July 25, 2016
It is always the same story. Flick through magazines, swipe through your instagram feed, maybe watch a video on Youtube of some runway models, something catches your eye and you tell yourself this is something I might wear, but how does anything become a trend?
Fashion is a $3bn industry, and there are many powerful companies out there that actually have a very good idea of what you will be wearing 2 years from now. They don't dictate what you will wear, but they can decide what is available in the shops.
Fashion works very similar to the food chain. Starting at the very top are the power house fashion corporations including some of the most famous designers. Each group along the way down the food chain endorses the trend for the next group in line but also taints it for the previous group. Take the regular young person who would be influenced by the rich and famous or an Instagram influencer and eventually purchase attire that they saw on instagram. Once the general public have become comfortable with the trend the rich and famous would have already moved on to the next trend as the current trend is seen as out of touch for them. The next group could be the parents who take a liking to the young persons attire, and once that happens you decide that trend is over and take that piece of clothing to the closest charity shop, and on to the next.
When it comes to women's wear we tend to see many fads, one season it will be bright colours or totally torn jeans, the next it will be black and perfect jeans. When it comes to Mens wear, fads don't really exist, we tend to see trends develop gradually over time and stay for quite a while. Men have worn suits that did not fit correctly for decades, and it was only a few years ago men actually started to wear clothes in their correct size.
Fashion is a very delicate balancing act. Go too far on one end, and your designs are seen as boring, go too far the other way and your designs can scare people off. That is why the process of developing a new trend isn't thought up by one person, but is a collective result of groups of designers and marketeers, working around where trends are now and where tastes might take trends in the next years. This process is also a very long and tedious one, concept designs to just runway shows can take up to 12 months done correctly.
So remember the next time you flip through your magazine or scroll through your instagram feed, that outfit on your favorite celebrity was actually cool 2 years ago.
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