Fast Fashion: Turning the Trend Around for the Better

Christian Dior

Before Christian Dior revolutionized women’s fashion, in 1947, he had one goal to replace the unsightly Zazou trend with his New Look. Forever 21, H & M, Uniqlo, Target and Zara hope to equally influential with low-cost goods for the budget-mined with big style dreams. Organizers as a fast fashion retail model their purpose is to fill stores with quickly manufactured merchandise based on catwalk and red carpet trends. What that means is that the moment it’s online it’s available soon after. Sadly, any concept this perfect, is bound to have major flaws too.

Pollution, and Other Problems

Target’s A New Day Outfit

Naysayers from the environmental and educational fields have been their biggest detractors lately citing pollution, over-consumption and poor quality as the top issues. To quiet the dissenting voices the fast fashion retailers have taken steps to repair their image.

Budget Shopping is the In Thing

1967 Summer of Love
Sharon Stone in black turtleneck and black Valentino gown

Rebellious, but fabulous, the younger generation of the 1960’s helped propel fast fashion and its instant availability. Another bonus was hipsters could be “in” for little money, allowing them to obtain different from their parents, without having to get their permission. The “it’s chic to pay less” fast fashion sentiment permeated popular culture from the “late 1990’s to the early 2000’s” ushering in an eclectic shopping style. Sharon Stone’s ingenious pairing of a “Gap turtleneck tee with a black Valentino gown” at the 1996 Oscar’s is an accurate example of this philosophy. In 2017, it might be demonstrated with a print coat from a thrift store over a maxi dress from Forever 21.

Qualitative Lifewear from Uniqlo

J.W. Anderson x Uniqlo

Concern over their target customer’s inability to recognize “quality” caused Uniqlo to rename their merchandise lifewear, and insist it uplifts instead of detracts. The collaboration they did with J.W. Anderson for a classic British-style capsule demonstrated this mindset perfectly. Target in a similar mode also upgraded its women’s wear with it’s A New Day line, adding another chapter to fast-fashion’s history.

Works Cited:

  1. Wong, Grace. “Fast fashion shopping: It’s cute, it’s cheap, but should you really buy it?” (Chicago Tribune, November 27, 2015, http://www.chicagotribune.com)
  2. Idacavage, Sara. “Fashion History Lesson: The Origins Of Fast Fashion” (Fashionista, June 8, 2016, https://www.fashionista.com)

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