What is Fashion?

Fashion is a way to express your personality. It is not just clothing, it also includes shoes, accessories and even jewelry. It is a multi-billion dollar global industry. Millions of people are involved in its design, production and retail. It is constantly changing and evolving. Fashion tastes the environment, follows it, and creates new trends and styles.

Like music, movies, news and literature, fashion is a cultural product. It influences society and the world. It is not just a trend but an art form that is created in a cycle of repetition and modification. Developing a sense of style is an important life skill, and it can be compared to learning a language.

The fashion industry is a mirror of our society. It reflects the values we hold, the aspirations we have and the fears we have. It can be as simple as choosing a colour for your hair or as complex as selecting the right outfit to wear to a job interview. Celebrities, politicians and other public figures are often a source of inspiration. In the 17th century, people pored over fashion magazines to see what clothes French King Louis XIV was wearing.

The current fashion system favours financial capital over human and natural capital, obscuring their origins, ingredients and makers, their supply chains and impacts – emphasising instead their auratic glow and bright cellophane wrappers. It is, as writer Elizabeth Hawes put it, a form of ‘post-truth’.