Fashion is a societal phenomenon that influences the world we live in, affecting people in all walks of life. It has the power to change societal trends, influence the economy and even affect our lives in a physical way. It is the hottest business in the world, employing millions of workers worldwide. From designers to manufacturers to retailers and marketers, fashion has become a global industry spanning across countries with diverse cultures and languages. Fashion also serves as a form of expression for individuals and groups. For example, the green hair and multiple piercings of a high school kid may cause him to be labeled a goth, skater or herb by others but, within his group, his look is accepted as part of the culture.
It is widely believed that fashion changes in response to societal change and/or financial interests of designers, manufacturers and retailers but research has shown that internal taste mechanisms can be at work as well. For instance, changing weather can influence what is worn, as can new discoveries of exotic or lesser-known parts of the world.
The newest styles are introduced in the media, through advertising hoardings and magazines before they make their way to stores where shoppers can purchase them. This rapid turnover is facilitated by the availability of low-cost fabrics and the development of fast fashion brands that copy looks from the established designers then reproduce them quickly and cheaply for the consumer market.