This friend is a student studying fashion design at FIDM, and she often alters housemates’ old clothes or creates new designs when she doesn’t have schoolwork. She attends one particular class that requires she use a small mannequin and canvas to create fabric patterns.
Three females including myself were in the kitchen when I asked her whether the fashion industry has any superstitions. We held this conversation after a day of work, and we discussed other folk beliefs in the same sitting. The speaker said that it is good luck to bleed on new fashion designs because this means the designer put their ‘blood, sweat and tears’ into the piece.
In the fashion industry, “It is good luck to bleed on things. Like if you’re pinning stuff on your body form, and you prick your finger a little bit, and you get like a little blood on like your costume or your design, it is considered good luck.” The speaker said that she had accidently done this while creating her own designs, and that she learned this tip from a female professor.
Designers are not supposed to bleed on purpose. Doing so ruins the sentiment. I asked if blood was still a good sign if the design were made out of expensive fabric, and the speaker said yes, that’s not a problem because blood is very easy to wash out with hydrogen peroxide and warm water.
The speaker said that this superstition meant a lot to her because she has bled on past designs and believes this helped make these projects successful. “It’s kind of like that statement, like I put my blood sweat and tears into this. So like, I can’t tell you how many countless nights I have cried over literal costumes, trying to get them done. And then when they come out amazing. Like, that’s how I know. Like, I can feel that good luck, because you know, you experience it.
This speaker has struggled to get where she is now. She did not go immediately to FIDM after graduating high school, and she started her first year in Fall 2020. She has needed to share a room with an incompatible roommate, and she has needed to take up two food service jobs to continue working toward her passion even when is is difficult. I think the idea that blood as a symbol of struggle resonates with the speaker in part because she has needed to struggle to complete her designs.