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May 2008

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FROM THE PEN

The Prada Issue

In a scene from that now infamous movie, ‘The Devil wears Prada’, Miranda Priestly (the Editor portrayed) tells Andy, the budding ‘serious journalist’, that her disdain of fashion is really just her ignorance of the business of fashion. She says to Andy (who sniggers because she thinks the blue the fashion editors are trying to choose between look exactly the same) “Oh… ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select, oh I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blithely unaware of the fact that, in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff”.

It’s such a poignant scene in that movie, and it makes one realise that none of us is exempt from the business of business or the business of politics or the business of sectors so far removed from our own. And that is no more true than for this issue of ASA where we’ve not only decided to make the reading of our journal free verifiable CPD, but where, on

page 6, SAICA Chief Operating Officer, Nazeer Wadee, encourages us really, in my opinion, to begin to think of Continuing Professional Development as a means to enhance, and ensure the growth and sustainability of the profession. Picking up an academic book, this journal or any other form of learning material not only enhances our individual capabilities, not only ensures that our profession remains steeply edged towards growth, but also impacts on every other level of society that we may not even begin to realise is affected by what we know, and how we apply what we know.

So as you begin to turn over the pages of this journal, please know that it represents countless hours of someone’s Continuing Professional Development that could very well make a significant impact on our profession, and perhaps a similarly significant impact on our broader global economic village.

Raina

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