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Fashion Cycle Steps

Fashion Cycle Steps

Consumers are exposed each season to a pack of new styles created by fashion designers. Some are rejected immediately by the press or by the buyer on the retail level, but others are accepted for a time, as demonstrated by consumers purchasing and wearing them.

The way in which fashion changes is usually described as a fashion cycle. It is difficult to categorize or theorize about fashion without oversimplifying. Even so, the fashion cycle is usually depicted as a bell-shaped curve encompassing five stages: introduction, rise in popularity, peak of popularity, decline in popularity, and rejection. The cycle can reflect the acceptance of a single style from one designer or a general style such as the miniskirt.


1. Introduction of a Style: 
Designers interpret their research and creative ideas and then offer the new styles to the public. Designers create new designs by changing elements such as line, shape, color, fabric, and details and their relationship to one another. New creations referred to as the “latest fashions” may not yet be accepted by anyone. At this first stage of the cycle, fashion implies only style and newness. 

Most new styles are introduced at a high price level. Designers who are globally respected for their talent may be given financial backing and be allowed to design with very few limitations on creativity, quality of raw materials, or amount of fine workmanship. Naturally, production costs are high, and only a few people can afford the resulting garments. Production in small quantities gives a designer more freedom, flexibility, and room for creativity. 


2. Increase in Popularity: 
If a new style is purchased, worn, and seen by many people, it may attract the attention of buyers, the press, and the public. In self-defense, most couture and high priced designers now have secondary bridge and or diffusion lines that sell at lower prices, so that they can sell their designs in greater quantities. 


3. Peak of Popularity: 
When a fashion is at the height of its popularity, it may be in such demand that many manufacturers copy it or produce adaptations of it at many price levels. Some designers are flattered by copying and others are resentful. There is very fine line between adaptations and knockoffs. 

Volume production requires a likelihood of mass acceptance. Therefore, volume manufacturers carefully study sales trends because their customers want clothes that are in the mainstream of fashion.


4. Decline in Popularity: 
Eventually, so many copies are mass produced that fashion conscious people are tired of the style and look for something new. Consumers still wear garments in the style, but they are no longer willing to buy them at regular prices. Retail stores put such declining styles on sale racks, hoping to make room for new merchandise. 


5. Rejection of a Style : 
In the last phase of the fashion cycle, some consumers have already turned to new looks, thus beginning a new cycle. The rejection or discarding of a style just because it is out of fashion is called consumer obsolescence. As early as 1600, Shakespeare wrote that “fashion wears out more apparel than the man”. 



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