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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Making The Case Against Fast Fashion Collaborations

Posted by Elizabeth Mollo on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM

The Business of Fashion just posted an interesting op-ed piece arguing against fast fashion collaborations with luxury designers. As these collaborations seem to be happening faster and more frequently than a shitty Forever 21 top becomes threadbare, this piece is rightly timed. As a person who has written here about a couple of these collaborations, it would seem that writing about this op-ed piece would seem contradictory. In truth, while some of these collaborations do turn out some pretty interesting pieces, I am mostly against fast fashion retailers in general, as they feed an increasingly consumerist public with increasingly disposable and poorly made "fashion." Some quotes from the article that I found the most interesting:

But while ‘cheap and chic’ collaborations have proven extremely popular with consumers, it’s important to point out that, for large retailers like H&M and Target, their success is mostly measured in media impressions, not sales. Indeed, these collaborations rarely move the needle in terms of overall sales volume. Instead, they generate the ‘earned media’ equivalent of millions of dollars in advertising, driving people into stores. Meanwhile, participating designers benefit from large scale exposure to potential new customers and fat fees that can sometimes exceed $1 million.

‘Fashion,’ in the sense now being co-opted by the high street, used to mean designer fashion; that is, something made by a creator who puts care and thought into what he or she is creating. It means carefully crafted designs made with attention to detail and aesthetic sensibility...

...I invite anyone to argue that fast fashion brands produce ‘fashion’ in the original sense of the word. They may sell decent clothing at affordable prices — but not fashion.

Real style is a matter of taste. And taste is a matter of experience. Just like one’s tastes in music, art or books, taste in clothes forms over time. It takes effort and knowledge. Buying into a style, quickly and cheaply, inevitably leads to the disposability of style. It’s like reading the Cliff’s Notes instead of the book.

In other words, that crap you are buying at H&M is not fashion or designed. It's just crap. Read the whole article here.

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