Analysis of the Fashion Industry Today
Fashion is best defined as the style of clothing and accessories worn at any given time by a group of people. Fashion is a multibillion-dollar global enterprise devoted to manufacturing and retailing of clothes typically categorised into two groups – ‘high fashion’ and the ‘apparel industry.’ High fashion comprises expensive and fashionable clothes from leading fashion designers while the apparel clothing industry mass produces high street branded fashion for the bulk of the market.
Today, the fashion industry is a product of the modern age. Gone are the days when clothing was only handmade for individuals upon request from tailors and dressmakers. There have been so many changes over the years. One key element is technology which has greatly revolutionised the fashion business. What used to be done by hand is now done by a machine. The modern consumer has also changed with purchasing behaviours driven by a desire for variety, sustainability and affordability. Below is an analysis of what the fashion industry encompasses is today;
- IMPORTANCE OF PRODUCT BRANDING
The fashion industry is quite dynamic. What’s ‘in’ today might be ‘out’ tomorrow. Fashion trends and styles change continuously and companies are forced to respond differently to these changes. Product branding has therefore become an important aspect in gaining customer loyalty and recognition. Popular designer labels such as Jimmy Choo are now easily recognised making it a greater challenge for lesser popular brands to penetrate the market.
- REDUCED LEAD TIMES ON THE RISE
Fast fashion is currently on the rise with businesses keeping abreast on the latest fashion trends through short product timelines. Customers are therefore always encouraged to drop by stores and browse websites to see what’s new and trending. New designs and collections are introduced within weeks to capture the market share. Fast fashion clothes companies are fairly priced, operating on reduced lead times and fast delivery.
- HIGH COMPETITION AMONGST BRANDS
The global fashion industry is ever-changing keeping the businesses more driven to produce the best. This means the items have shorter shelf life requiring brands to compete with one another in a bid to meet tight production schedules and distribution deadlines. Start-ups seek to create their mark in the market while established brands accelerate the pace to further their relevance to consumers. Companies have additionally taken to using trendsetters such as celebrities and influencers to push their marketing and promotions as they no longer depend on physical retail stores for sales.
- FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY
The current fashion industry is populated with younger consumers who are seriously concerned with sustainability and the impact of production on the environment. The influence of ‘woke’ consumers on fashion has led to consumers checking their shopping habits hence favouring brands that are aligned to their values and avoid those that don’t. Businesses are integrating social and environmental practices during sourcing and manufacturing of clothing and accessories.
- USE OF TECHNOLOGY
Truth be told, design and production of clothing is typically a long and cumbersome process that sometimes takes a long time. The consumer psyche is often changing prompting the need to incorporate technology in the majority of the processes. Technology has raised consumer expectations for speed and convenience. This has enabled companies to source effectively, swiftly develop products and streamline distribution. Start-ups invest on the best when it comes to technology as the industry players have already stepped up. Marketing has also expanded with the growth of such media platforms allowing consumers to shop anywhere from the comfort of their homes using their smart devices.