From gladiator sandals to skinny jeans to animal prints – one has to wonder, what influences fashion trends? Where do all of these ideas, some of them great and some downright bizarre, come from and how do they gain so much popularity, spreading like wildfire until practically everyone on the planet who can afford it is wearing a particular item? Even if you’re not particularly fond of following fashion trends, you have to admit that there’s something to be said for a particular style of clothing that can move millions of people around the world to dress in it.
So what influences fashion trends? In a nutshell, fashion trends are made by people for people and are a reflection of human nature and human activities. You wear something as an expression of who you are, what you believe in and where you come from, meaning you are representing a certain kind of fashion culture that you are either a part of or that you want to be a part of.
The idea of high culture is synonymous with luxury and a sense of exclusivity. These involve things like painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, literature and the like. What influences fashion trends can be seen in certain famous fashion houses, not only in their clothing lines but in their advertising campaigns too. For example, Gianni Versace’s logo is that of Medusa from Greek mythology, a stylized drawing on a golden, medallion-like background, which lends an air of bold artistry to his clothing line, along with a sense of high-end sophistication and glamorous seduction.
Think the sixties and it’s tie-dye and peace medallions, while the seventies was all about the bell bottoms and platform shoes. This is one of the key answers to what influences fashion trends. Pop culture is basically what the media and the press hype up every day you turn on the TV or go online. This is the culture of celebrities and famous personalities whom everyone else wants to look like, and of clothing produced for the masses. For example, if a popular celebrity is photographed wearing a specific coat, sales on that coat are sure to skyrocket as certain popular celebrities are considered global fashion icons and role models. This is why many fashion labels turn to celebrities to endorse their clothing, accessories and footwear. Pop culture sells a certain lifestyle that people want to have and qualities that people want to possess.
This is the culture of the “streets,” of those considered out of the mainstream, such as the hip-hop, graffiti, rock and punk scenes or the surf and skateboard cultures. If classified simply, this is the more bohemian aspect of fashion, of individualistic and unique styles, like the low-slung, baggy jeans that were primarily connected with the hip-hop scene or graffiti art on sneakers associated with skateboarding. The thing about subculture however is that it tends to turn into pop culture given enough time and attention. What influences fashion trends are the same things that keep these same trends constantly changing and that is something about fashion that will never go out of style.
Samantha Lorence is a consultant for up and coming fashion designers and her mission is to get aspiring designers to get the best start possible. She likes searching the web and other resources to seek out what is worth while and what you should steer clear of.