The Rise of a New Era: Major Changes in the Fashion Industry
March 10 2017 | Catherine Kelemen

As technology continues to grow and flourish, the use of it has become inevitable in today’s modern times. We live in an era of selfies, tweets, hashtags, likes, follower counts, etc., and if you don’t understand these phrases, you have some major catching up to do. Social media has become the forefront of the world today and while the world grows smaller, businesses have to work harder to sustain interest and demand in their products. Dolce & Gabbana is one good example of a fashion leader that continues to adapt and grow with the rising trends. Models taking selfies on the Spring ‘16 runway demonstrated the very obvious change in times and stirred up social media.

As our lives get easier from technology, we, as consumers, grow more demanding. With a tap of a finger or the click of a button we can buy what we like upon seeing it, gaining instant gratification (or maybe guilt). The fact of the matter is, consumers have become impatient, and in order to hang on to their desires, the world of high fashion has had to change. Fast fashion has started to become the growing trend for runway shows with Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford announcing changes in their seasonal shows by adopting a “see now, buy now” mentality. This means, what customers see on the runway can now be purchased the day after the show rather than having to wait months to purchase the item they desired. Brands want you to be able to act on that desire immediately before it fades and you forget why you wanted to purchase something in the first place. As a result, the world of couture and high fashion is starting to become more easily accessible to consumers around the globe.

It is no longer enough for brands to be exclusively sold in-store with the growth of online shopping and cyber sales taking off. It is much easier to sit at home with a cup of coffee, dressed in comfy clothes, and make purchases with the tap or click of a finger. The hassle of getting ready and driving to the mall to purchase that one item you’d like is becoming outdated. There is also the nice perk of receiving your package in the mail, which makes it feel like a present to yourself as you quickly unwrap it. While there are still those consumers who prefer to shop in-person (some things you just have to try-on first), e-commerce is taking up a big chunk of the fashion industry.

Well-known brand names that have failed to create a strong, online presence by now are finding themselves struggling to stay afloat in this e-commerce era. Being a major online presence alone though is not enough. Take a look at Nasty Gal, a well-loved online store that thrived in its first few years. Today, they’ve filed for bankruptcy and have been acquired by online retailer, Boohoo. Consumers have gotten harder to please as sales drop for stores. Shoppers are paying attention to not just the style of clothing, size range and quality but also to the brand’s overall message.

Understanding these changes in the industry is causing a lot of companies to change their business strategy. Not so long ago, Abercrombie & Fitch changed their brand image by re-modeling all Hollister Co. stores and taking on a new look for both their brands. Consumers are hard to keep up with, but they are the key players in this ever-changing fashion industry. Brands have learned to work hard to keep up with the ongoing trends while trying to stay one step ahead of the game. Otherwise, they may one day find themselves to be a name of the past.

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