Is the Fashion Industry one that will someday die? In our current economic state, certain industries are falling. Most noticeably so the print industry. With the rise of the internet, social media and blogging there is hardly any need to pick up a magazine or a newspaper. Why pay someone to write an article when someone just as capable is uploading it to WordPress for free? Why pay people to photograph celebrities when there are ten people with iPhones uploading the same photos to Facebook before People Magazine can put the ink on paper?
While the fashion industry in print form is definitely in trouble, is the fashion/clothing industry as a whole? People will always care what they put on their bodies. Clothing is a form of expression, whether you personally intend it to be or not. Even the people who “don’t care” about style still show a bit about who they are through what they wear. We are living in an era where image is an obsession, one that is becoming easier to get.
Being trendy is becoming a trend itself. Target’s designer collaborations are both sustaining the fashion industry and making it more accessible. Now the middle-class woman can deck herself out in Missoni and emulate the photos of celebrities splashed throughout tabloids. Affordable designer collabs like Vera Wang for Kohl’s, Versace for H&M, and Christopher Kane for TopShop are taking some of the mystery and glamour out of high end fashion, but also keeping it in business. It’s become such an empire, something so wanted and craved for that they can put a Rodarte tag on any old dress and thousands of girls will flock to buy it. It is the idea of it that is making people continue to swipe their credit cards.
With the way clothing is mass produced now and trends are still ever-changing I think the clothing industry will be just fine, at least in my lifetime. Who knows if in the future we will all be wearing matching space-age jumpsuits (though I do love a good jumpsuit). The real problem though, is luxury fashion. It has been flip-flopping for the past few years. While Karl Lagerfeld has defended Chanel and other large fashion houses, we all remember Alexander McQueen’s Fall ’09 collection, the trash-filled comment on luxury exuberance. During the 2008 economic crisis, Betsey Johnson, Carmen Marc Valvo and Vera Wang were not to be seen in Bryant Park during fashion week. Just a few years later, the infamous $39,000 backpack from luxury brand The Row sold out. While the overall appeal may be dwindling, I don’t think luxury brands are going anywhere either.
Clothing in every price range continues to stimulate our economy. Looks like I’m working my way up the right ladder.