Intro to Fashion
Chapter 1: The Nature of Fashion
Fashion has a great impact on our country’s economy. Webster’s defines fashion as “prevailing
custom, usage, or style.” In this book fashion means the style or styles of clothing and
accessories worn at a particular time by a particular group of people.
Fashion industries are businesses that are engaged in manufacturing the materials and finished
products used in the production of apparel and accessories for men, women, and children.
Fashion business includes all the industries and services connected with fashion: design,
manufacturing, distribution, marketing, retailing, advertising, communications, publishing, and
The process of marketing includes many different activities that identify consumer needs;
develop good products; and price, distribute, and promote then effectively so that they will sell
Before it was the producer trying to convince the consumers on what they wanted, now it’s all
about what the consumer wants.
Fashion merchandising is sales promotion as a comprehensive function, including market
research, development of new products, coordination of manufacture and marketing, and
effective advertising and selling. The five Rs of merchandising are 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 customer.
It is not the designer you set fashion trends but it is the consumer who set trends by accepting
and rejecting certain styles. If you study the fundamentals of fashion, it can be predicted.
The Terminology of Fashion
In general terms, a style is a characteristic or distinctive artistic expression or presentation.
Styles exist in architecture, sculpture, painting, politics, music etc. In apparel, style is the
characteristic or distinctive appearance of a garment, the combination of features that make it
different from other garments. Styles come and go but a specific style always remains a style
such as personal style.
A fashion is a style that is accepted and used by the majority of a group at any one time, no
matter how small that group is. High fashion refers to a new style accepted by a limited number of fashion leaders who want to be the first to adopt changes and innovation in fashion.
Mass fashion or volume fashion consists of styles that are widely accepted. Large quantities,
low price, and appeal to the majority, “Bread and Butter” of the fashion banquet.
A design is a particular or individual interpretation, version, or treatment of a style. The style
number is a number that manufacturers and retailers assign to each individual design. It
identifies it for manufacturing, ordering, and selling purposes.
In fashion taste refers to prevailing opinion of what is and what is not appropriate for given
occasion. To understand the movement of fashion, it is important to understand that fashions
are always in harmony with the times in which they appear.
A classic is a style or design that satisfies a basic need and remains in general fashion
acceptance for an extended period of time. They are exceptions to the usual movement of
styles through the fashion cycle. The Chanel suit is an outstanding example of a classic. Other
examples are denim jeans, t-shirts and blazers.
A fashion that suddenly sweeps into popularity, affects a limited part of the total population,
then quickly disappears is called a fad. Because of their nature they aren’t considered true
fashion but “miniature fashions”.
A trend is a general direction movement.
Components of Fashion Design
The silhouette of a costume is its overall outline or contour also frequently referred to “shape”
or “form”. Four forms are slim, rectangle, wedge, and A-line.
The individual elements that give a silhouette its form or shape are called details. These include
trimmings; skirt and pant length and width; and shoulder, waist, and sleeve treatment.
One of the most significant components of