The notion of global fashion industry is a product of the modern age. Prior to the mid-19th century, most clothing was custom-made. It was handmade for individuals, either as home production or on order from dressmakers and tailors. By the beginning of the 20th century—with the rise of new technologies such as the sewing machine, the rise of global capitalism and the development of the factory system of production, and the proliferation of retail outlets such as department stores—clothing had increasingly come to be mass-produced in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices.
Although the fashion industry developed first in Europe and America, as of 2017, it is an international and highly globalized industry, with clothing often designed in one country, manufactured in another, and sold worldwide. For example, an American fashion company might source fabric in China and have the clothes manufactured in Vietnam, finished in Italy, and shipped to a warehouse in the United States for distribution to retail outlets internationally. The fashion industry has long been one of the largest employers in the United States, and it remains so in the 21st century. However, U.S. employment declined considerably as production increasingly moved overseas, especially to China. Because data on the fashion industry typically are reported for national economies and expressed in terms of the industry's many separate sectors, aggregate figures for world production of textiles and clothing are difficult to obtain. However, by any measure, the clothing industry accounts for a significant share of world economic output. The fashion industry consists of four levels:
In the 16th century, national differences were at their most pronounced. Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten entirely different hats. Albrecht Dürer illustrated the differences in his actual (or composite) contrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century (illustration, right). The "Spanish style" of the late 16th century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, and after a struggle in the mid-17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century.
^ Park, Jennifer. "Unisex Clothing". Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. Ed. Valerie Steele. Vol. 3. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005. 382–384. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. Document URL http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3427500609&v=2.1&u=fitsuny&it=r&p=GVRL.xlit.artemisfit&sw=w&asid=6f171eb2ab8928b007d0495eb681099c
fashion, style, mode, vogue, fad, rage, craze mean the usage accepted by those who want to be up-to-date. fashion is the most general term and applies to any way of dressing, behaving, writing, or performing that is favored at any one time or place. the current fashion style often implies a distinctive fashion adopted by people of taste. a media baron used to traveling in style mode suggests the fashion of the moment among those anxious to appear elegant and sophisticated. slim bodies are the mode at this resort vogue stresses the wide acceptance of a fashion. short skirts are back in vogue fad suggests caprice in taking up or in dropping a fashion. last year's fad is over rage and craze stress intense enthusiasm in adopting a fad. Cajun food was the rage nearly everywhere for a time crossword puzzles once seemed just a passing craze but have lasted