Globalization of fashion has grown tremendously within the last decade, with the growing ease and accessibility of the latest fashion trends becoming more readily available to consumers all over the world. It should come as no shock or surprise of the growing popularity of global designers amongst this generation of fashion forward youth and the influence they have on them.
The fashion apparel industry has significantly evolved particularly over the last 20 years (Djelic and Ainamo, 1999, p. 622) and with its evolution, more and more global designers have come out in the fashion scene and soared to popularity amongst the masses. Global designers such as Karl Lagerfald, Christian Dior, Comme de Garcons, Jean Paul Gaultier, Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Lanvin, Dolce & Gabbana are popular designers, labels and brands that many people are familiar with. These designers come from an array of different ethnic backgrounds, countries and express a different culture and aesthetic feel in their clothing, because of this they are able to appeal to a wider audience but this is also an effect of globalization, and its impact on the retail industry.
As fashion images in magazines, music videos, films, the Internet and television speed their way around the world, they create a “global style” across borders and cultures (Kaiser, 1999, p.110). This “global style” is a phenomenon that has only steadily increased as years have gone by and has vastly impacted consumers and the retail industry as we know it. Fashion is constantly moving, changing, and being reinvented and reinterpreted by designers from all over the world, because of this there is a greater demand from consumers to gain access to the newest trends and styles in the fashion world, and with growth of globalization this has become possible.
Globalization distributes the institutional features of modernity across all cultures (Tomlinson, 2003, p. 273) and has created an open market and free trade amongst countries to make fashion more readily available between one another, and the retail industry has used this to their advantage. A few examples of this are retail chains like Hennes and Mauritz (H&M), Topshop, and Target teaming up with popular designers and creating clothing collections that are easily accessible and affordable to the fashion conscious consumers. The best example I can think of this type of globalization in marketing is Target’s designer collaborations. Target has had much success with their G.O. International line, that has them collaborating with designers and labels such as Missoni, Rodarthe, Proenza Schouler, Jean Paul Gaultier, Libertine, Thakoon, and Alexander McQueen to name a few. The global apparel market is a consumer driven industry and the move for Target to collaborate with well known global designers is only one step that can help further market the idea for the retail industry to capitalize on globalization in fashion and appeal to the mass market.
Djelic, M. L., & Ainamo, A. (1999). The Coevolution of New Organizational Forms in the Fashion Industry: A Historical and Comparative Study of France, Italy, and the United States. (p. 622).
Kaiser, S. (1999). Identity,Postmodernity,and the Global Apparel Marketplace. New York: Fairchild.
Tomlinson, J. (2003). Globalization and Cultural Identity. (p. 273). Retrieved from http://www.polity.co.uk/global/pdf/gtreader2etomlinson.pdf