Today, the global fashion industry is a $3 trillion behemoth. While the industry employs approximately 75 million people worldwide, the number of people working in the textile and apparel industry has declined due to technological advances in transportation, communication, and production. Products produced by this industry serve an estimated 1.7 billion people, each with different needs depending on their location, socioeconomic status, culture, and lifestyle.
From the first animal skin body coverings to today’s high fashion collections, fashion has played an important role in the evolution of mankind. The fashion industry has made, and continues to make, major contributions to our cultural and social environment. It is an industry that responds to our inherent longing for tribal belonging, socioeconomic needs, individual lifestyles, status stratification, and profession apparel requirements. The fashion industry is fast paced, complex, and ever changing, in response to consumer needs. Throughout the world, vast numbers of people contribute to this industry, each with the shared goal of supplying an end product of a particular price point directed at a target consumer.
Social media has been one of the greatest revolutions in the fashion industry, as it has transformed branding and created a powerful consumer base. Burberry was one of the first companies to use social media as a platform to market their brand. They carefully choose the proper content for each social media outlet. Burberry was also the first brand to use the “buy button” on Twitter to sell nail polish associated with their fashion show.
Fashion week had traditionally been an experience for the fashion elite, with tickets to runway shows reserved for buyers, press, and fashion editors. The average person would have to wait for pictures or videos of the shows to be released days or even months later. Since the integration of social media,fashion shows are now streamed live on the web. Utilizing YouTube to post fashion shows to the web is the norm during fashion week around the globe. American Express even launched a campaign showcasing various bloggers’ reactions and thoughts on designers’ collections during fashion week. By giving bloggers front-row seats at runway shows, the everyday fashionista is able to get real-time access and reactions to the shows, though some bloggers are paid to endorse certain collections.