A definition of fashion
What it is, who decides what's 'in'
Fashion is always changing, slightly elusive,
It has the power to transform an image and
make a social statement.
What is fashion anyway?
- The prevailing style or custom, as in
dress or behavior: out of fashion.
- Something, such as a garment, that is in
the current mode: a swimsuit that is the latest fashion.
- The style characteristic of the social
elite: a man of fashion.
To some, fashion is an art form. To others, it
is almost a religion.
But for most people it is a method of
utilizing clothing, accessories and hair to show or hide
something about yourself.
You can use fashion to express yourself, to
serve as an extension of your personality: goth, skater, soccer
Or you can use fashion to disguise your true
self: a conservative in vamp clothing, a vamp in conservative
Fashion statements can be made with clothes,
accessories, shoes, hair, makeup, even your cellphone.
Who decides what's in?
Designers can greatly influence what direction
fashion will go in.
Tom Ford of Gucci and YSL, Miuccia Prada of
Prada and Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs of Marc by Marc Jacobs, Marc
Jacobs and Louis Vuitton are all considered directional
designers (Ford for sexy looks, Prada for remixing classics,
Jacobs for vintage-inspired styles).
Working five or six months ahead of the
season, the press attends fashion shows presenting designer
collections; the media will then give editorial coverage to
trends they think their readership is interested in.
Store buyers work many months in advance of
the season to place orders with manufacturers for styles they
think their customers will want to buy.
Celebrities and other opinion leaders
(socialites and other glitterati) are usually the first to sport
new looks, spurring the buying public into accepting emerging
So everyone from big-name designers to
celebrities may be behind influencing the direction fashion will
But ultimately, it is you, the consumer, who
will decide what is "in" when you choose whether or not to buy
into a trend.
Where are the world's fashion centers?
New York, Paris and Milan are considered the
major hubs for designers and manufacturers of fashion apparel
London, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hong Kong,
Sydney and Sao Paolo, in addition to hundreds of other smaller
market areas are host to excellent designers and manufacturers.
How can I work in fashion?
Depending on what you want to do -- from
designing to retailing -- there are many paths you can take to
get to your destination.
Education is a vital ingredient: many
universities offer excellent fashion merchandising courses.
Work experience is another necessary step to
working as a professional in the fashion industry. Experience at
the retail level (as a sales person in a store) is a great way
to get a feel for how consumers buy, mix or reject clothing.
Many students are initially attracted to
fashion because it seems like a glamorous business: to some
degree it is.
But the majority of clothing and accessories
that are designed, manufactured and sold have absolutely nothing
to do with the glitzy shows associated with famous designers.
The majority of people working in fashion have
behind-the-scenes jobs at less-than-glamorous wages. Regardless,
most who work in the industry are charged by its vibrancy and
creativity and get rewards other than fame and fortune (a fun
job, creative outlet, etc.).