Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fashion Industry Powers



“The thing is, we are a business world where, especially today, with the Internet, one has to be more careful than ever, especially if you are a publicly known person. You cannot go in the street and be drunk — there are things you cannot do... I’m furious with him because of the harm he did to LVMH and [chairman and ceo] Bernard Arnault, who is a friend, and who supported him more than he supported any other designer in his group, because Dior is his favorite label. It’s as if he had his child hurt." -Karl Lagerfeld on Galliano’s Exit. Below designer Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy will take Galliano's place at Dior.


Fashion Industry Powers include a variety of different positions that all aim to control the actual fashion product and its values: Designers, Corporate Owners, Producers (suppliers, workers, factory owners), Publishers (press & publicity), Advertisers, Photographers, Stylists, Models, Buyers, Clients.


The negotiation of values is not a game, it's a business. The transference of meaning from the world and lived associations is accompanied by imposed meaning (from designers, corporations, publishing) and reformed meaning (subcultures, style). This negotiation is on going and especially part of the seasonal fashion weeks.


The judging portion of Project Runway sizes up the construction of the garment and also gauges if the design communicates the values intended by the designer. Below the piece at right was intended to be a cocoon but was rejected by the judges.



The press proclaim the value in the various collections. Below Suzy Menkes is the world's most powerful fashion reporter, regularly covering the Paris shows for IHT she has written nearly 2 million words on fashion. Now bloggers have joined the conversation of mediating the value each season.


Within the magazines and websites the negotiation of values takes place in story like editorials that create specific associations for designs.


In the industry of fashion, organizations and trade shows also try to control meaning across all designers. Below Premiere Vision and trend reporting Promostyl give seasonal names to color and fabric values.


The power of fashion in the economy is connected to the vitality of major urban centers. New York, London, Paris and Milan and considered the capitals of the fashion industry. Gilbert suggests that fashion was originally seen as a mark of prestige for these cities, along with arts and architecture.



Above fashion industry powers are the focus of the site Business of Fashion. Some compare fashion to the stock market with the rise and fall of values. Below Louis Vuitton and the CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault with his art work. See more at Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton.




As fashion design is increasingly global, the designers not only negotiate values but differences in consumers. Below the chart reveals that designers must change fashion for each market, which sometimes is only in size but may also be in types of garments and preferences. Some argue the power of the consumer is just as strong as the other powers in fashion because everything depends on consumption.



Finally licensing can be a mis-use of power. Pierre Cardin licensed his name over 800 times. The result was the brand, and ultimately his name and integrity as a designer became worthless. Armani has stated limitations to licensing but allows, like many designers, a lower priced label baring his name.


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