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Fashion has played a major role in throughout history for people from different social, economical backgrounds. There are many roles in the fashion industry such as the model, designer, stylist and consumer and all are used as a form of expression. The way a person decides to show their uniqueness in fashion is a reflection of not only how that person is feeling on the outside but also on the inside and helpful in improving one’s self-esteem. Fashion is also a way to express emotions through clothing of choice; the simplest outfit can make the difference in someone’s image. A choice in hair color, a style of makeup or even a hat can be the difference in a fashion look. Fashion however isn’t only the way you dress it can be the difference in what society deems “beautiful”. Fashion will give someone.
There’s more to the fashion industry than what meets the eye as there are many historical, social, environmental and economical factors involved. Seeing as “the encounter between the world’s cultures and the combinations of traditions and events is rooted in its creative process” (Ling 107). People have been able to be inspired by designers all over the world with the help of social media and other platforms.
The great thing about fashion is that “a combination of one designer and another, or one style and another, is not only common in the creative process; rather, this leads to the formation of a new creation” (Ling 107). Globalization gives the consumer access to more than just one style and opens their eyes to new ones that are constantly evolving. It has also been stated “in design studies, fashion tends to be perceived as the frivolous little sister to product design” (Skov 555). The fashion industry becomes global through outlets such as retail stores and has an impact on the way people live their lives.
The industry is much more than clothing, shoes and accessories when it comes to business side. The manufactures, distrusters, marketing, advertising and branding are important in the success of fashion. The industry also helps create more jobs as billions of people are working in the industry, “Southern California is thus now the largest clothing manufacturing Centre in the US in terms of employment” (Scott 1288). Globalization makes way for a free trade market and allows countries who may have less to participate also, “Hong Kong’s wholesale markets offer all kinds of specialized materials and fashion information from all parts of the world” (Skov 554) The many workers in the fashion industry hold the keys to the fashion industry.
The fashion industry is one of the most completive industries in the world, which is why the consumer is in control. Just like any business the designer is responsible for creating a product that is a good price and the fashion industry is no different. This is why many “small-scale entrepreneurs have access to highly specialized manufacturing facilities, ensuring that short runs of sophisticated garments can be produced speedily and in high quality” (Skov 554). Because fashion is international designers are known to customize their designs to fit a certain customers eyes based on their location. It has been said “Hong Kong overtook Italy to become the world’s largest clothing exporter in 1973 Hong Kong Review 1982.” (Ling 110). This is one of the reasons why fashion is a booming competitive industry.
With the fashion industry forever changing people sometimes choose price rather than viewing the quality that goes into a designers work. People are able to get the designs they desire no matter the cost because it’s “centered around relatively inexpensive, cheaply made designer knockoffs that go in and out of style faster than the traditional cycle of four fashion seasons” (Cohen 12). With fashion being international companies can bring the consumer pieces at low prices, and it will appeal to more people for a booming business. This is why locally “consumers in the United States are gravitating toward lower priced attire over high quality, longer-lasting clothing. But the opposite holds true in the Japanese market” (Cohen 12) while in comparison to other countries “the recent trend in Hong Kong has been a sharp shift away from cheap quantity to finer quality” (Karnow 24).
With fashion becoming more global designers also have a major influence on today’s future. Many designers such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Prada, Gucci, are great examples of labels that had and still have a major influence on fashion. This proves “the individualism of fashion design is strengthened in the design schools where they are forced to rely on their own ideas and experiences through project work” (Skov 559). With the industry so versatile new designers are able to show their creativity and their work can appeal to a variety of consumers.
With the internet and fashion shows being an easy tool for designers to show their work, there are also other ways to present themselves such as “fashion exhibitions in a gallery or museum setting that have impact on the world of design” (Mears 118). Museums and galleries are important as they are usually good to show important eras in fashion history. However this “this practice would seem odd in most Western countries today, it is actually a reflection of how art was commonly shown in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the United States and Europe” (Mears 102). Fashion has evolved from previous fashions that were in style.
Despite the positive side of the fashion industry there are also some factors that raise an eye for some. With fashion people are constantly being judged, as they say first impressions are everything. It can be seen that “clothing is an important means by which young adults gain social appreciation and develop positive self-esteem” (Ersun & Yildirim, 314). This is why people are more likely to be easily influenced by the fashion trends they see in society. This is why some people resort to things such as plastic surgery to become what society deems acceptable. It can be assumed “fashion, which stresses constant change, urbanity, and secularism‚Ķ” (Mears 103). Fashion can also be negative for one’s self-esteem, as the industry isn’t focus on the message it is sending to the consumer. People tend to sometimes forget there are more important things in life than material items. While it is thought that “in order to succeed in the increasingly competitive fashion market they strike to establish a distinctive and recognizable style” (Ling 107), people want to be leaders but end up being a follower like everyone else.
The fashion industry has also been known for not being fair to the people who contribute the most to it, with things such as sweatshops. There are companies who prey on the people who they know they can take advantage of, they will work longer hours for less pay. It has been proven “a major proportion-probably the majority-of the labour force in the southern Californian clothing industry consists of low wage immigrants, mainly of Asian and Hispanic origin” (Scott 1290). Since there are countries that don’t have laws in place to protect them while working they can easily be taken advantage of. For example “the tailoring groups negotiate the price of each style on the basis of the labor involved, and wages within the teams vary with the workers’ skills” (Karnow 29). The consumers are able to buy clothing at a cheaper price, but it’s really at the expense of the workers.
Despite some questions being raised the fashion industry is actually more beneficial than one would think. Fashion allows people to show their creativity despite the trends in society and also helps create unity in the world. “Diversity is such a major factor that “the demand for new, innovative and changing styles from the fashion industry pushes it to look to other cultures for the novel and exotic” (Ling, 2011, p. 107). Many people think fashion is only made to cover up or “hide” however it’s actually made to enhance.
Additionally “fashion design is an increasingly individualistic profession” (Skov 559). Fashion designers often draw inspiration from the ideas of others which add to the industry. This is why education can be an important part of a successful fashion designer. Fashion schools help their students bring out their creative side, and give them the tools to have successful careers based on the history of fashion. Schooling “involves ‘the whole person’ to the extent that it is impossible to draw a line between professional creative skills and self-expression” (Skov. 559). The industry has many opportunities as there are so many options; the industry is always changing so something new is always bound to be created. Fashion can be used as a way society sees someone but a person themselves can also influence the fashion industry.
The great thing about the fashion industry is that it’s not limited to one look and features people of many shapes and sizes. Many brands are becoming more versatile in their fashion for example “clothing stores in Japan target older consumers, who are likely to be more interested in long-lasting quality than keeping up with the latest styles, while American advertising targets younger consumers interested in just the opposite” (Cohen 12). Maternity and plus sizes are become more noticeable in shopping stores, which also creates more job opportunities for models who are of such sizes. These models can also be seen in media and magazines which show that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
Fashion is evident in many areas across the world, since it can be seen in many areas as clothing and accessories are sold everywhere. The employees and consumers themselves are the ones who help create this billion dollar industry that is constantly changing every day. Fashion is known for creating a certain look and says a lot about a person’s social status. The media also plays a part as one can be easily influenced by society’s standard of beauty. Social media is an important piece to success in the fashion world because consumers are ultimately the force behind the industry. Fashion isn’t what society feels is the best look but how a person themselves feels and decides to express themselves. Ultimately fashion globally is an important key to feeling great in the world we live in.

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