Men also love shoes

Dario’s daily shoe dilemma. (Photo:

Brugg,  24 January 2017.- Some have just one pair, others have dozen. Clear is that a cliche says woman have more shoes than man and often more as one can count. A male student from FHNW Brugg Windisch proves that this statement is just a prejudice.

Dario Studer, a Bachelor of Science student, loves shoes. Each day he has he same problem: Which pair of unique sneakers shall I wear to school? Often he misses the bus because he puts on and of each pair twice before he has found the best matching one.

“It is kind of an addiction. I collect sneakers as others colllect postage stamps,” he says during a coffe breake in Brugg-Windisch. “Some people don’t understand why I have so many shoes in my shoe cabinet and that I should spend my  money on more usefull stuff. I then often respond with a cheeky smile and the words <<Money doesn’t matter for me>>.“

His addiction started during his commercial apprenticeship. Before he had just one or two pair of shoes at home but as he got older the amount of footwear has reached huge proportions. “Others wear their shoes as long as they has no damage. I clean each pair after I wear them and put them back in my shoe-closet. Cleaning is  the key to my long-lasting relationship to my footwear“, Dario Studer mentions.

When asking his classmates on how they think about his obsession, they just say that it is cool and interesting. And they bet each other on “Which pair will Dario wear tomorrow“.

Shoe-addiction thus is not only a “girls-thing“. “Everybody should be comfortable with what he or she does or wears. Even if other say your crazy, if you love something, do or rather wear it“, Studer says with confidence.


Cheap and Convenient Foreign Online Stores attract more Swiss Consumers.

Olten, February 2017. A recent study conducted by the ETH Zurich has identified that on  average Swiss consumers spent 1750 CHF a yedar on online purchases mainly on clothes, transport and books, which remains to be higher than the neighbouring countries such as Germany, Italy and France. More than 90% of the internet users have made an online purchase during the past twelve months. The survey also identified two major reasons why the Swiss consumers are willing to shop online which can be stated in two simple words: Convenience and cheaper price.

This conclusion is based on a recent survey of 1200 participants selected from different walks of life based in Switzerland. Josh Neblett, CEO of Etailz Inc., which accounts for over 60 million in online sales, allots this drastic increase seen in online shopping among Swiss consumers to the stronger Swiss Franc. The stronger Swiss currency is making the products abroad considerably cheaper.

More than 63% of the consumers who purchased products ranging from clothes to various items bought the items from foreign sites followed by 4% who purchase items solely on foreign high end stores. The study also confirms that Amazon and EBay remain to be in the top positions as online retailers which accounts for, in total, 36% of the market value. Moreover, most online purchases remain to originate from Germany followed by France and the US.

Furthermore, according to a number of interviews conducted involving third year FHNW Olten students, it has become more evident that purchasing products online is a matter of convenience and has attracted more consumers who have no time to visit physical stores. Instead, they can go online visit the sites, get all the information they need and purchase a product for a very competitive price. Additionally, the potential loss of jobs, human contact and personalized customer service when purchasing online, remains to be insignificant for the FHNW students in making their purchasing decision.


Pants or the Cat’s Pyjamas

Zürich, 11 February 2016. Attitudes towards fashion run from indifference right to matters of the heart. A handful of students and young professionals lift the veil on fashion and their lives.

Tarik does a MAS (Master of Advanced Studies) in Automation Management. He has just been to the library, where he borrowed some Hidden Picture Books for his children.

He doesn’t consider himself to be knowledgeable in fashion matters and sees himself as more of a practical type, interested in technology. Among the clothes he owns is one long-sleeved shirt he is quite fond of. The last time he wore it was on graduation day from technical school. Tarik has heard a lot about Fair Fashion, a term describing apparel that has been produced under ecologically and socially fair conditions, for example by paying fair wages or abstaining from using toxic agents. However, he hasn’t put theory into practice yet.

When it comes to buying clothes, he certainly pays attention to the price, but quality must be right, too: Apparel should survive several washes without falling apart or losing color. It is important for him not be constrained by what he’s wearing:  Free movement is key.

Patricia will be a primary school teacher and therefore study at teacher training college.

She describes her attitude to fashion as being considerate about her outfit, but not running after new trends. Whatever clothes Patricia likes will constitute her outfit for the day. T-shirts are her favorite clothing category; she could buy them constantly. Although Patricia has thought about the conditions under which some apparel is produced, she would still buy something if it was cheap, but draws the line at fur.

Brands are far less important than how the clothes look on her and if she goes shopping, H&M and C&A are the target locations. Wearing matching colors and not to walk around in monochrome is important for her.

Joël studies physics; up until the interview, he has been learning for his exam in electrodynamics that is going to take place the next day.

He says that he aims at wearing an outfit that shouldn’t look “too bad” and to put on whatever is available from his wardrobe. Bought for about 15 Swiss francs at a thrift shop three years ago, the sweater Joël is wearing is his favorite item because it keeps warm.

In theory, he cares about the conditions clothes are produced under, but in practice what’s most important is a clothing store located along his way.  However, since having been hired as an assistant at ETH Zurich, he has grown more aware of the importance of looking the part.

Eileen was on her way to Turgi, where she is working as a painter. She likes to dress fashionably and has a favorite apparel item: The blue Adidas sweater she received from her grandmother, who was then still alive. Eileen just buys what she likes, comfort being an important factor, and that the colors of her outfit match each other.


Author: Matthias  Neff

Edited by: Hannah Strandberg

Fashion Trends – Scrutinized

massive earrings – a trend in 2017

big earrings – a trend in 2017

Bern, 29 January 2017. A new year brings new fashion trends. However, not everybody follows them: Sara and Maria, students from Bern, explain their respective point of view.

“I think it’s a little bit weird to set these trends beforehand. Why don’t we just dress up however we like and at the end of the year look what was popular and has become trendy?” asks Maria, 22.

InStyle points out on their webpage that for example big and massive earrings will be trendy in 2017, and Julia Hobbs from Vogue writes that wearing leggings under the dress is one of the “Seven Fashion Trends To Kick Start 2017”.

“In my opinion, it looks like fashion magazines are forced to find something new all the time and sometimes that appears poorly. I mean, wearing leggings under a dress goes constantly back and forth; is it OK, trendy, or totally no-go”, Maria continues.

Jordan Muto sums up that 2017 is “all about making a statement with power sleeves, shoulder-length earrings and block heels” in TODAY’s article. Maria says that block heels have been one key element of her wardrobe for a long time. “Sometimes you can be accidentally trendy”, she laughs.

Sara, 24, thinks that it is almost impossible to avoid influences of trends set by the fashion industry. “I couldn’t care less if I’m trendy or not, but shopping in basic chain stores which are full of new trendy clothes of course influences my style in one way or another”, she says and continues, “But I just buy clothes which I personally find attractive”.

Both, Sara and Maria find it a little bit sad that there isn’t much differences of stores’ offerings. “Sometimes it feels when you’ve visited one shop, you’ve seen them all”, says Sara.

Maria thinks that even though big trends are planned beforehand by fashion industry, it is possible to keep your unique style through the year. “I don’t want anybody else to say what I should wear – I like to buy my clothes from second hand shops, there I can find clothes with special character”, she finishes.

More information:

Author: Inka Närhi
Edited by: Matthias Neff 

Uniforms in University

Thai students wearing school uniforms.

Olten, 3 February 2017. Hoodies, T-shirts, jeans, and a backpack. This is the image of university student that is easy to recall. However, there are students who go to school with white shirts, black pants, and skirts; they are university students in Thailand.

Whenever walking along the street in Thailand, you can often see university students wearing school uniforms. School uniform tends to display and show the characteristic of school, and vary from school to school. But it is not the case in Thailand. Only the necktie, badge and the mark engraved to the belt are different.

Southeast Asian nations, including Thailand, were under the Communist Party and now Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam which have remnants of socialism, are implementing a mandatory school uniform policy. North Korea is the only country that has the policy, aside from Southeast Asian nations. Among the nations pursuing democracy, Thai university students are the only students who wear school uniform obligatorily.

Thai people believe that everyone is all equal, when they wear uniform. They can get out of discrimination whenever they go to school, wearing school uniform, even though they wear luxury goods like Channel, Gucci, or drive an exorbitant car. However, at the same time, school uniform is ‘a symbol of fortune’.

In Thailand, ‘uniform’ reveals people’s identity and position. Most people who wear uniform have higher income and education level, and students’ school uniforms are no exception. For them, the uniform assures ‘equality’, as well as embracing the meaning of ‘ostentation’ simultaneously.

Thai culture which highly esteems manners and norms, is another reason that makes Thai university students wear school uniforms. In order to follow a number of norms and standards in the society in their future, they should first abide by a simple rule of wearing uniforms. Also, Thai people think that by wearing uniforms young people learn how to respect and appreciate others.

According to Thai Survey Research Organizations, 94% of students in Bangkok responded that school uniforms are necessary. Furthermore, 71% of them answered that they should wear uniforms on the day in the classes.

“I personally really like the uniform concept, because it makes all the students look equal” says Nuii Patrapan Sangsongsuk, an exchange student of FHNW, and continues “No matter how rich or poor background the student have, they all look somewhat the same in their school uniforms. Also, it’s a good system to prevent unnecessary fashion at schools, which could be a symbolic sign of unrespectfulness e.g. ripped jeans.”

However, not everyone agreed with it. In 2009 and 2013, Jjullarongkon and Tammassat university students stirred up a movement against school uniforms. They revolted against mandatory school uniform policy, saying that it infringed on autonomy and human rights, but eventually, it ended up in failure.

Author : Jooyeon Hong
Edited by: Inka Närhi

Clothes matter!

Olten, 4 December 2016. FHNW students have experience differences in daily fashion between Switzerland and Latin America. Karin and Francisco agreed that clothes matter more in Latin America than in Switzerland.

“It really matters what you wear in Latin America” says Karin, student of business administration at the FHNW, whose semester abroad changed completely the way she thinks about fashion.

In the beginning of her exchange semester, Karin dressed up more casually as she normally does in Switzerland where clothes do not matter that much. In Switzerland quality and comfort are more important than showing up with a right brand, she continues. In Latin America, however, she noticed soon that people were estimating ones social status based on clothes and dressing up helped to give a positive boost on her relationships.

Francisco (an exchange student from Ecuador) has a similar opinion: During his exchange semester in Switzerland, he found it shocking to see European people in casual jeans and T-shirts. “In Latin America this is considered a style for a person with low status in the society, such as a gardener or housekeeper” he explains.

Francisco shares Karin’s opinion, that in Latin America image is very important and clothes are seen a strong signal of status: “Right kinds of clothes are essential, in order to show ones social class and wealth”, he finishes.

Author: Hannah Strandberg
Edited by: Inka Närhi

No Uniform Solution for Mobbing

New York City, 7 November 2016. Mobbing and bullying because of the students wear need to be addressed with various approaches, according to Dawn Karen, fashion psychologist at Columbia University. Simply introducing school uniforms is not enough.

Not everyone has the same idea of “what is good-looking” clothing and especially in classrooms, girls and boys are more likely to get mobbed if they don’t wear the last fashionable clothes. Around the globe, students dress themselves in the latest fashions for school, according to a Guardian article. People get sidelined because of their clothes and more and more frequently, mobbing doesn’t end in verbal assault but rather gets physical.

“Implementing school uniforms can be a solution for this more and more emerged problem, but activators are often somewhere else. So it is a myth that a simple uniform can solve such a huge problem,” according to Dawn Karen, fashion psychologist at Columbia University.

To prevent bullying in the future, schools in the United States have started several new programs addressing parents and teachers. One of the programs encourages young teens to form groups which then look at more closely what they perceive as the media’s message on fashion and clothing.

Further information under

Author : Luca Lüthi
Edited by: Matthias Neff