The consumer market overrules the fashion industry, leading designers to make their garments based on their demands. Although hundreds upon thousands of dollars are invested into fashion week annually, new couture and fashion trends are not selling to the mass buyers.
As the recession deepens and new affordable rivals emerge, designers are more willing to sell their ideas and trends directly to customers. College students and other similar demographics are affected positively since they get more affordable options, however it puts a toll on the industry since it has to compete for uniqueness.
In the past, fashion week was an exclusive event that sophisticated moguls, designers and entrepreneurs put together, but in recent years the status has declined. Fashion divas used to have to wait for the new styles to appear in the buyer markets roughly six months after they graced the runways. Today, those same divas are able to buy the garments in days after they were featured.
Petty designers are targeting the mass consumer market so they can make a large profit in a short period of time. In comparison, high-end fashion is not selling nearly as well as it used to, because people would prefer to spend their money on knockoffs of the original designs.
Leslie Nicole, merchandiser at American Apparel said, “It is unfortunate for the designers to have to deal with their ideas being so strongly resembled by other companies, but at the same time it is not wrong for places like H & M to copy the trends, it is just fashion.”
It is a form of plagiarism because designers and editors such as Anna Wintour of Vogue are working endlessly to create new fashions just to have the mock brands reproduce a simplified version of their masterpieces.
Nicole later added, “The six month rule is something I feel that everyone in the business should follow, it is ridiculous to see that production starts as soon as the catwalk is over.” Potential buyers feel no anticipation when there is no grace period between the shows and when the merchandise hits the market.
People have the option to shop wherever they would like, but if this trend continues to steepen, businesses will need to hire new people onto their design teams to put together garments that are going to sell because the big names could potentially downsize. It is perfectly acceptable to put clothing into production that is going to sell to mass consumers who do not have the luxury of buying the clothing seen on runways. While everyone wants to be fashionable and the mass markets make it affordable and accessible to them, designers deserve the credit and should uphold the six-month “waiting” period before their trends make it to consumers.
Aside from losing prospective customers, designers face other issues that threaten their commerce. Knockoff brands typically do not have the most efficient manufacturing, distributing, and selling techniques. Often times the production of their goods is done overseas where keeping up with a large amount of workers’ wages and conditions is complicated.
Vertically integrated business models and others that are similar are more common among the bigger names. These systems allow for increased quality control among employees. They are not mass-producing items as much as their rivals and quality often exceeds quantity. Employees are likely to receive more benefits, higher wages and better care while on the job.
The fashion industry is booming and expanding in many new unforeseen directions. Consumers need to keep in mind that they have been taking the efforts of fashion designers for granted. As an economic group, the masses are very demanding and often overwhelm the fashion industry. Although competitors will continue to emerge in the market, it would be beneficial for the group to be patient and considerate of the work and traditions of the fashion experts.