Fashion is characterized by multiple trends and products that fluctuate in time and across customers. Fashion apparel and accessories as public, visible products influence people’s looks and appearances. They help customers communicate about themselves, earn approval from their peers, or reject others’ influences. Fashion also influences people across social environments, by implying symbolic and social meaning for and among people.
Creating Symbolic Influence with Fashion
Fashion companies not only create new products but also influence customers’ appearances through their constant renewal and creation. Fashion integrates more than just nice apparel and accessories; it implies symbols and desires. Fashion is the Creation of a ‘need’ which does not exist. There is no real ‘need,’ just a desire. (Product Manager, Women’s Fashion Brand) In turn, fashion creates desires among customers, for new apparel, new accessories, and new looks.
As Marc Jacobs notes, “we don’t need fashion to survive, we just desire it so much.” But why is fashion so important for so many people? The answer can be found in the meanings attached to fashion items, which allow people to express and present themselves the way they choose.
The constant renewal of trends and products by fashion companies creates a desire that transforms into a means of expression. According to Prada, “what you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today