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HomeFashion & RetailA brief introduction of the five-stage fashion cycle

A brief introduction of the five-stage fashion cycle

Mohammad Nurul Alam

“Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.” — said Diana Vreeland, A French-American fashion columnist and editor.

This means fashion is ever changing and here time turns it old and introduces with new one. And fashion cycle refers to the process by which a particular design, activity, colour, etc., comes into some popularity and then phase out from the mind of commoners. This cycle of fashion when observing its different stages and getting adopted or rejected by the masses people fashion completes its theory of life cycle. The life cycle of fashion trends has been changed by the development of technology and the use of social media and rendering the cycle much shorter and less forecastable than in the past. However, a fashion trend’s life cycle can be classified into five.

  1. Introduction
  2. Rise
  3. Peak
  4. Decline and
  5. Obsolescence.
five-stage fashion cycle Fall/Winter 2023-2024 trends

Fall/Winter 2023-2024 trends: back to the quintessential style. The quintessential style came back with the initiations of some major houses that presented landmark collections on the catwalks of the Fall/Winter 2023- 2024 Fashion Week. Quintessential trend paradoxically stems from a desire to assert a creative heritage. (Source Numero )

1) Introduction of a fashion trend cycle

Fashion begins in the mind of a designer or someone who wants change then it goes to public view but no all time the new idea is being accepted by commoners. Some lost their appeal to the end customers and some go viral in society, the community or in social media. If the design and new concept are accepted, then the introduction cycle period of fashion trends begins for a particular style.

Impotent notes for the Fashion cycle. 

  • The introduction phase begins when a new style is being introduced to the fashion world.
  • This introduction can be part of new haute couture during fashion week.
  • The new fashion or outfit is being worn by an influential person such as a celebrity or by well- a known person.
  • The new fashion could be an effort of forecast presentation by a marketing agency or manufacturer.
  • The style is produced in small quantities by designers or retailers often at high price in the market. 
  • New fashion is usually introduced by making, changing and adding on basic such as asymmetrical balance, color, fabric, line, sharp, and trimming.

2) Increase in fashion cycle or fashion acceptance 

This is the second stage of the cycle known as Growth in Popularity also. When celebrities wear a new dress and then if mass people is influenced or it could draw the attention of buyers and media, that means the second phase begins for a new style.

Pop stars Ariana Grande and Olivia Rodrigo -five-stage fashion cycle

Pop stars Ariana Grande and Olivia Rodrigo have meaningful activity because they are widely followed by the youngster, while they began wearing platform heels at the start of 2021 in their social media posts and music videos. By the end of 2021, a new trend forecaster 26% rise in popularity of the shoe between Winter 2020 and Winter 2021 among women in Europe. Runway-to-celebrity: Ariana Grande wears the Versace platform heel in yellow. (Source Heuritech)

Important Notes for the Cycle of Growth in Popularity 

  • Growth depends on popularity or on general acceptance. Designer put higher prices at the beginning of a fashion cycle but in the second phase try to reduce the price to give the new fashion as popular. Because unless the fashion is sold in the common market the popularity is never found.
  • The growth may see several weeks. 
  • The popularity may also depend on copying, and modifications by adding less expensive fabric, and materials and selling at a lower prices by the designer.
  • When the new fashion style starts gaining momentum and attraction in the fashion industry then the new fashion officially receives the “Trend” label.
  • During the rise stage fashion leaders, and trendsetters wear the dress and put an Influential presence on social and mass media to increase consumer’s demand.
  • In response to this mass acceptance by fashion influencers, most retailers and brands generally start carrying the trends.

3) Mature Popularity for a fashion cycle

When a particular design goes to the peak of popularity at the optimum level that means it reaches to the matured stage. 

ASOS imitates the Versace platform heel in pink five-stage fashion cycle

ASOS imitates the Versace platform heel in pink in their Runway-to-retail. Brands and retailers to pick the popular trend by copying and modifications of it to gain profit. Shoe Brands Pretty Little Thing and ASOS started to sell low-cost versions of the Valentino and Versace platform heel, in a wider range for consumers in the common flat form to access in the community and further popularize the trend.

Notes on the fashion cycle of Mature of popularity 

  • It may create much demand for many brands and retailers to pick the popular trend by copying and modifications of it to gain profit.
  • In this stage, retailers step cautiously to understand the trend and mass acceptance of a design before going bulk goods.
  • Consumers feedback is most important in this stage and analyzing them will help to know the peak of popularity but taking too much time for analyzing will damage the business opportunity.
  • The maturity and popularity also depend on the acceptable popular price. So producers cautiously analyze and do necessary action to get benefit from the stage.

4) Deterioration of the popularity of a fashion

When consumers feel the design is very common and available throughout the season in the shop and as people’s outfits they search for something new and different from others. It means the fashion cycle is reached to its top and begun declining.

kitten heel sandle, Shoe brand  five-stage fashion cycle

Image of kitten heel sandle, Shoe brand of Getty Images. According to Heuritech’s data kitten heel sandle were popular for only one season in SS21 — it revealed an 18% decrease in attraction between Summer 2021 and Summer 2022 among American women. (Source Heuritech)

Exception the ribbed knit fabric could maintain high popularity for many consecutive seasons — Heuritech trend forecasters first noticed the trend in Spring 2020, and predictions for Spring 2022 have ribbed knit fabric at +16% for men in the US. (Source Heuritech)

Notes on fashion cycle Deterioration of popularity 

  • The declining of popularity turns into an old trend due to the entrance of a new collection 
  • But the stage still has some demand from the consumers who are waiting for further downfall of price. 
  • So retailers display the style at their shop to sell at discount and plan for emptying the store before the consumers feel not to buy the goods even at discount.

5) Dismissal of style or ending of the fashion cycle 

At stage fourth, the style began to decline its popularity and at stage five the obsolescence phase or ending of trends is observed. In this final stage users absolutely lost their passion for the design and turn to new trends. 

Important notes on Dismissal of a style 

  • The rejection of style occurred just because it is out of fashion and fails to generate customers’ attention. 
  • Designers and market analyzers stop producing the same design before the dismissal period arrives in the fashioned cycle. 
  • In place of old trends, new fashion reaches consumers and their trends begin for new fashion and rejecting the old.

In conclusion, it could be said that fashion trend depends on the purchase ability of the mass people and at the same time it could influence people when a famous person wears them. But in general believe, a lost fashion trend can revive after every twenty years the cycle because time changes the mind and test. 

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