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Shopping Is About More Than What Looks Good

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I don’t want to brag...

But I barely know anything about beauty. I also know next to nothing about fashion (I’ve hit on this topic before, I’m sorry to repeat myself), and I definitely don’t know the first thing about menswear. As an editor responsible for pieces about all of these topics (and more), I find myself asking our writers one question a lot: Why?

You might have your own why-based question right now: Why do I work here?

The answer, of course/duh/this is obvious/you get it, is to ask why. Outsider curiosity is key to what Racked does, because we’re not only interested in an insider audience. I have a million questions about this stuff, and only like 499,998 are selfish. Thanks to the dogged reporting, research, and intelligence of both our in-house writers and amazing roster of freelancers, I’ve learned an incredible amount in my time here — about the business of retail, the history of fashion, the culture of beauty, and what face wash I should use.

But I still have questions, and incredibly smart people to answer them all — questions about where trends come from and how they proliferate; about how we can and why we don’t do a better job making fashion an arena that’s friendly to people of all sizes, races, and gender orientations; about how brands make their money; about why items like clutches and corsets even exist; about the impact what we wear can have on how we live.

Too many things are considered a given in the fashion and beauty industries (like the fact that almost all cosmetic stores have the same sleek, black and white look, a “why” we’ll answer this week), but in constantly asking why (and how and who and what and when and how much), we work to answer the questions that are often left on the table.

There’s more to the world of shopping and beauty than what looks good, and many more people are affected by the industry than are working within it. We pretty much all get dressed. We all participate in this culture, in this economy, in this moment. Racked is right here with you, asking why.

To that end, I want to know more about your unanswered whys. If you have a pitch, if you have a new voice, if you just have a question: Email me at meredith@racked.com.

—Meredith Haggerty, senior editor

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Who: Himanshu Suri, aka Heems
What they do: Rapper, Swet Shop Boys
What they want: Royal Elephant Shawl, $125

I'm a big fan of Rajput and Mughal miniatures. I studied them for a while at my alma mater, Wesleyan, and at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Whenever there's a show in town highlighting art from the region, as there was last May at the Met, I find my way to the appropriate space.

I'm not too big on museum gift shops, but I've always been big on scarves and shawls. For some time my preference was Hermès, but these days I'm balling on a budget, and the only scarves I find of comparable visual quality hail from museum gift shops. I bought this scarf last year. I lost this scarf last year. I want this scarf again this year. I just bought this scarf this year. Buy it for your friends and be like me.

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