So despite the hype surrounding medal counts, celebrity sightings and other aspects of Olympic mania, one of the big stories to come out of Vancouver has been dynamic figure skater Johnny Weir, his program and his dreams for fashion fame. (Wait, what?!)
While the 25-year-old has already been slammed by PETA in response to his affair with fur, the American athlete has announced plans to venture into the fashion industry, explaining that “I can’t be 50 and trying to skate, but I can be 50 and be in fashion, so I have to look to my future and what I want to achieve.” Insert eye roll and a well-placed “really?!” here.
Though I applaud Mr. Weir for his abilities, his demeanor and his genuine persona, I’m not sure if I – or the rest of the fashion-loving world – are ready to support a fashion endeavor simply because he “can”. While it’s easy for celebrities to delve into a business that takes “regular” people years or decades, it seems to be forgotten that fashion is an art, and not a fall back – it’s not a plan B after a reality show fails, a new book is released, or a career in figure skating just doesn’t cut it. (Or maybe that’s just me.)
If Weir can bring the “it” factor to fashion like he can to his skating, then by all means he should venture into an industry that prides itself on its constant criticisms and evolutions. (Seriously – when Darwin was referring to the “survival of the fittest”, he was most definitely referring to fashion designers.) But if it’s simply taking advantage of his guaranteed fifteen minutes, then the exuberant man should give his fellow fashion aficionados the respect they deserve by allowing them a crack at an industry that’s renowned for both hearts and wallets. (After all, not everyone can be a world-class figure skater.)