American Fashion Industry in 21st Century

Topics: Fashion, Counterfeit, Names of large numbers Pages: 5 (1542 words) Published: April 15, 2013
American Fashion in 21st Century
‘Fashion’ is the need to adapt to ever changing styles; to dress in distinctive and current trends and a means for one to express their individuality. Fashion refers to keeping every aspect of one’s body up-to-date for varying reasons. Some people prefer a simple life style with modest attire whereas most passionately follow the fashion industry and rapidly change accordingly. This increase in demand for individually tailored items including everything from clothing and footwear to makeup and body piercings is what gave birth to the fashion industry. The roots of this business can be traced to America in the nineteenth century where it grew rapidly and spread across the globe to become the highly integrated industry that exists today. The fashion industry has created thousands of jobs, increased national output and has made significant contributing to increases in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) but is also accompanied by exploitation of labor, eating disorder particularly in models and also the growth of counterfeit products.

The international fashion industry portrays an ideal body type commonly known as the ‘size zero’ which women often attempt to attain. This leads them down the road of low self-esteem, starvation and even self-mutilation often resulting in eating disorders, health issues and even suicide. Models between the age of 18 and 24 practically give up eating and also resort to using drugs and alcohol to combat the ensuing depression and irritability which eventually leads to some of them dying young, all just to gain entry into the fashion industry. Natasha Duncan was one such prominent American model who committed suicide at the age of 21(Rose 1).

The global fashion industry projects the image of thin and beautiful people that have been airbrushed to perfection thus creating an ideal image of how ‘fashionable’ people should look. Common women get conscious about their own looks and then try to attain this level of perfection, the road to which often go through eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. In fact, it is estimated that 8 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men( Fashion 1).

Nevertheless it is argued that the American fashion industry has made vital contributions to its in terms of creating employment opportunities and boosting GDP. As a matter of fact, despite the severe recession, the fashion industry is one of the most stable and high-growth industries in the economy. This is because, irrespective of inflation and wages, people still need to buy clothes, footwear and makeup and the fashion industry is one that can rapidly adapt to provide them. In 2010 American households spent, on average, $1,700 on apparel, footwear, and related products and services which is why it generates over $20 billion in revenue is annually (Fashion 1). Moreover the fashion industry played an important part in giving jobs when other industries were firing people. Currently it employs over 4 million people under the following areas: design, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, retailing, advertising, communication, publishing and consulting (Fashion 1).

Beside creating jobs and increasing GDP, the fashion industry has promoted the freedom of expression by allowing individuals to express themselves through their attire. Fashion designers rapidly come up with innovative and creative ideas thus essentially enriching the lives of people and making them more interesting. This is precisely why fashion shows are held: they give models a chance to flaunt their talents and also an opportunity for them to interact with models from other countries, communities and ethnicities which allows them to express themselves and their unique identities. When people are well dressed according to what is in fashion, this would reflect the culture and thinking of the society.

Nevertheless, it must be noted that fashion leads to...
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