Fashion is constantly evolving. From unorthodox material to becoming green, fashion is changing with the times. And for the better. “Historic firsts such as Anok Yai as the first black model for Prada in 20 years, Claudia Li’s all-Asian model cast for Spring/Summer 2019” are just two examples of how the fashion industry is being praised. With brands becoming more and more diverse, “what is worth celebrating”? These accomplishments can’t go unnoticed and are helping progress the fashion industry. This article states five ways on how the fashion industry continues to advance.
Fashion Council Diversity Reports are helping to increase transparency
The behind-the-scenes of the fashion industry is making sure that they are constantly making improvements. The Council of Fashion Designers of America helped to make sure that brands ” assess, replenish, and promote the advancement of American fashion”. They even published a report that focused on making sure that there’s both creative and ethical cases for inclusion and diversity in fashion. The results from the report showed that “62% of respondents rated their organization’s commitment (or lack thereof) an inclusive workplace as a 3 out of 5”. The goal is to get a 5 out of 5; but brands are steadily working towards that goal. It doesn’t mean anything if we just see that there’s diversity and inclusion. There has to be a change in the business leadership as well. Those are the people that have to change the culture to reach that “5 out of 5 goal”.
From high street to high end, gender-fluid fashion is on the rise
In today’s society, topics such as gender-conformity and gender-fluidity have become hot topics in the news. Skirts aren’t just meant for women. Suits are just meant for men. Clothes didn’t have a gender at all. Society has conditioned us to have things be associated with certain things, people, gender. This isn’t the case. Brands are now beginning to venture into “gender-neutral symbolism” for their Spring/Summer 2019 collections. This is helping tremendously with connecting to diverse target markets. This in turn helps with new customers and then turns into customer loyalty. Brands that are really connecting with this concept of gender-fluidity are: Balenciaga, Collusion, and Agender.
Season-on-season, runways are becoming more racially diverse
As stated in the first point, the fashion industry is becoming more and more diverse. The Spring/Summer 2019 Collections “have been reported to be the most racially diverse”. “44.8% of models were women of color” in New York from castings from New York, London, Milan, and Paris. This means that 2 out of every 5 models were people of color. This increase in diversity not only helps the brands but the customers and general public by showing that the brand is inclusive. It helps to inspire those who would like to become future fashion designers and/or models.
A plus size retailer kicked off New York Fashion Week this month
Another hot topic in society is plus-size fashion. Along with body positivity, many brands are working towards being more inclusive in terms of size. One brand in particular is 11 Honoré. 11 Honoré is a “size-inclusive shopping site that for the first time ever, gives more women the option to experience the best designer clothing and celebrate and honor their bodies, beauty, and style”. Not only do we have people of color, but people of color who are the same shape and size of their customers. Industry leaders realized how big of an impact changing sizes in their clothing would make and followed 11 Honoré’s steps .
Emerging brands are taking inspiration from queer culture
Yet another hot topic in the news is that of the LGTBQ+ communities. Many brands are starting fashion trends “that are inspired by drag and queer culture”. Designers have been coming up with more androgynous and inclusive styles and trends. One particular designer, Aka Prodiashvili, has been influenced by that of androgyny and the idea of clothing being related to both the queer community as well as a way to minimize conservatism.
Clothing is still a way for people to express themselves. However this time, it’s for more reasons than just personal. It’s to make a statement. For a community. For a political view. For values. The list could go on and on. Fashion will constantly be changing and so will the people. As long as people have ideas, the creativity, and the means, fashion will never be the same. It will progress. It will continue to change for the better!