As one of the fashion industry’s first Black supermodels, Bethann Hardison is an icon, defining every sense of the word. We chatted with the age-defying Hardison about the meanings behind a few of her favorite words – providing personal insight into the context behind terms like guidance, style, and relevance.
“It is one of the most important words in my vocabulary as I see it’s no longer in most others’. It’s been replaced by the word ‘fashion.’ ‘Fashion’ is used so often that I, who grew up professionally in the Garment District, resent all who use it so lightly. The apparel industry has become part of popular culture and the word ‘fashion’ seems now to apply to anyone who might sew a button on a shirt, is now in ‘fashion.’ I resent the use of the word as loosely as it is used and how it now seems to apply to everyone. Isn’t the better term, ‘apparel?’ We don’t seem to term things properly any longer. Words are used too casually. I am being a snob, of course, because growing up where the foundation was laid for ‘fashion’ in the Garment District, where few were exposed to it and it wasn’t something that the average person ever thought about, I now find it so overexposed. Now everyone wants to be connected to that light, and go to a fashion show, buy luxury brands and designer labels.” – Bethann on “STYLE”