|Mass Market Fashion - Think Tank Article written by Apparel Search|
Recently I received a question from an Apparel Search viewer about mass market fashion. When submitting their comments, the viewer had unfortunately forgotten to list their e-mail address. Therefore, I will write a response in the form of a Think Tank article. Hopefully, this viewer will return to the Think Tank section and find my response below...
Comments from Jill (Jill with no e-mail address ...)
"What is your opinion about mass market fashion? We've all bought the 'disposable' items time and time again but is the feeling now that the consumer wants quality over quantity? Are people opting for classic investment pieces rather than fashion fads that seem to go out of fashion almost as soon as you get them home? Let me know what you think. Jill x"
My response ...
My unofficial response ...
modern world is one filled with disposable "everything".
From the products we purchase to relationships that we build. It is
evident that society has been trained that disposability is acceptable.
If it is fair for couples to end their marriages before death do they part,
why shouldn't fashion cycles end equally as fast? Although I like to think
that fashion is the most important element in the universe, I must be
practical and understand that clothing will be treated in the same regard as
most other products. When consumers are throwing out expensive cell phones
because this months model has a snazzy new ring tone, I image that they are
equally prone to trashing their "coffee bean colored" t-shirt for this
months darker shade of "mocha coffee bean colored" t-shirt. In regard to
the quality of the shirt, it is debatable whether or not the consumer
cares. The age-old question remains,
As a clothing manufacturer, is it possible for me to sell shirts to Wal-mart for a few dollars and sell a similar shirt with a designer brand label to a fashion boutique for several times the price? The answer is yes absolutely. Is it possible, that I am using the same yarn count of ringspun combed cotton for both shirts? The answer again is absolutely yes absolutely. Can the fabric be the same weight? The answer is yes absolutely. Is it possible that the colors are the same? The answer is yes. If that is the case, why the price difference? Well, consumers of clothing are human. People do in fact get caught up in fashion fads, designer labels, peer pressure, you name it...
To get back to the original question, I am not sure if consumers are really looking for quality over mass production. In reality, it is really hard to differentiate between the two. I can honestly tell you that I have seen amazingly high quality garments in Wal-mart (mass produced) and have seen a lower quality in very expensive fashion boutiques (limited production runs). As a consumer, one must find one's own balance between quality, fashion fad, and price. My personal opinion, buy product that you enjoy based on your own perception of fashion... Do not buy because a particular designer put their stamp on it.
Old jeans here, old shoes there... Oh, I have a smudge on my shirt. I better toss it in the garbage and buy a new one. Well, if I have a new shirt, I most certainly need new pants and a belt. And you better not expect me to buy those Tommy Hilfiger jeans because that was so last year...
Article written May 2006
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