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Fashion reflects the trends, styles, and likeness of society. What type of fashion will be sustained and what type of fashion will be rejected is decided by society. However, in the meantime, every specific fashion style follows a specified type of process that we normally call a "fashion cycle."
What is Fashion Cycle?
Fashion is a changing concept that comes and goes; some fashion styles last for a long time while others fade away. Likewise, it follows a trend starting from the origination of an idea, conceptualization, materialization, marketing, selling, buying and using by consumers, and finally the end or rejection, and the whole process is known as the "fashion cycle." The term "cycle" here defines the period of time or life span during which a particular type of fashion stays in the market. For example, when a new style of faded jeans hits the market, people rush to buy and wear them for a while, but after a few months, their popularity fades, and no one wants to wear them.
Stages of the Fashion Cycle
Every fashion style passes through some defined stages, starting from the introduction of the fashion style, rising in popularity or demand, peak time, decline in popularity or demand, and finally rejection.
Fashion Cycle Curve
However, these five stages of the fashion cycle, i.e., Introduction, Rise in popularity, Peak, Decline in Popularity, and Rejection are illustrated through a bell-shaped curve (as shown below) −
Let’s discuss each one of them separately −
This is the first stage, or beginning stage, in which fashion designers design a new style and introduce it to their consumers. In the beginning, the new styles are introduced in low quantities and at a high price. The new styles are promoted by celebrities and other rich people, and this is how people get to know about new fashion styles.
Rise in Popularity
A new style worn by celebrities or other famous and rich people draws media attention, and then, through the media, people come to know about it. Likewise, as the demand for a particular fashion increases, many people want to buy the same design. Manufacturers increase the supply.
A particular fashion design gradually becomes popular as its demand rises at pick. Celebrities and other fashion leaders had stopped wearing the style by then, but people from all walks of life continued to demand it. Likewise, style at this stage is most popular.
This is the stage where people get bored of the style and begin looking for a new fashion style. However, some people still wear them, but are not interested in buying them. There are two reasons for the decline; the first is that people get bored with the same style; wherever they go, they find the same style. And, secondly, by the time a new fashion style comes in the market.
Finally, the time comes when people start rejecting the existing style. Since no one is interested in wearing and buying the existing style, the manufacturers and sellers stop producing and selling it, respectively. Likewise, the style is now "out of fashion’ and known as "consumer obsolescence." Though this is the last stage of an existing fashion style, it is also the "introductory stage" of a new style.
|Fashion Cycle||Duration||Market Response|
|Flop Cycle||For very short time||No acceptance|
|Fad Cycle||For short duration||Accepted for a short period of time|
|Normal Cycle||For one season||Accepted by people at large for one season|
|Classic Cycle||Beyond the season||People keep demanding even after the season|
Consumers are exposed to a multitude of new fashion styles in every new season. Fashion designers, some of whom are independent and some are introduced by big brands and companies, work profoundly to design something new, creative, and attractive and then introduce it into the market. Now, depending upon the attractiveness of the style and also the promotion and advertisement techniques, the new styles are high in demand. People from all parts of the country want to buy and wear it. But sometimes, they get bored and want a new style. This is how the fashion cycle keeps going season after season.
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