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    Fashion History: The ‘Mash-Up’ Decade

    Januar 6th, 2015

    The so-called ‘mash-up’ decade got its name because it is the first decade that didn’t have a certain style for the most part. In the early 2000s fashion designers rather recycled already existing high-end fashion styles from the past decades and continued the minimalist look of the 1990s in a more polished way. Later on, designers began to adopt a more colorful, feminine, excessive, and ‘anti-modern’ look. Vintage and retro clothing, especially from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s became extremely popular and colors like baby blue, yellow and hot pink were very common.

    As women’s fashion moved away from the unisex styles of the 1990s, the very feminine and dressy styles were reintroduced in the early years of this decade. Women wore denim miniskirts and jackets, tank tops, flip-flops and ripped jeans. The men’s fashion in these years was more cool and sporty. Trainers, baseball caps, light-colored polo shirts and boot-cut jeans were pretty popular.

    Fashion in the mid and late 2000s

    In the mid 2000s women wore mostly low rise skinny jeans. Tunics were worn with wide or thin belts, longer tank tops with a main blouse or shirt, leggings, knee-high boots with pointed toes, capri pants, and vintage clothing. The men’s world in contrast was inspired by retro fashion from pop groups. Slim-fitting jeans were cutting edge, cartoon printed hoodies, Convers sneakers, mod-style parkas and military dress jackets were the essential fashion items for men back then.

    In the late 2000s, ballet flats, knitted sweater dresses, long shirts combined with a belt, leather jackets and fur coats made a comeback. Besides that the style of the 1950s and 1980s became very popular for men’s fashion. Black leather jackets, Ed Hardy T-shirts, motorcycle boots, knitted V-neck sweaters, cardigans and Ray Ban sunglasses made the guys look very casual and edgy at the same time. Business men didn’t wear the classic suits with a three-buttoned jacket anymore. They rather preferred a more offbeat two-buttoned blazer worn with a matching suit trouser, a slim tie and waistcoat. The tighter fitting clothes were born and equally popular for both genders.

    Watch Burberry’s Digital Fashion Show 2011 in Beijing:


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    Fashion is Dead. Long live Fashion

    Oktober 20th, 2014

    Fashion trends are getting more and more tangible for a broader audience. Fast fashion styles are certainly the most influential evolution the fashion industry has ever had to deal with. The given scenario separates fashion peers all over the world. Fashion is dead say some. Fashion is in the process of inventing itself anew say others. Which side of the fence do you sit on?

    Don’t wanna read the entire article? Just tune in on Jeremy Lindbergs video interview. The NYC showroom owner explains the changes the fashion industry has gone through lately and how it is going to further evolve.

    High Fashion is getting tangible
    How ‘trend’ differs from ‘fashion’ is the most crucial question for those trying to understand the contemporary development in the fashion industry and therefore to predict the future of fashion. Especially since high-end fashion is not untouchable anymore. It’s actually constantly surrounding us due to hundreds of online fashion retailers such as ‘Gilt Groupe’ or ‘net-a-porter’ just to name the most popular. Each style invented in any part of the world can be seen instantly. Fashion is not a matter of location anymore. Contemporary fashion is accessible all over the globe whether you are living in a major city or somewhere out in the boonies. That’s one of the huge changes the industry has to struggle with. It’s certainly a blessing for the consumer. But how does it affect fashion designers?

    Fashion is dead, Fashion vs. Trend, Haute Couture is dead, Changes in the fashion industry, speak fashion, speakfashion, speaking fashion, Fashion History, Fashion Today, Fashion Classics, Fashion 21th Century, fashion and social media

    Young Fashion Designers benefit from the Change in Fashion
    What caters to the masses doesn’t make it necessarily easier for industry workers. Fast fashion retailers literally force designers to be very quick in designing and inventing clothes. The workflow in designing clothes in a seasonal cycle becomes diluted. Designers have to produce more styles and looks than they has been used to. This obviously leads to the point that industry peers have to tighten up their creative process to serve the given time frame. In order to do that, the design process becomes sort of an assembly line and this definitely leads to the question: Doesn’t a tighter time frame lack quality? Yes, it does. And no it doesn’t, depending on what the industry is going to project from this change. It’s the same question the media business has had to deal with over a decade ago and somehow is still looking for an answer. It is possible to provide a certain quality even if you have to deal with a narrow timeframe and less of a budget. You just have to tweak the approach. If you are not willing to take that chance – and it is definitely a chance, especially for young designers – you can’t compete in this industry anymore. While more fashion retailers serve a broader audience, the price range decreases. And lower retail prices force designers to reduce labor and raw material costs. The naked truth is: Fashion Designers all over the world have to produce more designs in less time for lower prices. That’s a challenge – for sure. But it is an opportunity too.

    Customers want to be taken seriously
    But not only is fashion design more tangible. The industry has to deal with well informed and interested customers who already play a key role in the development of contemporary fashion. The customers’ personal opinion is already part of the designers finding-process. Fashion and therefore fashion design is not the black box it used to be. The growth of the internet and the social media movement certainly contributes to that. Especially for the independent designers it’s going to be a key issue to evolve and maintain a close relationship to their potential clients. In the future, a fashion designer will only be successful when he can manage the balancing act of influencing people and staying tangible at the same time. Customers want to be taken seriously. They want to be sure that their opinion is going to be considered. In return, they are willing to pay a price that’s above average. Although it will definitely not be the same amounts designers were used to cashing in on in the past. However, only the relationship to a loyal but interested customer will assure future success. Although the prices for individual and fashionable clothes won’t be in the same range they were years ago, fashion designers will always have a clientele that’s willing to pay for high-end craftsmanship and offbeat design. Fortunately, there are too many fashion lovers amongst us that will appreciate high-end fashion for good.

    Fast Fashion vs. High Fashion: There is room for both
    We have to face the fact that fashion is part of our accelerating world and therefore evolves more quickly than it did years ago. The huge demand on expensive and exclusive luxury goods still exists. Fashion isn’t dead. But it has received company from something we call fast fashion. Something that caters to the idea of fashion with one exception: Quality. And therefore fast fashion can only be a substitute for those who can’t afford high-end fashion or actually aren’t interested in quality products. “Different customers have different needs” summarizes Michael Tien, chairman of work-wear retailer G2000, the development. Everyone is looking for his own well-being. “The buying behavior has simply changed.”

    The fact of the matter is that the majority of the world’s population belongs to the middle and upper middle income class. Consumers are fashion conscious and price sensitive at the same time. Due to the unprecedented changes, the fashion industry has to respond to both, market changes and consumer preferences. The undoubted pioneer of the fast fashion concept is Spanish clothing retailer Zara with its 4,780 stores in 77 countries. Their new lines are being shipped into the stores twice a week which ensures that customers always find new fashion items every time they visit the store. That’s the reason why fast fashion had simultaneously become incredibly attractive and essential to the public. But while the middle class is rather on the hunt for reasonable fast fashion offers, the huge demand for expensive and exclusive luxury goods still exists for more affluent parts of society.

    The bottom line is: Fast fashion has not killed Couture and never will. Fashion is not dead at all. Rather than focus on what was better in the past, we should look to see what we can gain from the future. The fashion industry has just moved forward. There is nothing to worry about. Fashion was what it was in the olden days, is what it is today, and will be something different in the future. And quite frankly: Isn’t that exactly what we are looking for?

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    Streetstyle New York: Dress of the week #33 – Michelle

    März 21st, 2012

    Michelle loves to mix and match, she loves vintage clothes, knows how to stand out from the crowd and how to be different. And as you can see she has it all. The Bebe blazer with her vintage shirt combined with this beautiful tutu skirt is a nice way to show fast fashion, not to mention the H&M bow hat, and high fashion at the same time. Her animal printed ankle boots hit it big!

    Related Articles:
    1_Vintage jacket worn by Michelle, Streetstyle New York #23
    2_Bebe in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Bebe shoes worn by Jessi, Streetstyle New York #5


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    American Look

    Februar 2nd, 2011

    The ‘American Look’ describes a distinct style or outfit invented during the 1940s by American fashion designer Claire McCardell. During World War II, when European designer were almost inactive, McCardell started to design affordable but fashionable women’s sportswear which later on became widely known as the ‘American Look’. First and foremost, McCardell’s designs were practical and allowed women to move easily in her bias-cut dresses and sweaters. Fabric-wise, the designer started using denim and wool jersey, which wasn’t in general use back at the time. In retrospect, McCardell is somewhat of a pioneer of the fast fashion industry that evolved in the mid 1990s. She’s qouted saying: “I belong to a mass production country where all of us deserve the right to good fashion”.
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    Street One

    Juni 7th, 2010

    Street One, European fast fashion brand, established in 1983. The contemporary label stands for cutting-edge, great fit, mix-and-match fashions at affordable prices.
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    Forever 21

    April 19th, 2010

    Forever 21, American fast fashion clothing retailer, founded by South Korean Dong-Won Chang and his wife, Jin Sook in 1984 in Los Angeles. The retailer offers trendy clothes and accessories for young women and men.


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    Primark

    April 19th, 2010

    Primark, Irish fast fashion retailer, founded in 1969. Based in Dublin, Ireland, the retailer offers fashionable clothes and accessories for men and women to affordable prices.
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    Zara

    April 7th, 2010

    Zara, Spanish fast fashion flagship chain store of Inditex Group, founded in 1975. The fashion retailer is owned by Spanish tycoon Amancio Ortega and headquartered in Galicia, Spain. It is said that Zara just needs two weeks to get a new collection to the stores including the design-process, compared with an average of six-months within the industry. The retailer launches around 10,000 new designs each year.


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    Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)

    April 7th, 2010

    Hennes & Mauritz aka H&M, Swedish clothing company, founded in 1947 in Västerås, Sweden. The second largest global clothing retailer (after ZARA) is known for its fast fashion clothing offers for women, men, children and teenagers. The retailer has around 2,000 stores in more than 30 different countries and is worldwide known.


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    Fast Fashion

    April 5th, 2010

    The term ‘Fast Fashion’ describes a retail model of distributing fashion design trends both quickly and cheaply to a mass audience. Besides its distribution related meaning the term basically refers to the speed of how fast designer clothes seen on the runways around the globe get copied and interpreted by today’s mainstream retail stores. The philosophy of fast fashion producers is to give less affluent but fashion interested people an opportunity to shop contemporary designs to a reasonable price. ‘Zara‘ has always been spearheading this approach, although there were other brands before, such as ‘Benetton‘, trying to push the concept into the fashion market. Today, fast fashion retailers surround us everywhere through brands like Primark, Forever 21 or H&M. The latter caused sudden upheaval when it announced its first fast fashion co-operation with a high-end designer in 2004, featuring a special Karl Lagerfeld edition at selected ‘H&M’ stores.
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