Analysis of the Fashion Industry
Fashion is one of the world’s most important creative industries. It has provided economic thought with a canonical example in theorizing about consumption and conformity. Social thinkers have long treated fashion as a window upon social class and social change. Cultural theorists have focused on fashion to reflect on symbolic meaning and social ideals. Fashion has also been seen to embody representative characteristics of modernity, and even of culture itself. Everyone wears clothing and inevitably participates in fashion to some degree.
However, it would be an understatement to say that fashion influences just clothing; in fact, to be very precise fashion influences almost every aspect of our daily life. More often than not, Fashion trends are a reflection of the political, social and economic changes and developments around us. Fashion is an important part of not only arts but maybe even more of economy. At first glance only the aesthetic aspect of it is visible with the beauty, amazing creations and materials. But if one looks more carefully, the whole highly developed and profit producing industry lies behind this glitter. The fashion industry consists of four levels: the production of raw materials, principally textiles , leather and fur; the production of fashion goods by designers, manufacturers, contractors, and others; retail sales; and various forms of advertising and promotion.
These levels consist of many separate but interdependent sectors, all of which are devoted to the goal of satisfying consumer demand for apparel under conditions that enable participants in the industry to operate at a profit. Not only The global fashion apparel industry is one of the most important sectors of the economy in terms of investment, revenue, trade and employment generation all over the world, but also The Business of Fashion is an essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs. Selling is the final activity of business .In order to survive , the ability to sell has a great portion of importance among other business abilities. The fashion industry is rather a very sensitive industry toward changes in the cultural , social and economic factors .
It is relatively harder or more complicated to understand why a product of a fashion industry sells while others are not. Companies perform various efforts to enhance their selling capabilities. Conducting a marketing analysis, that is, reviewing the strengths of an organization, its weaknesses, opportunities it can capitalize on for maximum profits, and the threats to achieving its full potential provides very invaluable information to the organization about the market and understanding the industry, as well. The analysis is used to define both the unfavorable and favorable factors and their impacts on goals of the business.
The fashion industry, which is very volatile, is not an exception, it too has its own share of strengths and opportunities which once utilized by an organization can help it grow substantially and weaknesses and threats which the organization must strive to minimize to the lowest possible levels. Fashion marketing is based on the identification of market trends which are used to analyze, develop and configure related marketing strategies and promotional activities for fashion products. Fashion marketing is the application of a range of techniques and a business philosophy that centers upon the customer and potential customer of clothing and related products and services in order to meet the long term goals of the organization.The very nature of fashion, where change is intrinsic, gives emphasis to marketing activities .
Essentially fashion marketing is composed of elements of fashion designing and marketing management which are combined together to develop a comprehensive marketing plan for fashion products. This marketing strategy and the related plan is composed of different tasks relative to the elements of promotions, advertising, retailing, branding, affiliate marketing, and distribution. In order to be successful fashion marketers have to be future oriented with forecast information about the market. The fashion industry demands that in order to have an effective fashion marketing strategy, companies need to understand and identify their customers, the trends in the fashion industry as well as how the branding and the marketing of their products effects the purchase behavior of the consumers. This knowledge is the main resource available to fashion marketers to develop a marketing strategy for their fashion based products .
Marketing in the fashion industry is often difficult as the industry is very volatile with constant changes taking place in its external as well as internal environments. As a result the approaches taken towards fashion marketing have to be adjusted and revamped in order to effectively target the latest and future trends. A myriad of factors define the fashion retail market, namely the interactions among fashion companies and the interaction between fashion companies and the consumer. The retailers seem to have the most power in defining the market as they possess the power to market goods at prices desirable to them.
However, the market price is in fact also determined by consumers. According to basic economic theory, the price of a good is determined by the demand by consumers and supply of the good by the producers in the economy. Especially for the fashion retail market, fashion trends are forecasted by analysing results of consumer’s emotions towards the previous trend. Hence, consumers do play a vital role in forming the fashion retail market as well. Consumer culture or consumerism, is “the theory that a progressively greater consumption of goods is economically beneficial”. Fashion creates a desire for ownership. Coupled with mass media and advertising, market makers sell lifestyles and consumers consume such products and lifestyles in hope for upward mobility in the social hierarchy.
This creates a culture of hedonism through the impression that one can purchase a status and in turn, ‘happiness’. As such, this new consumer culture lays the foundations for consumption, and demand and supply, of fashion in a society. However, fashion comes and goes and is never constant. But with the ever changing trends and fashion, we see that people have to constantly buy and consume new goods and services to stay in fashion. The frequent renewal of fashion in our capitalistic society makes it an effective marketing strategy as the constant updating of ‘trends’ and the human desire to fit in keeps the fashion industry alive.
The fashion industry is a product of the modern age. Prior to the mid-19th century, most clothing was custom made. It was handmade for individuals, either as home production or on order from dressmakers and tailors. By the beginning of the 20th century—with the rise of new technologies such as the sewing machine, the rise of global capitalism and the development of the factory system of production, and the proliferation of retail outlets such as department stores—clothing had increasingly come to be mass-produced in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices. Although the fashion industry developed first in Europe and America, today it is an international and highly globalized industry, with clothing often designed in one country, manufactured in another, and sold world-wide.
For example, an American fashion company might source fabric in China and have the clothes manufactured in Vietnam, finished in Italy, and shipped to a warehouse in the United States for distribution to retail outlets internationally. The fashion industry has long been one of the largest employers in the United States, and it remains so in the 21st century.By any measure, the industry accounts for a significant share of world economic output. There is no doubt in the importance of fashion as an industry branch. The amount of money it produces and the number of people it employs makes it a very significant area in the world of economics. On the other side economic situation and changes within it also leave trace on fashion industry. Being so closely entwined any detailed analysis cannot be done without observing both