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Fash­ion dic­tio­nary 2018: seven fash­ion con­cepts we all need to know

Fash­ion is a dy­namic in­dus­try, and in ev­ery few years, we see the rise of a new fash­ion vo­cab­u­lary. New de­bates on so­ci­ety, cul­ture and life­style give shape to newer con­ver­sa­tions which in turn shape a new per­spec­tive on how we see, com­mu­ni­cate, pro­duce or buy fash­ion. 2018 wit­nessed yet an­other wave of change in the fash­ion dic­tio­nary with gamechang­ing con­cepts com­ing into play for the fu­ture fash­ion mar­ket. While re­tail­ers are gear­ing up to un­der­stand and be­come a part of th­ese new fash­ion terms, here are the seven con­cepts we all need to pon­der over this year…

Trash­ion

Com­bin­ing the two words to­gether

‘trash’ and ‘fash­ion’, the term ‘Trash­ion’ lit­er­ally means turn­ing un­re­cy­clable, un-com­postable ma­te­ri­als into wear­able art. Bring­ing about a cre­ative change in the waste man­age­ment in­dus­try, even though the con­cept of trash­ion is noth­ing new to the mar­ket, its sud­den pop­u­lar­ity and con­sumer re­cep­tive­ness is a wel­come change in the fash­ion in­dus­try.

The most re­cent ex­am­ple of the same is Nord­storm’s dis­tressed sneaker be­ing re­tailed at US $ 530 price tag. Bri­tish de­signer Stella McCart­ney dis­trib­uted in­vi­ta­tions for her Spring/Sum­mer ’18 show at the Paris Fash­ion Week, on a roll of logo-printed rub­bish bags, la­belled ‘trash­ion bags’, which were later avail­able in se­lected stores as well. An­other de­signer, Vivi­enne West­wood part­nered with Eth­i­cal Fash­ion Ini­tia­tive, to de­velop her ‘Hand­made with Love’ col­lec­tion crafted en­tirely from up­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als like re­jected can­vas, old road­side ban­ners, brass and un­used leather cut-offs.

Green wash­ing

Green wash­ing is a term used for a PR ac­tiv­ity or a mar­ket­ing gim­mick wherein a com­pany por­trays it­self and its busi­ness prac­tices as ‘green’, with­out ac­tu­ally im­ple­ment­ing any ac­tiv­i­ties that re­duce its en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. More like a white­wash on the con­sumers’ mind, big fast-fash­ion brands are be­ing re­cently crit­i­cised for green wash­ing in the fash­ion in­dus­try.

Cov­er­ing their tracks un­der the trend of sus­tain­abil­ity, many fash­ion com­pa­nies have been claim­ing to be sus­tain­able, when in re­al­ity they are pro­duc­ing cheap clothes lead­ing to land­fills full of cloth­ing. A lead­ing ex­am­ple of this was an al­leged case of green wash­ing by fash­ion re­tailer For­ever 21, where on one hand the com­pany an­nounced its plans to have the largest sin­gle-rooftop so­lar-power sys­tem in Los An­ge­les County, but at the same time it also planned to open a 18,000-square­foot con­cept store that promised the cheap­est of the cheap mer­chan­dise in greater quan­ti­ties.

Adap­tive fash­ion

With the fash­ion in­dus­try be­com­ing more and more in­clu­sive in re­cent times, adap­tive cloth­ing is also be­com­ing more main­stream than ever. Adap­tive clothes are gar­ments es­pe­cially de­signed for peo­ple with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties, for the el­derly, or for the in­firm who finds it dif­fi­cult to dress him­self/her­self. En­abling easy-towear fea­tures in reg­u­lar, ev­ery­day cloth­ing, adap­tive clothes present a multi­bil­lion dol­lar re­tail op­por­tu­nity today.

Ear­lier in 2018, Tommy Hil­figer launched its adap­tive cloth­ing line that ad­dresses dis­abil­ity is­sues with func­tional de­tails like mag­netic but­tons, ad­justable pant hems to ac­com­mo­date a pros­thetic or brace, wrist loops to help put on pants, easy open neck­lines, ex­panded back and side open­ings, one-handed zip­pers, and Vel­cro clo­sures that make fas­ten­ing a cinch.

Fash­ion im­me­di­acy

Fash­ion im­me­di­acy is de­fined as a con­cept of pre­sent­ing a de­signer col­lec­tion that can be pur­chased and de­liv­ered im­me­di­ately af­ter its run­way de­but. Born out of the busi­ness mod­els of fast-fash­ion re­tail­ers like H&M and Zara, and com­bined with the tremen­dous reach of so­cial me­dia in an av­er­age con­sumer’s life – fash­ion im­me­di­acy is all about the in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion of the buyer who is today de­mand­ing a run­way out­fit much be­fore it goes out for large-scale pro­duc­tion and even be­fore it hits the store shelves.

While the en­tire fash­ion in­dus­try is de­bat­ing over this new ‘see it now, buy it now’ trend and is choos­ing sides – fash­ion im­me­di­acy is a con­cept that can only be sus­tained by re­tail­ers who are will­ing to in­vest in an in­te­grated sup­ply chain and drive op­er­a­tional adapt­abil­ity to cut down time and be able to pro­duce every­thing in-house.

Ex­pe­ri­en­tial re­tail / Ex­pe­ri­ence econ­omy

The con­cept of ex­pe­ri­ence econ­omy is based on the idea that value is every­thing, and that prod­ucts and ser­vices can out­com­pete by build­ing a unique ex­pe­ri­ence for the con­sumer. Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, mil­len­ni­als today are more likely to in­vest in an ex­pe­ri­ence rather than buy­ing prod­ucts, or own­ing houses.

Tak­ing this con­cept fur­ther into a re­tail store wherein the con­sumer can not only see, touch and feel a prod­uct phys­i­cally, but can also ex­pe­ri­ence a cer­tain emo­tion of calm­ness, ex­hil­a­ra­tion or sur­prise while shop­ping for prod­ucts – is what the foun­da­tion of ex­pe­ri­en­tial re­tail is. Con­sid­er­ing that we live in a dig­i­tal world

– a unique shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence is di­rectly pro­por­tional to the psy­chol­ogy of a shop­per, and why ex­actly he or she is out there to shop in a store.

Mas­ter­ing this ex­pe­ri­ence-driven fash­ion mar­ket are lux­ury stores like de­signer fash­ion house Gucci, which let go of its di­vided store lay­out in its new 2018 store and em­braced an open de­sign of al­most a 10,000 square foot space - with ex­posed bricks, plush sofas, an eclec­tic decor through­out, in­clud­ing an aug­mented re­al­ity shoe and a hand­bag de­sign ex­pe­ri­ence.

Gen­der-neu­tral fash­ion

Free­dom in gen­der ex­pres­sion has be­come the new con­ver­sa­tion of our so­ci­ety. And the fash­ion in­dus­try re­fuses to stay be­hind as brands con­tinue to gain mo­men­tum in be­ing more in­clu­sive of the LGBTQ+ com­mu­nity and trans­gen­der cast­ings. While the line be­tween the tra­di­tional male and fe­male bi­na­ries is blur­ring at a rapid pace, an en­tire cul­tural shift in fash­ion is also bound to hap­pen. De­sign­ers are choos­ing to make gen­der-neu­tral lines and even the colours of choice for a male vs. a fe­male col­lec­tion are dra­mat­i­cally chang­ing. In def­i­ni­tion, gen­der-neu­tral fash­ion is sim­ply a grow­ing ac­cep­tance of gen­der flu­id­ity. Back in 2017, UK depart­ment store John Lewis ditched the la­bels on ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ cloth­ing to re­duce gen­der stereo­types and in­stead mar­keted them as ‘Girls & Boys’ cloth­ing on all of the tags. Fast-fash­ion re­tailer H&M re­leased a nine­teen-piece uni­sex col­lec­tion called Denim United with gen­der-neu­tral sil­hou­ettes such as a shirt­dress, capri shorts and hood­ies. Some fresh gen­der-neu­tral brands today are One DNA, Of­fi­cial Re­brand, 69, The Ph­luid Project and Agen­der.

Cir­cu­lar fash­ion

There have been end­less con­ver­sa­tions about sus­tain­able fash­ion in the past, and a new ad­di­tion to this di­a­logue is the in­tro­duc­tion of ‘cir­cu­lar fash­ion’. Emerg­ing from the con­cept of a cir­cu­lar econ­omy, clothes in ‘cir­cu­lar fash­ion’ are pro­duced at their high­est value and are de­signed to never end up as waste.

In sim­ple words, a fash­ion prod­uct is made to last in the so­ci­ety for the long­est of time – made with min­i­mal re­sources and or­ganic ma­te­ri­als, which later af­ter use can be taken apart and be reused, re­built, or re­cy­cled into a new prod­uct. They are even sourced keep­ing sus­tain­able ma­te­ri­als and prac­tices in mind, and if at all they need to be dis­posed, it is done in a planet- friendly man­ner.

Fash­ion brand MUD Jeans has pi­o­neered a ‘Lease A Jeans’ busi­ness model that shows how cir­cu­lar fash­ion can be put into ac­tion. Dur­ing the re­cent Copen­hagen Fash­ion Sum­mit in 2018, the big­gest of fash­ion names such as Burberry Group plc, Gap

Inc., H&M, HSBC, NIKE, Inc. and Stella McCart­ney, have claimed to have joined their forces to­gether to cre­ate a thriv­ing in­dus­try based on the prin­ci­ples of a cir­cu­lar econ­omy.

Stella McCart­ney dis­trib­uted the in­vi­ta­tion for her SS18, on a roll of logo-printed rub­bish bags, la­belled ‘trash­ion bags’

H&M re­leases a nine­teen-piece uni­sex col­lec­tion called Denim United with gen­der-neu­tral sil­hou­ettes

Gucci's new ex­pe­ri­ence store em­braced an open de­sign of al­most a 10,000 square foot space

Tommy Hil­figer launched its adap­tive cloth­ing line that ad­dresses dis­abil­ity is­sues

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