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Impact of Globalization on the Fashion Industry

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 1520 words Published: 16th Aug 2018

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After 1979 revolution the loose-fitting manteau and black headscarf was obligatory in Iran, still the state dress code was challenged by the women wearing fashionable and colorful coats with head coverings to match. Western fashions and influences are not prohibited in Saudi Arabia, but sometimes accustomed to meet Islamic standards. In a similar trend, Elle magazine recently launched its Middle Eastern version, featuring glossy pages of women in conservative clothing and a mixture of Eastern and Western fashions.

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Since the 1980s and the growth of the global economy, there has been massive growth in what Joanne Eicher has termed “world fashion” (p. 300). At the start of the twenty-first century, the preferred garments of young people of both sexes from around the world tend to be jeans, sweatshirts, T-shirts, and sneakers. These clothes are also international icons of American culture. The global young wear the same clothing, a phenomenon made possible by the exploitative mechanisms of the globalization of clothing manufacture, distribution, and retailing and by new technologies, global commodity advertising of branded leisure clothing, and the cultural and political domination of the United States. The reasons for wearing such clothing vary, but these clothes signify youth, modernity, and an eagerness to belong to the newly globalized capitalist world.

In the period from 1964 to 1970, styles of dress worn by young women in Britain were the most famous visible representation of the “teenage revolution” and of the cutting edge of cultural modernity. Miniskirts exposed thighs to public view for the first time in European-American fashion history. These changes were rooted in the major social and cultural upheavals of the late 1950s, generated, as Tony Bennett explains, by “a watershed around which a series of significant “before” and “after” contrasts can be drawn” (p. 7). Young, radical film-makers, painters, writers, photographers, and designers then successfully challenged the British establishment’s hold on cultural power. Many who came from working-class backgrounds were helped into university and art-school education by postwar state grants to cover fees and living costs.

The London couture trade ignored these developments, maintaining their prewar function of creating elegant clothing for the annual high society calendar. The fashionable age in 1955 was around thirty-five but could easily be fifty-five if a woman kept a slim figure. By 1965 the fashionable age was sixteen, a near twenty-year drop in ten years.

Dress – Globalization Of Fashion


Due to globalization the companies are adapting the new initiatives for their production, manufacturing. To get the competitive advantage in the industry fashion houses are now outsourcing from some countries world country where the labor cost is too low. Furthermore, the designers of the international brands are constantly in search of the new design to create new customers and to be ahead in the competition within the industry.

The existing mode influencing customization or modification in the costume is fashion. The Asian style has been characterized by the freedom from change which was followed by the Roman and Greek for centuries.

It is believed that the fashion in dress started off in Europe on 14th century. The styles were defined by the prominent personages and the monarchs spread through descriptions in letters, in costume, exchange of fashion doll, by travelers. In 1586, first fashion magazine was produced in Frankfurt. Then in 1830 the Godey’s Lady’s Book produced in United States was popular for decades. The only influential designer in costume at that period was Rose Bertin, milliner and dressmaker to Marie Antoinette.

In Paris-the leading arbiter of fashion since the Renaissance-the fading influence of celebrities was coincident with the rise of designer-dressmakers in the mid-19th cent. Paris haute couture has remained preeminent in setting fashions for women’s dress. Designers such as Charles Frederick Worth, Coco Chanel, Lucien Lelong, Elsa Schiaparelli, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent have had fashion houses in Paris. In the latter part of the 20th cent. such American designers as Norman Norell, Mainbocher, James Galanos, Bill Blass, and Pauline Trigère competed successfully with Parisian designers. London, in the early 19th cent., became the center for men’s fashions under the leadership of Regency dandies such as Beau Brummell. In the mid-1960s, London was again for a time the center of fashion influence.

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The 1970s and 80s saw the beginning of more divergent trends in fashion. This was the result of the increasing popularity of ready-to-wear collections by major designers, which made fashionable label-conscious dressing possible for the middle class. Ethnic-inspired looks and the punk style enjoyed a period of popularity. Successful clothing designers such as Ralph Lauren, Georgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo, and Geoffrey Beene widened their design horizons, licensed their names, and put their distinctive marks on objects ranging from furniture to cars, fabric, and perfumes. The look of luxuriance that emerged in the 1980s was countered in the 1990s with the production of classic understated clothes. Fashions are adapted for mass production by the garment industries of New York, Los Angeles, and other cities.

Influence of faster and effective communication

In the age of globalization the producers of cloths and marketing manager of different brands are now able to communicate their new design, trend and brand faster than ever. The internet has successfully established a new communication channel along with different innovative tools. The international marketers are now influencing the ultimate consumers using the celebrities as brand ambassadors helping them to add value to the promoted brand to influence the target market. The innovative ideas, promotional mix, including event management and thousands of media channels are employed to establish the brand and to capture a position in the target audience.

Branding, Brand Positioning

The significance of clothing goes beyond what we wear. A pair of blue jeans is not just a pair of blue jeans. The brand is often just as – or more – important as the article of clothing. Brand recognition is a crucial factor in the world of fashion, especially for younger generations. Faedda asserts that ‘for young people jeans have become a tool of social and political protest, of adherence and membership, symbol and emblem; for stylists jeans have become a trendy casual product, a refined prêt a porter article or quite a high fashion creation.

To establish their brand the global designers are always aware of promoting their brands through every possible way. They use the celebrities, rock stars, artist, players to influence their fans as they can easily influence their fans. For instance, lately the Emporio Armani has successfully managed to come in to contract with Christiano Ronaldo the footballer.

Influence of Cultural Globalization

Now the world is experiencing the presence of the BigMacs from Viena to Sydney, people are wearing clothes from the Benetton, working on the IBM computers, talking about the human rights and watching CNN or MTV. But their presence indicates that the worlds is experiencing mostly western flavor due to the globalization. Globalization has increased the ratio of migration, FDI, franchising, joint venture allies, merger and acquisition process which in turn increase the competition along with the efficiency. To get the competitive advantages the companies are now following outsourcing to become more cost effective. All these initiatives allow cultural blending across the nations as it requires people from different country to communicate interact with each other. Furthermore the internet allows us to get any sort of information instantly. The instant access easily transfer the fashion, culture and other cultural parameters offering more uniform genre of taste and preference.


The competitions forces some of the companies to come along with the innovative approach in their promotional strategies to attract their potential customers compare to the industry rivals. Fashion is a modern European occurrence, which is inseparable from capitalism in Europe. It is the progress of the bourgeois 19th century and the industrial revolution. Fashion can only flourish and become a mass event in an industrialized society with developed technology, sound aesthetic taste and uniqueness, as well as wealth. Because fashion is the opulence one must be able to pay for. Due to globalization people with common taste are able to communicate and can find out their favorite fashion which are getting more uniform day by day.


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