The 5 Best Podcasts for Fashion People
For when you’re too busy looking at funny memes or leaving on a jet plane to read another blog post
Remember when podcasts were uncool? Well, more like, maybe they were so cool that they were kind of weird, as the continuum of politics and coolness tends to go. It was the sort of thing hipsters listened to, in their all-white minimalist studios, as they sip their artisanal coffee, right?
My podcast cherry was popped during my very first fashion internship, with This American Life always playing in the background of said minimalist studio — and I remember thinking: “This is kind of weird — do fashion people not listen to music? Since when did people listen to radio from their computers? Why am I listening to random life stories?”, before hours would go by and it became the comfortable background to my pattern cutting and sample organizing. At the end of each day, I’d feel like I was a better human, more connected, even though I had spent the day mostly by myself.
A few years later, I was that annoying person who jumped on the podcasting bandwagon and was all like “Ohmygawd!? You have not listened to Serial?” to everyone and anyone whenever the conversation steered itself towards a topic that related even in the slightest: marketing, music, crime, Mailchimp, family history (“Yeah my grandparents used to live in Baltimore, speaking of Baltimore, have you listened to…”). In between, I’d have random spurts of podcast love when I really wanted to know everything about someone or something I admired; I listened to The Growth Show when at age 26, late in the game, I first discovered and fell in love with the world of startups, Girlboss Radio when Sophia Amoruso inspired me to move towards a life I really wanted rather than escape from discomfort to live a shadow life. Both were connected by a voyeuristic curiosity to know more than who, what, where, when, but the deep how.
By this point, podcasts were a legit thing. Like Scott Schuman was to street style photography, Serial was to podcasting. Or maybe more like avocados — fun fact I learned from one of the podcasts on this list: avocado consumption has increased something like a few hundred percent since the 90s.
Now everyone’s got one because anyone can make one; it only makes sense because all you have to do is talk and record, really. You don’t even have to get dressed or put on your Instagram face.
In all seriousness though, there’s something about podcasts that I find coincides really nicely with the rise of more off-the-cuff social media (which, by the way, I’m really going to start rallying that all types of media are now flowing in and around each other — the “social” in social media has lost its meaning when everything is now inherently shared as media). Conversations can never fully be narrated, which is part of the magic of podcasts even when the subject (matter) is orchestrated — the nature of conversations invites spontaneity, something that as much as I love to read, is hard to tease from a blog post.
And really, they’re perfect for those of us in fashion who are always moving, discovering, doing something—and can’t be tied down to sit in our seats for long reading when we could be looking at cute dog videos or memes. Just kidding: books are still the best when you want to curl up on the couch and truly unwind. But for those moments in between, podcasts are it.
Only question left is: why am I writing a blog post about podcasts?
Man Repeller is one of the rare fashion blogs that actually takes and presents fashion for what it really is: style as a reflection of life, values, attitude. And their podcast is very much the same, featuring conversations not about fashion but with women in fashion, the arts, technology, business, people who are shaping culture. Who they are, how they grew up, and how they got to where they are. And P.S. Jay, the host, has the kind of honey-and-silk voice that is just made for radio, in the best way.
Of a Kind has been supporting and selling emerging independent design since 2010, and they’re one of the trailblazing brands making a push towards media. A Few Things the podcast sprouted out of their newsletter about discovery — a weekly text-based coolhunting-type thing featuring 5 favorite things each from Claire and Erica. Topics covered on the podcast kind of follow this format of surface randomness: productivity tips, children’s books, stylish pyjamas — providing a relaxed and candid pulse of culture from the lens of two bffs-slash-editors.
Rita Mehta is the creator of the blog celebrating American-made fashion, the American Edit. She, along with founder/designer Erin Husted of Hackwith Design House, are the hosts of Why Do We Have Things?, a podcast interviewing fellow designers, makers, and entrepreneurs. These are names that you may or may not have heard of, but they’re the backbone of a new wave of makers building America. And I love their conversations that aim to unpack not only the journey, but the deeper why behind what makes stuff meaningful.
Dubbed the fashion industry’s favorite show, American Fashion Podcast is unique from the other podcasts on this list in that it is very much for people working in the fashion industry. It’s a lot less “tell me your story” and a lot more discussion about pertinent topics affecting the fashion business: fashion branding, sustainability, the future of retail. Listen if you want to learn about the fashion business from the inside, in conversation with people who really know their stuff. You’ll probably actually learn something.
Pardon My French feels just like Garance Dore the blog and the person. Not that we’ve met, but I mean, I kind of feel like I have. The guests are friends (keep in mind, these friends are people like Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank and Phillip Lim), the conversations candid. There doesn’t seem to be agenda apart from “hey, let’s talk and have some fun”.
I listened to podcasts all day, my friends listened to them all day, we talked about them the way we used to talk about blogs… it just seemed to make sense.
— Rita Mehta, The American Edit