Thursday, June 19, 2014

Trend Setting - a short example!


I recently heard English fashion consultant Gok Wan (below) describe the essence of fashion as being about 'elitism.' In other words, he thought we all use fashion to try and achieve an increase in social status.


To explain that in more detail, we humans are hard-wired to try and raise our social status by wearing something that makes us stand out in our social group (our tribe).

And that’s the psychological trait that the fashion industry works on… constantly developing new trends that offer us the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
 
Fashion designers have to come up with new ideas every season… and to make their new trend more attractive, they often pay celebrities, actors and sports stars to model what they've designed.

Then other celebrities pick up on the idea, and they wear it too so they're seen as being ahead of the pack... elite... different from ordinary people.

Then the trend gradually expands until you finally see versions of it in stores like Target or K Mart. But by that time, a new trend has appeared at the top of the fashion chain.


All this is based on the 3 primal values that influence the way we all dress :
  • to fit in and be accepted by our social group
  • to be a bit different and raise our status in that group
  • to be sexually attractive to potential mates within the group.
 
It’s interesting point is that men are more inclined to be influenced by values #1 and #2… while women are more inclined to be influenced by values #2 and #3. 

Consequently, men will usually wear whatever fashion trend the men in their social group are wearing. One common example would be long baggy board-shorts… which most women don’t attractive on men at all.
 
But things are changing, and men’s swimwear (and casual shorts) are going to get shorter and shorter over the next few years.
 
Swimwear has to get shorter… the fashion industry has made board-shorts so long that some styles reached below the knee… so they’ve got nowhere else to go now but 'up'.
 
This new trend is something that’s going to please a lot of women. And whether men realise it or not, that response from women is going to please a lot of men!

 It’s a Primal Thing.
 

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