Who am I? What am I doing here? And, who, actually, are you, over there? Or, as the Spanish would put it: ¿Qué pintas aqui? What is your role here? Literally, What scene are you painting [on your canvas]? Fundamental questions that have plagued us for as long as man has existed and continue to.
Like many, I was persuaded of the fundamental position of freedom in the life of the human person, but I was not on as solid a ground about its connection to economic affairs. (No, not the notions of free markets or freedom of enterprise; but the more profound philosophical concept from which those economic principles issue as corollaries.) Until one fortunate encounter.
Whenever this knotty question arises, we tend to get exercised and artists of divergent stripes tend to feel a need to defend their talent against the straitjacketing of expression that the insertion of “spurious” or “subjective” moral codes in the conversation often implies.
What, exactly, is fashion? What makes us express ourselves through what we wear and how we wear it; and are we alone in projecting ourselves outwardly so or do we share that in common with nature? The concept of fashion explored using the luxury denim chain, Diesel, as case study illustration.
They pioneered faded blue denims when the trend was new and yet to catch on. Then they turned it into a luxury line and are a leading brand name in that increasingly hip segment. At the turn of the millenium, BusinessWeek described Diesel as “one of the greatest marketing success stories in the fashion world”.