Despite cognitive bias, have we learned to employ fashion as one of our most efficient forms of communication? Do we dress to aid or influence the heuristic?
"I had an interesting discussion with my lecturer when I was at university, that fashion is how we signal to others what we are and how we find like-minded people.
A basic example of this is a punk. A punk finds other punks visually. If you’re into a particular brand, like Adidas, then you’ll find other people who also love Adidas that way. If you're looking for a mate, then generally visually is what first grabs you, and fashion is part of that.
It’s also part of fight or flight. As human beings, as all mammals do, you categorise things in front of you - can you engage with them? is it dangerous? A gang member wants to be really intimidating so they dress in an intimidating manner. That is part of their package of saying don’t fuck with me. It’s how we present ourselves to the world, how we want to see ourselves, and how we want other people to see us.
I think fashion is a really important tool that we have as human beings. It can convey how much money you have, the pride you have in yourself, what type of message you want to send to others, what kind of people you want to interact with. And it can all be categorized within a few seconds of meeting somebody.”
Conversation with Sarah Ganly.