fashion industry is very complicated. There are no standard fashion
companies. They come from a wide spectrum of enterprises working in the
apparel, footwear, home textiles and accessories markets.
The industry is made up of various kinds of companies like
retailers, design source and selling companies, companies with their own
manufacturing facilities and other companies who outsource production
but retain control over parts of the production process.
companies functioning in the high fashion segment often face a
different kind of pressure as compared to those functioning with
commodity fashion goods.
All of these aspects combine to make the
fashion industry one of the most complicated industry. Yet, various
issues can be noticeably recognized as common across the industry.
. Consumers have the power
. Supply chains are complicated
. Product launching and delivery takes time
. Companies must be able to manage a product mix
. Inventory control maintenance is important
. Impact of the latest technology on the fashion industry
. Copyright issues for fashion designs
Consumers have more power
Today’s buyers have more purchasing
power then ever before and are less tolerant due to increased time
pressure in today’s lifestyles.
They are more aware about
environmental and human rights issues and have superior quality demands.
They demand a huge variety and more frequent changes in the choices
available to them. Moreover, they also expect immediate availability of
perfect matching set of garments and accessories in their preferred
color and size combinations in the same store.
In terms of
satisfying the consumer’s needs, retailers are the first in line, but
all companies in the supply chain are driven by the prerequisite to
anticipate the expectations and requirements of their customers. From
design to production and to the final sale, all members of the supply
chain need to check that stores are stocked with the correct
requirements when the consumer needs to buy!
The companies that
are quick to respond to the consumer requirements are those that will
remain profitable in an environment of rapid global competition and
increasing material and operational costs.
Supply chains are complicated
The fashion industry is
distinguished by global supply chains and complicated logistics. Labor
and transportation costs often determine where production takes place
and outsourcing of all or part of production is common. Companies
throughout the industry have to deal with global sourcing problems and
need to regularly evaluate their sourcing strategies.
work is often done across multiple places, which may be also located in
different countries. Setting up of cutting, sewing, subcontracting and
transportation, and the synchronization with raw material supply, is a
very tedious process.
Product launching and delivery takes time
working through the many pre production steps, including yarn or fabric
selection, garment development, specification and sampling, the
industry takes a long time to introduce a new product in the market.
the complex nature of the supply chain and the global nature of
production add to the industry’s long lead times. This arrangement of
long time-to-market and long lead times does not correlate with the need
to react immediately to changes in customers requirements.
ever changing seasonal and trend driven nature of the industry depicts
that the product life cycles are too short. Even for cyclic demands
where the life cycle may continue further, there are often small changes
to design, and color or size combinations may be changed. The logistics
of managing the large number of styles and maintaining stock keeping
units is a difficult practice.
Companies must manage a product mix
Besides long lead times,
fashion producers are stressed to constantly design and develop new
product lines to maintain retailers’ interest and increase consumer
sales. Producers have noted that in order to maintain this speed, raised
flexibility and quickness to satisfy changing customer demand, which is
quicker than ever before, it is very challenging for them to judge or
come out with such types of products. Gone are the days when a perfect
fashion trend direction decided what consumers wore. At present, many
styles are available, and with rising globalization, consumers can
approach fashion news through latest media tools.
change frequently, from hosiery and basic underwear through
medium-priced high street brands, to exclusive high fashion brands.
Managing brand awareness and brand loyalty is a serious task in
retaining the position in the market. Margins in repetitive basic
products are low, so neither a retailer nor a manufacturer can ever
afford being out of stock.
Shifting to the high-end fashion
sector, margins increase and sales volumes are lower, but consumers
demand an ever changing range of choices, forcing the companies to
produce multiple collections per year.
Many companies have to put
in efforts to overcome the added challenge of arranging a mix of
repetitive lines and collection-driven products, and a requirement to
segment their product range and arrange the different segments in a
suitable way. From design to demand planning, sourcing, production,
distribution and sale, the demand of various product segments must be
separately tackled if companies need to perform well.
Companies require clarity about the sector of the market they are targeting, and they have to direct their business in that way.
Inventory control management is important
try to keep inventory levels at a minimum in all industries. In the
fashion industry the requirement to maintain inventory levels under
control is worst due to less product life cycle. In this industry, there
is only one solution to sell the goods.
brands, the entire floor sets must be in the retail stores when these
products are introduced, otherwise the chance to sell the goods is
missed and obsolescence exposure is a high risk.
For the products
that are frequently in demand, it is crucial that retailers and
suppliers do not undergo stockouts. This part of the market does not
possess the same level of brand loyalty, and customers may well be
attracted to shift brands if the color and size they required is not
immediately available in the stores when they need to buy.
companies, the balancing action of keeping inventory at the necessary
level to fulfill demand, while ensuring that they are not left out with
obsolete inventory, is a main problem.
Latest technological impact on fashion industry
Burton Amp jacket, what is depicted as “the world’s first and only
wearable electronic jacket with an integrated Apple iPod” was
According to some fashion experts the clothes will
soon turn into accessories for your gadgets. Today new technologies are
much involved with clothing and apparels that you can not judge whether
you are wearing technology or whether technology is wearing you?
Besides, electronics will keep decreasing in size to such an extent
where we would no longer considerably need the objects to hold them.
Hence, today the fashion industry is experiencing new challenges:
“intelligent textiles”, “smart clothes”, “i-wear” and “fashion
engineering” and are only a few of the trends which will transform the
entire fashion industry within the next decade.
Nowadays, many new
materials and technologies are applied in textiles and accessories when
they are still too costly or primitive for other applications. A wide
variety of electronic devices can already be made into clothes and this
will rise. New fabrics are already being developed to offer power
generation – by using solar power, electromagnetic, thermal and
The combination of high-technology into
textiles, e.g. modern communication or monitoring systems or the
development of new materials with new applications, has just begun, but
the branch has already moved in a gigantic expansion for this sector.
Particular applications for the health and security sector, e.g. clothes
with extern monitoring systems, already today exist in a large
Within the coming few years, we’ll see a lot more new
applications in garments with latest technology. Hence, there are many
designing challenges for fashion designers and engineers for making most
demanding fashionable wears.
Copyright issues for fashion designs
apparel is a multi-billion dollar business that has no national
boundaries due to its global existence. Designers, retailers and
consumers decide their statements according to international fashion
trends. In the last decade, consumer awareness of particular designers
has also raised dramatically. Magazines and newspapers also cover the
fashion industry as a part of their national news coverage,
concentrating on the dynamic world of creative designer expressions.
common man is very much aware about names and faces of fashion models
and the designers for which they model. At present many television
channels and feature films involve the fashion industry. Consumers can
now identify the various types of designers and designs.
many designers find inspiration from street fashion, celebrities,
vintage styles and other designers’ work. Even though there are
possibilities of duplication in products and designs due to easy
accessibility of the latest printing and computer technology, and due to
appearance of the regional or traditional designs in apparels
worldwide, it can not be ignored easily. It is really a challenging task
to cope with this issue globally.
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