Understanding the psychology of fashion is the marketing brilliance that defines success – You purchase an identity, not clothing. The model walks towards the camera battery, profile lifted slightly aloft, with the peculiar avian movement that has evolved to compliment the lines of the clothing. She doesn’t even look at us in the wings; her focus is on the armory of lenses at the end of the runway, which will snap the picture into the media an instant after she has turned away. All fashion trends, whether casual, cross-dressing, or something similar, have psychology behind them.
For most of us, the first image that comes to mind when we hear the term fashion is a model taking a brief stroll. The runway show, with its blend of innovation, glamour, and deception, is one of the components that drive us to buy garments we don’t need again and again. It’s impossible to conceive of a business that doesn’t use marketing in some way or another, yet only fashion relies on it so heavily.
When clothing leaves the factory where they are manufactured, they are nothing more than garments or apparel. Only when they have been absorbed by the market do they become popular. Even if you claim to be uninterested in fashion, you have been compelled to confront it. Fashion may be found anywhere. What you wear or do not wear has become a political statement. You don’t purchase clothing; you buy a sense of self. This identity is inextricably linked to the values of the brand. Marketing conveys these values; are you flighty, debonair, streetwise, intellectual, or sexy….? One thing is certain: fashion, even at the highest levels, is becoming increasingly commercial.
Designers are marvelously creative individuals, yet they work for an ever-dwindling number of multinational corporations. There can’t be many creative occupations where you’re expected to show off your skills with a big body of work every six months. It’s arguably simpler to be critical of fashion than it is to admire it for people outside the business. The terms fashion and marketing are nearly synonymous. However, a fashion brand cannot expect to grow just by marketing.
Consumers, thankfully, aren’t that stupid. Marketing can persuade a customer to enter a store, but if the clothes inside are unappealing, they will leave.
Today, any product or level of service must strike the right combination of price, quality, inventiveness, and wearability. We believe that fashion shoppers are the most sophisticated of all shoppers. Fashion already relies on a complicated array of barely discernible indications and symbols. The breadth of a lapel, the height of a boot – so the imagery that goes with it cannot afford to be crude. Today’s finest fashion advertisement has little resemblance to traditional advertising. The most effective marketing campaigns are carried out under the radar; the target is either unaware of the ruse until it is too late, or is so impressed by its cunning that they agree to accept the offer.
Every consumer has become an expert. They are starting to resemble those in the sector. When you meet people in the fashion industry and work with them, one thing becomes clear: none of them are particularly fashionable. They are more often than not stylish, but there is never a hint of victimhood about them. They appear to understand the system so well that they refuse to get caught up in it. Customers are increasingly thinking along the same lines.
The days of brand loyalty in consumers are long gone. Nobody wants to be dressed out from head to toe in the same brand’s clothing, especially if it’s buried with logos. Small “curated” boutiques offering uncommon but many brands, as well as other lifestyle accessories, will become considerably more frequent in the future. Customers do not just buy designer, chain shop, or vintage items. They acquire all three and put them together in their distinct manner. Consumers, as stylists, are demanding more options and faster product turnover. Even at the low end of the market, fabrics and designers are becoming more inventive.
The need for uniqueness is also motivating the revival of couture and bespoke tailoring, albeit in a more egalitarian form. Women desire to collaborate on the design of an ensemble with the sales associate. They enjoy being involved in the creative process. Without the why fashion is all about the alter ego; who do I want to be today? It is the mental picture of the occasion and mood that makes a woman reach into her heart and choose the garment that will define her persona for that day in that 30 seconds in front of the wardrobe. Understanding the psychology of fashion is what defines marketing genius.