This summer it is “boho” chic. Last summer, it was preppy sailor simplicity. In the late 90′s it was the grunge look. Yellow is the new black. Jeans are the new business casual. Yes, I am writing of fashion trends.
The latest look, style, and color floods the covers of magazines, the shelves of retailers from Saks to H & M, the bodies of celebrities and television characters and, undoubtedly, is able to get enough of us to buy into it (literally and figuratively) to validate the whole cycle.
So, while most of us are easily able to grasp this continuously perpetuating cycle of saturating the public with the latest, greatest duds, questions remain: how does a trend start? Who makes this decision? Why does it work?
Well, to be perfectly honest, there is no definitive answer to the myth that is a fashion trend. But, while the exact formula is beyond the consumer, we can be sure that it takes the work of several different interdependent fashion industry professions to convince us that espadrilles, suspenders, and terry-cloth suits are worthy of our dollars and donning.
Fashion designers gather their inspiration, whether it comes from popular culture, music, politics, a celebrity muse, or something else entirely. Then, they design – usually a spring and fall collection. With a slew of inspired, perfectly crafted designs ready to hit the runway, they show their collections.
It could possibly be said that the trend begins at the fashion show. Fashion writers, buyers, photographers and celebrities line the runways, waiting to take in, criticize and praise the designer’s work.
Writers go back to their offices and verbally comment on the design they have seen. If a collection is deemed great, the editor may be persuaded to feature the clothing on the cover of the month’s issue. This is also influenced by fashion publicists – professionals who are paid to get the designer’s duds in front of larger audiences. Thus, we read about the latest fashion trend.
Photographers snap photos as the models parade down the runway and sell them to parties interested in the designer’s work. The photos show up in newspapers, industry magazines, fashion magazines and various other media outlets. Thus, we see the latest fashion trend.
Buyers, if impressed, order pieces that their clientele will be willing to pay hundreds or thousands to own. Other designers, those focused on mass production of more affordable versions of the latest trend, gather their inspiration here too. Thus, we can purchase the latest fashion trend.
So, as you can see, it is impossible to pinpoint exactly how a fashion becomes a trend. What you can know, with certainty, is that it took many professionals in the fashion industry to get you to the cash register with your bohemian-inspired peasant blouse.