The fashion industry is an industry that draws a lot of controversy. Although it definitely has it faults, it also has many virtues and I think there are a few things that everyone can learn from the fashion industry.
1. Creativity and innovation should be valued. The fashion industry is fast-paced and there are constantly new ideas, concepts, and trends springing up. Not only does fashion seem to have a greater tolerance for new ideas and stepping outside the box, but there seems to be more respect for such innovation as well. For example, Vogue Italia often takes an unconventional approach and it's one of the greatest things about it.
2. Not everyone will like everything. There will always be someone to criticise everything because you can't make everyone happy. Although appealing to consumers is decisive and crucial to the fashion industry, it seems to be generally understood that nothing can cater to everyone. Many brands and magazines stick to what they do best and rock their demographic. For example, Nicolas Ghesquière's work at Balenciaga definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea, but that's okay.
This isn't only true with big brands, but with individual people as well. You have all sorts of crazy fashion personalities who seem to be completely unafraid of being themselves.
3. Being inspired by others can be a good thing. Fashion is full of trends, one person's work being inspired by another's work, etc. But not every photo or dress is going to have a completely original idea behind it, but different people can have different takes on one concept or trend. Everyone has something different to bring to the table so ideas can be built on or improved. This isn't necessarily a lack of creative progression, but perhaps a different type of it. This third idea came to me from a Ted Talk by Johanna Blakely. She talks about the benefits of more laidback legal restrictions and how fashion is a freer culture than many other industries like film and publishing. Some of the things she says about fashion has me on the fence and her facts aren't 100% accurate but she does have some good points.