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FUTURE OF MENSWEAR

NAME : CHIA-HSUN YANG STUDENT NUMBER : 15137781 MAJOR : MA FASHION PROMOTION


INTRODUCTION

Forecasting fashion is complex and difficult, it is affected by numerous factors and the fash-

ion world is constantly changing. There are two types of fashion forecasting: short-term and long-term., The former predicts trends one or two years ahead and focuses on new products, especially on terms of color, textile and style; the latter focuses on trends more than five years in the future and anticipates the direction of the fashion industry (Kim et al, 2011).

Forecasting is an art and also a science (Sproles & Burns, 1994). It is an art because forecasts often relie on instincts, good judgment and creativity. Also, it is a science because forecasters use data to analyse and predict upcoming trends with well organized systems (Sproles & Burns, 1994). The traditional forecasting system is for approximately one year. However, technological innovation and the emergence of fast fashion have speeded up the process. It was reported in 2003 that the life span of forecasting had become only a few months or even a few weeks (Keiser & Garner, 2003). Now, it has become even shorter, new styles and products are adopted week after week. The Future of Menswear is a long-term forecast which mainly targets young men between the ages of 16 and 35 by analyzing the menswear market, consumer behavior of the post internet generations and environmental factors (past, current, and near future), to provide readers, whether companies or individuals, a few directions (and key ideas) about their role in product development.

(Gush, 2015) 2


CONTEXT 1. INTRODUCTION

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2. KEY IDEAS

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REMEMBERING THE PAST IN ORDER TO IMAGINE THE FUTURE

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CASUAL IS THE NEW LUXURY

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FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

10

GENDER FLUID

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NEW VALUE

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URBAN ESCAPE

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SEASONLESS FASHION

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3. MARKET ANALYSIS

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4. CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

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MILLENNIAL

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GENERATION Z

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5. ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

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STREETWEAR AND THE RUNWAY ARE BLURRING

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NEW BREED OF SUBCULTURE

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THE ERA OF CASUAL WEAR

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UNISEX

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SUSTAINABILITY

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OUTDOOR AND URBAN STREETWEAR MERGE

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SEASONLESS

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6. BIBLOGRAPHY

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KEY IDEAS 4


KEY IDEAS

(Wilson, 2016) 5


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REMEMBERING THE PAST IN ODER TO IMAGINE THE FUTURE

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Looking back to the past will be the secret way to go ahead. In the future, designers will take time to look back at previous trends and draw inspiration from them. For menswear, new designs will combine modern shapes or materials with nostalgic influences but still offer contemporary feel and a new sense of modernity.

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KEY IDEAS

(Alvaro, 2013)

(Mrlking, 2015)

(Harris, 2012) 7


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CASUAL IS THE NEW LUXURY

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(ALKARUS, 2015)

(Delane, 2016)

(Davide, 2015) 8


KEY IDEAS

Being comfortable and dressing up are no longer contradictory to each other. Design will focus on the grey area between night and day, relaxed and formal. People will be more willing to stay at home instead of going out, intensifying the demand for solitude rather than avoid it. For menswear, daywear is reappropriated for the night with functional casual wear; and nightwear transitions into the day with night-time silhouettes, with robe-like, quilted coats and pyjama shirts. For homeworkers, blurring the lines between home and office drives the need for flexible and comfortable pieces to wear at home in the day, but also appropriate enough to be worn to meetings.

(Schenk, 2016) 9


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FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

(Hsu, 2016) FUTURE OF MENSWEAR

(Santels, 2010)

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(George, 2015)

(Blender, 2015)


KEY IDEAS

(Justina, 2014)

With the rise of post-internet generations, and with Generation X and Boomers living longer and healthier than ever before, youth has become a state of mind, not something defined by age. The mix of years has caused the transformation of workplaces , adults are inspired by teens, and teens are inspired by eras that they have never experienced, such as ’90s club culture. The old rules no longer apply in offices, employees must embrace the wisdom of both older and younger people. In the future, older adults will adapt more daring clothes as they stay fitter and remain curious. 11


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GENDER FLUID

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(Leach, 2016)

(KLEIN, 2016) 12

(Solange, 2015)


KEY IDEAS

(TOOGOOD, 2015)

The questioning of boundaries will become one of the leading issues in the future, and not just on political or socio-economic levels. The concept of age, season, gender and identity are increasingly fluid, these things will become something that

can be constructed from the inside rather than defined from the outside. With technological innovation, people will seek to reform their identities offline just as much as they do online, further challenging and blurring traditional stereotypes. With fast fashions popping up all over the world, people are inspired from what and who they see online, and this goes beyond whatever culture they are living in. Openness to gender identities will continue with men embracing style instead of gender labels, and women joining sports and subcultures previously exclusive to men.

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NEW VALUE

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A new industrial revolution is on its way, driven by consumer demand for transparency, lack of economic trust, and the rise of social networks. Sustainability will no longer be a marketing ploy but an actual industry standard, brands will have to work harder to meet these demands. Some brands are already transforming waste (FurugiStar, 2011)

(WRIGHT, 2014) 14


KEY IDEAS

into new product and moving toward a future with an endless supply chain. There will be smarter use of recycled materials and products will be built to last: design will not only be good, but also for the greater good. For menswear, craftsmanship and quality are key, men are willing to spend more on less but expect products with a longer lifespan.

(Pijak, 2012)

(Lum, 2015)

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(Lieber, 2015)

While people live in an increasingly tech-centric world and connection to people is undeniably important, a counter action will be encouraged. People will yearn to reconnect with nature, try to disappear from the digital world.

(Lieber, 2015)

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(Lieber, 2015)

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KEY IDEAS

URBAN ESCAPE New technology and social networks will definitely further global relationships, but the most important connection will be with nature. With this change in consumer demands, traditional outdoor brands will merge with urban streetwear in order to reach more customers and secure consumer loyalty. Outwear clothing will become more urban with stylish silhouettes, and streetwear will blend with high performance fabric. Designs born out of function and necessity will gain popularity in menswear.

(Lieber, 2015)

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Seasonless Fashion Traditionally, the fashion world is divided into four clear seasons. However, seasons are changing. There are three major reasons causing the change. First, erratic weather from global warming; second, the rise of fast fashion; and finally, the demand of multi-season items. Today, people are looking for constant newness, they are no longer been driven by weather or fashion show schedules. They want clothes that can be worn all year round and want to mix and match them with new items no matter if

FUTURE OF MENSWEAR

(ClimateCouncil, 2016)

(Quoteslike, 2016) (Bloomberg, 2014)

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KEY IDEAS

(Honeythatsok, 2015)

it is winter or summer. With the global travel boom, seasonless garments play an important role as people are visiting different destination with different climates.

(Bougie, 2016)

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MARKET ANALYSIS

MARKET ANALYSIS

(Prescod, 2014) 21


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Growing Market For Menswear At the end of 2015, the world was fac-

ing tremendous retail losses. However, there was one specific market which was booming despite the recession: the menswear market. Men nowadays are spending more money and time on shopping than ever before, even more than women. According to recent research conducted by Barclays - a banking and financial services company - menswear has shown nearly a 25 percent growth in the last year, starting with a 10% increase earlier that year and rising steadily without any sign of stopping(Kim, 2016)

(WANG, 2014) Since 1998, the rise of men’s interest in their appearance has triggered over 70 percent of global sales (Euse, 2015) and has outpaced the growth of womenswear for more than five years (Wang, 2014). A research firm Euromonitor International also predicts that menswear will contribute US $40 billion from men’s shirts, jeans, coats and jackets to the apparel market worldwide by 2019 (Euse, 2015).

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(Moshinsky, 2016)

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MARKET ANALYSIS

(Babcock, 2015) These increases are mostly due to men starting to embrace their personal appearance and style, as well as a larger disposable income for men. “Globally, men’s annual disposable income is still 50 percent higher than women’s and while Western markets still spend the most on apparel, future growth is expected to be driven by Asia Pacific.” According to Magdalena Kondej, head of apparel and footwear research at Euromonitor(Yeung, 2015). Because of this, luxury brands and mass fashion brands are both making moves toward menswear, by opening stores or departments exclusive to men, for instance Harvey Nichols has recently opened their new men’s department in Knightsbridge, London.

It is such an interesting fact because decades ago menswear was considered as a neglected segment of the fashion industry due to the stereotype of men mostly wearing stiff suits and ties. However, with the rise of popular television series and the Internet, the traditional stereotype of menswear has changed drastically and caused the fashion culture to move further into menswear. “Historically, fashion has been the domain of womenswear. Menswear has always abided by some trends but they were slow moving, very conservative changes and had very little to do with the cycle that we think of when we consider runway shows and fashion magazines.” said Jeremy Lewis, editor of the independent fashion zine Garmento(Wang, 2014).

(Notable, 2016) 23


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Growing Market For Menswear The Internet has no doubt played the

As men become more into fashion, it is not a surprise that they are drawn toward online shopping. Men are known as people who despise shopping because they cannot endure waiting in lines, dealing with annoying sales associates, or bustling crowds(Espinoza, 2015). However, the rise of e-commerce has became a benefit for male shoppers, as just a simple click or tap, men can easily buy things from their comfortable home, thanks to technology.

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most important role in this change. Compared to the pre-internet period when people could only find their styling ideas mainly from magazines such as GQ or Esquire, everyone is now able to go on the internet looking for inspiration such as how people are dressing, what brands they are wearing all over the world, and of course, buy them.

(Yeung, 2015)

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MARKET ANALYSIS

(Yeung et al., 2016)

(Gazibara, 2016)

(Middlemass, 2016)

According to a new Bronto report, 250 out of 1000 U.S. citizens categorized themselves as “frequent” online shoppers. Among these 25 percent of men and women, 30 percent of men stated they conduct such practice at least once a week, which was 12 percent higher than the female shoppers(Espinoza, 2015). “Men are in general becoming more interested in investing in themselves whether it is a new piece of technology, an item of clothing or a grooming product,” said Fabrizio Cardinali, Dunhill’s new chief executive(Wang, 2014). It is also reported by a consumer research firm Mintel that one-third of men shop for their wardrobe online, which further explains the focus of the big brands on menswear, providing everything from suits to the bespoke shoes (Wang, 2014).

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Consumer Beh Internet Ge

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CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

ehavior Of Post Generations (Sundac, 2016)

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MILLENNIAL The millennials - people born between

(Hutchinson, 2013)

1980 and 2000 - are considered as the largest generation in history, and they are about to reach their peak years of consumption.There is an estimated 14 percent of millennials who live in the US and they are account for $1.3 trillion in direct annual spending, a number that is projected to increase 15 percent in five years time (Kansara, 2015). It has also been suggested by Accenture - a consulting company - that millennial men are spending twice as much as their forebears on attire in a year, while millennial women only spend more than non-millennial women by 30 percent (Reuters, 2014).

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Millennials are a very special generation, they are different from previous generations in various ways. They grew up in the age of Internet and they rely on it for everything. “It’s really the tech overlay that is the catalyst that lights a fire under this whole story,” said Lindsay Drucker Mann, a vice president in global investment research at Goldman Sachs (Kansara, 2015). They now communicate with friends on social media, listen to music on Spotify, there is no doubt that these new media-technology habits are reshaping everything that people used to be.

(FUTURE, 2016)

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CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

HOW MILLENNIAL SHOP According to market research and consulting firm

NPD Group, millennials choose to shop online more than any other generations before. They still make 75 percent of their purchases via brick and mortar stores but they do so after they research options online (Reuters, 2014). With access to a vast amount of information, they can easily compare price, quality and convenience.

(Ramirez, 2016)

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NO OWNERSHIP For millennials, the word “no-ownership” has moved beyond housing and

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cars. Due to the great recession and heavy student loan debt, they are now less focused on owning a product and more on sharing it, selling and trading their pre-owned items for the next popular items. “Instead of paying for something and getting rid of it with no value when you are done – swap and resale gives Millennials the ability to extend the value,” said Jamie Gutfreund, chief marketing officer for Deep Focus. “It’s efficient and it’s green” (Reuters, 2015).

(Watling, 2015)

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Because of this, the reselling subculture was born. Men’s fashion is intertwined with streetwear and sneakers which often come with limited releases, a growing industry that is worth a billion dollars itself (Yeung et al, 2016)


CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

(Smith, 2014)

People are now able to buy and sell high demand and limited edition goods on resell platforms such as eBay and grailed. These sites can not only help their customers to find items at affordable prices or get better deals than they saw in malls but also get another chance to buy from past season collections that they have missed. Especially nowadays, people take traveling as one of their leisure activities. Sometimes they might need a bikini in the middle of winter to visit the tropics c or a jacket in the summer to travel to cold weather countries such as Australia or Iceland. Grailed’s founder and CEO Arun Gupta mentioned in an interview with hype-beast that people are now more willing to spend their money on second hand items, and it is pretty clear that plenty of people are willing to pay a bit above retail for convenience and availability (Yeung et al, 2016). (Welty, 2015) (Davis, 2015)

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Transparency and Sustainability The norm of todays fashion industry focuses more on profit than re-

sponsibility, secrecy over transparency (Bedat and Darabi, 2014). As more evidence shows the negative impact brought by people’s current fashion consumption habits, customers will start to demand changes.

(Ahmad, 2014)

(Rodman, 2016)

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Millennials are set to change. They are now expecting greater transparency from the food they eat to the clothing they wear. This generation wants products and brands that are socially responsible and they also care whether they are sustainable or fair-trade and if they create less harm to the environment (Grinberg, 2012).

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CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Individualism The tough economy and high unemployment has influenced the way millennials shop, they

have become more selective on everything they buy (Grinberg, 2012).

Unlike their parents, millennials are comfortable with mixing and matching high and low-end pieces instead of allying with a political party or a religion, and are more willing to create their own style. “They no longer want to be a walking billboard of a brand,” said Michael Scheiner, an Abercrombie spokesman. “Individualism is important to them, having their own sense of style” (Reuters, 2014). For example, Brianne Casey, a 24-year-old New Yorker said that she follows hot fashion trends on blogs and compares prices between different stores, but eventually, she is creating her own style (Reuters, 2014). But in the end, the millennials are just as trend-driven as the other generations, they have a wider knowledge of fashion, not just about what they wear but also what they know (Grinberg, 2012). Moreover, millennials tend to check in with peers before making a purchase. Research has shown that nearly 70 percent of millennials are taking pictures of themselves in dressing rooms and sharing them on social media to get instant comments and feedbacks (Reuters, 2015).

(WiseGeek, 2016) 33


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Generation Z Generation Z, the generation born after the

mid nineties, 69 million kids who currently study in high school (or younger), will outnumber the millennials soon (Reuters, 2016). Research shows that Generation Z will account for 40 percent of the US workforce in 2020 and exceed their predecessors ultimately (Reuters, 2016).

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(Soloman, 2015)

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CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Living Digital Lives Generation Z was born in an

already digital age, according to Anna Fieler, executive vice president of marketing at PopSugar. They are two times more likely to shop on mobile than the generation before them (Arthur, 2016). Meanwhile, they are three times more likely to open a chat message received through a push notification than an email since they consider email as a way of communication which is out of date, argues Jaclyn Ling, director of fashion and retail services at Kik (Arthur, 2016).

(Minkoff, 2015)

(Advani, 2015) It was reported last year by Pew Research Center that 92 percent of US teenagers go online every day while almost a quarter of them are “constantly online� (Pike, 2016). This has massively changed the habits of teenagers, for example where they hang out and the way they shop. Compared to millennials who grew into technology, Generation Z is growing up with different things to spend on. In the past ten years, fashion purchases including clothing, accessories and footwear has dropped to seven percent of teenage spending whereas expenditure on electronics and technical gadgets has doubled (Pike, 2016). Technology has also changed what teenagers spend money on.

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Speed Of Service

(Reuters, 2016) FUTURE OF MENSWEAR

The major difference between Generation Z and the pre-

vious generations is that they grew up with the internet and smartphones which makes them value the speed of service more (Reuters, 2016). Take food as an example, with smartphones and application that make today’s food delivery service seamless, Generation Z are now expecting all restaurants to provide delivery services and according to a report from Piper Jaffray, they are spending 20 percent more in restaurants than millennials spent in 2003 (Reuters, 2016).

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CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Genderless Most importantly, gender is no

longer an option that Generation Z defines themselves with, it is meaningless to dwell on what it means to be a boy or girl. Research released by JWT Intelligence during SXSW shows that Gen Z has a much less gender binary approach than millennials (Arthur, 2016). Compared to 65 percent of millennials, there are only 48 percent of Generation Z who identify themselves as exclusively heterosexual. Further more, 44 percent of male Gen Z said that they will only buy clothes designed for men, compared with 54 percent of millennials (Arthur, 2016).

“We’re pushing water uphill with a fork and changing that by casting campaigns that put menswear on women and vice versa. But we have to think about how we’re going to trace efficacy if we’re blurring genders. In effect, it’s about letting the back end of the business catch up with where culture and society are already moving today. It’s a good thing for all of us.” Said Shireen Jiwan, chief brand experience officer at Lucky Brand (Arthur, 2016).

(Salter, 2015) 37


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A Shift to Shareable Experiences

(Joseph, 2015) FUTURE OF MENSWEAR

For the generations who grew up be-

fore the invention of social media, fashion was a kind of way to express their social status, wearing the right brand could make themselves feel cool. On the contrary, today’s teenagers live their lives on social media, where social currency is built on experience (Pike, 2016).

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Generation Z are social authors, they pay more attention to the experiences that they can share on social media (Arthur, 2016). “Their entire life, if it’s not shareable, it didn’t happen.” “Experiences define them much more than the products that they buy,” explains Marcie Merriman, executive director of growth strategy and retail innovation at Ernst & Young (Pike, 2016).


CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

(Marj, 2016) (Bagg, 2016)

(Woods, 2015)

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Environment Analy (Past, Present, An Near Future) 40


alysis And

ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

(Judith, 2014)

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Streetwear And The Runway Are Blurring (Munro, 2015)

In today’s fashion world, the line

between traditional “streetwear” and high fashion is blurred like it never before (Gordon, 2016). In the past, people wore designer clothes to express their wealth and identity, the trend was once elitist and subsequently “trickled down” into mainstream wardrobes, but now it seems the process has been reversed (Polhemus, 2010). By the 80s, thanks to design-

director of Dior - drew inspiration from rock and roll into his collections by blending band patches and special silhouettes (McCord, 2016). His collection has become a source of inspiration for streetwear brands such as FourTwoFour on Fairfax, Off-White and Midnight Studios, and started a new page in streetwear (Leach, 2016). 42

(Leach, 2016)

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ers like Vivienne Westwood, Malcolm McLaren and Zandra Rhodes, the punk aesthetics had become popular, and the fashion industry started to borrow inspiration from it. It was the first time that fashion was inspired by something else other than riches (Gwilliam, 2015).It might seems hard to believe that fashion is taking style tips from those things people usually laughed at in the past. But a decade later, models at fashion weeks were wearing jeans and sneakers on the runway (Gwilliam, 2015). And the relationship goes both ways. Raf Simons - former creative


ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

(Gwilliam, 2015) (Subtype, 2016)

The blurring of streetwear and high fashion is more like a natural revolution than some artificial work of the fashion world. Fashion is to some extent a sponge that absorbs everything around it and reinvents it into something new and edgy. Therefore, there is no surprise that designers are taking ideas from the past and recreating those ideas as their own (Gwilliam, 2015). At least now people are able to combine high end pieces with a pair of sneakers and be considered stylish, not strange.

(Gordon, 2016)

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New Breed Of Subculture theory that in all creative fields, no matter whether it is art, music or film, what people see today is just simply a re-interpretation or reshape of something classic that happened before (Contributor, 2015). Although this theory is still controversial, if there is one field that the theory holds true, it is definitely fashion. As one generation grows up and the clothes they wear to express their youth become old fashioned and uncool, after enough time has passed, the fashion cycle revolves, and they suddenly become cool again. Post-internet youth culture is fickle and nebulous. In the age of the internet the circulation span is getting shorter and shorter. The internet has provided people a channel which breaks through the traditional barriers such as location, demography or distance. Now people are able to create, share and talk about their common interests regardless of those constraints (Amarca, 2015).

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Traditionally, subcultures like punk, goth and grunge have had their own dress code which has been deeply influenced by their music, values and beliefs. It would require a certain level of dedication to belong. However, the internet and social media have somehow removed the connection between subcultures and style, and created a new kind of quasi-subculture where people no longer need to commit themselves to those values and beliefs when adopting a group’s style (Leach, 2015). (John, 2012) 44

(Gilchrist, 2011)

(Anastasiadis, 2014)

Fashion is a cyclical business. There is a


ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

These new subcultures created by social media and the internet are shallow and frivolous. They only exist for a short period of time and are always hungry to be fed with the hottest new thing as the fickle generation has access to everything at their fingertips (Leach, 2016).

(Anastasiadis, 2014)

Take Normcore as an example. Among all the new breed of trends, Normcore was created entirely online. Once people noticed this trend, they started to embrace everything ordinary from baseball caps to running sneakers, as opposed to the previous trend which obsessed with peacocking. However, after a few weeks it was forgotten just as quickly as it came (Leach, 2015) What Normcore brought to the fashion world was just a “look�, something that looked beautiful from the outside but actually was hollow within, offering a visual language for professionals such as stylists, editors and bloggers to toy with before they moved on to the next thing. Without true values and underlying messages or beliefs, these new subcultures only exist halfway between a meme and a genuine culture. No one sticks around once the hype dies down (Leach, 2015). For instance, some people are wearing rock and roll inspired styles from designers like Hedi Slimane - formal creative director of Saint Laurent - but they actually have nothing to be rebellious against (Leach, 2015).

(Lemola, 2016) 45


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New Breed Of Subculture

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(Eror, 2016)

Normcore is certainly not the only one. “Grungewave.” “Seapunk.” “Health goth.” “New lad

casual.” these are only a few fads that the fashion industry has adopted but has thrown away instantly over the past several seasons (Eror, 2016).

Beyond that, even when people nowadays focus more on products and care less about the meaning behind it, this does not mean that fashion is dead. On the contrary, such disposability just happens to show that fashion is capturing the spirit of the time (WGSN, 2015). Perhaps it is the fashion system that has gone wrong. Designers are expected to produce a collection in a mere six months under the current fashion business model, there is not enough time for them to incubate ideas before they turn their head to the next one. No wonder that the greatest designers such as Raf Simons choose to leave the big fashion houses (Eror, 2016). 46


ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

(Gordon, 2016)

(WGSN, 2015)

(Marasigan, 2016)

(Amarca, 2015) 47


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The Era Of Casual Wear

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For many years, it is typical

for professional men to buy a good suit. But things might have changed recently, a more and more competitive environment has triggered men’s desire to dress up again. With unemployment decreasing and streetwear beginning to gain traction with leading designers, suits are no longer the only option on which guys are willing to spend their money (Sherman, 2016). Along with the growing popularity of exercise and travel, sneakers have became one of the fastest growing categories in menswear, supported by Euromonitor - a strategic market research company (Sherman, 2016).

(Mode, 2016)

In the 21th century, the post internet generation is causing a change in the traditional office culture and men are changing the way they dress for work (FashionUnited, 2014). Apart from the traditional suit and tie, the new generations are now wearing jackets and jeans in the office on a daily basis. “There are jobs that still need a dress code, but there are more and more that don’t. That’s the seismic shift (Ton, 2012) in menswear over the past few years, but while the dress code has gone, guys have become much more aware of how to look good without simply putting on the uniform of a suit. They can still look smart wearing a blazer with smart jeans, or a deconstructed jacket with wool trousers and white sneakers,” argues Toby Bateman, managing director at Mr. Porter (Sherman, 2016). Ultimately, this trend has shown that men are feeling more and more comfortable with buying clothes and building up their image in society than a decade ago.

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ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

The office is not the only place that been affected by the casual trend. People are now wearing clothes that were formerly considered as loungewear outside their home. According to Soozie Jenkinson, head of lingerie design at Marks and Spencer, “Boundaries between formal and casual dressing are increasingly blurred. The importance of modern loungewear both for wearing in and out of the house has become an increasingly important and popular category, and has grown significantly over the past decade” (Buttolph, 2015). In a nutshell, the lines that once divided people’s life into different sectors - the bedroom, the sitting room, the street, the shops, the office - are fading (Buttolph, 2015).

(Gwilliam, 2015)

(Spivey, 2016) (Lorenzo, 2016)

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The Era Of Casual Wear Moreover, John Lewis announced early

(UNIQLO, 2016)

this year that the popularity of “pyjama-style clothing” was rising with sales of its own brand “loungewear” increasing almost 30 percent last year (Hyde, 2015). The explanation for the growth of sales might have something to do with the increasing time people spend at home (Hyde, 2015). Technology has enabled people to shop online for food, clothes or any other daily necessities, and so it is no longer necessary to go outside the door to get things, even entertainment at night can be replaced by Netflix films (Buttolph, 2015). Furthermore, records show that people do not have to work in the office anymore. According to Office for National Statistics, there are 1.3 million more home workers than in 1998, and hit a record 4.2 million in March last year (Hyde, 2015).

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(Lee, 2016)

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ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

Another factor that might help to boost sales is celebrities as they display their personal lives on social media to the mass population 24/7 (Buttolph, 2015). As Laura Costin of Simply Be suggested, “Famous faces including Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Cara Delevingne regularly share selfies of themselves wearing pyjama-style clothing. The trend has really taken off this year – staying in really is the new going out” (Hyde, 2015). Millennials - the generation who built their identity through the clothing they wear - are the first to bear the brunt, looking good online is now as important as offline (FashionUnited, 2014). After these millennials grew up and stepped into work places, their special existence is threatening order employees and started a non-official competition in the office. “Men in their 50s and 60s, they think to compete and remain in the workplace, they think they have to look younger,” said Jay Yoo, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences at Baylor University (FashionUnited, 2014). On the other hand, “pyjamas style” can be seen everywhere on the runway. Major fashion houses such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander Wang have presented silky pyjamas on the previous collections, it even appeared on the most recent 2016 spring/summer menswear catwalks at Versace, Dries van Noten and Louis Vuitton (Buttolph, 2015). Where the catwalk goes, the high street follows. It is obvious that this trend is not expected to go anywhere, at least not in the near future.

(Richard, 2016)

(Dervinbatarlo, 2013)

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Unisex

(Lubitz, 2016)

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Gender neutral is certainly nothing new for the

fashion industry. However, it is making progress without a doubt. The history of gender neutral can be traced back to nearly a century ago. In late 1920s, bicycling was gaining popularity among people and there was an increasing demand for shorts and culottes (clothes that look like a skirt but are actually shorts). It was not until the 40s that women actually considered wearing non-constraining clothes as fashion (Clemente, 2015). By the 60s, women had already adopted t-shirts, jeans, cardigans, button-down collared shirts, and for the first time in nearly 200 years, it was fashionable for men to have long hair. “Clothes of the sexes are beginning to overlap and coincide,� said James Laver - a historian of dress - in 1966(Clemente, 2015). 52

(Lyndley, 2014)


ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

It seems that women have been borrowing from men’s wardrobes for decades, from Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Le Smoking’ tuxedo suit to Iris Apfel’s jeans-for-girls (Paget, 2016). Today, women in menswear is so common and can be seen everywhere throughout the world. In contrast, men in womenswear has often been considered taboo. Since a young age, men are taught to be tough and to show their masculinity instead of being marked as weak or effeminate. This is the reason why a decade ago most men would think of fashion as a “gay thing”, but now it seems that menswear is finally catching up. A new breed of men brought up during the noughties Metrosexual phenomenon have witnessed their forebears breaking through the stereotype that men did not care about their self image (Paget, 2016). They now realize that buying pieces from your favorite designers is just like picking your favorite sports clubs, there is no conflict between being fashionable and sexual orientation (Leach, 2016). “In my mind, fashion has no gender, if I fit into something that I really like and if my finances allow it, I’ll buy it, regardless of whether it came from the men’s or women’s section. I never really use clothing to identify or align to a certain sexuality or gender,” writes Bryan Grey Yambao, who blogs as BryanBoy (Fury, 2016). This “new butch” is the sign that men have moved into a new era where people stop seeing gender and just see style.

(Nuzzi, 2016)

(Leach, 2016)

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Sustainability Since fast fashion came into the fashion

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world, trends are changing faster and faster and show no sign of stopping. Fast fashion is able to provide people with trendy clothes at an affordable price through its cheap manufacturing line. As a result, clothes are becoming disposable because of its cheap price and bad quality. This leads to a serious waste crisis for the earth, for example plastics clog the ocean, landfill sites have expanded, recent studies even suggest that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish (Sims, 2016).

(Wilson, 2016) 54

(Sims, 2016) According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an average 54 pounds of clothes and shoes are thrown away a year per person and a total 9 million tons of unwanted shoes, jackets and other wearables are sent to the garbage dump every year (Carpenter, 2012).


ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

(Abrams, 2016) Reflecting the mirror back at the fashion industry, the National Resources Defense Council suggested that the cotton that designers use accounts for 18 percent of pesticide use worldwide, and seven out of fifteen pesticides used in cotton would likely cause cancer; Textile dyeing contributes up to 20 percent of the entire world’s industrial water pollution. The chemicals employed in the dyeing stage could be linked to cancer, asthma and neurological problems, according to studies by Greenpeace. Finally, people’s expectations of buying clothes at the lowest possible price actually comes with a high price for the people working at the sweatshops (Bedat and Darabi, 2014).

In 2013, a factory building called Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh and killed more than 1000 workers. The disaster has focused attention on dangerous working environments in the developing countries where people are working extra hours and earning the lowest wages in the world (Yardley, 2014). However, everything has remained the same despite fast fashion companies such as H&M, Walmart and Gap pledging to improve the working environment three years ago. For example, Ms. Nath, who works at a garment factory that supplies clothes to H&M, says that she gets $140 a month and must borrow money to pay her rent and support her family. Ms. Sou, who works at the same factory, says that she could be fired for joining a labor union or protesting (Abrams, 2016).

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Sustainability Similar situations are also happening in the

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UK. Sports Direct, which made a $351.7 million profit in 2015 (Eror, 2016), exploits their own employees in order to balance out the low price of their items. According to news reports, workers will be fined 15 minutes of their wages for every minute they are late to work and will even be fired for missing 6 days of work, no matter if people are sick or have other circumstances. Their employees have no choice but (Eror, 2016) to come to work sick which might lead to more serious illness and one of them even gave birth in the toilets (Goodley, 2016). What is more, a member of Amazon’s staff accused the company of making him “physically and mentally sick” due to stress and anxiety (Grierson, 2016). A former Amazon employee even told the Guardian that “being homeless is better than working for Amazon” (Gracely, 2014). These are all really happening in sweatshops and all of these are due to the demand for cheap consumer goods.

(Gracely, 2014) 56


ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS Fortunately, as more negative impacts emerge, there are more people who demand to change the current fashion consumption habits. The new generation now demands items to have more sustainability and transparency and so brands, no matter old or new, will have to cater to consumer attitudes in order to win the brand allegiances of the millennial generation. Nike and Patagonia are two companies that are taking the lead: sustainability and responsible innovation are already at the core of the way they think, act and work (Nudd, 2011). For instance, Patagonia has created

for how you make your products and you have to think about different materials, right the way down to the molecule.” explained Hannah Jones, Chief Sustainability Officer and VP, Innovation Accelerator of Nike(Amed, 2016). In addition to the traditional concept of reduce, reuse and recycle, some high-end designers are pursuing a different track. They are creating clothing that can be biodegraded, at least part of it. Although they are just starting the experiment, it is still an important development for the fashion industry (Carpenter, 2012). For example, Gucci began

(Nudd, 2011) the largest repair centre in North America and sends out repair vehicles that travel around the United States to restore damaged products for free, and they have even encouraged their customers to reduce consumption with an advertisement captioned “Don’t Buy This Jacket” (Nudd, 2011). Nike, on the other hand, made uniforms for United States’ 2015 Women’s World Cup from recycled plastic bottles and since 2010 they have diverted more than 2 billion plastic bottles into recycled polyester (Sims, 2016). “Sustainability is an innovation challenge, that creates business model innovation and product innovation. You have to think about different technologies

to sell sunglasses and footwear made with biodegradable plastics in the summer, and Puma will produce T-shirts and sneakers that can be buried as fertilizer (Carpenter, 2012). “Everyone is beginning to appreciate the need to reduce fashion’s impact on the environment,” said Alex McIntosh, business and research manager for the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion. “Compostability is part of a wider waste management agenda” that is likely to grow in coming years, even if its use is only beginning in the $774-billion global apparel manufacturing business (Carpenter, 2012). 57


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Outdoor And Urban Streetwear Merge

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(Stephens, 2016)

Even in an age where people can access free

music everywhere, nearly two hundred thousand people were still willing to camp at a music festival for three days in a desert valley of southern California in July of 2015 (Stephens, 2016). There might be many reasons but at the heart of it is the experience. People can not only hear the music but actually be part of it. In a world where almost everything is related to technology, the chance to once again connect with nature is hard to come 58

by. As society becomes more digitally driven, it is natural to feel the urge to escape reality. According to a Mintel survey, millennials prefer to spend their money on activities and experiences such as the gym, travel and food rather than luxury goods (Mintel, 2015). “ For millennials to justify a purchase, luxury items or experiences must have a functional, performance-oriented reason for its higher cost,� wrote Lindsay Rowe, vice president of client engagement and strategy at creative agency PBJS (Sherman, 2016).


ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

(Lieber, 2015)

(Lieber, 2015)

From the rise of obstacle course racing, to non-related brands such as Target and Urban Outfitters trying to get into the outdoor market, it has proven the urge is real (Lieber, 2014). It is estimated that 143 million Americans participated in outdoor activities in 2014 (Outdoor Foundation, 2014) , contributing a massive sales growth of 4 billion dollars in revenue that year (IBISWorld, 1999) . According to the NPD Group - a leading global information company - athletic apparel accounted for $33.7 billion in sales and was outpacing the apparel market in 2014; the market is expected to grow to $180 billion by 2018 (NPD, 2014). Outdoor brands have enjoyed a revenue growth because of this surge, for example, REI has reported their revenue climbed ten percent (Chapin, 2015) and Patagonia’s profit has tripled since they hired a new CEO in 2013 (Baer, 2014).

However, a new type of customer has emerged and they are turning to retailers like Nike, not the traditional outdoor brands. For decades, outdoor brands were catering to middle-aged people, with technological innovation on practical gear (Morency, 2016). But in the age of athleisure, there is a need for fashionable pieces for younger customers, something that looks good enough to post on Instagram (Lieber, 2014). What younger people nowadays want is style. They what to make the outdoors a lifestyle, so they look for products that consist both of performance and looks, that can be taken from the city to the countryside. “There’s rapidly been a whole new wave of people who want to experience the outdoors in a different way. Some are millennials, some are not, but they just want to be outside and they don’t look like the type of folks the outdoor industry has targeted in the past.” says Steve Casimiro, founder of Adventure Journal(Lieber, 2015).

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Outdoor And Urban Streetwear Merge

Izzy Pugh, global director of cultural in-

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sight and semiotics at marketing consultancy Added Value, also indicated that the same group of people prefer clothing that will last. “Canada Goose coats are popping up everywhere, even where you don’t need a really amazing Arctic thermal jacket,” she noted. “You could look at it as something that is a response to fashion. Fashion is fast moving and is fuelled by novelty and the world is feeling ever more chaotic and fast moving too. There’s something about these high spec items that allows them to transcend fashion. It means you’re ready for anything; it works in every situation; it has a kind of permanence” (Johnson, 2015). (Johnson, 2015) 60

(Burrell, 2014)


(Grill, 2015)

(Johnson, 2015) Knowing that, brands like Nike launched their All Conditions Gear (ACG) brand, which styles men as post-apocalyptic urban warriors. They provide garments with high performance fabrics, tool pockets and Gore-tex technology (Johnson, 2015). The ACG collection is designed to protect people from whatever the city throws at them, from biking to a tube trip. For instance, Nike ACG two in one Long Bomber Jacket provides a strap system so the wearer can wear the jacket like a backpack when they get indoors (I-D, 2015).

(Grill, 2015)

ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

“First of all it looks cool. Now that they’ve really honed in on the fit, you just look like a tough person when you’re wearing it.” Secondly, he argues, such clothing plays to a geekier side of machismo. “It’s an added-value thing. If a guy can sit there and say it’s triple seam sealed Gore-tex, windproof, whatever — and look cool at the same time — that’s something that appeals to men. There are elements of it that you can discuss,” says Josh Peskowitz, men’s fashion director at Bloomingdale’s (Johnson, 2015). 61


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Outdoor And Urban Streetwear Merge Eventually brands like Nike will eat tra-

ditional outdoor brands alive, suggests Steve Casimiro, the founder of Adventure Journal (Lieber, 2015). Traditional brands, including The North Face, Columbia, and Penfield, are changing their strategy by teaming up with streetwear labels in order to target young, urban consumers.

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(Supreme, 2016)

From Autumn/Winter 2007, The North Face started its first collaboration with Supreme, and the collection sold out in minutes, triggering a collaboration between the two brands for almost ten years. The most recent Spring/Summer 2016 waterproof jacket can be found on resale websites at more than double its retail price (Morency, 2016).

(Leach, 2015)

(Faded, 2016) 62


ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

The North Face is not the only brand that is collaborating to target the urban apparel market. Since 2014, Canada Goose has been working with Drake’s streetwear label October Very Own (OVO); and in December last year, Columbia launched a collaboration with Ronnie Fieg, founder of cult New York streetwear store Kith. It has been reported that Columbia’s revenue increased 11 percent to $2.33 billion last year, while VF Corporation - the company who owns The North Face - earned $12.4 billion in sales (Morency, 2016).

(NikeLab, 2016)

(Morency, 2016) 63


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Seasonless There are fewer and fewer people making their purchase decisions based on weather, they are

mostly driven by novelty and are eager to experience something new and surprising. A study conducted by The Future Laboratory - a London-based trend forecasting agency - has shown that 65 percent of consumers were interested in adopting seasonless style last year (AHMED, 2016).

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2015 could be considered as the warmest year in history. It is a sign that Mother Earth is in the middle of a climate crisis (Amed, 2015). While some politicians continue to deny climate change, fashion retailers are already being damaged by the warming winter. Retailers like H&M and Gap have all announced that they suffered a significant sales decline last year (Long, 2015) , and a US retailer named Macy’s is cutting more than 4500 jobs due to their poor performance in the holiday season, blaming the warm weather as the reason that caused low spending by international tourists (Malcolm, 2016). Some of the experts in the fashion industry are already changing their business models in order to adapt to the unexpected climate change.

(Pancirov, 2015) 64


ENVIRONMENT ANALYSIS

(Brownlee, 2016) Since the 17th century, there have been fashion seasons, pieces have been shown on the catwalk, brands have produced these clothes and finally they have arrived in stores 6 to 18 months after the show (Wilson, 2016). It is really common to see winter fashion hitting shelves in summer and vise versa.

(Brownlee, 2016) However, to sell the right seasonal wear at the right time is only part of the issue. If climate change continues at its current rate, in the next decade Boston’s frozen winters will soon feel more like the slightly chilled Januaries of Georgia (Brownlee, 2016). The more obvious shift might be the design of the clothing itself.

“Typically the way the industry is set up is a little odd, where you sell sweaters in July in anticipation of September. It becomes this game of racing to get a fresh product a little too early I’ve always thought.” says Yael Aflalo, Founder and CEO of US fast fashion brand Reformation(Wilson, 2016). Reformation produces their clothes only four to six weeks before they hit the shelves. When warm weather sticks around, their short production line allows them to quickly revise how much winter stock they need and to shift to season-less items (Wilson, 2016).

Now, instead of showing products that are designed for a certain climate or season, certain fashion brands are placing more focus on garments that transcend seasons. “It used to be more typical in accessories or small leather goods but now more ready-to-wear brands are trying to create key pieces that they can propose every season.” says Mario Ortelli, a senior luxury goods analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein (AHMED, 2016). These clothes are known as replenishment pieces, they are independent of weather, will always be in stock and never go on sale, for instance Saint Laurent’s black tuxedo blazer and Rick Owens’ leather jackets (AHMED, 2016). These are the backbone of men’s fashion and when fashion is going through major changes, these continual pieces will always be relevant. 65


MA FASHION PROMOTION

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Bibliog

66


ENVIRONMENT BIBLIOGRAPHY ANALYSIS

ography

(Wilson, 2016) 67


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Burrell, I. (2014) Canada goose: From arctic utility to urban chic. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/features/canada-goose-fromarctic-utility-to-urban-chic-9780145.html (Accessed: 30 June 2016). Buttolph, A. (2015) The age of casual: How we learned to love loungewear. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/style/the-age-of-casual-howwe-learned-to-love-loungewear/ (Accessed: 21 June 2016).

C

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D

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