Sunday, 27 April 2014

Cycle of Fashion Trend

It's a fashionista's worst experience, even worse than looking oversize buddy, more degrading than wearing the same dress in another party -- it's the fear of symbolizing looking yesteryear fashion trend model.

Sometimes, fashion trends is considered as fads, are disreputably erratic. The fashion industry players are always on the quest to bring up something "NEW" & "HOT".

What is Fashion Trend?

Trend is the lead in which something new evolving, mostly leaning, penchant and line of growth. Hence, fashion trend is the latest evolvement of the fashion industry.

What is Fashion Trend Really About?
Your closet can give the answer. If you don't want to look at it, well.well. this resembles that you are matching your steps with the latest fashion trends. What it's relation to fashion? People stick rigidly to the rules - okay, maybe not 'YOU'. You may be one of those who walk their own way and dress as they like. When it comes to the fashion industry, it's a continuously changing world. Even though some trends are considered as ludicrous and outdated, many other comebacks with innovative ideas.

Pace and Re-emergence of Latest Fashion Trends
Now its new millennium, but most of fashion things like the pegged pant legs, jelly bracelets, and finally the denim jeans, seem to be returning in trends again. It comes out that the latest fashion trends are simply have nothing new at all. Almost everything re-emerged in fashion trend. You can virtually find torn jeans in every clothing retail store.

Who decides What's 'Hot' and 'Not' in Fashion Trends

There is no existence of specific group who declares what is hot fashion trend or not. In fact, the fashion designers and consumers who buys-out the fashion merchandise make their judgment and throw several opinions out there and observe what is grabbed.

Basically, 'WE', the consumer decide which merchandise is hot by making our minds what to purchase and wear.

The Fashion Trend Cycle

First part of the cycle, where the trend is highly hunted immediately after seeing that great fashionable hat, dress or shoe on the runway, red carpet or music video. Next, comes the emulation phase, where everyone wants a piece of the trend. Only big shots, celebrities and fashion industry players have approach to latest fashion right off the runway, which yet not showed up in retail stores.

During second phase, this newbie will appear in news papers, fashion magazines, TV and internet. At last, the trend will be soaked in the market, commonly at bit lower cost.

In the second phase new merchandise is available in bit expensive designer collections. It is only the third phase, where the merchandise is available to the mass market at affordable cost for most buyers.

The major part of over all mass will purchase it somewhere between second and third phase.

Before two or three decades it might have taken a some rears to make it from runway to mass market, however, nowadays producers have put the fashion cycle into rapid speed. Now, a hot trend often makes it appearance in low cost or discount retail store in as little as a few days or months.

In & Out of Fashion Trend

Reasonably priced fashionable clothing is a double-edged sword that make possible to buy fashionable looks at real-life budgets, at the same time leads to abolish the trend rapidly. However, when the market is completely saturated with a same monotonous trend it loses its appeal.

So how we can assume that how long a fashion trend will last? Let us find out:

Generally, most fashion trends last nearly one year, but some trends, usually the acceptable, last much longer. It is considered that normally fashion trends re-emerge nearly every twenty years. Hence, the minis skirts of the 80s are back in trends again.

The key to assume that how long a trend will last depends on from when you bought the collection. If you bought when the knock-off or discounts are going at retail store, then the count for the trend last not more one or two seasons. Fashion industry normally dumps together two seasons together, Spring and Summer, Fall and Winter, which provides you about six months to wear before it seems looks outdated.

In fact it is not specified that how long a fashion trend will last, you can put money on the just fads such as jeans, Uggs, hats etc... It doesn't signify that you might not get fun in purchasing them. They are the evergreen items you would like to purchase any time.

Purchasing power can keep a trend on oxygen. In some cases people love particular trends so much they wouldn't let it die.

The safeguard against rapidly changing fashion trends is to have a clothing line stocked with more traditional looks: T-shirts, jeans, and black dresses.

Monday, 21 April 2014

How to Become a Successful Fashion Designer

If you are like me you live and breathe fashion. You are constantly inspired with so many new designs racing through your mind, so many you can't seem to get them all down quick enough at the pace they arrive. You constantly dream of the day your fashions will be on the fashion runway with the lights beaming brightly overhead, the cameras flashing everywhere and the audience being completely mesmerized by your incredible designs. You can't stop thinking of the day you will open a magazine or watch the Oscars and see a famous celebrity in one of your breathtaking designs. Your book shelf is stocked with fashion books and magazines, and you absolutely can't resist visiting textile stores to view all the latest fabrics, decorative beads, rhinestones and trims.

It's this ever present dream of being a successful fashion designer that has you work day and night on your designs in most cases for many years without pay and working a job to pay the pills which is brutal torture, when all you can think about is living and working in fashion.

Famous fashion designers come from all walks of life there is no one system to follow that will have you become the next famous fashion designer. Some have graduated from elite fashion schools and some have never attended fashion school. Some have undertaken a fashion internship with a fashion house and others have made their own designs in their basement. The only elements all these fashion designers have in common is they had an intense passion for fashion, were able to design fashions highly sought after and connected with someone who gave them the opportunity to break into the fashion industry. It is essential in becoming a successful fashion designer you get you and your designs out there as much as possible, as how will anyone know about your fashions if they can't see them?

In getting your fashions out there here are a few things you can do:

1. We are not usually good at everything some of us are great at designing clothes but lack the sewing and pattern making skills. It is here you can partner with someone who shares your passion for fashion and has the skills you lack. It is in the bringing together of different skills you can create a real product that can be showcased.
2. In having a fashion line of 14 outfits you can apply to your local fashion week. In the USA: New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco all have fashion weeks. These fashion weeks attract many editors, journalists and local socialites who will see your fashions and potentially give you the exposure you need to get known.
3. Many city night clubs hold fashion shows, find out what night clubs hold fashion shows and contact them as to how you can be apart of an up and coming show.
4. Locate fashion boutiques that cater to the fashions you design, first make a trip to the stores to look around, if you can see your clothes fitting in well with the store, find out who the owner is and ask if they would be willing to have some of your fashions offered for sale in their store. You will be amazed at how many store owners are willing to work with you. I walked around San Francisco in the Nob Hill district and had my fashions placed after visiting and discussing my product with four boutiques. In having your fashions displayed you will receive valuable insights as to whether or not your designs are in demand and if you need to change your designs to increase sales. It will also give you free exposure to the public. When your fashions do sell you can present this to investors who are more than willing to invest in your line, when you prove the existence of a strong demand for your fashions.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Wholesale Fashion Jewelry - 5 Shortcuts to Retail Success

Something in the human spirit is always itching for independence and this itch translates to a constant flow of new entrepreneurs that so often gravitate towards fashion jewelry. What is so irresistible about this accessory? Beyond the high profit margins that wholesale fashion jewelry can open for retailers lies an intrinsic beauty that creates truly wearable art. Yes, wholesale fashion jewelry offers plenty of profit potential that enables retailers to turn small investments into the longest mark-up in the fashion industry, but the magic of fashion jewelry's beauty stops consumers in their tracks and this magnetic attraction, more than anything else, brings the entrepreneur into retail sales specializing in jewelry.

Many of these new fashion jewelry businesses begin on the simplest level with retailers buying wholesale fashion jewelry and presenting it to friends and co-workers. Easy sales and new found profits ignite a fire to grow the business, but what step comes next? As a twenty-five year veteran of the wholesale fashion jewelry industry, I have seen business after business start in this way and often grow to become the major supplier of fashion accessories in a community. The learning curve never ends as fashion jewelry evolves as well as retail tactics, but some things never change and these key techniques will have positive impact on your fashion jewelry business.

But first, how are you going to sell your treasure of wholesale fashion jewelry? Outgoing personalities love the active sale. Visit businesses, do parties, set up in flea markets or craft shows, and bubble over with enthusiasm as you introduce stunning fashion jewelry to consumers. All they need is a crowd and permission to set up. Bingos, festivals, school picnics, car shows, sporting events-the list is endless. Overhead is low and actually stops when not engaged in sales activities. But so does sales, so many prefer brick and mortar businesses with a higher overhead, but continuing business even when you're not there.

The quieter, methodical personality may not be up to this bubbling enthusiasm and choose a passive sales mode. Successful businesses often build without the entrepreneur ever engaged in active sales to the consumer. They connect with beauty shops and other locations to provide fashion jewelry on consignment with the owner profiting as well as the entrepreneur. Methodical personalities think out the details like how to handle shrinkage of missing items with no sales recorded. Increasing price and lowering consignment fees compensates for losses when fashion jewelry has open exposure that can result in more shrinkage. The flip side is reduced sales in secure environments like showcases or behind the counter, which reduce shrinkage, but unfortunately, also sales.

Okay, both personalities have a selling method they are comfortable with and both can expand their business with online marketing by working on websites while their sales support them as the websites grow, climbing higher in the results of major search engines. But what about the 5 shortcuts to retail success? They boil down to pricing, selection, presentation, knowledge, and benefits.

-First comes pricing the wholesale fashion jewelry. New entrepreneurs often feel shock waves as they see the wholesale cost compared to retail prices they paid as consumers. The first temptation is undercut all the competition. Stop there!-because fashion jewelry is cyclical and low prices generate low profits that don't carry retailers through the tough times. Do you want to spend all your earnings on restocking wholesale fashion jewelry and covering overhead? Of course not, you want to grow your business and make a profit and pricing is important.

Retail uses a term called keystone-a nice word for doubling the wholesale price. Make keystone the minimum for mark-up in fashion jewelry and look for the items that give you room for far longer mark-ups. The upside has no rules. Let your intuition guide you because prices can always come down, but it is difficult to go up.

-Next comes selection and this is a factor that major retailers like fine department stores are always struggling to get right. Stroll through one and you will see they have reduced staff on the floor so selection often has to sell itself. The fine department stores need "no miss" choices and have resources, forecasts, statistics, and trained buyers to make these decisions. Small retailers don't need to be discouraged because this isn't rocket science and you are closer to the clientele in your location than any major retailer.

Making the perfect selection rests on the age and demographics of your main customer base. Add this to the fashion trends of the season and you are close to perfect. How do you keep up with all those rapid changing fashion trends? Well rapid change is a myth. Trends change very slowly-often over a decade. Yes, colors and subtle adjustments occur every season, but today we are in the midst of classic trends that started in the early 21st century and have a promising future. More on this when we cover knowledge.

-Now for presentation-making the fashion jewelry look special. Ever notice how necklaces clumped together on a tee bar on top of a showcase seem to scream "I'm on sale" while the stuff in the showcase whispers "I'm special". That's presentation and how it has changed even for fine department stores.

Teri Agins in The End of Fashion details how department stores that were once "the first visual contact with fashion" and "introduced merchandise concepts to customers" changed in the late 20th century to a collection of brands. Agins quotes one upscale shopper who "was appalled when she discovered $19.99 Nine West shoes displayed right next to $350 Chanels" in her favorite department store that was compromising its image of elite fashion. Make an item look special and it takes on the perception of higher value.

-Next comes knowledge that is worth more than price. Don't believe it? Think of items you bought because the sales person impressed you with a deep understanding of the product. That was worth more than price. I personally experienced this lesson when I did a trade show with a colleague. I told my customers the fashion jewelry was a real value at the price. His sales person painted a word picture of the wholesale fashion jewelry with the season's apparel and wrote more orders without the customers even knowing the price.

Knowledge is knowing the trends and knowing the item. Consumers trust a well-informed source and when you know what is today's style and why it looks right on the customer, you remove the burden of choice from the buyer.

Knowledge today goes deeper because classic trends in fashion jewelry bring gemstone components, shell, Murano style glass, Millefiore, and more to jewelry designs. A story is worth volumes in explaining glass jewelry and knowledge of gemstones that removes the doubt about whether it is real. Don't be overwhelmed about understanding the trends and knowledge of today's components because everything is detailed in a report, Wholesale Fashion Jewelry-The Magic of Trends (find a link to the report at the foot of this article).

-Finally there are benefits. Think of benefits as vision-what the customer envisions. Anyone that buys fashion jewelry wants to make a positive statement. They want a look that is flattering and appropriate. So like the car commercial running on the radio, features describe the details like length, color, texture, and shape while benefits say "matches apparel while complementing your complexion", "draws attention to your slender neck", or "creates a youthful look that is so you". The old adage of sell the sizzle, not the steak, gets to the point. Pick the right item for the customer, be sincere, and sell the sizzle.

Will all this work in a slowing economy? Absolutely! In worrisome times women appreciate an escape valve of some small new purchase. What fulfills this better than fashion jewelry? Apply the five shortcuts and lift your customers' spirits with a feel-good experience.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Business of Fashion

When the first human being, in Eden or on earth, covered his body with leaves, or later with an animal skin, the fashion industry was founded at that time. Though we are not familiar with the style and attire of that time until the ancient civilizations preserved few images in the solidity of rocks, through cave paintings and through rock-cut sculptures.

Terra Cotta figurines of the oldest Harappan Age show interesting headdresses that can be compared with any modern hairstyle with a heavy look. The Dancing Girl of Mohenjo Daro with bangles in her arms is not behind any fashion sculpt of any age. While no one can deny the allure and glamour of Cleopatra; a woman with great political skills and a long nose, who crafted many fashion styles from jewelry to outfits of the great Egyptian Empire of Scissors.

But fashion is not only associated to women always! In ancient times of Cleopatra, Scissors always wore clothes that were royal, expensive, stylistic, attractive and special. At the same Egyptian soil, the Pharaohs were never behind. The great Biblical Character of Moses, if taken as an Egyptian Prince, was always a portrayed, in tales and later in movies, in a charismatic outfit.

While in the Western part of the globe, the Greeks and Romans not only marked high standards in Art, Architecture, and Warfare, but their unique and intricate concepts of a perfect and godlike human body, especially of males, supported the appealing army uniforms and court-wears.

The supernatural characters of illustrious Greek, Egyptian and Indian Mythologies did provide extraordinary range of apparel; well preserved in the form of painting and sculpture.

These ancient models are still the greatest sources of inspiration for modern day fashion designers and the origins of the evolved form of cultural trends prevailed through continents from Australia to America and from Asia to Africa.

Cultural influences are stronger when we consider the economic aspect of the fashion industry. Business needs market where it can present fresh ideas and products in every new day. Although in this global age, acculturation is very much on. But even then there are many cultural aspects that can instigate or impede certain trends. A colorful bikini is a great fashion market item in Western or secular and modern cultures, but it is almost a taboo in some rigid and fundamental areas. Contrary to that, a veil is popular in fundamental countries, but has no market in secular or modern world. However, so many fashion articles could get the status of cross-cultural ambition. Especially in ornaments, there is not much difference across the globe with exception of little diversity in shape, material and style. Earrings, bracelets, pendants, bangles and rings are always, and everywhere, in fashion since ages having big market scope in all societies and cultures.

On the individual level, fashion is not just a simple word or an uncomplicated attitude, or even an overwhelming desire. Fashion is a multifarious dogma that can influence an individual in many ways.

"As process it is [fashion] sustained through some complex amalgamation of inspiration, imitation and institutionalization, all of which seem necessary, even though the nature and degree of their fusion is, as we can infer from fashion history, quite variable." (Fred Davis. Fashion, Culture and Identity. P. 123)

Therefore, the multifaceted incorporation of fashion, where force an individual at the same time, it also institutionalize itself on many grounds. This institutionalization is not only at the academic level, but due to its capacity of holding an individual, society, or even the whole world has created a huge market for investors.

This feature has made fashion, throughout past decades, an industry with small to bulk product possibility that can be marketed all around the world. It attracted many business tycoons and groups of companies to invest in fashion industry, or to label some of their products as fashion products. This idea initially covered the clothes brand but soon after, it encompassed every utility of everyday life. From earrings to pendants, from watches to glasses, from shoes to wallets, from perfumes to hairstyles, everything was produced and marketed, exported and imported on such a huge scale that it actually influenced the economy of various countries. Apart from the individual fashion, bathroom accessories, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom d├ęcor, landscaping of gardens and lawns, furniture, automobiles, electronics or even language accents, everything got under the broad term of fashion. Products singularly and brands collectively helped and polished lifestyle across the continents. So, inevitably fashion market got vitality.

Despite quality, comfort and durability the exclusivity of a product and its luxurious look are the reasons that produce scope for a product to be marketed. That is the market policy of almost every fashion company revolves around these features.

Simultaneously, the marketing and availability of various products have developed the customers' sense of selection and exposure with a comparative buying power. Fashion is not always brand conscious; it is item based as well. Sometime, the need for a particular item may force us to go beyond the brand-range and select something less popular. This is a challenge all the famous brands have to cope with. Ian Griffiths and Nicola White, in their edited work: The Fashion Business- Theory, Practice, Image, commented on item shopping as:

"Item shopping is still very much part of our lives, but market saturation has taken its toll and replacement purchases of core product continue to decline. Added to this is the changing profile of the customer, who, through constant exposure, is becoming wiser, more astute, more confident in mixing products and consequently, likely to be less brand loyal."

The customer satisfaction is very important in the fashion industry; either it is attained by making customer needful for an upcoming product through advertising, or by providing him what he is striving for. The former caused the creative and design department to experiment with new ideas and shapes while the latter forced the quality controlled production with maintained standards.

Modern day fashion is rapid, short lived, more corporate in its structure, and psychological than ever before. Due to better and quick sources of communication and information, the international or external markets are open for every fashion company to do business, multinational companies can be found with variety of products in all the continents with complex network and appropriate marketing policies according to the socio-cultural requirements of a certain country. Especially, when we talk about the couture and cosmetics, contemporary trends are getting more and more cross-cultural due to viewership of various fashion channels on TV. This is far quicker source than the print media. So, the skills and concepts are also crossing the geographical and ideological boundaries of different parts of the world regardless of ethnic rigidity and conventionalism. That is one reason that fashion is also taken as the reflection of the progress in some developing countries. Fred Divis described clothing as a visual metaphor in his compilation; Fashion, Culture and Identity:

"As visual metaphor the clothing that is dress (one should perhaps distinguish between the two) is capable of communicating many things including something as subtle, for example, as the wearer's reflexive awareness..."

This is what has made fashion companies responsible for customer care at the same time, when they were thinking to be profitable. You can find friendly policies of such companies towards its employees, suppliers and customers. Together with the advertising campaigns, Fashion Weeks with new designs and colors, serve additionally to promote new concepts. These Fashion Weeks not only display an array of new products, but also serve to communicate with the audience visually. Dresses and accessories worn by models doing catwalk, are more lively and enthralling than the mere display on mannequins. Normally with a range of Fall, Spring, Summer and Winter collection, Fashion Weeks boost market demands and promote its associated businesses as well. Fashion Shows now have become cultural events which are happily sponsored by the corporate sector.

At modern day fashion companies, there is an underlying and long standing commitment to ethical trading, based upon the belief, that business can be both profitable and responsible. So, fashion companies believe that building meaningful long term relationships with employees, suppliers and communities is good business practice for them and is what the customers expect popular brands. This is, and always has been, the founding principle of different brands as Corporate-Social responsibility.

Fashion is not only a phenomenon for luxurious life, but this concept deals with humanity as well. True meaning of fashion is to put life at ease and to facilitate humanity with its respective life style. That is why, modern fashion companies are conscious for the fact of supporting special people of society with special needs. This phenomenon is causing fashion to be responsive towards special people.

Therefore, the market and its demands may vary from community to community. For example, the range may get different in a London store in comparison with the variety at a Singapore or China store. No doubt, in the modern world, 'East meets West' but climate, culture, sociology and psychological needs can force fashion designers and companies to provide a vast canvas for the diversity of customers worldwide. But there are few items that are evergreen. Jeans and Bags are such commodities that are always in demand and ask for the latest styles and comfort at the same time.

Modern day fashion is global, human, culture and society friendly. At one end it emphasizes collective psychology and trends of a society, and at the other end, it deals with the individual needs of customer care. Healthy trends, balanced life, and busy lifestyle are, what the modern fashion companies have to consider deeply. It is no more a matter of looking good and attractive, true fashion and accessories join comfort and trend together. Fashion companies are somehow, have become institutes that are shaping behaviors, psychology and healthy and innovative thinking. The concept of being relaxed and making others too, by wearing good looking, comfortable, trendy and eye-catching outfits in soothing or energetic colors, is the order of the modern day.

"The obstacles to recognition which they [elements] interpose give an extra fillip to the process of the recognition and increase our pleasure by providing a chain of difficulties to be overcome."
(Carl Thurston. The Structure of Art.p 39)

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Express Fashion

Let's express fashion as another beautiful manifestation of life. In fact the biggest fashion designer of the world is Mother Nature herself with her beautiful, imaginative and vivid expressions all around. For humanity from the olden days itself fashion was a source of joyful and creative expression of life just like the art, the science, the dance, the music and of course sex.

Fashion exists as two worlds today, the real and the superficial. I feel fashion is grossly misunderstood and maligned in the contemporary sense. In the superficial world of fashion, it is perceived as the privilege of the so called upper strata of the society. This is the tragedy of today's fashion. Some people with the money, power and glamour flaunt the so called fashion and the rest of the world are made to believe that this is the real fashion.

This is a type of fashion that is being hyped and flaunted by select few and which is not accessible to most of the people. This is the shallow and superficial world of fashion that exists as we can see today.

Express fashion: The real world of fashion

Nevertheless we need to understand that this is just a small minority group and the real world of fashion is much richer and larger in proportion. Real fashion is about how people express their traditions and culture through their clothing, ornaments, the art, the science, the music and dance. This is the real world of fashion which has to be discovered by us. So let's express fashion that is the "real" fashion.

Express fashion: Real fashion radiates from deep within

From the individual perspective, the real fashion radiates from deep within. Here, you never ape anybody. It just naturally comes to you. It is nothing but a deep desire of the heart and the soul to be full and complete from deep within and project it outwardly. To discover the real fashion you need to understand your inner self and its deep desire to connect with the external world through the joyous and colorful patterns of expression.

I feel "express fashion" is nothing but expressing fashion from deep within you. Next time you think about fashion, think about your needs and your comfort and then see the magic of fashion getting expressed in you in a real express way. When you just do it the natural way that is your way, you will start finding that people take a note of you.

So when we say express fashion, it is not just limited to your clothes or ornaments that you wear but it involves expressing your radiant personality. It is an expression of your inner happiness which is reflected through your body, your mind, your heart and your soul. It comes out naturally and radiates outward because of the feeling of being complete and one with nature. This is a very feminine and soothing manifestation of the self irrespective of the gender. Fashion is therefore a beautiful manifestation of the feminine principle itself.