Caryn Franklin MBE held a motivational talk for GFW Live, which captivated the attention of the packed out audience.

Franklin is a British fashion commentator and a professor of Diversity in Fashion. In the 80’s, she was the former Fashion Editor of iD magazine and has been a commentator of Fashion Image and Identity Politics for around 37 years. Her talk helped to guide the audience of many graduates, how to get a balance whilst in the industry of status, wealth and happiness. The interaction between Franklin and the audience showed good communication and interest. There is a wall with a question for the attendees of GFW, which reads, “Working in fashion, what matters to you most?” With a large amount of responses on post it notes, Franklin showed a keen interest in hearing from students and graduates.

Starting off by saying “what matters is your confidence and self esteem,” formed the tone of the conversation with all eyes and ears keenly listening to Caryn Franklin’s advice, using her own previous experience and knowledge to form the talk, as well as her wide knowledge on psychology from her masters degree. With her expression of “I am a disruptive lover” which she explained meant her deep love for the industry makes her care enough to want to make it better. 

Emotions and self-awareness were key topics in understanding your identity, which was Franklin’s point to keeping a balance on stress and mental health within the fast paced fashion industry. With an A&E metaphor to end the talk on how we socially compare one another, which is the definition of resilience to see both sides, the audience were entirely admired by the critical thinking and motivation by Caryn Franklin. 

Professor Caryn Franklin MBE hosted another panel for her second talk of the day on creativity, resilience and success. On the panel was Charlotte Gush, fashion editor at Refinery 29, photographer Jermain Francis, Eco-fashion designer Omi and Natalia Hasseck an art director and brand consultant. Caryn discussed with the panel how they have overcome obstacles and challenged fixed mind-sets. Charlotte opened up about her struggle with anxiety and how to change your perspective by looking at yourself from someone else’s point of view. Talking about the difficulties of the industry, Omi expressed ‘it’s about the right place at the right time,” expressing there is a lot of luck involved alongside hard work. Much of the conversation explained not to be disappointed if your plans don’t work out, as another route may form. 

Words by Emily Bone 

Photography by Deborah Smith