4 Ways You Will Influence the Fashion Industry in 2017

By Timothy Parent, February 3, 2017

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Timothy Parent Fashion Column

Timothy Parent is the founder of China Fashion Bloggers and has followed Shanghai Fashion Week for 15 seasons and Fashion Now in Beijing for six seasons. In his latest Fashion Column for That’s, he talks about the ways you the consumer will influence the fashion industry in 2017.

Everyone is trying to predict what you, the consumer, will buy. Companies want to know what you value and why, and collect as many data points as possible to predict how you will behave. 

You might think that the surreptitious collection of your personal information by retailers, social media and tech companies is undermining your value as an individual, but it actually just proves how valuable you truly are. So with the powers of choice and capital, how will you influence fashion brands? 

One supposition is that you and your fellow consumers are becoming more intelligent and discerning, largely due to widespread access to information and the demand for transparency. Here are four predictions on how you’ll help the fashion industry evolve in 2017. 

1. Demanding Transparency


People want to know where clothes come from, who makes them, and whether or not it is done in an environmentally AND people-friendly way. Ethics will, hopefully, become more important to consumers because the value of products shouldn’t be based on the cost alone. 

So the prediction is that conscientious consumerism will certainly be a fundamental component to the evolution of fashion in the coming year. 

2. Un-following Trends


If we assume that consumers are more intelligent, informed and conscientious, then it is also safe to assume that trends will become less and less important. 

Trying to fit in is a waste of energy for individuals in an age of self affirmation. Sure it’s nice to be a part of a group, but it’s 2017! 

It’s time for individuals to act like individuals, not derivations of ideals. With the proliferation of not only domestic designers, multi-brand stores, and online shops, consumers are spoiled for choice and can help support a diverse group of creativity in China while simultaneously materializing one’s self identity. 

It’s a win-win, so hopefully more people will stop following the pack and forge their own aesthetic path this coming year. 

3. Investing in Demi-couture 

Demi-coutureDemi-couture from 'by FANG' 

Another forecast is the rise of demi-couture. Many brands will offer one-of-a-kind pieces at an affordable price point, especially once one considers the quality and durability of the garment. 

Consumers will start to invest in their clothes and themselves, slowly creating wardrobes that are timeless and can be passed down to future generations. Demi-couture will help battle the throwaway culture that brands have tried to create, as consumers realize clothes can become more valuable with time as opposed to something that quickly deteriorates and/or becomes irrelevant. 

4. Rethinking Seasonality


Although conscientious consumerism, ‘trendlessness’ and demi-couture are all examples of the slowing of fashion, it doesn’t mean that creativity will fade. It actually gives time for designers to gestate and become more creative, but we may see that other parts of the process speed up. 

Instead of waiting six months to buy a collection you’ve seen on the runway, you may be able to purchase immediately. Designers, stores and consumers alike are rethinking how the industry works, and we may work less on a seasonal basis. 

In the past we built a rigid structure that has tried to speed up consumption, making you think less and buy more, but hopefully in 2017 consumers and the industry alike will see the virtues of slowing down. Nevertheless, we all know supply won’t change without demand changing first, so in the end the evolution of fashion is up to you. 

Timothy Parent can also be found at www.chinafashionbloggers.com. See more of his Fashion Columns.

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