The Fashion Industry


Fashion is a semiotic system of clothing and body adornment, defined by a socially and culturally constructed set of values. Fashion, like any other product, is both a mirror and distortion of society; it is simultaneously a source and vehicle for social change. Fashion is both a tool and a target for social criticism – it has been described as the child and lover of capitalism; it promotes, favours and enables financial capital but also robs people of their human and natural capital through its reductive glamourisation.

Fashion can be seen in the styles of clothes, footwear, jewellery, accessories, make-up and hairstyles that are popular at any one time. The fashions of different societies vary according to geographic location, social class, age, gender and occupation.

An important aspect of the fashion industry is Fashion Journalism; this is the process of writing, researching and presenting articles on current trends. This can be done in print (magazines, newspapers) or online via social media platforms. Many fashion bloggers and vloggers write about their personal style and post pictures on Instagram, YouTube or TikTok.

The fashion industry aims to increase sales and profits through the production and promotion of new products, and the shifting of existing ones. This can often be at the expense of consumer satisfaction; it is widely argued that shifts in fashion lead to consumers spending money they do not have on clothing they may not want or need. However, the opportunity for creativity, both in designing and wearing clothing, can also be a positive aspect of fashion.