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THE END OF STYLE: HOW TRENDS ERASE OUR PERSONALITIES


“What’s trendy now?”. That is the first question I always get when I introduce myself as a fashion designer in front of new people. It is understandable, I do not blame them. Fashion changes so fast now. Trends after trends, must buy items season after season. Chasing that latest look, we all know why. Because the way we dress influences the way people perceive us. Simple.


But how did fashion trends evolved from pure society dream to a powerful manipulating tool for the masses? As a general rule, every opportunity starts in the name of creativity. Soon enough, it gets swallowed by the big business players.


The birth of fashion trends is no different. The beginning was simple: private presentations twice a year held in front of only the most influential and wealthiest people, who were privileged to see the latest and greatest designs. Outstanding masterpieces of the human hand. Designs that dictated the fashion times ahead. Designs so highly coveted whose influence was spreading from the richest to the poorest.


Everyone dreamt to be part of this glamorous lifestyle. Designs what people used to call them back then. Trends as we know them now.


Then the mass-market fashion companies came. Their business model was completely on the contrary: where designers rely on large margins and small quantities, the mass market profits were based on numerous pieces and low markups.

They had an incredibly difficult task - to wait for the rich to appear with the latest designer clothes, to simplify the design operations, to use low-priced fabrics and low paid labour and yet the product still had to resemble a lot to the original. However, once successfully copied, the “inspired designs” became an instant success. But after the design was mass-produced, its exclusivity to the richest was lost, and therefore its momentum was burnt.


The big players were smart though, that's why they're so big in the first place. To avoid losing sales and win the battle with their cheap copies, they created a new product and a new trend every six months, thus closing the cycle.


Our story happened till the arrival of the Internet era, mainly from the '40s to the mid-'90s. The designers were relatively happy: they had about a year during which they would pick the frui