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יום שישי, 11 בנובמבר 2011

The biases of the fashion world

Fashion is a very complex area that holds an infinite number of articles. And accordingly - you can also find endless sites in the internet. The Google search for the word produces more than  two billion results...

In this humble post I will focus on three biases that in my opinion exist in this world , that often bring the industry's products to be disappointing and far from hitting the target. I think that an understanding of these three biases can help us understand a little better the fashion world as a whole and to be more intelligent consumers. My reference will be only to women's fashion because it is  the major, more dynamic, has more money and mainly - more interesting.


First bias - the tendency to do what everyone else does. I had once a conversation with a fashion designer who worked in the field. I was very curious to hear about her ideology - what she thought was right, what she thought was beautiful and what was her vision when it comes to clothes. She simply replied that she liked fashion - which means that she see what's the current trends and designs her own clothes accordingly. For her it was very logical thing to do. She was very afraid that she makes cloths that were god forbid out of style. So indeed, she was very involved in fashion and new a lot about it - but didn't participate in design it. She just flowed with it.

The story of that girl is not  that different from the story of the majority of fashion designers - very few of them really try to design the fashion according to their creed. In most cases, due to cold economic considerations fashion designers tend to run with the herd and provide exactly what everyone else does.

And what's the problem with that? Often the trend is simply wrong. Some call it "fashion victims". When the trend leads to the wrong directions and everyone imitates it - it's a potential for a very negative fashion bias.



Second bias - the fashion world has to invent itself all the time. Why we buy clothes? For practical reasons, and also for social reasons - to show that we are  stylish and updated.  The fashion  world is rolling a lot of money, and like any industry - it's goal is to sell as much as possible.The problem is that beautiful clothes last long and if a woman buys a dress once a month - after less than two years will have more than twenty dresses and she did not have to buy any more cloths.


The solution for the problem simple: each year a new trend will dictate what is stylish and what's not, and this will completely contradict the previous trend. If in a particular year, the trend is to wear red, so next year red will be passe and blue will be the predominant color. The goal is very simple - get people to buy as many clothes. And the way - every year to announce last year's clothes are no longer relevant and the trend this year is going to be quite different.

What is wrong with that? Simple - as the guiding principle is always to try and find things to be different and original, it is inevitable to go through a whole series of fashion mistakes. Even if in a particular year the trend will be successful,  In the next year the trend will be far from it. This is what happen when you havew to change all the time.

Third bias - fashion designers are mostly women, or gay men. You can find all sorts of reasons for this phenomenon, but the fact is that most people in the field are either heterosexual women or gay men. Which means that what's unites the vast majority of fashion designers is that almost all of them are attracted to men.

What is wrong with that? Call me naive but it seems to me like the man who understand best the ice cream market is someone who loves ice cream. When a woman is wearing a certain outfit she often wants to show to the world that she is beautiful, desirable and sexy. Are homosexuals really those who know how to bring out the the sex in a women? Does women knows how to attract men? 

True, there are those who say that women dress to look good for themselves or for other women, but i believe that usually women dress for men.

If more straight men were involved in the fashion world, it is very possible that some errors were inevitable and the fashion world could focus more on what men like, and if one of the goals of a woman is to dress attractively for men - this goal was achieved much more efficiently.

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