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Navigating the Fashion Cycle: Finding Balance Between Timeless Innovation and Trend Resurgence

As technology advances and social media’s importance grows, it becomes a thrilling game to uncover the cyclical nature of trends. It’s like a fashion detective work, predicting that if people are sporting low-rise jeans and graphic t-shirts, replicating an early 2000s look, soon after we will start to see aspects of the later 2010’s fashion, which is already making a comeback. Apps such as TikTok and Instagram shine light on subcultures, giving rise to distinct ‘cores,’ like cottagecore. It feels as though everything is under a spotlight and, thus, fades fast. So, what is the key to comprehending the design cycle to avoid succumbing to rapidly fading trends?

Social Media Meets Fast Fashion

The undeniable link between social media and the growth of fast fashion brands is a powerful force. These fast fashion brands are able to capture the quickness of these trends and deliver new styles immediately. However, a common issue regarding the internet is the overload of information that one is presented with. We are constantly being thrown news articles, images, and videos that have slowly desensitized us and have left a feeling of redundancy. The same sentiment can be extended to the mainstream fashion world. Through each fashion week, influencer ad, or campaign, it feels as though we are watching a rerun of past trends. And with new discoveries presented every day, it feels it should be the opposite.

The Internet – Archive or Tool?

The internet can be looked at in two ways: an archive or a tool. Some may use it as a reference to build upon, while others may view it as a way to replicate and iterate on past trends quickly. Steve Madden’s book, ‘The Cobbler,’ offers a unique perspective on this dynamic. In the book, he speaks of his 31-month stint in prison, during which the designer had no access to the fashion world. Inventions such as YouTube were created, and a shift in fashion occurred: from grunge to “more design and label focused.” Thus, while Madden was away, the design team took creative control and worked with the trends, creating more dressy shoes. Once released, the shoe designer, even though detached from the industry for a time, was able to come back and grow the business even further. “As our shoes had gotten fancier to keep up with the trends, they had lost some of their edge, so we worked hard to put that back in while staying current. Ballet flats were big that year, so we added buckles and jewels to make it more playful.”

Finding a Fashion Balance

To maintain the vitality of fashion trends and avoid redundancy, it’s crucial to balance the new and the old. Embracing fresh ideas while drawing inspiration from the past ensures that trends remain innovative and appealing. Steve Madden’s journey is a prime example of finding this balance, successfully blending his trademark vision with trends he was unfamiliar with. While reading “The Cobbler,” it was intriguing to contemplate the impact of being cut off from trends and how that affects someone like Steve Madden, whose job was to create the latest trendy shoe. In these chapters, he questions whether he will be able to regain success after the publicized scandal but ultimately succeeds. It prompts us to ponder who has a more significant influence in setting trends: the consumer or the designer?

 

Writen by: Sorayah Mahammadie-Sabet, Student Writer

Date: January 30, 2024

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