The Nature of Fashion
The Fashion Business
Fashion industries – businesses engaged in manufacturing the materials and products used in the
production of apparel and accessories
Fashion business – all industries and services connected with fashion: design, manufacturing,
distribution, marketing, etc. Any business concerned with fashion goods or services
Marketing – process of marketing includes many different activities that identify consumer needs,
develop good products, and price, distribute, and develop products so that they sell easily
- For many years, fashion producers were only concerned with that was economical and easy for
them to produce (no interest in the wants and needs of the consumer)
- Today, the process of marketing has been adopted by the fashion producer, which is called
- Fashion marketing = “Satisfying Consumer Needs”.
- Fashion marketing is understanding the consumers’ needs, developing products that provide
good consumer value, and pricing and distributing the product(s) effectively so that it will sell
Merchandising –refers to the planning required to have the right fashion oriented merchandise at the
right time, in the right place, in the right quantities, at the right prices, and with the right sales
promotion for a specified target market. (5 Rs)
Misconceptions About Fashion
1. Designers and retailers dictate what the fashion will be and force it upon consumers. In reality,
consumers decide what the fashion will be by influencing new designs and accepting or rejecting
the styles that are offered.
2. Fashion acts as an influence on women only. Men and children are also influence fashion.
3. Fashion is a mysterious and unpredictable force. Fashion can be measured and evaluated by
those who study and understand the fundamentals of fashion.
The Terminology of Fashion
Style – characteristic or distinctive appearance of a garment (the combination of features that makes it
different from other garments
- Ex. T-shirts are different from polo shirt
Fashion – a style that is accepted by the majority of a group at one time
- High Fashion: a new style accepted by a limited number of fashion leaders who want to be the
first to adopt to changes in fashion
- Mass Fashion/Volume Fashion: a contrast with high fashion. Usually produced and sold in large
quantities at low prices to appeal to the greatest majority of consumers. Mass fashion accounts
for most of the sales in the fashion business.
Design – an interpretation, version, or treatment of a style.
- A style may be expressed in many different designs, all different, but all related because they
are in the same style
- Ex. A sweatshirt is a style, but the neckline, and sleeves can be changed Taste – an opinion of what is and what is not appropriate for an occasion
Classic – a style or design that satisfies a basic need and remains accepted in fashion for a long time. A
classic is characterized by a simple design that keeps it from being easily outdated
Fad – a fashion that sweeps into popularity, affects a limited amount of the population, and then quickly
- A fad comes into existence by the introduction of some exaggerated feature or detail, which
excited the interest of the consumer.
- Fads begin in lower price ranges, and are easy to copy.
Trend – a general direction or movement
IN THE FASHION SPOTLIGHT – Michael Kors
2010 – Received the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award
1999 – Received the CFDA Award for Womenswear Designer of the Year
2003 – CFDA Award for Menswear Designer of the Year
- Began designing at the age of 19
- Studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York
- 1981 – launched the Michael Kors womenswear line
- 1997 – creative director for Celine
- 2003 – left Celine to focus on his own brand
- KORS: The mid-tier between the runway and MICHAEL collections, included footwear and jeans
- MICHAEL: included handbags, shows, and women’s ready-to-wear apparel
Components of Fashion Design
Silhouette – overall outline or contour. Can also refer to ‘shape or form’. Three basic shapes: bell-
shaped, bustle, and straight. Four variations on the straight/tubular silhouette: slim, rectangle, wedge,
Details – individual elements that give a silhouette its shape or form. For example: trimmi