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Terminology, Theory, TRENDS

Styles Vs Trends Vs Unique 3 of 4

A unique fashion story

Some time ago I shared a post about trends on a popular social networking site and had a number of interesting comments on the article. All were great comments and positive, except 1 which made me both laugh and in all honesty, despair a little.

Now usually I’m not bothered about people who disagree with me. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and the world would be a horrible place if we were all the same, but this one did annoy me somewhat, mainly because it had no real basis, insulted millions of people, was just arrogant and rude and more importantly was completely contradictory. I have no problem with a person with a viewpoint, but people who chop and change their mind just to suit the situation, or just write things down to antagonise or hurt others, really has no place arguing a point.

So to paraphrase the very long and almost novel length comment, whilst not repeating the insults he threw at millions of people, it basically covered these points. The gentleman was a long term fashion professional and also had a fashion label himself. He didn’t believe in trends and thought that all people who followed trends were sheep that couldn’t think for themselves.

So before I replied, I thought I should have a look at his website and see what this ‘extremely individual’ person was talking about, and more importantly, what he was designing, because surely that was the point. So I go to his website and it’s styled with a Japanese theme. The designs were simple T-shirts and drawstring trousers. There were also a few folded and draped items, reminding me of many Japanese designers. So then I go and read some bits about the label and the ideas of the brand. To summarise, the site stated that simplicity and Asian influences were the main ideals of the brand, good quality and individuality was also important. I had also noticed whilst going through the site that price was clearly important too. The designs were simple, yet the prices and fabric construction didn’t really seem to add up. Leggings were polyester mixed and were being charged at $100 US and upwards.

So what do you think my response was? Well firstly, I probably wasn’t as honest as I will be here, because unlike him, I do believe in trying to be polite and considerate of others’ points, but my real thoughts were exactly this. Firstly, the need for quality in combination with price would not suggest fabric composition of 100% polyester. Secondly, if you are looking to promote an ideal rather than a fashion label, why is he charging so much? Why only promote an ideal to a high income group? Surely the ideal is more important than profit? Thirdly, the very fact that that the design is based on an Asian influence also says that there is a theme to both the site design and the clothing design which ironically makes his entire ideal based on a theme, which he was trying to argue, is only used by ‘’talentless designers’’. Fourthly, a T-shirt is a T-shirt. Ok so he could argue that a plain, basic, short sleeved T-shirt doesn’t belong to a trend, but it also doesn’t suggest originality, the importance of design which he strongly argued or even any uniqueness. T-shirts can be bought anywhere and you would be hard pushed to find someone who doesn’t have one. So where is the individuality? Fifthly, and more of a general point in his answer, than specifically on his website, was that people who only buy items based on trends are stupid, sheep, actually made me laugh. I did ask if he had a smart phone, to which the answer was yes. He also had a number of Apple products, again I’m chuckling away to myself. So you don’t follow ANY trends as a consumer? Um, well I hate to point this out, but firstly you do just because you have an iphone and secondly, if you are trying to sell a product, you have just called ALL of your own customers idiots. Personally, I’m not sure how effective his fashion label will be, and how many of his customers will realise he was talking about them

This whole point of the story is this. It’s fine to believe that you are an individual. It’s fine to strive to be unique. Ultimately everyone does, it’s human nature after all. But if you are looking to try and predict trends or even sell a product based on trends, you need to understand that ultimately there will always be those who want to insist that individuality is the most important thing in the world and will ignore the fact that, as hard as they try to be unique, an influence has crept in somewhere [like Japanese design] and ultimately you will always be part of a larger ideal.

People tend to forget what is out there in the greater world. All they look at is what is immediately around them, or what they relate to every day. They can’t understand that the world is closing. People are closer than ever before and if you are looking to create a product for sale, you have to understand that you are not unique. Historically that product has been tried, designed, developed and even failed at some point or in some form for whatever reason. You need to accept that in another country, they might have the same idea, product or service. They might even have one better than yours. The ideas are not truly unique and a rare unique idea or product, is just that, rare.

The up note, is that if you start to understand this concept, then you ultimately open up yourself to understand that your audience for your product is also larger. That there might be expansions or variations you could look at for different locations. You might even have a hard core group of fans based on the other side of the world that you wouldn’t have known about if you didn’t expand your mind, and with the world becoming smaller and smaller through social media, you are at the perfect place at the perfect time for this.

So, nope……sorry Mr Insulting, your comment didn’t convince me [and I didn’t appreciate you insulting everyone in the process] that you or anyone else is an individual or that trends shouldn’t exist. Ultimately you are trying to change human nature, and I might suggest that a) to do that you should go into DNA research, not a fashion brand b) you really understand the irony of your ‘’fashion brand’’ and c) you might want to consider not insulting ALL of the designers, bloggers, buyers and more importantly customers, including yourself and your own, because you never know who’s reading.

This was the third of a four post series and will continue for the next post discussing The trends for greater good……… For part 1 and 2, click the link below.

Styles Vs Trends Vs Unique 1 of 4 – Introduction

Styles Vs Trends Vs Unique 2 of 4 – We are all individuals

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