Fashion in 2023 is heavily influenced by video content, which has become the dominant medium for expressing style, and has caused most of us to dress alike. Yes, fashion trends exist for a reason, but the current impact of Reels and TikTok has sparked a broader discussion about fashion lifecycles and the significance people attach to clothing. But outside of the video trends, there are other changes factored into what drives our clothing choices in 2023.
In the past, fashion bloggers dedicated their time to writing about clothes, sharing fun facts, backstage insights, and different styling possibilities that allowed their audience appreciate the intricate process behind the clothes on the rack. Fast forward to 2023, there is a rise in video content creating, with most audience appreciating mostly the show of luxury related to fashion. Influencers have since gotten the cue and opted for more luxury unboxing videos, or reels featuring different looks to wear in the week.
The videos are influential and to some others aspirational because the purchasing power is not equal across board. Since these content is released daily in some cases, we see the cycle of clothing wear become shorter because few of the clothings featured are repeated in other videos. So, consumer fashion behavior is split, for the influenced, there is the constant need to buy of luxury items and for the aspirational, the cheaper alternatives exist. More people cannot justify why they have a particular item in their wardrobe and fashion houses are having shorter windows to create stuff that keeps people engaged in the Reel world.
Despite this trend, there is a growing appreciation for creators like Amanda (londongrilinnyc), who offer a unique and historical perspective on clothing. Using their platform to bring to light diverse perspectives, conversations, considerations, and tea from the fashion industry.
So what’s the problem Fashion Today?
Like many other industries, fashion has been greatly impacted by technology, particularly the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram, Reels, and Twitter. These platforms have not only transformed how fashion is consumed but also how it is created. It is worth mentioning that Twitter has a unique role in driving fashion discourse rather than being a content creation platform itself.
An example that demonstrates the influence of social media is Schiaparelli’s recent collection, which featured faux animal heads as accessories. This collection generated mixed reactions on Twitter, with some anticipating backlash from organizations like PETA, while others celebrated it as a pinnacle of design with impeccable tailoring. In a surprising twist, PETA came to the defense of Schiaparelli.
Looking at fashion in 2023, it is evident that the industry is navigating a precarious path. Creative directors strive to avoid being canceled for their creative choices, prevent their runways from being disrupted by organizations like PETA, meet the demands of climate change, and keep up with emerging trends like AI. All of these considerations must be managed while addressing the ever-shifting consumer behavior. Although each area of concern has its significance, they often take priority in different contexts.
Addressing Fashion Needs
There needs to be a balanced reportage of fashion stories, with more consideration given to younger readers whose purchasing power cannot be compared to the generation before them. Style magazines and bigger influencers can make room to feature smaller brands creating something different. They do not always have the big budgets for influencers, to influence consumer behavior. Also, more funding needs to be thrown for curated TV content that brings a fresh perspective outside of fitted clothes.
However, it is worth exploring the fashion landscape beyond my own perspective, which is largely shaped by consuming American and UK media content – an influence that extends to much of the world. Perhaps the fashion reality differs in Scandinavian countries, Asia, Europe, and even Africa, where unique developments are taking place. For instance, the recent Chanel collection showcased in Senegal is a fantastic step towards diversifying the ecosystem.
But the truth remains that there is less appreciation for clothes in 2023, and more people online see clothing from a place of luxury and less about comfort and art. But I often wonder if this is the same fashion reality in Scandinavian countries, or in Asia, or even in Europe. Africa is an interesting place! Chanel collection was shown in Senegal recently, which I thought was fantastic for the ecosystem.
Notably, Nigeria stands out in all of this for its appreciation for style in general, whether it involves thrift items, customized pieces, or high-end clothing. This serves as an intriguing model for addressing the narrow lens through which fashion is currently viewed.
Fashion for social media
Considering fashion’s connection to social media, it is important to acknowledge that my perspective is heavily influenced by the content I consume. Nonetheless, I have personally adopted a different approach to my wardrobe, purchasing fewer items, appreciating clothing from smaller brands, and seeking out vintage pieces that I can reimagine for contemporary times. I buy luxury after much consideration and justification for why.
There are no real answers to be honest, as technology continues to evolve, the industry will always be at the cusp of something new. But I need to visit Europe something in my guts tells me style is different over there.