Hot or Not? The Business of Fashion
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think fashion? Glamorous shows? A plethora of famous names? How about an international business?
The fashion industry is hard to get into and just as hard to keep up with. Trends are constantly changing which creates the need for extensive research which in the fashion industry is known as fashion forecasting. It is the process of analyzing past buying patterns and using them to make projections about the future. This is what defines the new trend for the season. It is presented to critics and customers in what is the most significant event in the industry - fashion week.
The most popular fashion weeks are the ones in New York, Milan, Paris, and London. There is a lot of planning and a good business strategy behind fashion week. According to an article in Forbes magazine, the participation of a designer in a fashion week can easily cost $75,000. The fact that fashion week does not take place at the same time in each major city shows the level of internationalization in the industry. Designers hire international models, make up artists, and hair designers to present their styles. Furthermore, every designer wants to attract the important critics in the world because their opinion can easily define whether the designer's label will be profitable or not. Fashion week does not directly bring revenues, however it sets up the stage for sales during the season.
Fashion week is just as important to the designer as for the economy overall. This bi-yearly event brings in not only fashion professionals, but tourists and celebrities as well. Also, it decides which the number one fashion capital of the world is which in turn brings in even more business investments into the city. For example, if you are walking down 5th Avenue in New York City you see world famous names such as the Italian Gucci and French Louis Vuitton. On the other side of the globe in Shibuya, the fashion district of Tokyo, Prada stores and Chanel boutiques grab the shopper's attention.
In conclusion, the global fashion industry is an important sector of the economy. It brings in revenues and contributes to trade and employment all over the world. However, it has short product life cycle and a key to success is adaptability and readiness to adjust to the latest trend.