Thursday, February 1, 2007

Paper 1

Introductory Post:

My experience with the fashion industry has led me to several theories about fashion and mainstream American consumers. Celebrity and media have a huge influence in the fashion world. Popular fashion starts with high fashion couture for the extremely wealthy American population and eventually trickles down to more affordable chain stores. Young girls flip the pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and their favorite celebrity gossip magazines and absorb all of the up and coming trends modeled by the celebrities that they most admire. These young girls are what drive the fashion industry and what the media feeds off of to promote celebrity. Having your clothing line worn by a Lindsay Lohan, a Jessica Simpson, or a Paris Hilton is a marketing jackpot. Being photographed and pictured in one of these magazines is the best advertising you can get.
Celebrities have become full faceted icons for Americans. They carry an almost 'holier than thou' image that many Americans, particularly young women, strive to achieve. Many want to share the celebrity lifestyle, and the haute couture wardrobe that these celebrities sport reflects that lifestyle. Clothing is something to cover our bodies and keep us warm, Fashion is a lifestyle.
Celebrity has become so central to American culture that it is foolish not to use that as a resource to gain exposure and success in the fashion industry. As an aspiring fashion designer and a Los Angeles native, I realize how many resources are within my reach. My marketing strategy for the fashion industry is as follows: use the resources of media and celebrity to make people believe your brand is popular and popular your brand will become. Fashion and marketing is about knowing your consumers, knowing what drives them and what inspires them, and then using media exposure to surround them with your newest trend.
As an eleven year old girl about to enter middle school, I was doing the usual August back to school shopping with my Mom. I remember her showing me a pair of capri pants and saying "Nicki, try these on these are the newest fad!" I looked at the pants and repulsed, replied " Mom, those are the ugliest things I have ever seen in my life!" which I accompanied with a grossed-out face just to emphasize my point. A month later, what did I have to have? Capri pants. So much so that I did not even care about getting an "I told you so" from my Mom. I had read my favorite magazines, which at that point were Teen and Cosmogirl, and probably seen them on some of my friends. That is how the fashion industry works. That is the power of media influence on fashion. The ability to take something someone hates and make them feel like they need to have it. Celebrity is a very powerful marketing tool.


Many online blogs about the fashion industry use celebrity and media to enhance their blogs. I use these other blogs as resources to support and relate my blog. The resources that I use throughout my blog are mostly online fashion magazines, fashion and celebrity blogs, online retail venues and resources through design schools. These blogs all discuss influences on the fashion industry, current events in fashion, and celebrity affiliation with fashion.

One resource, "Fashion Worlds," is a site that looks at every aspect of the fashion industry. It dissects fashion visually and even sociology and gives and interesting insight into the fashion world. "Fashion Verbatim" is an online blog that examines celebrity fashion, representation of fashion in media and online, and analysis of runway shows and designer collections. "" is the online location of fashion bibles "Vogue" and "W" magazines. This site is useful for basic fashion information, current or up and coming trends, new collections, and fashion spreads.

These sites are helpful resources to examine the fashion world as it exists online. There is a very prominent element of celebrity in all of these online resources which shows a very important marketing aspect of media and fashion. The internet is an endless resource for marketing in the fashion industry.


One blog that is very helpful in my blogging experience is called "Fashion Worlds." One of their posts is an article called "The Cycle of Fashion" which describes the sociological context of the fashion industry.

"Designers continually persuade the public that their new ideas, however shocking they may seem, are in fact everything that a stylish wardrobe requires." This is the greatest capability of fashion- the ability to make people feel like they need the newest trend. This drives the fashion cycle. This article brilliantly contemplates the Sociology behind this cycle. How do we drive the cycle of fashion? "Are we really duped by such duplicity? Or are we willing participants in the cycle of fashion? And perhaps more significantly, what relevance does the cycle have today in Western society’s culture of mass consumerism?

"Perhaps sheer boredom inspires the continual search for something new. Or can novelty be related to ideas of sexual allure and attraction? Do competing market interests in the fashion industry play a role in animating the cycle? Or could changes in dress function as markers of class differentiation?"There are so many possibilities as to what drives the fashion world. Could it be a combination of all of the above? Our world has become so fast paced. When something new surfaces we are already ready for the next big thing. Are we bored or are we just numb to the sensation of discovering something new? We know America is a society where sex sells. That is also what can drive fashion. Fashion is about art, about collaboration, about inspiration, abut it is also about sex appeal. And ideas about what is sexy are continually changing and transforming. Competition also drives the cycle. Designers are constantly at war with each other to create the newest trend. While they feed off of each other to create these trends, there are always those with an edge.

"The apparently random, rapid overlapping of new fashions is not restricted to changes in dress, but can also be noted in areas of modern culture as diverse as painting, music, architecture, entertainment and systems of health care. In Western society’s media-based culture of mass consumerism and against a background of globalisation, fashion appears to serve reactionary purposes that both structure and affirm the identities of groups and individuals. From surfers and students to alienated middle-class youths and married working women, weekly changes in fad like styles give a sense of belonging whilst also distinguishing them from the masses."Media and consumerism drive the fashion industry. Fashion becomes a lifestyle, and identity that has influenced, whether consciously or unconsciously, every aspect of American society.

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