At one point, the fashion industry is one of the most overlooked and visible of cultural sectors. Streets, television shows, malls, runways, and magazine covers are filled with individuals that are making fashion statements. Some extreme, some angry, and some are incoherent.
But while most celebrities, designers, and publicists, as well as young individuals in America, understand how strong fashion statements are, a lot of serious critics, especially cultural people, give little evidence of how engaging most of these destructive and pathological messages, fashion fads and trend markets are.
It is a big mistake: Majority of the fashion statement today are often both philosophical and influential. For example, if a modeling agency in Grand Rapids MI is starting a campaign, the campaign should not only be prominent, it should also target the philosophical aspect of the fashion industry.
It needs to be challenged, analyzed, and considered. You don’t need to be a designer or critic to understand that fashion trend, fad, and statements are out there to send a message. The message’s content is a significant factor in the state of our culture. There’s a reason why this is happening.
First, fashion trends help shape and define pop culture, which in return, drives most of the American culture at large. For the past decade, there are examples of how the fashion industry influences the shaping of American pop culture. Movies and television have generated fashion trends since the beginning, but the fashion industry is starting to establish their influence.
Fashion models are now hosting their T.V shows, star in favorite movies, or some cases, open their restaurants. In television, all-fashion programs are starting to gain popularity. Just like in the television and movie industry, fashion and music industry are beginning to be more involved with each other.
Music magazines like the Rolling Stones, Vibe, or Spin often features fashion articles, trends, and other things related to the fashion world. In addition to that, music artists have also been very involved in fashion events or become fashion-conscious themselves.
Music channels like VH1 offer yearly fashion awards and Music Television or MTV have the House of Style program. Since 1986, the DFDA or Council of Fashion Designers of America gave MTV an award for being one of the most significant influence when it comes to fashion. If you want to know more about DFDA, visit https://cfda.com.
Fashion sense has become a big part in what people consider as attractive, fresh, entertaining, and stylish. Even news magazines like Newsweek admitted that teen groups are more free-flowing than what adults do, but both have its unique culture markings. From body art to hippie chic, too buttoned-down clothes. That is right; practically, all trends have some fashion component engrained in it. One can’t adopt even a small role without looking the part.
As the fashion world is starting to be more intertwined with pop culture, its influence and reach have extended not only to adults but most importantly to younger consumers. Right now, children have become one of the emerging markets for businesses and prove to be very lucrative.
According to studies, spending by pre-teens and teens has tripled since the early ’90s. In 1998, children ages 9 to 12 years old spent at least $25 to $30 billion on things related to fashion like clothes, shoes, watches, and accessories. As we all know, children are far more susceptible to fashion trends and peer pressure compared to adults.
Their rising purchasing power is a sign that the fashion marketing, as well as advertising including its institutionalized presence in pop culture, will be targeting this market. As the fashion industry grows more and more influential by the day, it will direct their efforts towards easily influenced markets like children and young teens.
The growing influence and power of the people in the fashion industry have now yielded access to the political world. A few decades ago, there has been little to no models or fashion figure being invited to have a speech or to testify in the White House or Capitol Hill.
But today, fashion personalities have been asked by political figures to give advice on foreign affairs, just like how model Iman testified against the slavery in Sudan, or to lead a campaign for public health (campaign by Lauren Hutton for hormone therapy).
The fashion industry’s political access is not limited to the United States. In 1998, models Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell had a photo shoot in Havana, Cuba. After they finished their shoot, they send a letter to the Cuban government to request a meeting with none other than, the Cuban leader itself, Fidel Castro.
Castro met with them for more than an hour longer than what he spends for the meeting with the Pope. Not only that, the chief revolutionary and leader of Cuba seems to be well acquainted with what is happening in the fashion world, congratulating Kate Moss on starting a revolution toward smaller fashion models.
Another factor is the significance of fashion in its capacity to affect and reflect historical trends. As most people from the fashion industry said, “Fashion reflects what happens in the world, whether it’s the past, present, or the future.” Fashion, in general, is a predecessor of what has happened in our society in the past, and a predictor of what will happen in the future.
There are a lot of examples that prove this point. When the first World War ended, what follows is the expansion of economic opportunity and wealth that unleashes expensive and daring new fashions. The passage of the nineteenth amendment, or the extension of women’s right to vote, coincides with the emergence of short skirts, pants, and loose-fitting clothes for women, as well as bobbed hair.
The departure of previously accepted flapper fashion was radical in itself, and very reflective of the changes that are happening in the treatment and the status of women in the society. The arrival of the dropped-waist dress and shortening of women’s hemline which eliminated the use of corsets were heavily criticized for being “unwoman-like” or “unfeminine.” It resulted in the alteration of the social concept about women, along with the modification of women’s hemlines and haircuts.