I will still question them with the same rigour and doubt I hold over television evangelism.
The other week Vogue.com shone an incriminating spotlight on one particular group of people during their commentary of the Milan Fashion Week. Bloggers, Influencers, street style stars – the people who made a living and got famous off Instagram, a.k.a people who get paid to wear clothes, you get the point. And while the fashion world of the world constantly lives in an idealistic work riddled with many loopholes that could fit multiple Alexander McQueen dresses, one may ask a still-outsider like yours truly: How does fashion actually move forward to become more inclusive and integrative?
A little something I ws musing over while fingering a retail TopShop dress selling for more than $400 apiece – 0ne of the pieces borne from the fruit of a collaboration between London Fashion Week and the giant retail chain.
And with TPC over here, we do try to be impartial to a fault. The majority of the media writes in favour of ethical production standards with stories that serves to only point out our blatant ignorance in the first world to the human and environment costs invested into making a tank top sold at the price of a sushi roll.
So why are big retail brands still perpetuating all year round prices that make them look like it’s a 24/7 Black Friday sale after Thanksgiving when compared to higher priced brands?
The answer is in the pudding. Or in the customers themselves in this respect. We need fast fashion in order to ensure the longevity of the fashion industry.
I see this as a twofold approach. Big retail brands selling on volume seek to serve as a bridging gap between the general public and luxury brands, specifically for younger audiences as they progress towards other varying degrees of purchasing power and knowledge about the fashion industry and work towards the improvement of such outcomes. Which, in turn seek to further emphasise their exclusivity with other factors like quality and fit over time.
This dynamics does in fact has sparked some debate among the different generations and segments we take elements from as individuals, as price and manufacturing concerns slowly becomes demonstrating points in understanding brand value in the long term. Big retail brands like Zara help to expedite the bridging gap between the general public and luxury brands and labels by implementing affordable price points and easy, wearable fashion that sometimes even physically resemble their pricier counterparts. “But how do they still get away with it?”. You ask, which goes back to my original thought.
The wave of internet technology, specifically social media and personal blogs have rendered traditional print media to be something of a moot point. And the only people that I’ve seen so far recently touting a printed magazine copy* are the same individuals themselves that look up to these women mentioned in the first two lines of this tirade. Who are coincidentally the same people that aforementioned editors have negatively blasted for the whole world to see. Faster clothing production lines seem to be the only solution at the moment that can keep pace with the modern media whilst maintaining some level of quality. Or is it?
I’m not going digress however, and instead look at this industry from a specific customer’s point of view. Not the elite 1% who brushes their teeth in pink champagne, but the 13-14 year old schoolkid looking to take off their braces and juggles their shopping expenses whilst saving for college. This is not to encourage the increasing ranks of fast fashion to continue, but to merely illustrate a point from the consumer’s perspective that sometimes the lesser of two evils may be required to teach a point. Because even with other brands that claim support for specific causes, I will still question them with the same rigour and doubt I hold over television evangelism.
* I am serious, check the majority who has recently tagged them in their own pictures with a copy of their own magazine