The fashion industry encompasses all aspects of the creation of clothing, including design, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, retailing, and advertising. This industry is most commonly associated with haute couture, which translates to “high sewing”. However, the term is broader than just fashion clothing. It can include a variety of services, from retailing to advertising and promotion.
Many of the world’s fashion products are made in China, whose low labour costs make it one of the world’s largest producers. This low-wage environment encourages industrial safety problems and exploitation of workers. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 helped bring more government regulation and unionization to the fashion industry in the United States.
In ancient China, fashion reflected the socioeconomic and cultural conditions of the population. Confucian scholars associated changes in fashion with rapid commercialization and social disorder. This trend is documented in many ancient texts. In the city of Paris, famous couturiers included Charles Frederick Worth, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent.
Fast fashion is disrupting the traditional fashion business model. The average consumer keeps clothing for only half the time it did 15 years ago. One in seven consumers considers it a fashion faux pas to wear the same outfit twice. Additionally, environmental concerns are growing amongst shoppers. For this reason, clothing rental concepts offer consumers a way to constantly refresh their wardrobes and the environment.
A number of companies have implemented innovative technologies in order to make the fashion industry more sustainable. Some companies are even automating the production of digital twins. These new methods eliminate the need for physical samples. By digitizing clothing designs, manufacturers can work with clients to modify their products and reduce the need for textile waste. This means less shipping and more recycling.
AI is also bringing personalization and predictive analytics to fashion. Machine learning algorithms can help brands adapt their clothing to consumers’ preferences. By analyzing an individual’s style, a fashion design is personalized and influenced by the digital signals that a person receives. According to scientists from UC San Diego and Adobe, AI can learn a person’s personality by using his or her visual content.
Some companies are using new technologies to help customers make smarter choices about the size of fashion clothing they buy online. One such company is Virtusize, which makes it easy for shoppers to choose the right sizes for their bodies. The Virtusize application scans a person’s closet and compares styles and brands to ensure that they’re buying the right size. The company claims that it has reduced return rates by up to 30%.