The fashion industry has always operated with a top-down approach, meaning the trendy styles and designs created by couture designers are then trickled down to become fashion for the “masses” but made with cheaper fabrics and typically less-than-envious cuts. But something’s changing; instead of contemporary and fast-fashion companies copying from the top, fashion is inspired from every point on the spectrum. The unique street style of a blogger photographed in Europe and posted to social media has the ability to influence fashion-savvy consumers and become a trend just as fast as the latest designs by Gucci can. In addition, you tend to see the high-low styling (meaning high-end or couture pieces mixed with low-end, or fast fashion pieces) everywhere, which allows the expansion of individual and creative styling.
So what does that mean for the fashion industry? Do we want the traditional system to remain intact, where a select few designers dictate trends that will eventually trickle down to everyone, or should trends be decided by consumers? The hierarchy won’t change overnight and you can be sure that those at the top will fight to keep their power. There’s no doubt that couture employs some of the most intelligent individuals in the fashion industry, but in a trillion-dollar industry where subjective style is at its heart, I think we will begin to see those at the top struggle to maintain their empire.