Technology: End of Fashion Hierarchy and Distinction? Or a Rise of Imitations?



Fashion is both democratic and exclusive, depending on its target audience. However the days where the elite attend Fashion Week and wear such elegant and unique pieces may be coming to a close to some extent. Some fashion has become meant for a broad audience making designers go “main stream” by selling clothes at Target like Isaac Mizrahi. But some fashion is simply not wearable for the mass consumers either because of the cost, elaborateness, or because most wouldn’t have anywhere they could wear such items. However the ultimate question we face is technology affecting fashion and it’s hierarchy or does it help the fashion world?



Going back 10 years one can see a large difference with public awareness of fashion, particularly Fashion Week.  Fashion Week is the time to show off the new innovative designs to the elite that top designers have been working on for months or years.  At this important time there’s a new part of the fashion world that is getting more involved with Fashion Week: technology.  How fashion is exposed in our generations growing dependence on technology, things are seen differently. With the growing dependence on social networking, twitter, youtube, facebook, apps, bloggers, and vloggers for our information about what’s “in” designers have had to adapt to be accessible in this market for their consumers.  Could this mean the risk going out of business if they don’t change to make themselves more available or would this mean designers would become even more successful with technology?

Today there is the risk at Fashion Week of someone sneaking in and filming the show on their phone, ipod, etc and posting it on youtube. With this growing online exposure could this mean a wide variety of things for the designer and it’s something we are looking to find the answer to.  Will it create more competition, lose the ascetics of fashion or will the Internet completely cut out the middle man, designers instead turning to sell directly the consumer?

The outcome of competition and technology leads to imitations.  Imitations also play in reducing hierarchy when you see so many “designer” bags.  For example on a campus I think people assume if you’re a student and you have on a designer piece it’s probably fake, and even if it isn’t any “status” or hierarchy you originally received when you purchased is lost in the assumption of fake.  As Vlebon says “A cheap coat makes a cheap man,” These fake or real pieces might lead to things being about material or original pieces firmly establishing a hierarchy once more since “true” pieces shouldn’t have any look a likes, any copy of the same will be seen as fake. Or the black market will just continue to grow and ensuring that brand (logo) purses lose any hierarchical meaning.

There is a lot of debate whether or not technology ruins this hierarchy as it could be said it helps the business thrive with these imitations and fast paced society.   Without knowing the statistics of each aspect it’s hard to gage this opinion but regardless it’s something to ponder.  It’s important think to about this and realize the pros and cons.  Even if there is less of a hierarchal difference one thing still will remain and that is that fashion and Fashion Week will always be extremely profitable and important to us all.


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