What Is Fashion?

Fashion is the style or manner of dress, including shoes and accessories. The term can also be used to describe the changes in clothing from season to season, or from one culture to another. It can also refer to the fashion industry, a multibillion dollar global enterprise that includes the manufacture and sale of clothes, especially designer wear.

Fashion often reflects or amplifies cultural values and societal changes. Fashion may change more rapidly in some cultures than in others. The appearance of a new style or garment usually comes as a result of the development of a particular technology, but also in part because of a desire by consumers to express individuality and creativity.

Historically, the prevailing fashion was dictated by social and economic circumstances. Men’s styles were galvanized by military models, and women’s clothing often reflected the needs of domestic life or the latest trends in court fashion. The earliest examples of continuously changing clothing styles date back to the middle of the thirteenth century, though historians differ on exactly when this trend began in Europe.

Although the most famous designers in the world are American, there are many other notable names in the fashion world, including Japanese designers Kenzo Takada, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. The world’s major fashion capitals are Paris, London, Milan and New York City. Fashion shows are a way for designers to show off their creations. They often include music, lighting and props to create a mood or emotion that is conveyed to the audience.

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