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The fashion line's brief bible (or vague guidelines) The fashion line's brief bible (or vague guidelines)
by Joseph Gatt
2020-06-14 09:16:47
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So you have a fashion line. Great! This probably means that you have a name and a reputation (or are trying to build one) and have designers and salesmen working with you.

But the literature on fashion consumer trends is vague and confusing. So here's how the fashion business works.

You have these variables:

-Age group: a certain age group is going to identify to your fashion line. Fashion rarely transcends age groups and generations.

fas001_400-Ethnic group: a certain ethnic group is going to identify with your fashion line. By ethnic group I don't just mean Caucasian or Asian-American, I also mean an ethnic group confined to a geographical zone or a Church (for example: Jamaican Christians or Miami Cubans).

-Professional category: some professional categories will identify to your fashion line and not others. Factory workers tend to favor one sort of fashion line (usually “flea market” or “Sunday market” fashion) while white collar workers will identify to another fashion line (younger ones tend to opt for the bigger brands like H & M or Zara or Uniqlo, but when they hit 40 they start identifying with more “sophisticated” brands) and of course drug dealers also have preferred fashion lines, and so do different categories of unemployed people (high school drop out unemployed will have a preferred fashion line, college-educated unemployed will have other preferences).

-Financial ability: those heavily in debt will prefer one fashion line, those with 200,000 dollars in savings will prefer another one, and those who make 300,000 dollars a year will have yet another preference.

-Gender: of course men and women prefer different brands. Some fashion lines work almost exclusively with women, others almost exclusively with men.

-Sexual identity and orientation: gay men and lesbian women tend to opt for one fashion line, straight men and women opt for another. Sex addicts have their favorite fashion lines, so do those who tend to abstain from sex.

-Entertainment preferences: those who like reality TV shows will opt for one fashion line, those who like to watch sports will opt for another. Music lovers tend to have one preference, Netflix lovers another, book lovers yet another.

-Religious groups and degree of religious observance: religious groups opt for one fashion line, secular groups for another, Atheists for yet another.

So what is fashion?

Fashion is a statement. When you meet someone for the first time, you have very little information about them. You can tell from their face and their haircut more or less what kind of person they are, but by looking at the way they dress, you can subconsciously derive a lot of information. Looking at the way they dress can help you guess what conversation topics you can choose, and a lot of times your hunch will be correct. A 40 year-old man wearing conservative jeans and a buttoned and striped shirt is probably married, probably has children, is probably a Christian, either way is probably religious, probably works a stable job, probably leads a middle-class life.

On the other hand, a 35 year-old man who has a black t-shirt on representing his favorite metal band's logo, baggy shorts, and “skater shoes” on probably likes to “hang out” at the mall with his friends on the weekends, probably goes on a couple of dates a year but gets unlucky with the ladies, probably works at a low-paid easy job, and probably kills time by listening to the same repertoire of 12 songs on replay all day.

So if you design a fashion line, I suggest you do the following:

-First, do a little bit of soul searching. The creator of the fashion line, his/her biography and identity will influence shoppers a great deal. If the creator of the fashion line is a middle-school dropout who made it big in the entertainment business, his clients will usually be middle-school dropouts who want to make it big in the entertainment business. If the creator of the fashion line is a middle-class socialite who likes to party on the weekends, that category of people will tend to be his clients.

-But how do I define a fashion line? You want to define the following: age group, ethnic group, professional category, financial category, gender and sexual identity, entertainment preferences of your target client base.

-Some examples of fashion trends:

-Adidas usually targets young, male soccer fans. Nike tends to target basketball and sometimes track and field fans. For a very long time, Puma used to be targeted to those people who “don't watch sports but like to exercise.” United Colors of Benetton for a very long time used to target “young, environmental, eco-friendly, idealist, peace-activists” while brands like H & M, Zara and Uniqlo usually target “ambitious, young college students or professionals you want to lead important careers.” Levi's for a very long time, and still today, targets “quiet, shy professionals who want to lead uneventful lives, and are comfortable in their bubble” while Polo usually targets “bookish young people who like to read but would rather lead a quiet life.” Other brands like Urban Outfitters tend to target “young men and women with rather big egos who like to party and (sorry) tend to border on narcissism.”

Could go on and on, but hope this helps sketch things out for those who want to work in the fashion industry! 


Check out Yossi Gatt's blog https://yossigatt.blogspot.com/"

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