Fashion

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Introduction

In our everyday life, we encounter new and different designs of shoes, clothes, belts, handbags and other accessories. Each we noticed a smartly dressed person who has mixed and matched her outfit we marvel and acknowledge their style. Some people move with trends and embrace new ideas of dressing and styles while others still stick on not so new mode of dressing and all these sums up to fashion. Fashion, therefore, refers to current trends in dressing and even looks and prevailing styles in behaviors. Generally, it may also mean clothing. This means that whether a person decides to stick to the 1990s fashion, it does not mean that they are not at par with the trends (Breward, 2003). Fashion dictates the shoes we wear to class or workplace, the clothes we wear for cocktail dinners, weddings or funerals or any other event, the accessories we wear, for example, type of necklace or chain to wear on what occasion. This paper explores the professional fashion practice, whereby it will demonstrate what professional fashion entails. It will also dwell on fashion marketing, which entails the strategies or factors involved in marketing. In order to achieve this, the paper will highlight or research on selected two fashion designers namely, Chanel and Vivienne Westwood. These two designers will be helpful in highlighting certain concepts and ideas regarding the world of fashion. This is achievable using other existing sources, which have acted as a guide towards carrying out this research. 

Fashion determines what type of watch, belt to wear, scarf, ties, bowties, and even the hairstyle to wear. In a wedding set-up, one knows the appropriate wear. For the female, it would be advisable, from fashion designer‘s point of view to wear dresses, especially the flair ones, have a clutch bag ,a small chain or wide necklace depending on the size of the cleavage among others. One could also accessorize her looks by adding a big hat with a detail of a net on the side. This will make her look not only exotic and classy but also elegant. She will also pick heels, if possible matching with clutch bag. For males, having a corsage put on the side of his coat would be the ideal thing to do. One should be dressed in a suit, and have the theme in mind. Suits normally go well with official shoes. Half coats would also be ideal in weddings. Men should stick to official wear, because jeans are very inappropriate.

Fashion entails dressing appropriately for the event. This is the reason why most prominent persons have their designer who does not only design for them outfits, but also advises them on what to wear and what not to wear. People dress up depending on occasion or even, the era, the climate among others. The way people dress in Scandinavian countries is not the same way people dress in the Sahara. In colder areas, it would be normal to spot people heavily dressed in jackets and scarf and heavy shoes and the opposite will apply to dry areas. In the event of a funeral, people will be expected dress in black, symbolizing moaning. If a person appears in a flashy dress with screaming colors e.g. bright red, yellow, and orange among others, one will be totally out of place .In the same way, if a man arrives in jeans and t-shirt or a pair of shorts, he will be totally off the like, since that would be very inappropriate. When appearing for an interview, people are expected to be dressed in a particular manner. Normally for women, official wear is the best, with official shoes and presentable handbag. For men, they should stick to official wear and nothing else.

Coco Channel

She was born in 1883 and died on 10th January 1971 .She was born in France, where her original name was Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. She grew up in an orphanage, where she learnt how to sew and that is where she was named Coco meaning “little pet”. By the age of 27, she began to sell hats from her own shop and by 1920s fashion business had expanded immensely .Her business grew enormously and it included her own textile factory, a couture house and many perfumes.

She is widely known by her perfume, which was popularly known as NO.5. She came up with stiff corset, practical clothing, introduced casual wear and use the knowledge of fabrics from men fashion to accommodate the women. They were amazing designers that contributed to her becoming an idol of fashion to women. She designed clothes and broke the rule of not using black by introducing color black to the fashion world. It is here that she designed a versatile, sexy and semi-final black dress, which became a trademark for her company. However, her fashion has become rocky during the World War II and her fame stained because of a love affair with a Nazi officer. She then took refuge in Switzerland for many years, only to resurface after things cooled down.

Her designs became very popular in the world .This is evident when Catherin Hepburn portrayed Channel in the musical in 1969. Channel was also played in movie by Shirley McLain in 2008 and in 2009, Audrey Tautou feature her in a French play. Channel was famous because of a little black dress, the tweed suit, the quilted leather handbag, and first ever-designer perfume. Her industry offered sporty clothes, toques, and jerseys. While designing the jersey, she used a fabric which was previously and strictly used primarily for men’s underwear, which brought controversies, especially by the upper-class t mademoiselles, who thought them as modish and boyish (Cummig, 2004).

During the war, women sought her garments to replace the corsets. In her 20s and 30s, Chanel continued to change the face of fashion for women, particularly with the Channel suit, which gave women social uniform, equal to men’s three piece. Her perfume company, Channel 5 is the best-selling fragrance in the world from that time to date. Her best advertisement  back then were from her narrative, which she had written while in the orphanage about her life as a privilege. This paved way for her products. Her fame rose to the peak, especially after her comeback from exile. This is the time when she introduced the Chanel suit to a new generation of women.

Sadly, the first lady of fashion died in 1971 at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, at the age of 86. She had lived in Paris for 30 years. In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld took control over the company, aiming at maintaining the glory .Today the company is privately owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, the grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who originally funded Channel NO.5.

Chanel’s Impact in Fashion World

Chanel shaded light on women’s liberation. She revolutionized women’s fashion by doing away with corsets and stiff fabrics, which were markers of femininity and replace with elegant and comfortable designs. She also popularized custom jewellery and Chanel suit, which consisted of a short skirt, and a box jacket that was previously made of wool and black added to it. She also designed the little black dress, which is now international known and accepted and many people refer to it as “LBD”.

Chanel also created Chanel No.5 perfume that is considered the world’s best-selling perfume. She saw this perfume as her sweat and blood and a million broken dreams. It has a great aroma and fragrance. She was a great designer who had fabric development ideas and used fabric for men to make clothes for women. All this shows her professional fashion practice.

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Isabel Swire was born on 8 April 1941 in Tintwistle, Derbyshire in England. She went to university of Westminster and Middle university. She was married to Sam Westwood between 1962 and 1965. Vivienne is a re-known fashion designer who has won several awards including British Fashion designer of the year 1990, 1991, and 2006. She is widely known for bringing punk and new ware fashions. Susannah (1999) says her parents were married after break out of World War II. Her father was a storekeeper and had previously been a greengrocer.

At 17 years of age, Vivienne and her family relocated to Harrow, London and there  she joined Harrow School of Art-University of Westminster. At school, she majored in fashion and silver mithing but later quit. She then enrolled in a teaching college and upon completion, and later she became a primary teacher. She later set up a jewelry stall and sold them along Portobello Road. She met Derek Westwood in 1961 who was a Hoover factory apprentice. They got married in 1962 and Vivienne made her own wedding gown. However they divorced, but had a son together Benjamin Westwood.

She later got married to Malcolm McLaren who opened a boutique called “Let it Rock,” now known as “World Ends” where Vivienne sold her labels. She created cloths, drawing her inspirations from bikers, fetishist, and prostitutes. Her interest for punk fashion heightened since this was the fashion in the 1970s. This fashion included BDSM fashion, bondage gear, safety pins, razorblades, bicycles, or lavatory chains on clothing and spiked dog collars for jewelry and unique makeup and hair (Susannah, 1999).It had its foundation in Scottish design such as tartan fabric. Her design also included radical cutting lines to men’s trousers. She blended traditional elements with current that was very impressive.

This iconic fashion designer has five shops; three in London, one in Leeds and another one in Milan. She also owns franchise shops in Liverpool, Newcastle, and Glasglow, three in Manchester, and in Nottingham as well. She also has show rooms in Milan, Paris, and Los Angeles. From the time she was establishing, she did several catwalk shows. In the 1990s, her style changed from punks and ragamuffins to Tattler. She has since done collaborations with other fashion designers like Prudence Millinery. This move augmented her knowledge about fashion, thus, making her known worldwide for her trendy fashions. Working with other designers has increased her knowledge and exposure in fashion.

Her exceptional taste has even seen her soar to greater heights with re-known people such as Princesses Eugenie wearing her designs in her royal wedding in 2011. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall also wore her designs in 2009 to Royal Ascot. She also worked with Patrick Cox a well-known designer to design shoes that Naomi Campbell wore in 1993 during Westwood fashion show in Paris. She remains a professional fashion designer who earned the buoyancy of eminent people. Her contribution to fashion industry is very remarkable. The works or designs that she made after joining the fashion world have inspired many people. She has been in the forefront, working with other people to improve her designs.

Fashion Marketing

Fashion marketing is a broader field that involves a chain of individual marketing their products. It is usually done through designing of various ads in order to improve the quality of a product in the market. Fashion marketing includes researching about different market levels and influences advertisements and promotions of the items and designs. In research, one gathers information about the popularity of the products in the market (Davies & Cline 2005).Thus, , one also looks at the target group and their preferences.

Advertising through sales and promotion increases the product awareness, which can be provided through fashion events, printed works in brochures, handouts, fliers, pamphlets or fashion magazines. It can also be done through the press by having talks in the television, radio or through social networking, where one can post on the website or blogs about his designs. In these blogs, the prices and pictures of the same must also be included to make the potential buyer get rough picture of whatever one wants to buy. One can also market through digital media and product placement. Fashion marketers do promotional events, where they launch their products and invite the public to have a glimpse at their products.

They also sponsor events out of charity to increase product awareness. Some do runway events, where models show case their design and allow designers to access (Wall Street Journal). Fashion marketers use digital media in promotion. According to Breward (2003), web technology provides a source of researching about brands in the market, people’s preferences, which help them to strategize on what to do in terms of advertisements, price, demand among others. Lastly, products placements as a strategy of fashion marketing entails featuring fashion products and apparel on television where the items are shown between breaks in the television programs. Moreover, celebrities influence the public, especially when spotted with some designs. Fashion marketing is, therefore, crucial in fashion industry. This is because it is a popular and competitive industry.

Conclusion

Fashion may vary within a society according to age, generation, social class, and gender, but it is very evident that one has to keep up with the trends. Change is inevitable and as they say, the only constant thing is change. It is vital for people to be on toes and be updated with the recommended fashion trends. I t is clear that over time, clothing has changed from garments being tied with pieces of stings to using buttons, therefore, making fashion evolve from traditional dressing to modern dressing. However, we should be careful when trying to look modern and coping up with changes in fashion industry, not to be fashionists or fashion victims who blindly follow trends of fashion (Jennifer, 1987).

In order to avoid being behind the news concerning emergent fashions, people should read fashion magazines and books, and seek advice from professional designers. Before one embarks on choosing their style, they should know that it is important to be comfortable in whatever outfit they choose. He or she should be confident in her outfits. It is a pity, when one is squeezed in an extremely tight outfit until they feel uncomfortable or dressed in buggy cloths making them look like a clown in the circus. Designers, marketing their designs, should make presentable and original costumes that will most likely attract many buyers. In light with this, a designer should have cloths that the models that show case them fit in. They should not be scantily dressed, because this is likely to piss off potential buyers.

Fashion marketing is a very essential element in fashion industry. The two fashion designers discussed in this paper, provide insight to the world of fashion. They have shown us that professional fashion needs original work accompanied by support of other designers. It is important to note that people should chase their dreams to achieve whatever they want in life. Most importantly, when people become their own critique, it is likely to end up dressing appropriately and handling clients well. Designers must also advise clienteles correctly since this will improve the image of people and the image of fashion industry. For fashion marketing, people should use all possible and appropriate marketing techniques for better results. In short, fashion is built and it builds people as well.

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