the rise of fast fashion

Gone are the days where each season was neatly divided into 3 key outfits, carefully thought out by top fashion houses and released quarterly to eager eyes with open wallets. In today’s world, where fashion isn’t so much a means of necessity but more of an identity, you’d struggle to get 12 outfits to last out the month.

With the rise of online based boutiques and the accessibility that the world wide web brings it’s apparent that classic retail and seasonal models are slowly making their way into the background along with strictly gendered clothing, and limited size ranges. Traditional fashion boundaries aren’t just being broken in the media eye – there is an entire shift within the industry which at first went by unnoticed by the standard consumer/fashionista, but has all of a sudden made its way into the public sphere where more attention has been brought to the fact.

The most apparent trend that has actualized is the inherent need to get everything now. The turn over in product within the industry is growing at monstrous rates, and with resource companies such as AS Colour, and Gildan at the fingertips of any aspiring young designer, coupled with the savviness of the millennial generation – willing to go out and connect with printers, embroiderers, and wholesalers – anyone is capable of starting their own label and dropping product whenever inspiration strikes. It’s not so much about making one huge release at the beginning of the season alongside your competitors, but more about being a minimum of 8 steps ahead of them to get out to the market first. Why? Because your customer wants it; and they want it yesterday (with free shipping worldwide). Brands like Zara and H&M are some of the leading examples of this.

The race for first place in the industry is ever increasing with no end in sight – the fluidity between distinct styles, and genders within fashion has continued to blur lines and has given brands infinite more artistic freedom to explore trends and new directions. This has opened up an entirely new niche in the industry – completely trans-seasonal collections which lack the need for a defined seasonal presence are creating opportunities for all fashion outlets to be delivering product to the consumer market regularly, and with the highest success rates in sell through than ever.

Looking at the position the industry is now, we are still a ways away from the complete disregard of seasonal releases – where collections will drop just as spontaneously as a Beyoncé album – but it is definitely the direction that we are heading toward. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Only time will be able to tell.

Words by Taylor Compain

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