Does Fashion Month Make You ‘Shut Up’?


For UK-based journalist and social commentator Alexandra Jones – who graduated from university in 2009, a year into the financial crisis – this is not surprising. “My parents’ generation could expect to find work in their twenties and still be in their forties,” she says. “Work happened in limited hours and they were accumulating wealth in their pensions. After the crisis of 2008, the value of many pensions was affected and the technological revolution made jobs and even whole industries more unstable. Add the increase in UK house prices and you have a perfect storm for people to re-evaluate what they are doing. You have wind.

Why are fashion workers so prone to burnout?

Quitting can be a sign of burnout, and the narrative around fashion makes employees more vulnerable to it, says Arnav Malhotra, founder of Indian menswear. The prevailing narrative is that you have to move up to be successful. “Employees are compensated with urgency to ensure they deserve these in-demand positions,” he said. In this context, it’s easy for brands to take advantage of passionate employees because they see them as replaceable, adds Levi Palmer, founder of emerging brand Palmer Harding.

“Part of the problem is that older employers believe younger workers should work just as hard,” says Drexel University professor Joseph H. Hancock II, who retired from fashion retail after 20 years. A low-paying role in academia after a burnout period. “We have to learn how to make people rest.”

Fashion is mostly based on personal relationships, and events outside of work often dominate work life in social life, says a fashion journalist. “A lot of our performance in fashion is measured by social performance. You can analyze it functionally, but you can’t analyze it emotionally.

The formality of fashion extends to contract. “In fashion, there are a lot of traditional expectations – and contracts are small, even for freelance fashion assistants, similar to those in the TV and film industry,” said Naomi Taylor, negotiation executive at Bektu, partnering with @fashionassistants on low pay, day rates and negotiation. Job Description. Quitting quietly is not always possible because the work is very dangerous and new jobs often come with personal recommendations. “If you don’t take the job, someone else can jump on it and maybe do it for more money, because they have family support. So, just get on with it, says @fashionassistants.

In an industry where overwork is not only common but highly valued, any hint of disengagement can hurt your chances of promotion. “I usually have to quit, but I don’t think that’s an option for people who don’t have the current financial cushion,” said one fashion editor. “He feels that promoting an unhealthy work ethic is a prerequisite.” Indeed, a mercenary said. Bloomberg The flip side of a silent quit is the “silent firing,” where managers deny employees promotions, opportunities, and valuable feedback to push someone to quit.

What can employers do to reduce silent stoppages?

Toronto-based Laura Whaley and her anonymous off-camera “best woman at work” have earned 2.8 million TikTok followers for their hilarious take on contemporary rowdy culture. Boundaries – a key element of Silence – is a running theme. “Volunteering my personal time and equipment is not part of my job description,” she is heard telling her colleagues. However, Whaley is not a fan of the term ‘quiet’ because of the shame and guilt associated with it. Instead, she advises people to make their boundaries known to their employers and continually — respectfully — reinforce them. “You have to set your boundaries quietly because you have to think about what’s best for you personally, but enforcing them has to be collaborative,” she says.

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