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How Socioeconomics Ate Fashion Influencers

In the book, The Fashion Body by Joanne Entwistle, she touches on three important aspects of today’s fashion industry including: How the consumption of clothing and its purpose has changes over the last 200 years, The socio-economic influences that lead to fragmented markets in the fashion industry and How Paris no longer dictates what’s in fashion. 

She reminds us that clothing in the past took craftsmanship and long hours to produce, while, today with mass production the amount of clothing that can be produced is almost overwhelming. In the book, theorists Fine and Leopold discussed how the consumption of clothing has changed over the last 200 years, were clothing today “has transformed from consumption of essential items of dress designed to last, to the purchase of multiple garments, bought cheaply and replaced frequently.” Fine and Leopold compare today's fashion industry to that of the food industry - where fashion goods are now being marketed as perishable goods. The fashion industry has become more and more about fast turnover of styles, that arguably put pressure on manufacturers to work quickly and at low costs to reduce the risk of over-production for clothing.

Entwistle argues that Fashion is an socio-economic practice where by the “growth of consumption and the fragmentation of the market into more and more differentiated taste markets.” The theory acknowledges the different socio-economic factors around the world effecting societies, different tastes of clothing and quality of clothing is needed to satisfy a variety of needs. This theory further explains the new “niche marketing phenomenon and how marketing now capitalizes on new tastes, a growth of symbolic material and images, the thing being consumed is the image not the commodity.”  As a marketer it is important to consider various socio-economic factors, as fashion is becoming increasingly open to interpretation based on different tastes in clothing. Therefore, fashion designers, retailers and marketers must become more aware of where they find and now they interpret influences of fashion.

At the auxiliary level, within the Fashion Industry, fashion forecasters are trained to spot trends and advise buyers on what garments they should pick up and buy for the upcoming sessions. This is largely because “the success of any buyer depends on the ability to spot the latest trend.” The utilization of these trend forecasting and niche marketing is becoming more important than ever. Unlike the past, fashion no longer  merely “trickles-down” from catwalks or “bubble up” from the high street such as pop music and youth culture influences.” Fashion is no longer influenced or influenced by merely whats in style and what's popular.  As a fashion buyer, marketer or retailer, it is important to be aware that fashion is no longer only dictated by fashion influencers or paris fashion houses, but more and more are influenced by multiple fashion systems and socio-economic factors. These socio-economic will continue to shift the perspectives of customers and their buying behaviours.

All Photographs received from Paint Louis Ville 

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