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Listening to a podcast can be a great way to educate yourself on niche topics. Podcasts don’t demand focus on any visual medium, so they let you absorb information while completing other tasks, like cleaning, driving, or commuting. This time efficiency likely contributed to podcasts’ rise in popularity, with Edison Research reporting that in 2021, 28% of Americans over the age of 12 listen to podcasts weekly. With a 17% increase from the year before, it’s also likely that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the medium’s widespread adoption.
And though it might seem counterintuitive to use an audio-exclusive medium to learn about an industry whose entire appeal hinges on aesthetics, podcasts can be a great resource for fashion knowledge. By stripping away the visuals, fashion podcasts force us to pay attention to the rich cultural histories behind the clothes. If you want to be part of the fashion conversation, here are a few podcasts you can listen to.
Creative Conversations with Suzy Menkes
Creative Conversations With Suzy Menkes offers insider discussions with the top dogs of fashion. Here, fashion journalist and former Vogue editor Suzy Menkes invite the industry’s most acclaimed designers, thinkers, and executives to discuss key moments in their careers. Menkes’ in-depth interviews give listeners firsthand stories from the likes of Iris Van Herpen, Christian Louboutin, and Michael Kors.
Claima Stories with Bimma
On the podcast Claima Stories with Bimma, Former Nike marketer Bimma Williams sits down with notable creators of color to discuss how they broke into the infamously exclusionary industries of streetwear, sneakers, and creatives. Notable guests include jeffstaple, the brain behind menswear collection Staple Pigeon, and James Whitner, owner of streetwear retailer The Whitaker Group. The podcast addresses the lack of representation in creative industries and aims to give aspiring creatives of color stories that they can identify with.
The SoleSavy Podcast
The SoleSavy Podcast is your go-to if you want to keep up with sneaker culture. Hosted by the SoleSavy sneaker community founders Dejan Pralica and Justin Dusanj, the podcast examines sneaker culture and the role it plays in the lives of creatives, athletes, and fashion enthusiasts. SoleSavy women also recently launched a spinoff show called the Triple Stitch Podcast, hosted by New York-based writer, content creator, and Instagram personality @el.leche.
Vogue Magazine’s podcast In Vogue: Back to the 1990s explores the decade that shaped the landscape of 21st-century fashion. In the ’90s, the internet was on the rise. Trends exploded at a speed the world had never seen before. The new culture of connectivity propelled subcultures into mainstream, and brand designers into fashion celebrities.
To give firsthand stories of the pivotal moments in fashion history, Vogue’s International editor-at-large Hamish Bowles sits down with some of the biggest names in fashion, including legendary designers Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and Miuccia Prada. It also has a sequel series called In Vogue: Back to the 2000s, which examines the current era’s obsession with Y2K fashion and how the rapid evolution of digital technology further embedded fashion into mainstream consciousness.
Fashion Victims is hosted by two upcoming figures in the fashion industry: New York-based fashion historian Darnell Jamal, an independent curator known for his work in Smithsonian Museum’s fashion exhibitions, and critic Luke Meagher, the creator of the massively popular YouTube channel HauteLeMode. Together, they discuss fashion’s impact on today’s pop culture.
A recent episode reviews Ryan Murphy’s 2021 production Halston, a limited series about Roy Halston Frowick. Ewan McGregor plays the legendary fashion designer as he navigates the egotism and excess that come with building a global fashion empire.
Fashion Victims has been on summer break since June 14, but it promises to return sometime in September.
The world of fashion goes much deeper than just the clothes we wear. If you want a richer understanding of the fashion industry, fashion podcasts can give you insights into its machinations, its history, and its impact on pop culture.