Categories
Fashion Issue

Effects of New Technologies, Social Changes & Economic Trends on Fashion

A lucky few will be tapped on the shoulder for positions at top brands. But most will have to settle for employment that doesnt advance their dreams beyond internships and jobs on the bottom of the career ladder.

 

Technological Advances

 

For any new fashion entrepreneur, the internet has proved indispensable to the growth of her/his business .The website facilitates ordering for commercial and private customers alike, showcasing the full collection alongside color variations and prices. Working with a website not only provides a more direct route to the final customer, but also helps to gain exposure and portray a more professional brand. Private consultations with the designer offer a unique shopping experience, and a participatory role in the design process as the consumer becomes a co-designer in the final product.

 

Social networking, such as Facebook, also play an important role in this type of business model; prospective customers are able to interact with established customers, initiate debates, view collections, follow promotions, and identify up-coming events (Burns, C., 2011).

 

 

In a period of economic austerity, this competition becomes all the more apparent as consumers become more prudent. In recent years, the growth of fast fashion has made clothes much cheaper relative to income in comparison to a few decades ago (Black, 2008, p.14). It is therefore unfeasible for the fashion entrepreneur to compete with these price scales and for that reason that their product ranges have the added value worth that merit their higher prices.

 

Conclusion

 

Despite the climate of austerity, the growing numbers of craft and fashion events indicate a market for fashion products, although a definite change in consumer attitudes is perceptible.

 

 

In addition, a greater level of customer service establishes a strong reputation and ensures that customers will return or recommend the brand to others. Identifying and understanding the needs of the consumer is critical, finding an appropriate sales location, or targeting the right craft fair is essential.

 

 

In addition, the ability to quickly embrace new technologies to advance their business allows Fashion businesses to compete in the market place against stiff competition from all sectors of the global fashion and textile industry. More importantly, this new media has become instrumental as a way of moving product to the market place, cutting out the middle man, and providing an easier and more profitable alternative to supplying retailers. Even from a remote location, it is an excellent tool for networking with customers & retailers.

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Fashion Trends

The Hottest Fashion Trends For Spring

Spring: A time for showers, flowers, bunnies and cleaning. Oh yeah, and fashion too. Hopefully by now you’ve done that “out with old” part of the spring routine and are keeping your eyes open for pieces to bring some “in with the new.” Whether you’re looking for something to help combat melancholy when the showers kick in or are gearing up for the sunny months ahead, we’ve got you covered with these fashion finds.

Mediterranean vacation.
So your two-bedroom “starter condo” in the suburbs doesn’t exactly resemble a cliff-side home on Santorini. Shame. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t dress like you’re on a Grecian getaway. A wide-leg white or navy pant instantly channels the nautical look. Add an exotic print scarf to the ensemble and you’re ready for the yacht.

Sweet sneakers.
These stylish skimmers are the perfect solution to your weekend shoe crisis. You want to look somewhat cute when you run your errands (who knows who may be standing behind you in the Petco line?), but you don’t want to wear anything that might remind you of work. They’re also a fabulous companion for jeans or shorts and you can even pull a Mischa à la Keds ads and wear them with a casual dress.

Happy umbrellas.
Nothing says “Happy Spring” like your black umbrella, right? Wrong. So maybe it is dark outside, but you don’t have to reflect the meteorological forecast in your spring fashion choices. Ordinary ‘brellas just got a little more extraordinary this season with polka dots, stripes and bold prints. Just make sure you don’t try to be too matchy-matchy with identical wellies.

Yellow…everything.
Adding a yellow dress, flat or even a yellow bag to your wardrobe is a must for spring. This pale number is a muted version, but your yellow doesn’t have to be mellow. Both bold Crayola yellow and softened hues will surely brighten up your look.

Fresh floral.
Springtime is synonymous with florals. Easter lilies, May flowers, cherry blossoms—all inspiration for this flirty, organic trend. This year, however, florals are blossoming and becoming, well, more than just your typical garden party print. Opt for a blouse with rose embellishments or take a cue from this Diane Von Furstenberg number and choose a dress with funky, more unexpected spring colors.

Eyelet.
Nothing rings in spring like a crisp white dress with eyelet details. It’s perfect for a dinner on the terrace, Sunday brunch or even for a more casual cover-up at the beach. It also can be colorful, so don’t shy away from a tropical hue. But do wear a slip if your dress is completely eyelet, unless it’s a cover-up of course.

Cropped jackets.
In the next couple months hems will start getting a little shorter and bikinis will make a debut, but don’t ditch jackets just yet; April is linked with showers for a reason. These cropped versions are ideal for April-through-June climate control with slight coverage—but nothing that’ll make you toasty. Their shapes can be boxy or demure and buttons or embellishments (like the rosette on this Marc by Marc Jacobs crop) really liven it up.

Geometric goddess.
Get into the techno age by trying a geometric print dress with ethereal elements of spring. The graphic shapes in this Twinkle by Wenlan piece make it edgy and the granulation adds a digital detail. But don’t break into the robot just yet. The softer colors and flowy shape keep it from being too Matrix. Sorry Keanu. This one’s not for you.

Even if it’s not sunny outside you can at least add some of these bright pieces to your wardrobe—because nothing gets you out of that post-winter funk like springtime shopping. So go on, spring for some of these “in with the new” fashion trends.

Categories
Fashion Designer

Indian brands seek joint venture with foreign labels

Indian brands with foreign labels like ‘Munich Polo’ make name for themselves:

 

Pick the odd one out: Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, Munich Polo, Skechers and Pavers. Answer: Munich Polo. Reason: It’s the only Indian brand amongst the lot of global labels.

 

As the rush of single brands into the country-including those that have applied for approvals-peaks, a number of home-grown, international sounding brands are melding themselves into the retailing landscape.

 

“The trend will gather momentum,” says Piyush Kumar Sinha, professor in retailing and marketing at IIM, Ahmedabad. Indian brands will try to look and sound foreign to make the most of rising aspirations of foreign-label fascinated Indians, he adds.
Munich Polo, which has positioned itself as a German brand and recently rolled out its premium kidswear stores in New Delhi, is the latest addition to the serpentine list of home-grown brands flaunting foreign tags. These include Da Milano, Franco Leone, La Opala and Monte Carlo.

 

Munich Polo uses the German language and depicts Munich’s rich cultural history on its website. It draws inspiration from Munich’s heritage for its apparel designs, and uses fair-skinned child models to give the brand a German look and feel. When contacted, a Munich Polo spokesperson did not comment on why the brand has appropriated a German name and positioning.

 

Another local brand Da Milano, a high-end leather accessory label, is widely perceived to be of Italian origin. Company officials refused to comment on the brand’s local origin.

 

Franco Leone, a Delhi-based premium footwear brand, has an explanation for its Italian-sounding name. “My father bought the brand from two Italian designers called Franco and Leone,” says Vikram Bhamri, director of Franco Leone.

But why did the brand continue to use a foreign name in India? Simple, it makes immense business sense. “It has to do with the Indian mindset. We love and easily accept European and American fashion because it is aspirational,” adds Bhamri, who roped in Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor as brand ambassador last year.
Bhamri himself is one such consumer who would prefer a foreign brand over an Indian one. “Despite the high quality of Liberty (Shoes), I would still prefer Lee Cooper because of its foreign tag,” he shrugs.
For Monte Carlo, a 26-year-old woollen wear brand from the Ludhiana-based Nahar Group, having a foreign name does have some advantages, but it has to be reinforced by quality of the product.
“The name is built by customers, not by brands,” says Sandeep Jain, executive director of Monte Carlo Fashions, which was hived off from Oswal Woollen Mills of the Nahar Group last year. 100% foreign direct investment for single brands will only help raise awareness of their local counterparts, he argues.

Veteran adman Piyush Pandey thinks a foreign brand can be a double-edged sword. If it doesn’t deliver its promise, it is doomed to bomb. “Consumers are not stupid, says the executive chairman & creative director of Ogilvy South Asia. “You can fool them once, but not twice. If you claim to be an Italian brand, then you have to deliver Italian quality. If you don’t, people won’t buy it.”
Pandey turns the trend of foreign-sounding desi brands on its head by pointing to international brands with Indian names. Like French jewellery house Boucheron that has a perfume exotically branded Jaipur. “Now, calling it Jaipur doesn’t make it an Indian brand, does it,” asks Pandey.

 

This article was originally published in the Economic Times dated 27th July, 2012, written by Rajiv Singh, associated with the Economic Times Bureau, New Delhi.

Categories
Online Fashion

Online Fashion Retailers – When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Blogging

The down turn in the global economy and high inflation in the UK is likely to have a huge effect on the fashion industry and particularly the luxury goods sector. In order to keep profitable companies are having to become increasingly innovative in finding way of communicating with their customers and driving traffic to their websites.

 

Whilst many fashion retailers are already using blogging as a very cost effective way of promoting their products and driving traffic to their sites, there are still many late adopters of new technologies and forms of communication that stand to gain massive advantages by implementing their own fashion blog.

A fashion blog is a great way for online retailers to create lots of regular, relevant fashion content for their website. It serves three important purposes, to provide a service and information for readers that will make them want to visit the site again, to help optimise the website and increase its search engine rankings and traffic for relevant key words and to provide a showcase and information on the sites products which help increase the conversion rate. Fashion is all about being up to the minute and it is important that that everything you do including your methods of communications end the right message about your company. Blogging is currently a very fashionable and trendy form of communication.

The use of blogs is just part of the whole social media and online networking that has become so popular and is one of the most up to date ways to market the business. Many businesses successfully use an integrated approach incorporating blogging and social media networking to create a buzz about their products and drive sales.

Categories
Fashion Designer

Enduring Fashion Inspiration – Part IV ‘Arabia’

Who would not be inspired by princess Jasmine of the Arabian Nights? Sensual and bewitching, her clothing style gets the perfect amount of eye candy. All the ancient history and culture provides a true inspiration for modern designers till today. The inspirational beauty of Arabian fashion styles are adopted all across the world even today, bringing out the princess in every woman. Clothing inspirations taken from ancient Arabian styles are rooted in the elegance of modesty with an insight into their national life and aesthetic values as well.

Traditional Islamic clothing reflects their cultural values calling for modesty and humility, though styles and shades vary throughout. Religious customs of Arabia dictates conservative costume for both men and women. Islam has set standards of modesty that reflects in their clothing styles. They are interpreted by modern fashion designers to create their dream collection. The Arabian vintage look of 20s and 30s speak of feminine elegance, and glamour without figure hugging silhouettes. Long robes wrapped around the waist, share their similarities with the iconic flapper dress of the 20s. Current trends of tunics and tops with waist belts for the perfect hourglass figure were sported by ancient Arabians. Loose dropped waist makes a perfect style for hijab’s.

Brands such as Burberry and Marc Jacobs have a much more casual approach to the trend by teaming with masculine trenches with a hit of sleek femininity beneath making more relevant and edgy patterns.

Categories
Fashion Designer

Fashion – an art of self expression

What is Fashion? Embracing style, trend, and comfort is nothing but the fashion. Fashion in today’s world is compared to air in our planet. It’s the most recent developments of our modern society. Fashion is an excepted manner of dressing, living, entertaining or traveling adopted by a group of people at a particular time. Fashion has been changing so fast that it is difficult even to recognize what the current fashion style is? There is undisputedly a wide choice of colors & designs in costumes.

 

Fashion is a style that is accepted and used by the majority of group at any one time, no matter how small that group is. Fashion is a vital, challenging, ever-changing force.

 

In recent years significant “anti fashion” phenomenon has taken over the fashion industry e.g. wearing unconventional colors and fabric combination. Clothing style different social groups and communities differ from one another. Sequined dresses, chic ensembles and trendy shirts and skirts represented the true repertoire of the fashion. Fabrics like shiny fabrics, sating, polyester, blends and knits are the dominant features of fashion. It has been proven scientifically that colors play an important role in the psychological behavior of human being. Keeping these in mind designers are preferring naturally dyed fabrics and natural color.

 

This article was originally published in the Textile Review magazine, March, 2013 issue, published by Saket Projects Limited, Ahmedabad.

 

About the Authors:

 

Tanveer Malik and Shivendra Parmar are associated with the Department of Textile Technology, SVITS, Indore.