Monthly Archives: June 2017

The fashion industry

The topic of sustainability has assumed global dimensions and now carries political implications. From institutions of higher education to the United Nations, the consensus is that the earth is at risk. Perhaps, grave risk. The scientific consensus on climate change, previously dubbed global warming, has had significant impact on many industries. The textile manufacturing and fashion industries do not operate in a vacuum. They are just as vulnerable as other sectors like food and beverage and play an important role in daily existence and social and economic interactions.

What is sustainability? It depends upon whom you ask. Among the myriad definitions within the framework of textiles and fashion, I define it as a system that includes the natural and human environment that recreates itself, stays balanced hence, sustainable – in order to survive. It includes other systems such as economic, environmental, societal, and personal, on a global scale. Consequently, we must answer this simple question: How can we live in a world in which the earth’s resources that support life can be available to humans, as well as to the flora and fauna that are vital components of the ecosystem? The answer is simple: it has to be a collective and inclusive effort, on a global basis, which creates synergy among all players to benefit the continuation of the earth’s ecosystem.

Understandably, the textile manufacturing and fashion industries cannot be sustainable alone. They can have a significant impact on the entire ecosystem. It is true that change will not happen unless a trigger causes it. Pressure from consumers, competitors, legislative mandates and the personal initiative of activists will compel stakeholders to change.

The significance of fashion

Fashion forecasting is a process of analysing upcoming trends by predicting colours, fabrics and styles that will be a part of latest collections in the stores. The forecaster works on all categories and variants of the fashion industry, explains Ankita Sodhi.

 Haute couture, pret-o-porter or ready-to-wear and street wear or mass market, all can benefit from trend forecasting. It also involves a study of emerging trends in make-up, beauty and cosmetics, to predict a complete look of the season.

Various practices involved in forecasting are:

  1. Study of various fashion seasons
  2. As an impact of globalisation, mapping of megatrends by analysing collections at fashion capitals of the world
  3. Comparative study of current and previous trends
  4. Identifying the niche market/client/group
  5. Understanding and analysing the demographic and psycho graphic structure of the targeted market/client/group
  6. Predicting themes, stories and trends for upcoming season by generating a style and trend report

 

Various fashion seasons

Design collections are launched as per specific seasons. These include:

  1. Spring/Summer
  2. High Summer
  3. Pre-fall
  4. Autumn/Winter
  5. Resort/Cruise

 

The two biggest seasons are Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. These collections are showcased at major fashion weeks almost six months prior to when they appear in stores. These include both haute couture as well as ready-to-wear collections.

High summer is when some fashion houses or brands launch a collection after Spring/Summer collection has been launched. Several times, these collections are extremely impactful on trends that will emerge in the upcoming season.

Resort/cruise collections are launched for those who are keen on wearing trendy comfort wear at holidays or while travelling for leisure.

Pre-Fall collections have a wide customer range but they are launched to target the elite fashion fanatics and leaders. These fashion leaders are fond of an updated wardrobe. Celebrities of various fields are often the first to get these fresh off the runway outfits.

Emerging global trends

As the global population boom, there are inevitable implications on livestock. Demand for food and shelter have grown manifold resulting in an alarming scarcity of land meant for rearing animals, says Satyadeep Chatterjee.

 

Trends have to be predicted taking into consideration possible drastic changes. Fashion consumers are becoming more conscious of the environment. They prefer eco-friendly material, conservative use of resources, reduced emission of pollutants, greater social commitment and fair treatment of employees in production facilities.

 

The presence of a large number of players in the sector has intensified the competition to garner a larger chunk of the market share of this lucrative industry. On the demand front, consumers are rapidly aligning towards new designs and innovative leather offerings to ensure they are in sync with changing fashion trends. Another factor that needs to be taken into account is the rise of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies. Their dominant position in the labour-intensive textile and leather industries makes it difficult for other countries to match them.

 

Owing to high demand, the leather goods industry is on a growth spree. Forecasts are, this vertical will grow at a CAGR of 3.4 percent over the next five years and will touch US$ 91.2 billion by 2018.

Fashion kids

A cursory glance at the fashion statement of celebrity kids tells you that street fashion is here to stay even among this age group, says Sweta Kumari.

One look at photographs of Harper Beckham, Suri Cruise or Dannielynn Birkhead who modelled for Guess and you know that street fashion is not a passing fad. Children, as much as youth, breathe it.

Street style for kids is big business today. Funky, quirky and jazzed up with glamour accessories team up with the carefully casual look for girls and boys.

Street style has always been there. It is only since the mid-1950s that its importance has been recognised, appreciated and emulated. Street fashion is considered to have emerged not from studios, but from the grassroots. It is generally linked with youth culture, and is often seen in major urban centres even though smaller towns have their own smaller hubs.

Theories about origin of street fashion

The Trickle Up Theory involves innovation or a picky style that begins on the streets, worn by lower income groups. It is picked up by designers and projected to upper class spheres which purchase the designs.

A typical example of this is the T-shirt. From a modest start, the Tee has turned into an emblem of global fashion. It has become not just a fashion and cultural icon, but a message board where people can express their feelings in the form of slogans, symbols and logos. Messages focus on the wider audience of popular culture, or are directed at subcultures, politics, economics, social issues and more.