Shalini SinghLecturer at Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture,Technology and Sciences, Deemed University, Allahabad à Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture,Technology and Sciences, Deemed University, Allahabad
Dr. Shalini Singh
Centre of Fashion Design
University of Allahabad
Introduction to fashion industry
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Shalini SinghLecturer at Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture,Technology and Sciences, Deemed University, Allahabad à Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture,Technology and Sciences, Deemed University, Allahabad
2. Fashion is a popular style, especially
in clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, makeup, hairstyle and body.
Fashion is a distinctive and often constant trend in the style in which people
present themselves. A fashion can become the prevailing style in behaviour or
manifest the newest creations of designers, technologists, engineers, and design
Economic importance of Fashion Business
The economics of clothing involve three processes: production, making the
clothing; distribution, getting the clothing from the maker to the consumer; and
consumption, actually using the clothing. Although consumption drives
production and distribution, the three processes are in many ways inseparable.
The system is fiercely competitive at all stages, partly but not entirely because
clothing is a fashion good. Although some plain utilitarian garments may seem
to be little affected by fashion, their production and distribution are highly
competitive as well.
In developed nations, fashions in clothing and other goods and services change
so rapidly and in so many ways that it's difficult to keep track. People may
assume that, in ancient cultures or isolated societies, styles of clothing,
dwellings, tools, and customs remained static for generations. Yet scholars
discern small incremental changes when they can find sufficient data. Major
features of the economics of clothing today have roots in the distant past.
Perhaps in prehistoric times, or on the frontier of pioneer America, isolated
family units produced all their own clothing. But in fact, most people probably
hunted in groups for large, fur-bearing animals and specialized in doing certain
tasks. Production of apparel has always been highly labor-intensive, and
evidence of specialization appears early.
3. Twenty thousand to twenty-six thousand years ago, in the north of what is now
Russia, a young man was buried in a shirt and trousers elaborately embroidered
with ivory beads. At roughly the same time, in what is now France, craftsmen
were carving delicate sewing needles from bone. To shape and drill beads or
make needles with the materials and tools available then would require both
inherent manual skill and considerable practice. Probably only one person in a
settlement or a cluster of settlements mastered the skills for such work; others
did tasks such as harvesting and processing fibers or skins and assembling
garments. Presumably these specialists bartered what they made for goods and
services of other group members. Specialization optimizes use of individuals'
time and abilities and makes better quality clothing possible for all. Scientists
who uncovered the grave of the youth in the beaded outfit concluded that he
was a person of importance-he or his family possessed wealth or power to
command a costume of such splendor. Clothing already expressed status, more
than 200 centuries ago.
The 4 levels of the fashion industry
The fashion industry is devided into four levels - Primary, Secondary, Retail,
and Auxiliary. They work independently and interdependently to serve the
consumer. The fashion industry levels are:
Primary Level: Raw Materials Producers
The four basic components of the primary level are: fiber processing, yarn
production, fabric production and fabric finishing.
Fiber processing - Fibers are used for making textile fabrics. They can be
natural fibers (wool, silk, cotton, flax, jute, etc.) and manufactured fibers
(artificial or synthetic fibers) - acetate, acrylic, rayon, nylon, polyester, olefin,
4. Yarn production - spinning, throwing, texturing
Fabric production - weaving, knitting, braiding, felting, needlepunching
Fabric finishing - washing, bleaching, dyeing, printing
The primary level has the biggest amount of lead time - up to two years, before
a product will be available to the consumer.
Secondary level: Apparel Manufacturers
The stages for the production of apparel are:
1. Creating the line concept
2. Line development
3. Line presentation
4. Sample development
5. Production planning
From the design to production most companies work on a lead time of about six
months to one and a half years ahead of products available to the
consumer. However, there are more and more producers, that are flexible and
are able to produce new models for 3-4 weeks.
This is the distribution level. The retail level is where all the different types of
retailers purchase their goods from the secondary level. Some of the types of
5. retailers are: department stores, specialty stores, factory outlet stores, boutiques,
online e-shops, TV home shopping.
Auxiliary Level: Media, Consultants, Organizations, Others
The Auxiliary Level is the only level that functions with all other levels
simultaneously, offering support services. It consists of fashion media,
professional and trade organizations, promotion agencies, public relation
specialists, etc., that assist fashion businesses in delivering fashion messages to
other levels of the industry and the consumer. Writing skills are very important
at this level.
Definition of Fashion
According to the editorial policy of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress,
Body & Culture, fashion is defined as "the cultural construction of the embodied
identity." As such, it encompasses all forms of self-fashioning, including street
styles, as well as so-called high fashion created by designers and couturiers.
Fashion also alludes to the way in which things are made; to fashion something
is to make it in a particular form. Most commonly, fashion is defined as the
prevailing style of dress or behavior at any given time, with the strong
implication that fashion is characterized by change. As Shakespeare wrote, "The
fashion wears out more apparel than the man." There are fashions in furniture,
automobiles and other objects, as well as in clothing, although greater attention
is paid to sartorial fashion, probably because clothing has such an intimate
relationship with the physical body and, by extension, the personal identity of
Evolution of Fashion
Fashion designing can be loosely defined as 'the art of creating fashionable
apparel'. With the passage of time, however, the concept of 'fashion designing'
6. has extended to other things such as fashion accessories such as jewellery,
bags, footwear, etc. Keeping in mind the evolution of fashion designing, it
would not be wrong to define it as 'the creation of fashion'.
Fashion designing has indeed come a long way from the mere designing of
clothing. Fashion designing has evolved into a full-fledged industry today. It is
well accepted as a career option all over the world. Apart from designing, there
are a number of other career alternatives that have emerged in this industry with
the passage of time. This article seeks to study the evolution of the industry of
fashion designing the then and now.
The origin of fashion designing dates as far back as 1826. Charles Frederick
Worth is believed to be the first fashion designer of the world, from 1826 to
1895. Charles, who was earlier a draper, set up a fashion house in Paris. It was
he who started the tradition of fashion houses and telling his customers what
kind of clothing would suit them.
During this period, a number of design houses began to hire the services of
artists to develop patterns for garments. Patterns would be presented to the
clients, who would then place an order if they liked them. It was during this
timeframe that the tradition of presenting patterns to the customers and then
stitching them began, instead of the earlier system wherein the finished
garments would be presented to them.
In the beginning of the 20th
century, new developments in fashion would take
place in Paris first, from where they would spread to the rest of the world. New
designs of clothes would be born in Paris before they found their way to other
parts of the world. In other words, Paris emerged as the 'fashion capital'.
'Fashion' during this period was mostly 'haute couture', exclusively designed for
7. Towards the mid-20th
century, fashion garments began to be mass-produced.
The bulk of production increased, and people began to have more choices of
garments. Towards the end of the 20th
century, fashion awareness among people
increased, and they began choosing clothes for themselves based on comfort
and their own style, instead of relying on the trends prevailing in the market.
Today, as stated above, fashion designing is well accepted as a career option. A
number of institutes have come up the world over, offering courses in various
arenas of fashion. The number of students who consider fashion as a serious
career and who have gone in for courses in the same has gone on rising over the
Specializations in fashion designing have come into being. There is a wide
range of options for a designer to choose from, such as lingerie, swimwear,
women's wear, bridal wear, children's wear, men's wear, footwear, handbags,
etc. Fashion designers used to be self-employed earlier now find a number of
career opportunities open for them. They can work with garment firms and
export houses. They may also be engaged in the job of remodelling haute
8. couture and adapting them to the tastes of the mass market. They might also
hold jobs in departmental stores or specialty stores.
Developments in the field of fashion designing have given rise to other related
career paths such as hairstylist, make-up artist, fashion journalists, fashion
advisors, fashion photographers, etc.
Another significant change that has come about in the fashion designing
industry in recent times is the increased use of computers and technology. A
number of software packages have come up to aid designers in the process of
designing as well as other stages in the production of a garment, easily and
Fashion designing as a trade has also grown. Fashion designers have gone on to
get repute not only in their own countries, but internationally as well. The
number of fashion shows and participation in the same has gone up
considerably in recent times.
Fashion designing is thus no longer only the designing and creation of a
garment, but it is a world in itself involving fashion, design, creativity,
technology as well as business.
10 common fashion terms and their meaning
This term is French for high sewing or high dressmaking and often refers to
exclusive designer creations. The exclusivity comes from the fact that haute
couture outfits are constructed by hand from start to finish. Couture is always
limited edition and is more expensive than ready-to-wear garments. They are
also custom-made according to the wearer’s size. A good example of a couture
9. outfit would be the Cinderella-esque gown wore by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at
this year’s Cannes festival.
The term fashion label refers to upcoming designers who make ready-to-wear
outfits in limited numbers. These outfits are high on style and are often
expensive than regular store garments but lesser than established designer wear.
The difference between a label and a brand is that the latter has been in business
for longer and is already a known name.
A French word, ensemble has been oft-used by fashion designers and you surely
must have heard or read it quite often. In fashion terms, ensemble is usually
referred to an outfit complete with accessories, jewellery etc. The whole look is
called an ensemble.
In fashion, a silhouette is essentially the basic shape or outline of an outfit.
Some common silhouettes include A-line, straight, flared, asymmetrical, etc.
Wearing the right silhouette according to your body type can work wonders for
There are designer and custom-made clothes, and then there are off-the-rack
outfits that refer to clothing that is made in a large number and is readily
available in stores. Off-the-rack also means readymade garments that made in
Also referred to as the hem of an outfit, the hemline refers to the lower edge of a
garment. It is termed long or short depending on its distance from the floor. A
dress with a short hemline will expose your legs more while one with a floor-
length hemline will barely show your feet.
When something is said to be in vogue, it is means it is currently in trend or in
style. If you keep up with fashion trends, you are likely to know what’s in
vogue for a particular season.
There are styles that are not currently in trend but are so good that will become
fashionable pretty soon. Fashion-forward also refers to people who have their
fashion game right and know what will become a trend in the near future.
In fashion terms, monochrome refers to an outfit or look that is only black and
white in colour. It can be paired with accessories as well of the same tone.
This style became quite a rage in the last few years. It refers to a top or dress
that has an outward flared or ruffled section around the waistline while the rest
of it remains fitted.
11. 5 Principles of Fashion
The Five Principles of Fashion Movement
· Sales Promotion Does Not Determine Fashion.
· Price Does Not Determine Fashion Acceptance.
· Consumer Acceptance or Rejection Establishes Fashions.
· Fashion Extremes Cause Reversal To A New Direction.
· Fashion Movement Is Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary.
THEORIES OF CLOTHING
Four theories have been developed and they provide some 'food for thought'
and the opportunity to think critically about clothing.
Modesty Theory : It suggests that people first wore clothing to cover or
conceal the 'private' parts of the human body. The modesty theory is based on
the idea that morality is dependent upon modesty, as expressed through the
concealment of the human body.
Immodesty Theory : Immodesty theory or sexual attraction explain that
individuals may have first worn clothing in order to attract attention to, rather
than to conceal, the sexual organs.
12. Adornment Theory : This theory refers to the decorative nature of clothes and
other forms of appearances; modifications for purposes of display, attraction or
Projection Theory : This theory suggests that clothes protect humans from the
elements, animals or even supernatural forces.
SELECTION OF FABRICS FOR CLOTHING
Right clothes are necessary for health, poise and self-respect. An individual who
lives within a planned budget is usually happier, more contented, than one who
spends the money as one earns it. It is true, our desire or wants are unlimited.
Our needs are comparatively few. While adjustment for needs are essential and
important in family life, catering to mere wants is undesirable for development
of personality. There is a difference between 'wants' and 'needs'. A good
clothing plan may include both.
THEORIES BEHIND THE ORIGIN OF CLOTHING
‘Clothes make the man’ is an old saying, which we accept as a without giving it
much thought. Clothes not only ‘make the man’, but also affect the facial
features and the body. Clothing takes the form of symbols used by individuals
as a tool for social interaction. This forms non-verbal communication. Climate
has obviously played an important role in determining the necessity for
inventing the various kinds of clothing worn by humanity. The temperate zones
are responsible for clothing which covers substantially the entire body. Clothing
protects the wearer against, heat, cold and sandstorms.
13. CLOTHING IS CLASSIFIED INTO TWO CLASSES:
· The fixed
· The modish
The fixed are substantially permanent and are not subject to fashion changes but
vary with each locality. The modish type predominates in the western countries
and changes rapidly in point of time over all parts of the world, which are
subject to fashion changes.
Concerning the origin of clothing, there are major 4 theories, these are:
1. The Modesty Theory: The word “modesty” comes from the Latin word
modestus which means “keeping within measure”. This theory familiar to
the Mesopotamian legends of the garden of Eden and even seduction by the
serpent holds that clothing was originally donned to conceal the genital
organs from a sense of shame, modesty, embarrassment, or some other
forms of sexual emotions. From this beginning it is assumed has grown the
practice of covering body more generally as sexual self-consciousness has
become more refined.
2. The Immodesty Theory: sexual attraction theory (Westmark 1921)
people first wore clothes in order to attract attention to the private parts
*DRESS IS A POWERFUL SEXUAL TOOL*This theory popularized by
14. Westermarck and Havelock Ellis, maintains that the intent and purpose of
clothing in the begging was salacious, designed to attract attention to
sexual organs and sexual functions and in general to make the wearer a
greater object of sexual interest. This is the Doctrine that familiarity breeds
indifference and that concealment especially pretend or partial concealment
3. The Adornment Theory: Clothing begins in he/She desire to attract
attention or secure preeminence not necessarily of a direct sexual sort. The
primitive clothing on this theory is conspicuous ornamentation. This theory
refers to the decorative nature of clothes and other forms of appearances;
modifications for purposes of display, attraction or aesthetic expression.
4. Projection Theory: This theory suggests that clothes protect humans from
the elements, animals or even supernatural forces.
Why People Wear Clothes?
Prehistoric people clothed their bodies over 75,000 years ago. This has been
shown by the discoveries of ancient cave drawings, statues, and remains of
materials used for making clothing. From the beginning, clothing has served the
same basic human needs. Those needs are protection (a physical need),
15. adornment and identification (psychological needs), and modesty and status
5 Stages of Fashion Cycle
5 Stages of Fashion Cycle
Fashion cycle act as an essential lead in fashion merchandising and the theory is
used by the fashion merchant to execute or launching a new style or design.
16. 1. Introduction:
At this stage new style or designs are introduced into the market. Their
manufacturing costs are high because they are manufactured in limited quantity
so the price of the new fashion is high. The intentions of the promotional
activities are high to make the fashion popular through celebrity endorsement,
fashion shows and advertisements. But in this stage the sales will be less.
At this stage it is considered as rising stage and it is accepted by the more
people when compared to the introduction stage. The price will be also reduced
because its production rate is high. The bad thing is that the original product is
duplicated by the other manufacturers and is termed as line-for-line copies.
These line-for-line copies are produced with less expensive raw materials.
When the new fashion is being accepted by large number of people it is
considered to be in peak stage. Then its production is increase to sell at the
competitive price for the customers. This is also referred as ‘plateau’.
Decline stage starts here when consumers are getting bored on the style and
start looking for a new fashion. The markdowns or discount offering starts here
and also promotional efforts are concentrated on discounts or markdowns. But
17. the leading retailers abandon the fashion and start selling new fashion
merchandise. The new fashion is introduced in the market at this stage.
Obsolescence stage is that no more particular fashion is existed in any market or
stores. The next new fashion will be in rise stage at this moment.
What is fashion cycle? Explain fashion cycle with the graph.
admin 0 Comments fashion, Fashion Cycle, fashion movement, Fashion
theory, online fashion, summer fashion
Answer: A fashion cycle is the term used to describe the process that a type of
fashion goes through. The fashion first gains mass acceptance and popularity
from the consumers and then with time, the tastes and preferences of the
consumers’ ebbs, which causes the fashion to lose that acceptance and
The fashion cycle is usually depicted as a bell shaped curve with 5 stages:
2. Rise in popularity
3. Peak of popularity
4. Decline in popularity
Introduce a Fashion:
• Most new styles are introduced in the high level.
• Designers create the designs with few limitations on creativity, quality of raw
material or amount of fine workmanship.
18. • The create new apparel and accessory style by changing elements like line
• Product costs are high and only few can afford.
• Production in small quantity gives the designer more freedom, flexibility.
• New products are shown to retail buyers and press.
• At the first stage of cycle, fashion implies only style and newness.
• Celebrities, TV stars, models buy these clothes as they want to wear them in
Increase in popularity:
• When new styles are seen worn by celebrities on TV or magazines they attract
the attention of the general public.
• Viewers may wish to buy the new styles but perhaps cannot afford them.
• Manufactures use less expensive fabric and modify the designs to sell in low
• Some companies also do imitation of designer originals at low prices.
• High priced designers now have secondary sales line which sell at lower prices
so they are able to sell adoptions of their original designs in great quantity.
Peak of popularity:
• When fashion is at height of popularity it may be in such demand that more
manufactures copy it or produce adaptations of it at many price levels.
Decline in popularity:
• After so many designs copies are mass produced, people get tired of that style
and begin to look for something new.
19. • Consumers still wear garments in style but they don’t buy them at regular
• Retail stores put declining styles on the sale rack.
Rejection of a style:
• In the past fashion cycle some consumers must have already turned to new
• The rejection of a style just because it is out of fashion is called consumers
Theories of Fashion Adoption
Theories of fashion adoption or distribution are concerned with how fashion
moves through the various socioeconomic levels of society. There are three
primary theories of fashion adoption: trickle-down, trickle-across and trickle-up.
However, no one theory is adequate to discuss fashion theory or explain how
fashion moves through society. In addition to these theories, there is an alternate
populist model of fashion adoption, which applies to some situations that
identify fashion distribution as moving through social groups rather than
Coined by economist Thorstein Veblen in 1889, the trickle-down theory of
fashion adoption assumes that fashion begins in the upper echelon of society.
Styles worn by the wealthy change, and those changes are gradually adopted by
the middle and lower classes. When those styles have been assimilated by the
lower classes, the wealthy, in turn, change their style and attire. This theory
assumes that the lower classes want to emulate the upper classes and is the
oldest theory of fashion adoption. It is applicable historically, particularly prior
20. to World War II. Styles from the white blouses of the Gibson Girl era to the
shorter hemlines of the 1920’s began in the upper classes.
First developed in the late 1950’s, the trickle-across theory assumes that fashion
moves across socioeconomic levels relatively rapidly. Clothing styles do not
trickle down but appear at all price points at approximately the same time. Mass
communications and popular media support the existence of this theory,
providing pictures and details about new styles, as does the modern retail world.
Many designers show similar styles in a variety of lines, ranging from high-end
designer clothing to lower-end affordable pieces. Once a design appears on the
runway, a variety of companies produce similar garments, allowing widespread
access to fashion. From the 1960’s shift dress to the shoulder pads of the
1980’s, these garments were available in discount, department and designer
stores at approximately the same time.
The trickle-up theory of fashion adoption reflects changing styles and practices
in fashion. According to the theory, styles may begin with youth or street
fashion and move progressively up the fashion ladder until they are favoured
and worn by older and wealthier consumers. Coco Chanel was the first to adopt
this theory when she integrated military fabrics and attire into fashion following
World War II. The classic T-shirt began as an undergarment in the working
classes and is now a fundamental piece of the everyday wardrobe. Once the
styles have been adopted by more traditional consumers, the street or youth
culture may adopt a new style.
The Principles of Fashion Design:
The Principles are concepts used to organize or arrange the structural elements
of design. Principles are guidelines and fundamental ideas that every designer in
21. the working field should follow. In fashion design, there are five important
principles and then apply to both the garments basic structure and that
application. They provide guidelines to combine properly the five elements of
design to create always different elegance in designs. The five basic principles
of fashion design are as follows-
Balance is the concept of visual equilibrium and relates to our physical sense of
balance. It is a reconciliation of opposing forces in a composition that results in
visual stability. Balance relates to the overall stability in the dress with the
satisfactory arrangement of parts and details. Well, balanced dress produces
visual harmony. The balanced design of the fashion is also divided into two
ways. Such as-
I. Symmetric Balance
II. Asymmetric Balance
I) Symmetrical Balance:
It is also known as formal balance. Formal balance occurs when an object
appears equal by repetition in an arrangement of elements of design.
Symmetrical balance applications of balance, for example, a straight hemline
are the norm, but asymmetrical balance can be effective too. In the past several
22. years, asymmetrical necklines have achieved popularity.
II) Asymmetrical Balance:
Asymmetrical balances called as informal balance. Informal balance occurs
when an object appears unequal by repetition in an arrangement of elements of
design. Asymmetrical balance is more complex and trickier to achieve than
symmetrical balance. For example, a one-shoulder gown might look interesting
with its asymmetrical neckline, but a jacket with one lapel larger than the other
would just look bad.
23. Proportion is the feeling of unity created when all parts (sizes, amounts, or
number) relate well with each other. When drawing the human figure, the
proportion can refer to the size of the head compared to the rest of the body.
The proportion in art is the comparative harmonious relationship between two
or more elements in a composition with respect to size, color, quantity.
Proportion is usually not even noticed until something is out of proportion.
When the relative size of two elements being compared seems wrong, or out of
balance, it is said to be “out of proportion”. For example, if a person has a head
larger than their entire body, then we would say that they were out of
proportion. A good proportion is often determined by a rule called “Golden
Mean” which was developed by Greek mathematicians.
3. Emphasis or Centre of Attraction:
Emphasis is the concentrations of interest in the selected area of design.
Usually, designers will make one area stand out by contrasting it with other
areas. The area could be different in size, color, texture, shape, etc. Common
facts of emphasis are such as-
§ Emphasis using value (light and dark).
§ Emphasis using complementary colors and atmospheric perspective.
24. § Examples of emphasis, and subordination in the artwork.
§ Emphasis using color.
Rhythm is created when one or more elements of design are used repeatedly to
create a feeling of organized movement. Rhythm creates a mood like music or
dancing. To keep rhythm exciting and active, variety is essential.
25. Repetition can be a great tool for leading the eye across a design, but without
variation, it can quickly become monotonous to look at. Consider how fast you
want people to be exposed to your content. The more repetition you use, the
quicker your audience’s brain will register your design, but the quicker it will
get bored! Try using some slight variations within your repetition to keep
5. Harmony or Unity:
It is also called as UNITY of design. A good balance between unity and variety
must be established to avoid a chaotic or a lifeless design. Unity is the feeling
of harmony between all parts of the work of art, which creates a sense of
completeness. Unity is a difficult principle to define. Unity ensures the goal for
the overall look.
26. Top 10 Global Fashion Capitals
JANUARY 07, 2016 WRITTEN BY FS STAFF
Some fashion meccas rise to the very top of just about every ‘Top 10’ list year
after year. New York, Paris, and London are a few and they often take turns
holding that coveted number one position. However, a few of the top 10
global fashion capitals for 2015 might surprise you, as these au courant cities
didn’t even make the top 10 in the most talked about industry survey the year
before—The Global Language Monitor’s 11th Annual Survey: Top 56 Global
Fashion Capitals. Even more surprising is the cities that made the Watch List
Before we reveal the Watch List, let’s take a look at GLM’s top 10 and the
reasons many of these cities are always ahead of the pack.
For 2015, Paris bumped New York from the number one spot to become the
world’s top fashion capital. This is not surprising. La Ville Lumiere is home
27. to many of the top 50 fashion schools in the world—Ecole de la Chambre
Syndicale, Istituto Marangoni (also Milan and London campuses), ESMOD-
Paris (23 schools located in 15 countries around the world), Paris College of
Art and Studio Bercot are just a few. Next, some of the most famous fashion
designers in the world are French—Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy,
Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin, Coco
Chanel, Rene Lacoste, and Christian Louboutin top the list. Besides this, the
world’s largest fashion magazine (Elle) launched in Paris in 1945 and still has
headquarters there, along with 44 editions around the world.
Finally, the world’s grandest fashion show is held biannually in Paris—the
celebrated Paris Fashion Week. Besides New York Fashion Week, no other
fashion event in the world attracts more fashion royalty. Of course, being at
the top of the fashion food chain means Parisians—no matter which
arrondissement they may inhabit, are always snapshot-ready. The world loves
to watch what they’re wearing!
2. New York
New York is and always will be a top four fashion capital, but the Big Apple
couldn’t quite hold on to the lead over its toughest competition—Paris. Still,
number two is never a bad thing and New York is still shining brighter than
ever. We all know New York is the world’s culture center in every way, but
when it comes to fashion, every city in every corner of the world follows New
York—even Paris can admit that! Like Paris, New York is home to a number
of the top 50 fashion schools in the world. Parsons School of Design, Fashion
Institute of Technology (FIT), and Pratt Institute School of Design are the
28. Next, some of the most famous fashion designers in the world were born in,
reside in or have other ties to New York. Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Marc
Jacobs, Tom Ford, Vera Wang, Betsey Johnson, Carolina Herrera, Jason Wu,
Tory Burch, Anna Sui, Bill Blass, Isaac Mizrahi, Geoffrey Beene, and
Narcisco Rodriguez are just a few. Finally, another grand fashion show, and
among the top four in the world, is New York Fashion Week. Held in
February and September each year, the show attracts the biggest names in
fashion—from yesterday to today. The event has been going strong since
1943, making it the very first fashion show of its kind.
London remained steady in 2015, neither advancing nor falling in GLM’s
survey. There are many reasons this funky city just won’t budge from the
upper echelon of global fashion capitals. First, London has always been
ridiculously innovative when it comes to fashion. After all, the Mod
movement was born here. Next, the UK has produced some of the most
extraordinary fashion designers in the world. Alexander McQueen, Mary
Quant, John Galliano, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Hussein
Chalayan, and Christopher Kane are just a few.
Next, London is home to so many top fashion schools, you’ll lose count. The
most prestigious, and often considered the best in the world, is Central Saint
Martins. Nearly all of the designers mentioned above are among the school’s
most famous graduates. Other famous London fashion design schools include
London College of Fashion, Kingston University, Istituto Marangoni (also
Milan and Paris campuses), University of Westminster, and Royal College of
29. Finally, yet another grand fashion show, one of the top four in the world, is
London Fashion Week. Also held in February and September each year, the
show attracts the world’s largest fashion houses. In existence since 1984,
London Fashion Week is produced by the British Fashion Council.
4. Los Angeles
Like London, Los Angeles held on to its position for 2015. Not too shabby for
a city that is more famous for filmmaking than fashion! So why did the City
of Angels score higher than so many other cities on the list—again? Well,
fashion in Los Angeles can be glamorous, edgy, hip, laid-back, and eccentric
all at the same time. You just can’t describe fashion in one word here and
that’s the beauty of getting decked out in LA. Decked is whatever you want it
Although Los Angeles is all over the map when it comes to fashion, formal
training for fashion designers just doesn’t get any better than this. Some of the
most famous schools in the world from Otis College of Art and Design to the
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) can be found here and
they have produced some of the world’s top designers. Pamela Skaist-Levy
(co-founder of Juicy Couture), Cynthia Vincent (founder of Twelfth Street by
Cynthia Vincent) and Rick Owens are just a few.
Besides famous fashion schools and top designers, Los Angeles is home to the
region’s top fashion show—LA Fashion Week. Held in March and October of
each year, LA Fashion Week often attracts more than 20,000 guests and
dozens of desirable collections from around the world.
30. Rome moved up a notch in 2015 from number six in 2014 to number five,
rounding out GLM’s coveted top five global fashion capitals. One of many
Italian cities that made GLM’s Top 56 list, Rome is known for top fashion
houses that produce extravagant haute couture fashions for the rich and
famous. Valentino, Fendi and Gucci were founded in Rome and the city
features one of the highest-end shopping districts in the world—the area
surrounding the prestigious Spanish Steps. The shops of Chanel, Dolce &
Gabbana, GimmoEtro, Gianfranco Ferre, and Alberta Ferretti reside here, as
well as Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, and Prada.
Rome is also home to one of the world’s most famous fashion schools—
Accademia di Costume e di Moda. Established in 1964, the school’s strong
focus on costume design makes it an even greater asset to the fashion world,
as well as the film industry. Other top fashion schools in Rome include
Accademia Koefia (also Milan), Accademia Altieri ModaArte, and IED -
IstitutoEuropeo di Design, to name a few.
The City of Rome also hosts Rome Fashion Week. The biannual event (also
known as Alta Moda Alta Roma), takes place in January and July.
Milan has been both high and low in GLM’s survey, but in 2015, this fashion
capital climbed from number 12 to number six. Not surprising. The city hosts
one of the largest fashion weeks in the world—Milan Fashion Week, and only
the most elite members of the fashion industry attend. Gucci, Prada, Dolce &
Gabbana, and Roberto Cavalli are just the tip of the iceberg. Known for out of
this world craftsmanship and the superior quality of their creations, the
designers of Milan and beyond come together for Milan Fashion Week during
31. the months of February and March for the Spring-Summer Collection, and
September and October for the Fall-Winter Collection.
Next, Milan is (or has been) the home of so many famous fashion designers, it
is impossible to list them all here. Just a few include Giorgio Armani,
Valentino Garavani, Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferrè, Domenico Dolce and
Stefano Gabbana (Dolce & Gabbana), Miuccia Prada, Franco Moschino,
GimmoEtro, Ottavio Missoni, Donatella Versace, Pierpaolo Piccioli,
Giuseppe Zanotti, Alessandra Facchinetti, Stella Jean, and Marco De
Finally, several of the top 50 fashion schools in the world can be found here.
Istituto Marangoni, which also has campuses in London and Paris, and
Accademia Koefia (also Rome) are just a few.
Barcelona dropped from the number five position in 2014 to number seven in
2015. Still, the City of Counts remains in the top 10 and for good reason.
Barcelona has one of the fastest growing fashion industries in the world. The
value of its global textile and apparel market was more than $1.7 billion in
2012, it is one of the largest producers of textiles (after Germany and Italy),
and many of the world’s top fashion houses and companies started here.
Cristobal Balenciaga, Massimo Dutti (more than 720 stores in 70 countries
worldwide), Mango (107 countries, 2,500 stores worldwide) and Tous (400
stores in 45 countries) are just a few.
Barcelona also has its fair share of notable fashion schools such as Barcelona-
IED IstitutoEuropeo di Design, FDModa, and ESDI Barcelona and the city
hosts Barcelona Fashion Week. The event is growing and it attracts both
major and up-and-coming designers from around the world.
32. 8. Berlin
In 2014, Berlin held the number seven spot on GLM’s list. In 2015, it dropped
to number eight. This top 10 fashion capital made the list again for several
reasons. It (Germany) gave us Karl Lagerfeld (born in Hamburg), Hugo Boss
(born in Metzingen), and Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley (Munich)—the
founders of Escada. Germany is also home to 40-plus fashion schools. Many
are located in Berlin. Just a few include Universitat der Kunste Berlin, Lette
Verein School of Design, KHB – School of Art and Design, ESMOD Berlin,
Best Sabel, FHTW Berlin, and OSZ Bekleidung und Mode.
Berlin Fashion Week is also an event worth mentioning. Although young
compared to Paris and New York Fashion Weeks, Berlin Fashion Week has
made a name for itself by introducing the hottest young fashion designers to
the world. The biannual show was established in 2007 and it is presented by
organizations such as Berlin Partner and the Berlin Senate, among others.
Like Milan, Madrid made an impressive climb from the number 14 position in
2014 to number nine in 2015. Madrid is a top 10 capital for a number of
reasons. First, Madrid Fashion Week is the most prestigious fashion event in
Spain. Formerly known as Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week, the gala attracts
supermodels, famous fashion designers, and the rich and famous from around
the world. Madrid is also home to a number of noteworthy fashion schools.
Just a few include Madrid-IED IstitutoEuropeo di Design, the Technical
University of Madrid (UPM), and Accademia del Lusso.
As far as famous fashion designers go, Manolo Blahnik, Amaya Arzuaga,
Jesus Del Pozo, Adolfo Dominguez, and Loewe have ties to Madrid. In
33. addition, Cristobal Balenciaga opened a fashion house here in the 1930s,
where it remained until he gave up haute couture in 1968.
Last but not least—Tokyo. This city of nearly 38 million has one of the
quirkiest fashion scenes in the world and no other city on our list has been
able to duplicate it. Moving up a notch from number 11 in 2014 to number 10
in 2015, Tokyo and its top academic institutions had a hand in shaping
famous fashion designers such as Hanae Mori (Tokyo Women’s Christian
University) and Issey Miyake (Tama Art University). Bunka Fashion
College—one of the most prestigious fashion schools in the world, has
produced famous designers such as Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe, Yohji
Yamamoto, Hiroko Koshino, and TsumoriChisato. Tokyo Mode Gakuen
College of Fashion & Design is also one of the city’s top fashion schools.
Tokyo Fashion Week is one of the most anticipated fashion events in the
region—if not the world. Known for launching some of the world’s most
unusual fashion lines and starting many of the oddest trends still alive today,
Tokyo Fashion Week attracts famous fashion designers and other major
industry professionals from all 56 fashion capitals, and beyond.