Is the fashion industry focused on sales and not the consumer?

Discussion in 'Fashion... In Depth' started by lechifre2910, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. lechifre2910

    lechifre2910 New Member

    Jan 31, 2018
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    Dear all,

    I am interested on create interesting topics of discussion. I would really appreciate your input on my threads. So...

    Being a relatively young industry, the fashion one is closely related with customer satisfaction and social change.
    In today's world, Brands of all market levels focus their efforts on product release and not the consumer, ending up with an outdated retailing format which does not cater for the new wave of fluid customer. At the same time, people do not seem to follow the fashion industry as much as they use to due to the lack of creativity from diluted fast fashion collections adopted from the runways.

    I would like to know your opinion about the actual fashion industry and the issues related with the connection between fashion brands and final consumers. Please give your opinion and expand the topic as much as you can.

    Would you agree that brands need to put more effort on creativity and customer connection?
    What do you think about today's creativity from collections on runways?
    Do you think the fashion industry is too fast?
    Does the costumer want a deeper connection and experience from clothes & brands?

    Thank you for your opinions.:smile:
  2. Lola701

    Lola701 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2014
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    Interesting topic.
    For me, it's because fashion is too much focused on consumer which result on sales that there is a lack of creativity. I wouldn't say a lack of creativity but a shift on creativity.

    What changed was the crisis 10 years ago. Before 2008, fashion experienced great expansions, boutiques opening, good sales. The magazines were doing fairly good with good budgets to support the projects. Designers were the most important value of that time because customers were willing to follow their ideas, to have fun with fashion and it was also a different customer who was more educated about fashion.

    The crisis changed everything. Big brands started to focus on their "DNA" which means "doing what we are known for" and in terms of products, it is quite pragmatic. Collections became safer, simpler but it was a welcome idea at the time.
    Big brands were pushing their best sellers: Chanel released a new N°5 product, prices of their classic bags started to raise, tweed jackets became even more important than before. Hermes changed their creative director for a more low-key one. Dior pushed the Lady Dior harder. Prada was doing great collections but only black items and nylon were available in the stores.

    Independent designers started to reproduce archives pieces, some went out of business. Even iconic designers like Margiela decided to leave the fashion industry. Magazines tried their hardest to reconnect with readers...

    The real paradox was social media and new technologies. It was seen as an opportunity to communicate. So brands used that to either promote lines, do educational videos on how garnments were made and everything and the story-telling became even more important. The problem was that independent designers didn't have the budget to do that.

    Suddenly, London became the place to go because creativity became the antidote to the crisis. But London is a bubble and a lot of those mad ideas weren't relevant from a business point of view.

    To cut things short, what we have today is a result of what contribute to the crisis 10 years ago. The real difference is the shift of Power. 20 years ago when the business world became crazy about fashion, designers had the power. Today, post-crisis, the suits have the power because the suits follow the customers. Before, customers were dictated things by designers and magazines. A part from some designers, this is almost finished.

    Why Hedi Slimane is such a good seller? Because he is only doing a designer version of what people wears in their everyday life. The same for Michele!

    Balenciaga became profitable in 2006/2007, YSl around the same time. Today, a designer wouldn't have that much time to develop a brand or an aesthetic. And what about Alexander McQueen?

    The problem today is that the "goal" consumer is the millenial. That's why Renzo Rosso doesn't mind destroying a brand like Marni. Marni was doing well but it was an intellectual brand...

    Yes, the fashion industry is going too fast but we have to change our perspectives because ultimately, it's not going to change anytime soon.
  3. AD101318-2

    AD101318-2 New Member

    Jun 11, 2018
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    Sales Focused Fashion Industry

    The afformentioned Fashion Crisis of 10 years ago was not one that I was aware of until reading it here. Trusting that the crisis is real, then, of course its dynamics in the Fashion industry can be explained as the result of, or, otherwise influencing its focus on sales over the consumer.

    This reality is a money matter. Sales are most profitable when they are met with consumers who truly see the value in the product at time of sale. This is a must for success in the industry. When the focus is on sales, the more attuned one becomes with the profitability and economic well-being that result. This empowers one with the knowledge to drive sales to their advantage.

    Also,The quicker an industry can turn its sales around the more likely they will have to afford the costs of a fast-paced industry that is constantly changing and demanding expenses that must be met in order to keep up. Those who don't put their focus on the sale may lose their customers to those better served with a sales focus to establish and maintain return consumers that will pay the costs to keep the business alive.

    Focus on sales versus consumer are not entirely independent of each other as much as statement suggests. In practice, the sales are made from focusing just enough on the consumer to learn to manipulate the consumer into repeat sales. This can sound greedy, but, it is also a point of pride to make enough money so that a given business has money enough to provide their much valued product to their loyal customers.

    Then, one must ask, is the result of this taking away from the art of fashion? There are changes in the trends of the fashion industry that are intertwined with the changes in our consumers sense of value on fashion. What looks good to me may not look good to you, right? High-fashion minded consumers may pay any price for a priceless outfit from the runway, while other's that do not appreciate the art of fashion are by contrast more money-conscious and see no bargain for a runway piece when there is a substitute that comes at a lower cost. What then, if, the latter bargain-consumer outnumbers the for fashion-minded consumer? Then it follows that there is more money where there are more consumers. More consumers means more sales. This could be cause for seeing less of the celebrated fashions from the industry.

    It is easy to illustrate this example because it is so apparent in the clothing retailers, such as Forever21 and Fossil, over just the past 5-6 years. Both retailers probably saw that sales are more profitable among the bargain consumers and adapted to them to make the most this knowledge. Forever21, went on to cheaper materials for trendy clothes and have survived doing so versus pricier, and higher quality brands like Fossil that discontinued their entire clothing lines because the of the sales. Then the result here is that it has taken away from the truly fashionable variety of clothing available.

    The second point was that demographics and marketing to such types as Millenials has further constrained the fashion industry to a less than appealing collection to fill your wardrobe. Yet this is not true for brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F)who have successfully re-marketed to Millenials amidst a re-design of the A&F style that came with all the goods: lower prices, higher quality product, more consumers and more sales. They were able to adapt to such changes with a substantial amount of money to afford the re-branding in this economy. This has meant similar brands like J.Crew are suffering in sales against retailers that like A&F that offer the same product at a lower price. With that said, the new A&F is full of timeless classics that can be worn at any age. That's a lot more consumers than previously marketing to only teenagers. This of course is another example of the fashion industry focusing on sales than consumers.

    Thus, the object is to appeal to a wider consumer base because there is a larger potential of sales. This is independent of the interests and tastes in fashion as an art. So, if it doesn't sell, then you won't see it in the stores, and it may not end up on the runway. There is so much at stake for fashion brands at the moment. The forces of the economy and the appreciation of fashion are basically divided, meaning that better sales come with the sacrifice of true fashion.

    At this end, I decisively say that the fashion industry is more focused on sales than the consumer. The resulting loss or reduction in fashion is variable but the examples here prove a sales focused fashion industry. All is not lost. There's plenty of good fashion out there even if you have to make it yourself.

    Thank you for sharing an interesting perspective for the discussion in this forum.
    #3 AD101318-2, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited by moderator alabama: Jun 11, 2018

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