The fashion industry involves the creation, production, marketing, distribution, advertising and promotion of all types of clothing apparel. It is a multibillion-dollar worldwide enterprise dedicated to the business of producing and selling clothes and employs millions of people the world over.
This industry definitely accounts for a substantial share of the world’s economic status.
The fashion industry consists of four levels:
- the production of basic materials from which to make the products
- the production of fashion apparel by designers, manufacturers, and others
- retail sales
- advertising and promotional methods
These levels are made up of numerous distinct but interdependent sectors, all focused toward the goal of gratifying consumer demands for clothing and accessories while allowing manufacturers and retailers to make considerable profit.
Fashion Design and Manufacturing
Not a few fashion designers have become well-known such as Armani, Prada, Hermes and many others who have created illustrious high-fashion collections, be it couture or ready-to-wear or off-the-rack. These designers are authoritative in setting fads and trends in fashion by striving to create clothes that will suit consumer demands. They accommodate the trendiest styles into bankable and profitable garments to complement the majority of consumers. Designers can draw inspiration from limitless assortment sources. And, currently, for a lot of them, drawing sketches on paper and the use of life-sized mannequins for draping have been replaced or at least supplemented by computer-assisted design technology.
Translating an apparel design into a pattern and cutting them according to specific measurements is a skill in itself honed by tradition. But with the ready-to-wear trend all over the world, innovations in computer programming and utilization have made it possible for computer-guided knives or high-intensity lasers to cut through many layers of fabric at once for faster manufacturing.
The assembly and finishing of the garments also benefit from modern-day computer-assisted processes but this labor-intensive phase would still require well skilled and highly disciplined manpower to increase productivity and lower the costs.
Retail, Marketing and Merchandising
Retail is the exercise of buying clothes from manufacturers and selling them to consumers.
The process of managing the flow of merchandise leading to the launching of products to retail customers is called fashion marketing. Fashion marketing also involves concerns regarding the company’s sales and profitability. Its success relies on the understanding of consumer demand and their corresponding products. It also makes use of some tools to ascertain consumer preferences to be able to provide goods that are saleable.
Merchandising is the mechanism by which sales and profitability are maximized by persuading consumers to purchase a company’s products. Much like marketing, it uses information regarding customer preferences to come up with items that will fly off the shelves. It also uses techniques and strategies that would attract customers and make their products readily accessible. Setting up eye-catching store windows and in-store displays and promotional materials and events have been tried and tested maneuvers.
The current popularity of social media and its accessibility have proven to greatly influence fashion trends. Consumers want to get their hands on what they see in sites that showcase the latest in clothing and accessories. Fashion brands and establishments can reach innumerable customers by taking advantage of fashion industry press releases to boost their sales, and ultimately, profits.