Fashion is a general term for clothing styles that change over time. These style changes may be the result of changing tastes, aspirations, economics or social and cultural events. Fashion is also a tool for self-expression, allowing individuals to project their personality and mood through their clothes. Fashion is a highly profitable industry, generating billions of dollars worldwide. There is a wide range of fashion, from haute couture to affordable mass-produced clothing. The clothes people wear communicate a message about themselves, revealing their gender, age, social class and occupation. Fashion can also be used to convey political or ideological beliefs, for example, when judges wear robes, soldiers wear uniforms and brides wear white dresses.
People can express their creativity through fashion by modifying the shape and color of their clothing or by using accessories to create a specific look. The clothing styles of people around the world vary greatly, reflecting differences in regional culture, religion, climate, and social history. Fashion can also be influenced by famous cultural personalities; for example, when the Beatles began wearing Beatlemaniac-inspired hairstyles and clothing in their concerts, they created a fashion craze that spread across the world.
The concept of a fashion cycle can be traced back to the 14th century, when the upper classes of society started to exploit clothing trends to show their wealth and status. The lower classes, in turn, responded to these trends by copying the clothing styles of their upper class counterparts. The trend then reached a plateau and stayed the same for a while, until it started to decline. When it reaches the end of its lifespan and is no longer aspirational, it goes into a hypercycle where it produces a micro-trend. This micro-trend then becomes the new fashion and the previous one is discarded or recycled.
Today, the fashion industry encompasses a wide range of products and services such as designing, manufacturing, and marketing clothing and footwear. Millions of workers are employed in the fashion industry, either directly or indirectly; for example, when a model walks down the runway wearing a particular outfit, designers often have to replicate that outfit for their customers. In addition to creating original styles, fashion companies also adapt or modify existing clothing to meet their consumers’ preferences.
The most important factor in the success of a fashion trend is its popularity. In order to be considered a fashion, an item of clothing must reach a critical mass of users before it becomes widespread. This can occur through word-of-mouth or social media, such as when a celebrity is seen wearing a certain outfit. This can also happen because of a particular feature of the item, for example, the copper rivets in Levi jeans that were designed to expand at points of stress so the jeans would last longer.