THE DYNAMIC JOURNEY OF FASHION TRENDS

People sometimes ask us whether and how we watch trends as a travel brand. Our product designers like to be inspired by trends in other fields besides travel. Besides an ongoing fascination for how an item travels from A to B - we also have a strong interest in the influence of fashion and design. Following the past fashion weeks, one thing that stands out is how fashion trends also follow a certain journey. From one person to another, one brand to another or even: beyond national borders. Right from Guatemala to Nairobi, fashion trends just seem to fly into fashions stores. With streets and socials as catwalks and a school or workplace as a stage, trends will find their way to consumers. So how does a trend travel the world, do we have any influence on trends ourselves, and: why is one trend followed while another is not? SUITSUIT likes to take you on this journey through the dynamic landscape of fashion trends.

DEPARTURE 
We start at the beginning - and the beginning includes an important distinction: the one between a trend and a hype. A hype is a fashion phenomenon that suddenly pops up and then quickly fades away, while a trend is a fashion phenomenon that outlives several seasons, in different versions and price categories.

Where a trend originates can vary, but often a city or country and its culture is the determining factor for a trend. The speed at which trends 'travel' varies and is subject to the influence of four subgroups, applicable to both brands and people: innovators, trendsetters, trend followers and non-followers. Innovators are ahead of everyone, where trendsetters determine whether a trend is adopted. Trend followers then adopt the trend and make it 'mainstream'. Besides that, is the stubborn group of non-followers who unconsciously, or consciously do not engage with the reigning (fashion) trends.

Not every trend defines a particular style; only when a trend is followed by a majority of the population, we use the term 'fashion'. There are also groups, also known as subcultures, that are typical to one group. You may be familiar with this famous Devil Wears Prade scene, in which Meryl Streep makes it clear how haute couture affects our 'everyday looks'. From the colours to the patterns - even if you don't go along with fashion, you often still wear what has been dictated by higher authorities like the haute couture fashion brands.
EN ROUTE
How does a fashion trend end up in New York all the way from Nairobi and how does an Amsterdam hype make its way to Athens? There is one all-defining influence in fashion and that is the well-known Fashion Week: a week where large brands and newcomers present their seasonal collections in runway shows. The most famous fashion weeks take place in beautiful venues in the European cities London, Milan, New York, and Paris. 

Apart from the big fashion weeks, fashion houses also present collections during the rest of the year. However, journalists and buyers have the biggest focus on the well-known fashion weeks. Fashion weeks are also organised in South Africa, Zanzibar, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, and Copenhagen, but they are less likely to reach the international press. Not for lack of talent or organisational ability - in fact, calculations by FashionUnited show that some lesser-known fashion weeks bring in more money than Fashion Weeks in big cities like Paris and Milan. Because of the significant influence of this popular week, other cities are also on the rise to be calculated among the 'big names'. For instance, Lagos is increasingly popular as a fashion city. The by chief editor Omoyemi Akereli organised event is attracting a lot of attention, both nationally and internationally. 
Besides Fashion Week, trends are subject to influences from celebs, fashion trade magazines, retailers and, of course, the media. You often see a direct influence in fashion or during runway shows from social developments, politics, or cultural trends. Or imagine a combination of all three: celebrities, socially critical statements, and media. One example is Chanel presenting its autumn collection in 2014; the brand posted a picture online showing supermodel Joan Smalls pushing a supermarket trolley in where the famous model Cara Delevingne and singer Rihanna were seated. The runway show was presented in a giant supermarket full of fresh food, sweets, household supplies and Chanel-themed equipment. The show focused on the state of consumerism and how it was taking unpleasant forms. This point was further emphasised when all attending guests virtually looted the set after an announcement by 'supermarket manager' Karl Lagerfeld 'to shop in his supermarket'. Unfortunately, everyone had to hand in their 'stolen good' to security at the exit, proving Lagerfeld's point: as long as it displays a Chanel emblem - people want it.

ARRIVAL
When trends are spotted by trend watchers and designers, they are turned into clothing lines and collections, to then get spread by journalists, magazines, bloggers, and celebrities. Retailers spot trends and stock clothes in line with these trends.

Eventually, fashion finds its way to your favourite shopping street - from high end to low budget - as retailers stock up on clothes. In 2022, nobody can turn a blind eye to fashion's journey any longer, and the high burden of transport on the environment is also widely criticised. More and more consumers want to consume less and dozens of companies and organisations in the textile industry have a so-called clothing covenant that tackles wrongs in the clothing industry. 'Making trends sustainable' is a common term and represents a more eco-friendly and sustainable form of keeping the fashion industry intact. It is notable that there are already many trends that repeatedly return and trigger sustainability. Think of the 90s trend that causes young people to 'vintage shop' more than ever at the local boutique or thrift shop.
DISCOVER
The growing international travel and globalising world trade are causing a high rise of overseas elements in fashion. For instance, starting in the 1960s, travelling hippies and pop stars started copying clothing styles and elements after travelling through India and started wearing these styles in Europe. Likewise, Asia is becoming an ever more important global centre and Tokyo is seen as a frontrunner in fashion. With the rise of social media like Instagram and TikTok, fashion bloggers and influencers are more important - and influential - in the fashion world than ever before.

There are also more and more young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in fashion. The streetwear brand Daily Paper, for instance, is now known worldwide. Founders Jefferson Osei, Abderrahmane Trabsini, and Hussein Suleiman are young self-made millionaires thanks to the innovative clothing styles they mix. From their own African roots in precision-styled tracksuits to the oversized motorbike jacket and trousers with which Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton shined on Instagram. Meanwhile, the brand is worn by major celebrities at concerts, in shoots, and online. In addition to its successful online shop, the trio even has four shops based in Amsterdam, New York, and London.
STAY
What's next? When is a trend over and has the hype reached its end? What will be left? The next trend, or a previous trend that becomes popular once again? It's all possible since nothing is as dynamic as the fashion world. After all, many fashion trends are affected by time and social influence. Wearing croptops, for instance, was unthinkable in 1930. And look at how the market for unisex clothing is growing more than ever. No one looks up to the sight of women dressed in oversized trousers or blouses and many fashion designers are also adding a feminine touch to masculine clothing.

The most positive trend going on in the fashion world from our point of view is without doubt the increase in sustainability and rise of slow-fashion. In the interior world, design trends have always been more durable. SUITSUIT's design team therefore also sees the interior design industry as inspiring collections. The durability and solid pace make these trends less likely to be subject to fleeting hypes and is therefore a lot more sustainable. We'd love to tell you more about design and interiors as an influence of inspiration, in our upcoming October blogs.