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Joshua Abramovich

This year's Brown Fashion Week speaker series has featured driven designers like Narciso Rodriguez, motivating models like Pritika Swarup, and bright business leaders like Mickey Drexler. The most recent guests, Luke Meagher and Recho Omondi, are pioneers in discussing and unveiling the world of fashion on digital platforms. Meagher, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, hosts the popular Youtube channel HauteLeMode, which provides humorous critiques of celebrity and runway style. Omondi, who studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design, started The Cutting Room, a twice-monthly podcast featuring interviews with insiders in the fashion industry.

Stella Olken-Hunt, Brown ‘24, moderated the event and began by asking the speakers what led them to pursue fashion commentary. Meagher decided to start a Youtube channel after realizing its potential in forming a closer connection with his audience. Meanwhile, Omondi grew up consuming fashion media. She noticed the corner of the field that wasn’t reported. In response, she wanted to start a podcast about the industry for the industry. Rather than covering the red carpet or trends, she talks to less famous individuals about working in fashion. Furthermore, Omondi said she prefers the podcast format as it is easy to communicate without being hyper-visible.

When voicing your opinion to the public, it is common to receive criticism. For Meagher, that is ok because he used to talk harshly towards others. In addition, he acknowledged that there will always be people on other sides. Omondi explained that she doesn’t care at all what others think. Instead, she recognizes that her podcast can get snarky and that it is heavily biased. Moreover, Omondi views herself as a conversationalist rather than a journalist.

As public figures, it's often difficult to maintain some privacy. Furthermore, the two fashion commentators addressed their positions on using social media. Omondi enjoys Twitter, as it provides a space to write and share her thoughts. On other platforms, she doesn’t display her personal life. In addition, she recommended Patreon to the audience. Meagher said he separates his personal life from his social media account. If you want to see more of his content, he recently returned to posting on TikTok.   

From watching Omondi’s and Meagher’s fashion content, you’ll notice their passion in voicing their opinions without concern for criticism and in asking compelling questions. When asked if you have to love fashion to call out the industry, Meagher answered that you do. He said, “those who don’t have a passion for it show when they make critiques.” Omondi agreed, mentioning that fashion is a completely different world. She explained that the clothes aren’t a necessity, therefore, she doesn’t take them too seriously. Rather, she enjoys the field similar to sports fans following games, players, and what occurs in their league.    

While the speakers have fun doing fashion commentary, they can generate some serious changes in the industry. Meagher cited the recent decision by Uniqlo to keep its Russian stores open following the conflict in Ukraine. After much backlash, the clothing giant reversed its decision. Omondi added that the field can change, but will take time as the systems in place are hundreds of years old. She then discussed how the internet brought major reform to fashion, as there are now teenagers earning multi-million dollar incomes.

Hearing the opinions and what it’s like to be fashion commentators was certainly insightful. In the end, Meagher insisted that he’s excited about young designers and brands using deadstock fabrics. Omondi agreed, also interested in a more sustainable fashion world.

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