After a massive change of direction in life, just a few weeks ago, I launched a fashion blog (of sorts) after a career of copywriting. Being new to photography (SO much to learn) and writing predominantly how-to posts is certainly time consuming, and for now, I’m just sticking with weekly posts so I can keep the quality high. I spent just as long putting together my about page.
Often consumers need to be told what they want. Fashion companies have to do their research to ensure they know their customers' needs before developing solutions. Steve Jobs said, "You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You cannot start with the technology and try to figure out where you are going to sell it".
Benefits of primary research is specific information about a fashion brand's consumer is explored. Surveys are helpful tools; questions can be open-ended or closed-ended. A negative factor surveys and interviews present is that the answers can be biased, due to wording in the survey or on face-to-face interactions. Focus groups, about 8 to 12 people, can be beneficial because several points can be addressed in depth. However, there are drawbacks to this tactic, too. With such a small sample size, it is hard to know if the greater public would react the same way as the focus group. Observation can really help a company gain insight on what a consumer truly wants. There is less of a bias because consumers are just performing their daily tasks, not necessarily realizing they are being observed. For example, observing the public by taking street style photos of people, the consumer did not get dressed in the morning knowing that would have their photo taken necessarily. Through observation patterns can be seen, helping trend forecasters know what their target market needs and wants.
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:
There are many examples of cultural appropriation in fashion. In many instances, designers can be found using aspects of culture inappropriately, in most cases taking traditional clothing from middle eastern, African, and Hispanic culture and adding it to their runway fashion. Some examples are in a 2018 Gucci runway show, white models wore Sikh headdresses, causing a lot of backlash. Victoria’s secret was also under fire for putting traditional native headdresses on their models during a lingerie runway show.
The Black Panther Party (BPP) was an essential piece of the Black Power movement that allowed members that were involved advocate for the African American race in different subjects like equality and politics. The BPP members wore a very distinctive uniform: a black leather jacket, black pants, light blue shirts, a black beret, an afro, dark sunglasses, and usually a fist in the air. Their image gave off a very militant like feel to it. This notable uniform was established in 1996, but a different uniform was still in place before; just the sunglasses and leather jackets. Each member wore this uniform at events, rallies, and in their day-today life. Very few members changed the essential parts of the outfit, but some added personal touches such as necklaces or other jewelry that was usually were a part of African culture. The Black Panther uniform did succeeded in intimidating enemies and onlookers and clearly sent a message of black pride and power even though the initial intention of this party was to communicate solidarity among the Black Panther Party members.
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Accordingly, for the last three years-- ever since he had superintended the building of the new barn--Adam had always been made welcome at the Hall Farm, especially of a winter evening, when the whole family, in patriarchal fashion, master and mistress, children and servants, were assembled in that glorious kitchen, at well-graduated distances from the blazing fire.
^ Noricks, C. (2006). From style to strategy: An exploratory investigation of public relations practice in the fashion industry. Unpublished master's thesis, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. in Cassidy, L. & Fitch, K. (2013) Beyond the Catwalk: Fashion Public Relations and Social Media in Australia, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 14, No. 1 & 2, Murdoch University.
^ Wright, M. (2011). How premium fashion brands are maximising their social media ROI. Mashable. Retrieved from www.mashable.com/2011/02/11/fashion-brands-social-media-roi/ in Cassidy, L. & Fitch, K. (2013) Beyond the Catwalk: Fashion Public Relations and Social Media in Australia, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 14, No. 1 & 2, Murdoch University.
A few days after the 2010 Fall Fashion Week in New York City came to a close, The New Islander's Fashion Editor, Genevieve Tax, criticized the fashion industry for running on a seasonal schedule of its own, largely at the expense of real-world consumers. "Because designers release their fall collections in the spring and their spring collections in the fall, fashion magazines such as Vogue always and only look forward to the upcoming season, promoting parkas come September while issuing reviews on shorts in January", she writes. "Savvy shoppers, consequently, have been conditioned to be extremely, perhaps impractically, farsighted with their buying."
These levels consist of many separate but interdependent sectors. These sectors are Textile Design and Production, Fashion Design and Manufacturing, Fashion Retailing, Marketing and Merchandising, Fashion Shows, and Media and Marketing. Each sector is devoted to the goal of satisfying consumer demand for apparel under conditions that enable participants in the industry to operate at a profit.
The best way to understand the consumers' needs and therefore predict fashion trends is through market research. There are two research methods: primary and secondary. Secondary methods are taking other information that has already been collected, for example using a book or an article for research. Primary research is collecting data through surveys, interviews, observation, and/or focus groups.
A report from New York Fashion (Spring 2015) week found that while 79.69% of models on the runway were white, only 9.75% of models were black, 7.67% were Asian, and 2.12% were Latina. The lack of diversity also accounts for not only designers but models too, out of four hundred and seventy members of The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) only twelve of the members are black. From the same study on New York Fashion Week, it was shown that only 2.7% of the 260 designers presented were black men, and an even smaller percentage were black female designers. Even the relationship between independent designers and retailers can show the racial gap, only 1% of designers stocked at department stores being people of color. It was also found that in editorial spreads, over eighty percent of models pictured were white and only nine percent were black models. These numbers have stayed stagnant over the past few years.
Many fashion designers have come under fire over the years for what is known as tokenism. Designer or editors will add one or two members on an underrepresented group to help them appear as inclusive and diverse, and to also help them give the illusion that they have equality. This idea of tokenism helps designers avoid accusations of racism, sexism, body shaming, etc.
Kathleen’s blog was created out of the realization that post-grad life wasn’t as fabulous as Carrie Bradshaw had led her to believe (even as adults, we’re still trying to solve the puzzle of how Carrie could afford a closet-full of Manolos on a writer’s salary). But looking at her inspiring outfits and picture-perfect lifestyle, you might have to disagree that it is extremely fabulous (except she pulls it all off with affordable pieces and doable outfit ideas).
In fact, Thomas’s connection with fashion stems, in part, from her personal biography. — Anne Showalter, Smithsonian, "The Fierce Pride and Passion of Rhinestone Fashion," 9 Aug. 2019 Since Palmer started hosting the show last year, she’s spoken to leaders and influencers, in industries that run the gamut from culinary arts and fashion to Hollywood and politics. — Renee Morad, NBC News, "The podcast that's inspiring women to pursue positions in leadership," 8 Aug. 2019 For older students, animal prints can be used to make a bold fashion statement such as in a leopard print dress or cheetah print pants. — Tyra Mcclung, courant.com, "Back to school in style: Here’s what’s trending this fall," 7 Aug. 2019 Anything But Classic Chanel is a fashion house known for many things, but its quilted purses are its most sought-after pieces. — Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Kylie Jenner’s Chanel Bag Is Anything But Classic," 5 Aug. 2019 More head-turning pieces are piled on top, including dramatic chandeliers collected through the years, porcelain vases from China, 1920s privacy screens, and even textiles from the Louis Vuitton fashion house. — Chadner Navarro, Condé Nast Traveler, "A New Hotel Is Embracing the Laid-Back Eastern Side of the Algarve," 26 July 2019 Designer Giorgio Armani, the sole shareholder of his eponymous, 41-year-old Italian fashion house, is streamlining the far-reaching company, in reaction to sales falling for a third year. — Robert Williams, Fortune, "Giorgio Armani’s Restructuring his Fashion Empire," 26 July 2019 Givenchy is the nephew of the fashion house's founder, Hubert de Givenchy. — Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Scarlett Johansson's Engagement Ring Is One of The Chicest We've Ever Seen," 24 July 2019 Shortly after, the fashion house and Dapper Dan began working together on a line, and a collaborative collection between the two debuted in 2018](https://fashionista.com/2018/07/gucci-dapper-dan-collection-clothing-accessories). — Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Dapper Dan Addressed Why Black-Owned Fashion Brands Don't Get Support On “The Breakfast Club”," 12 July 2019