Fashion World – Street Style, Upcoming Trends And Tech Innovation – in continuous motion. Not long ago, fashion weeks were the only gateways to the secret gatherings of the industry. Fashion weeks were the place where the fashion world had the chance to present their latest seasonal selections to potential customers.
In the early days, there were less than a handful of cities covering the fashion week shows, as in London, Paris, Milan, and New York.
At those events, journalists from preferred fashion magazines were selected to keep the fashion world readers informed of the latest developments in the fashion industry and emerging fashion trends.
Six months following the fashion weeks, apparel deliveries had to commence, just in time for the next seasons. However, the fashion world can’t wait and consumers’ growing demands coupled with the speed of technological developments, have forced the ‘well-established’ schedule of the fashion weeks to rethink their construct and even existence.
The next coming years of technological changes have transformed the fashion world, from design to manufacturing, and from marketing to distribution channels and retailers.
Fashion weeks also have evolved from the private functions of the industry to compulsory events where any consumer had the power to generate engaging content, connect with brands and fashion designers in real time, and even demand the delivery of their shopping on the day after.
Cyclical Nature Of Fashion
New styles are always introduced into the fashion world, in a continuous process, called the fashion cycle. In simple terms, fashion styles are designed, launched, gain public demand, reach mass popularity, attain maturity, and then go out of recognition and acceptance.
It is worth pointing out that the fashion cycle of the fashion world has an evolutionary rather than revolutionary construct. That is, in the fashion world, styles and trends evolve from season to season, in a forever transient course, where only innovation has the power to revolutionise it.
Trends Driven World Of Fashion
The conflict between style and innovation in the fashion world lies with the many underlying mechanisms behind the existence of fashion trends and the impetus behind the constant changes in fashion.
Several trend progressions in the fashion world mirrored changes at the cultural, social, and economic levels rather than technological developments.
As the fashion world shows, trends highlight their construct on geographical and cultural influences. Trends are built on music, architecture, and art. But those influences reflect back on consumers’ lifestyles, shaping their choices, time over time.
Moreover, as the fashion styles are absorbed, their impact is felt across a wide range of complex sociocultural factors, reverberating back to the streets and influencing again consumers’ propensity to embrace new trends.
Fashion styles have been created throughout the history of the fashion world. Although the process of generating new styles is often confused with innovation, when the resulting garments are not much different from existing fashion styles, such ‘innovation’ is just an adjustment of the previous trends and styles.
As a consequence, most fashions trends are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. For example, the classic jeans evolved from the wider style to the skinnier and stretchy style we know them nowadays, while true innovation in the fashion world comprises fundamental changes from the type of materials used and the manufacturing methods.
Fashion World & The Power Of Innovation
In the fashion world, the idea of fashion innovation encapsulates a wide range of applications. From the use of innovative technologies that help artists in their designing processes, to the latest advancements in sustainable materials, ethical manufacturing, transportation, and retail innovation.
Fashion innovation also relates to software and hardware diversity, as seen through the wide range of new devices flooding the market every day.
For example, in the early days of the fashion world, without printers and scanners, most drawings were done on photographic software. Since then, personal computers and smartphones have become crucial tools in the hands of the new fashion designers and tech innovators.
Innovation in the fashion world also refers to fashion advertising, fashion marketing, and fashion branding. While still present, the early days of ‘window advertising’ evolved to the glossy magazines of the 90’s, and then again, to internet-based platforms, e-commerce and social media, to the contemporary times of advertising with the help of cutting-edge augmented and artificial intelligence technologies.
The fashion world has become a global phenomenon that inspires consumer innovation through the internet and social media. The modern face of fashion words sees consumers sharing their latest fashion trends online, engaging in real time with other buyers and influencers, in an unceasing movement that stimulates fashion evolution across time and space.
But the fashion world experienced its fastest change with the adoption of smartphones and the launch of social media. In the case of the fashion weeks, smartphones have ended their secrecy by leaking its mysteries into the public sphere.
The front lines of the fashion catwalks are no longer accommodating only the famous names behind the fashion scene but influencers, web bloggers, and celebrities.
The digital revolution of the fashion world and the proliferation of social media worked both ways. On the one hand, technology bestowed the fashion consumer with innovative means of communicating and satisfying their needs.
On the other hand, social media has instilled a fresh wind of street-fashion, alternative materials, and innovative designs into the modern fashion world.
The internet has also given consumers unrestricted access to the fashion world. Free, unlimited information, the ability to customise online apparel, and most important, the power to elect and follow fashion leaders from around the world, has completely changed the world of fashion.
Social media has opened up new ways of communication and shopping channels for both, consumers and fashion brands, reshaping the notion of online presence for brands and the way in which fashion products are purchased.
Moreover, new software applications and hardware devices in the shape of 3D printers, augmented reality glasses, and artificial intelligence-powered chatbots lead to the rapid convergence of digital with physical in the fashion world.
The Future Of Fashion
Going back to the ‘fashion weeks’ – as the way of showcasing the modern face of the fashion world – evolution through constant technological adoption is required in response to consumers’ new ways of communication, product and media consumption.
To survive, contemporary fashion weeks must be personalised to assist the insatiable online consumer, and demand for immediate satisfaction.
Looking to the future, the next era of the internet will lay the foundation for real-time ‘interactivities’ such as instant micro and macro payments on the blockchain, seamless sensorial engagement, and experiential consumption with the help of augmented, virtual and mixed reality.
Thanks to social media, fashion consumers can already engage in various co-creation processes such as participate in the creation of visuals and designs and soon, the fashion world will allow consumers to immerse into multi-dimensional experiences of fashion, right from the comfort of their homes.
The fashion buyer of the future will be able to compile and produce – with the help of advanced 3D and 4D printing – any garments found online or experienced during the fashion week.
Moreover, they’ll be able to customise their garments, shoes and accessories with different designs and materials, to match their specific look.
The development of eco-materials, smart sensors, and sustainable fabrics shows promising advancements for the future of the fashion world. From garment conceptualisation to the presentation, delivery, and recycling, the fashion world of the future will spark new forms of design, garment creation, consumer engagement, and consumption, where sustainability will lead the way.