Fashion is the way in which we dress and present ourselves to others. It varies from person to person and can be influenced by trends. Some people think of fashion as only the clothing that is currently in style, but it can also be the shoes, jewelry, bags, and even the way we speak. Fashion is a form of expression and it can be used as a tool for self-confidence and self-esteem. Fashion is a multi-billion dollar global industry that reflects the changing times, economies and cultures. The current fashion system favours financial capital over human and natural capital. It presents its products as bright cellophane wrappers – perfect, auratic and flawless – and obscures their sources, ingredients and makers.
There is no definitive definition of fashion, but most agree that it involves a style of dress or behaviour that becomes popular over time. It is generally accepted that fashion reflects societal change, but there is evidence of other influences, such as the popularity of names (for example, Christopher being the most popular boy’s name in the 1990s, while Rebecca was the favourite girl’s name in the 2000s).
Fashion is ephemeral – things go in and out of style quickly. Designers try to anticipate what will be in demand by surveying the public and observing consumer behavior. They then create their own interpretations of the latest styles and designs and promote them through advertising campaigns. Fashion can also be influenced by political events, such as wars or economic crises.