Fashion has been a tool for telling apart noblemen and the bourgeois since the 15th century, and even today fashion is still seen as a tool for individual validation. On the other hand, emerging consumer behaviors — less connected to the need for belonging — give rise to the products and services of the coming years.
Clothes and other consumer goods will no longer be mere objects; they will be transformed into subjects to develop a more emotional relationship with people. More than ever, fashion must look to the people, who are less predictable and more difficult to label. Their individual motivations speak louder than any standardized lifestyle.
Social codes that are represented by clothes are being challenged with the emergence of non-binary gender in fashion. Even though there is a huge gap between the fantasy of the catwalk and the reality of clothing retail, for both luxury and popular stores, retailers do endeavor to follow this trend. While the industry is still finding its way, underground brands and new designers are leading the evolution.
For some time now, an inversion of the masculine and feminine codes is happening in fashion, breaking predefined norms and dated notions of genre. It is a freedom from stereotypes, some kind of illusory game some interpret as unissex. New shapes of business start to pop up everywhere in the world, providing options for the share of customers in lack of brands that follow their ideas about gender.
The quickness of changes in human behavior blurs the concept of generation. Youth no longer bares the title of unquestionable inspiration, excluding age as a matter of the contemporary. More than inclusion, there is also a market interest in this subject: the acknowledgment of a new class of consumers.
The notions of femininity and masculinity are being questioned and deconstructed in all areas, fashion included. It is a fertile ground for making a more diverse fashion culture. Up to now, most gender related fashion experiments happened to women’s clothing, but today gender blur invades the catwalk and shows that men’s fashion is going through a rich creative moment.
Fashion consumption has been reviewed. Ethical issues are on the table and start being accounted for in buying decisions. When the wrongdoings of the industry come to surface, consumption becomes a conscious political act. Today brands are listening to the rejection by consumers of scandals that degrade human life. The awakening to a more evolved habit of consumption might reach even higher levels in the next few years.