Fashion is a global industry that encompasses the conception, production, and marketing of style on the basis of consumer demand. It is a form of art that can be expressed in many different ways, ranging from the conservative elegance of traditional robes to the ripped jeans and band T-shirts worn by the punk generation. It is a constantly evolving field that responds to technological shifts, sustainability concerns, and cultural dialogues.
Fashion trends come and go, influenced by the ever-changing desires of consumers. The 20-year cycle that was once typical of the fashion industry now seems to be a thing of the past as innovative technologies and social media have drastically reduced the lifecycle of styles, which can now rise in popularity at seemingly random moments and reappear with a new twist.
The way that people dress can be seen as a reflection of their personality, status and mood. It can be a subtle whisper, a high-energy scream or an all-knowing wink and smile. It is also a mode of identification and tradition: judges wear robes, military members wear uniforms, and brides traditionally wear long white dresses.
In the current era of fashion, designers and manufacturers compete in a fast-paced, highly competitive business. Garments are conceived and illustrated on computers, laser-cut by machines, and produced at factories around the world in a highly automated process. Magazine editors and stylists have become designers, and celebrities have moved from wearing designer clothing to creating it for themselves. This fast-paced environment has forced companies to cut corners when it comes to quality control and design, which often results in a “fast fashion” mentality where the consumer is offered low-quality knock-offs of popular styles that have just walked the runway or been worn by a celebrity.