Fashion – Catalyst For Social Change |

Midway through the last century, fashion and style began to take on a much more complex connection to the social issues of the day. When the Beatles exploded on the scene in the early 60’s, style became much more tightly connected to point of view and political persuasion than at any time in the past.One of the first points of contact between fashion and social issues was the Vietnam War and the developing opposition to that conflict. Invariably, those strongly opposed to the war wore their hair long and favored tie-dyed “hippie” clothes while those who supported the conflict wore their hair short and chose clothes that were much more conservative in nature.When the opposition succeeded in hastening an end to the Vietnam conflict, it seemed only natural that these activists (as they were now called) would turn their attention to other pressing social issues and style and fashion offered several flashpoints which could be exploited.Animal rights activists came down hard on the fashion industry for supporting the cruel capture and killing of animals in order to support many of the popular styles of the day including furs, minks and other clothing. This led to a number of consumer boycotts and those wearing the clothing were often confronted on the street.It was about this time that Hollywood began to inject itself much more strongly into social issues and thus began a long line of actors and actresses who would take strong stands on these issues and again, the fashion world was the perfect target.When the United States began to lose its’ once predominant position in the textile industry, most of the industry shifted to lesser developed parts of the world where working conditions often approached “sweatshop” status. With Hollywood taking the lead, consumers boycotted many of the companies that used these ill-treated workers to make the garments and, in many cases, succeeded in changing company policy.In today’s world, fashion is becoming more closely aligned with the Green movement and it is becoming fashionable these days to be “eco-chic” and this trend appears to be gaining momentum. As consumers become more educated about the complexities of the garment business, they will want to know about all the details that are involved in getting clothing to the marketplace and will expect to get the same level of transparency from clothing companies that they now expect from the food industry.Fashion and style, in the past, were all about creating an image but now that image can also include the personal value set of the wearer and it looks as if this connection between fashion and social issues is here to stay.

NYC Fashion is the Talk of the Town |

Here’s a bit of trivia about NYC fashion; did you know that the name for nylon stockings was originally derived from New York and London – the two cities where this useful material was first developed as an alternative to silk?Actually, although this is a popular explanation for the etymolgy of the word “nylon,” there’s little historical evidence to support it. Nonetheless, it is a colorful story – but no less than the story of the NYC fashion scene as a whole.Although Paris is often seen as the center of the fashion world, the garment industry has had a long presence in the Empire State, and New York City in particular. Entire districts were once given over to the small tailor’s shops, haberdasheries and clothing stores that werer the forerunner of the modern NYC fashion industry.Of course, the NYC fashion scene is more than designers and manufacturers of clothing – much more. Those who work behind the scenes – textile designers, photographers and the editors and publishers of NYC fashion-oriented literature and periodicals often make significant contributions toward determining what the “in” crowd will be wearing this season, even when these contributions are not generally recognized by the public at large.What is interesting about the fashion world in general and NYC fashion in particular is the fact that it has virtually always been dominated by women. From the earliest fashion designers of 18th-Century London to the most recent cutting-edge NYC fashion design houses of mid-town Manhattan, it is women designers who have traditionally set the pace and tone for each season. Currently at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology Museum, an exhibit running through the beginning of November 2008 meticulously recounts the history of women’s fashion design, of which the NYC fashion scene is but a part. What is most interesting is that the designs of these women are generally conversative, understated and tasteful; the garish and often bizarre creations that are seen from time to time in NYC fashion industry trade shows are usually the creation of men, attempting to design clothing for women (with a fair amount of chemical assistance, one suspects).Sometimes of course, these florid designs have their use; the late Erté (“R.T.” in French, for “Roman Tyrtov”), whose lavish costumes graced many of Ziegfield’s girls during the 1920s, the style of which set the tone of “art deco” in terms of NYC fashion, was one of those rare male designers whose sense of fashion had a profound effect on the NYC fashion scene in general.Women who look wistfully at NYC fashion longing to be part of it but perhaps lack the wherewithal should not despair, but consider the words of Erté, who said: “A resourceful woman who is almost downright plain can achieve the reputation of a beauty simply by announcing to everybody she meets that she is one.” NYC fashion is no substitute for self-confidence – in women or men.

Fashion Logistics Explained in Layman’s Terms |

It seems that every time a person goes online a new word or phrase is encountered. Then if that person sets out to find a definition for that word or phrase, they can get several definitions for that same new word or phrase. So what about “fashion logistics” what does this relatively new phrase actually mean?Its Not a new PhraseActually, the phrase “fashion logistics” has been around as long as there has been a fashion industry. However; with new globalization trends in fashion designing, manufacturing, wholesaling and retail marketing it is being put to use more often by more people then ever before in history.Whats the Big Deal?Basically the phrase “fashion logistics” applies to anything involved in the making transporting and marketing of fashion products on any level. So whats the big deal? Why do they need some distinct phrase to describe these things that take place in the fashion industry? What about vegetable logistics or meat logistics?The Business of Fashion LogisticsThe fact, is that a whole industry has built up dedicated to fashion logistics. The industry as a whole has gone through some pretty dramatic changes in recent years and each change brings with it its own problems with their own set of solutions.Thats a Lot of Steps!A shirt design is created and managed in California. The design specs are forwarded to a facility in China, where it is to be constructed from fabric that is manufactured in Pakistan and custom dyed in India. After the shirt is made, it then has to be transported to a warehouse facility in another part of China before it is sent in bulk to still yet another warehouse facility in Kansas where the shirts will be individually repacked for retail sale.Still More Yet to Think AboutAll of this only briefly covers the manufacturing process. For the sake of simplicity all the shipping steps that are involved have been left out. All the while, while this “imaginary” lot of shirts is being made and moved about, there are other concerns to be dealt with such as theft prevention and shipping insurance.