Just like depression and anxiety, it’s better to voice your negativity and get to the bottom of it!
I once remember reading that ASOS have a ‘no negativity’ policy for their magazine. Which put fire up my ass a little as I reflected on the type of stories we write for Pepper Your Talk and the tone of voice in which they’re delivered. Like ASOS, I too felt like I had a responsibility to deviate from the upside-down slices of cake life callously shoves down our throats and instead focus my efforts on serving you something you’d really want to take a big fat bite out of.
Yet that would completely override the ‘Pepper’ in our talk and I don’t think I’m prepared to let go of the very ingredient that makes us so raw and spicy!
The sweet, sugary and all round yummy goodness of life is great on cheat days, but if that’s all PYT put on your plate everyday, I’d be cheating you out of the ‘reality’ of surviving in your careers and within the fashion industry. Mentally, I traced my steps back through all the articles we’ve put out since launching in October (yes – the baby is 5 months!), then I thought back over all the emails, direct messages and random chats we’ve shared whilst bumping into each other on the London Underground.
Side note: Standing up on the Victoria line, during rush hour, struggling to maintain balance and trying to have a decent chat over the sound of the train tracks, is not for the faint-hearted. But as life has it, I continue to meet the PYT readers in these ‘ideal’ settings.
The point is, our industry is not easy and you deserve to know that! Ask any stylist’s assistant who’s carted masses of borrowed clothes around London with zero taxi allowance and a zone 1-6 travel card – A large reason for why I avoided internships as much as progressively possible. But I bet my last penny, another reality of working in fashion is that we ‘really’ do count our pennies, that as soon as the assistant arrives at the fashion office she’s trekked across London to deliver the samples back to, she’ll take a picture of the office building and upload it with a ‘I love my job’ or ‘pinch me’ caption. Quickly transforming hours of negativity into a captured and curated moment of positivity.
Thankfully, I’m not the only one that sees beyond the Instagram images and likes to tell it how it really is. Every week I set aside some time to discover ‘people’. Inspirational men and women in the fashion industry doing amazingly well, with the aim of presenting them to you and also, quite indulgently, to inspire myself on my journey. My usual peruse from Instagram, to blog, to website and Instagram again landed me on Katherine Ormerod’s page, from which I discovered her website ‘Work Work Work’ – ‘An anti-perfectionism project which aims to reveal and explore the non-edited challenges that women face behind the fantasy of social media.’
Within 5 seconds of being on the websites homepage, I immediately saw easily recognisable and much admired faces such as Pandora Sykes, Anissa Kermiche and Camille Cherriere – breakthrough fashion stars who just so happen to be friends with Katherine and openly share their career struggles (in great detail) on the site. It’s easy to lose yourself, and a fair few hours on ‘Work Work Work’, reading through dozens of stories then pausing to reflect on your own journey. The accounts are ‘personal’, discussing the pressures of the ‘professional’ whilst offering advice and tokens of help as the paragraphs go on.
You’re probably thinking, “Why the hell is Dior sharing details of a website she probably aims for Pepper Your Talk to be like?”. The answer is simple, I want to give you as many options as possible when battling with your career path, when you’re undecided on whether you’re making smart career moves and most importantly, when you just want to feel human and know that other people have faced the same struggles you just cried in the toilets about.
It’s not about competition, it’s about community! And in this family we talk all about the negatives, the f* ups, the gritty shitty days and everything in between. Why? Well, our theme may be pink but roses are red, violets are blue, life is tough and so are you!
My contract to you all, signed on the dotted line in blush tones, states that Pepper Your Talk will always endeavour to deliver ‘Access to information, people and events’ – the type of access I wish I had when I started out in the fashion industry. If you’ve followed me from the beginning, you’ll know that I’ve never sugarcoated my days at Burberry and painted my years at the brand as a picturesque scene of rolling hills and cool springs. The valleys (and ditches) were just as important, if not more and the exact reason why I started Pepper Your Talk.