In recent years, both as consumers and professionals we have noticed how the world of fashion design has evolved because of the influence and impact of two major trends that have affected the industry worldwide.
Moreover, from an environmental point of view, the massive overflow of products and an increase in production has further heightened the sustainability issues in fashion – the second most polluting industry after fossil fuels – and has created the premises for a new wave of nature-inspired design.
In this post, we are going to look at the way in which these two opposing but overlapping tendencies have created new trends in clothing design, whereby creatives need to account for a much wider variety of elements pertaining both to fashion as a form of creative expression, as well as a business.
Here’s what we are going to discuss:
What are the elements that really define a fashion product, by setting it aside from other types of items?
This latter element of style can be further discussed. When it comes to human creativity, opportunities are endless, and designers need to find ways to put some limitations, in order to create an aesthetic code that can be both meaningful and memorable. As style belongs to this “look code” we can identify four main style typologies:
But what if a fashion company creates different collections that relate to all of the previous styles?
In this case, we can see how a fashion company can choose to pick a certain number of brand identifiers that make a product distinguishable based on its product typology, its materials, its brand logo or initials, or the recurring themes used in the design. It is certain, however, that maintaining a clear fashion identity is becoming harder and harder, especially for new and upcoming brands. This challenge calls on developing a more innovative approach to design, as we’ll discuss in the following paragraph.
Innovation is a very interesting but complex concept. It can be analyzed from a variety of perspectives, it can put to fruition in a variety of ways. Innovation in fashion can be classified according to:
However, the viability of these innovation typologies can only be tested in connection to the relationship between fashion as a creative industry, and fashion as a business. Another way to look at innovation is in the dual relationship between action and reaction. A brand should question itself, to understand whether its creative content is an expression of its unique stylistic direction – with no specific intent to interject the market. In this case, the action of creating a collection is by all means very unique to the firm and can lead to true radical change.
Alternatively, a brand may take into account a variety of industry trends to inform its decisions and think of designs in terms of its reaction. In this case, the type of innovation will be more likely to be incremental.
What are some trends that fashion firms need to react to?
Finally, as we already mentioned, the trend of fashion sustainability is leading the way, and we’ll discuss it in the next paragraph.
There are a variety of sustainable fashion trends that are taken into account by fashion professionals, as they not only design a collection but as they look at ways in which a company can be structured and managed. More than trends, there are some fundamental issues that need to be addressed. Some of these involve:
Nonetheless, sustainability is a very complex issue.
As a result, how do companies cope with so many moving parts?
This is not an easy question to answer. What we can say is that firms are changing their mindset. From thinking about collection design as a stage in production which has a set beginning and a set end, now many firms think about design as a continuous process whereby firms can constantly re-adjust their stylistic and supply-chain management decisions in order to match market trends, both in terms of style, and in terms of manufacturing and distribution processes.
As we’ve discussed in this post, design directions and influences can be better understood by breaking down a variety of different industry trends and looking at the ways in which these can create new directions and concepts for designers to use.
This content was created in order to clarify many misconceptions on the way in which business can operate, by respecting the environment and by showing the great rewards available for all of those companies who become pioneers of this age, by championing new initiatives and testing the market for new practices and ways to engage with one’s customers.
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