I have been on a quest lately to test the future of fashion as we know it. I only buy what I truly love, or one-of-a-kind statement pieces. But this is getting harder and harder to do. I believe consumers feel the same way. I shop on instagram for inspiration, scour vintage sites online, and as a result, I am adding to the failing retail system. There are so many great things to be discovered online, and the value in committing to the centralized space that is a singular specialty retailer or department store doesn’t hold as much weight as it used to. Does fashion ruffle your feathers anymore? Do you still shop in-store? My feeling is, If I am going to spend, I only want to buy statement pieces.
I have read that consumers are no longer purchasing fashion for fashion’s sake and are rather spending on travel, home decor, and experiences among other things. This global change isn’t confined to the mall. Just this week, famed Parisian shop Collete will be shuttering its doors after 20 years in business. In “Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?,” The New York Times notes, “Along the cobblestone streets of SoHo, Chanel handbags and Moncler jackets are displayed in shops like museum pieces, harking back to the height of the neighborhood’s trendiness. But rents there are softening, and the number of vacant storefronts is rising.”
Is fashion is falling out of fashion? Fashion, can you still ruffle my feathers?
white vintage bag
If you believe that fashion is falling out of favor, you’re not wrong, but it’s a constant discussion. There are elements of the fashion psyche and appeal that I still love. The insidery-ness, the slow-burn anticipation, the electricity, that, to me, as a veteran fashion editor, aren’t what they used to be. It is perhaps why the rise of essentially non-fashion forces, like Vetements, are so feverishly popular at the moment. The coolest kids in the world don’t wear fashion anymore. They wear indistinguishable khakis and white T-shirts. My simple white T-shirt may be just enough.
It also seems ever less respectable to flex your spending limit, or lack thereof. That sort of thing has become more a form of entertainment, less a form of fashion acumen. The legitimately wealthy, are putting their money towards things that are more personally satisfying.
Why leave your house?
E-commerce, led by the industry giant Amazon, have made it so easy and fast for people to shop online that traditional retailers are struggling to compete. This shift has been building gradually for years. Others say malls are becoming fewer and better to accommodate taste changes. Some chalk it up to the cyclical nature of business. Fashion is cyclical, and it will constantly change and hopefully circle back to its roots.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Do share in the comments below! Have a great weekend!
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photos: Brian J. Green