Fashion's obsession with extreme youth is well-documented, but not to be forgotten amongst the waves of scrawny guys are the tumbled, ripped and dirty clothes they tend to wear. Refinery 29 dropped an essay about why fashion's infatuation with homelessness/vagrancy/whatever else you want to call it is a pretty big problem in its own right.
A recent story highlighting a well-dressed homeless man in Russia sparked the discussion. Fashion designers have long used the clothes of the homeless to inspire and style collections and people within fashion circles constantly cite the homeless as "examples of good style." Leeann Duggan has a problem with this and so should the rest of us to be quite honest. While the response may be slightly different from how we view the recent A.P.C. debacle, it resides in a similar vein. Either way, designers profiting off the less fortunate is insensitive and not okay.
Duggan cites the huge gap between fashion folk and those who live on the streets and compares it to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Even if a top-down view is framed in the positive light of "inspiration" or "style," it's still a view that shouldn't happen in the first place and selling it for a huge mark up feels like fraud—the definition of cultural appropriation. That doesn't mean we have to dress more bougie or according specifically to our income level or anything because, if we did that, Four Pins would be about wearing Gap jeans and a North Face fleece everyday. As per usual, fashion could really use some self-awareness.