Once in a bouldering centre, someone said to me – « Oh so you work in fashion right? Fashion people aren’t usually into climbing are they !? »
Having worked in the Fashion industry, I can tell you that the whole of this world is quite at odds to the climbing world. When I was working for a designer in West London, I would tell people about my hobby. They would always be rather surprised and never have a clue about what climbing was all about. ‘OMG, what about your nails?!’ Ok I’m exagerating a bit. So during the daytime, I was in a white, sleek and superficial environment with only distant people around me, and in then I would end the day at the climbing wall, with chalk everywhere, sitting on the floor, chatting to approachable down to earth people. How refreshing!
So one day I got this comment that kind of stuck in my head. I mean, I disagreed with it – why wouldn’t I be into climbing? Fashion isn’t just about fashionistas wearing too much make-up, high heels and uncomfortable clothes.
It got me thinking about it... I don’t like a lot of sports, but climbing has always been the only constant (aha) one that I enjoyed. When I think about climbing itself and why I love it, it actually makes sense to me. Climbing offers so much variety, you can never get bored. It’s an adventurous sport, it’s not a game that you play to win, but to me, it’s about the physicality and especially, the experience. You enjoy doing those moves. You find yourself eager to discover the new routes at your climbing wall or working the old ones to finally send them. You enjoy the adventure and you enjoy the view. It’s also a creative sport – you don’t just jump on the wall and climb it like a dumbass – you have to find your own best way to climb the route. So you read the route, you use your technique and you climb it in your own style. So I guess that’s how I make the parallel with fashion.
To me, fashion is a way to express your personality, a way to identify yourself with what you wear. In fact, the fashionistas I was describing earlier is a cliché, it’s kind of the opposite of what fashion is all about, to me. Or maybe what I’m talking about is style, so use fashion to find your own style, don’t conform and become just another fashionista. Be curious, don’t stick to just big retailers because you can find inspiration in literally everything you love – on your travels, people, on the street, in nature... Its the same for climbing - when in need of inspiration, go discover new spots, new techniques, new places, meet new people.
Your unique experience is what makes you - you!