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← Who dictates fashion?|Xenia Joost|TEDxLasnamäe

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Showing Revision 34 created 12/01/2019 by Robert Tucker.

  1. Look around.
  2. Who is sitting next to you?
  3. In your row of seats? Behind you?
  4. How many people have you
    talked to during the lunch break?
  5. Did you exchange any words,
    express your opinion?
  6. With how many people
    have you had visual contact?
  7. Fashion is a visual language.
  8. And, it can expose you,
    even when you are fully dressed.
  9. Who chose your image for today? You?
  10. Me, perhaps?
  11. Somebody in far off Paris?
  12. Let's talk today about
    who was behind your decision,
  13. why you dress like you do,
  14. what you can tell about a person
    by how they dress,
  15. what we can tell about a society
    if we analyse its fashion.
  16. I would like to tell you a few stories,
  17. stories to give you a vivid picture
  18. of how society changes looking at it
    through the fashion industry.
  19. Let's go back to the time of the monarchy.
  20. At this time, all power
    was in the hands of one person:
  21. essentially, fashion
    depended on their wishes.
  22. It was a narrow circle of elite,
    the nobility, of inherited entitlement,
  23. their revenues guaranteed
    by their estates.
  24. The life of ordinary people
    was completely different.
  25. For these people, their clothes played
    another role ... a practical one,
  26. or one according to their profession,
    craft or employment.
  27. So, it was the case that you could tell
    from the clothes they wore
  28. what they did,
  29. or what their societal status was.
  30. All information was passed by hand
    from person to person,
  31. there was no press, no mass media,
    that is, no promotion of information,
  32. so how fast you got
    information from the monarch,
  33. from the centre of power,
  34. depended on how close to him,
    how close to the centre of power you were.
  35. That's how the expression
    "provincial fashion" came about.
  36. By the time you received any information,
    it would have become out of date,
  37. whether it was about fashion
    or anything else.
  38. In other words,
    looking at somebody's outfit,
  39. we get to know how close that person was
    from a centre of power, from the monarchy.
  40. The world of fashion
    underwent a transformation
  41. with the coming
    of the Industrial Revolution.
  42. The nobility started to get poorer,
    a title no longer guaranteed your income,
  43. and estates could be bought and sold.
  44. A new elite came to power,
  45. the capitalist elite, the capitalists.
  46. They came from
    a very low stratum of society.
  47. Look at this picture,
    how easy this family looks.
  48. Maybe you know who it is in this photo?
  49. This family is a manufacturer
    of sports footwear.
  50. There are two brothers there:
  51. one of them is Adi Dassler,
  52. and his brother was nicknamed Puma.
  53. The laws of the previous elite
    were not written for them.
  54. They simply don't know them.
  55. And since they don't know them,
    they don't use them.
  56. An opportunity presents itself,
  57. and with it the desire to show off
    your new status in society.
  58. The easiest way to do that
    is through clothes, through fashion.
  59. Individuality comes to fashion.
  60. The Industrial Revolution makes possible
    the production of cheaper clothes.
  61. The quality of goods is becoming
    much more consistent.
  62. And the situation is becoming one
  63. where there's more on the market
  64. than people really need.
  65. For the capitalists
    to maintain their power,
  66. you need constant consumption
    requiring constant production.
  67. How do you do that
    if people don't need things?
  68. They have to be taught to buy.
  69. And that's where designers came in,
  70. creating, not just practical clothes,
  71. but a look,
  72. an individual look for everyone.
  73. By the way, the first designers
    as we know them today,
  74. as we know the fashion industry,
  75. come to us from the 19th century.
  76. The first designer to sew his label
    on the clothes he made
  77. was Charles Frederick Worth.
  78. And then this image
    created by this designer,
  79. which isn't really practical anymore,
  80. but an emotional image,
  81. starts to sell.
  82. Seasonality is coming, new trends,
  83. but the capitalists needed to sustain
    growth in consumption.
  84. How was that to be done?
  85. The printing press arrives,
  86. and by using the printing press,
    they achieve their goal.
  87. Advertising.
  88. New advertising agencies are opening up
  89. that build purely emotional sales,
  90. while the product itself is already
    becoming of secondary concern.
  91. It's the consumption
    of emotion that matters.
  92. For the capitalists of the time,
  93. this proved to be
    very supportive of their power
  94. and the growth of that power,
  95. but they didn't realize
  96. that they themselves had started
  97. the beginning of the end of their century.
  98. The press.
  99. Fashion magazines
    are gaining a lot o power,
  100. and so into their hands
    falls the future of designers,
  101. the future of trademarks,
    the future of brands.
  102. And you won't believe how big a role
    they play in a situation like this.
  103. It is Paris, a young designer
    shows his new collection.
  104. Christian Dior.
  105. The American press,
    including "Harper's Bazaar".
  106. Its editor-in-chief, Carmel Snow,
    exclaimed after the show:
  107. "Dior! It's a new look!" -
  108. "It's a new approach,
    a new look at fashion!"
  109. She goes back to America
    and writes about it.
  110. Photographs.
  111. Dior becomes very popular
    in America and in Europe,
  112. The style icon of the decade was to be
    the "New Look" by Christian Dior.
  113. His name is very easy to pronounce,
  114. and it's even easier to write in English.
  115. At this time in Europe,
    in France, in Paris,
  116. there are, in fact, a lot more designers
  117. who also show similar fashions.
  118. But their names
    are much harder to pronounce,
  119. while Dior's name is much easier to say.
  120. The names of the other designers
    are slowly fading into history:
  121. including a great designer,
    Elsa Schiaparelli, for example.
  122. Christian Dior is the "New Look".
  123. Capitalists have discovered
  124. the way of a new age,
  125. the age of information,
    a world of information
  126. where power passes
    from the hands of capitalists
  127. into the hands of those
    who manipulate, who use,
  128. exploit information.
  129. A new elite emerges,
    the information elite.
  130. The entire structure
    of society is changing,
  131. as is the way fashion is created,
  132. and what is behind
    the impulse to create fashion.
  133. The most important thing
    for a designer right now,
  134. for the fashion industry, to survive
  135. is collaboration with social media,
  136. with Instagram and applications like it.
  137. For a designer to have a
    success with his collection,
  138. the designer has
    to come up with images, clothes,
  139. that fit the most popular
    Instagram hashtags.
  140. They're already talking openly about
    whether we need traditional fashion weeks,
  141. whether we need seasonality.
  142. Because Instagram
    doesn't have seasonality.
  143. And, on what the critics
    write about a fashion week,
  144. practically nothing depends.
  145. Everything depends on your ability
  146. to collaborate with bloggers,
    with Instagram.
  147. And even the entire
    business model is changing.
  148. If the traditional model
    involved a markup,
  149. where you added an amount
    to the cost of the goods to make a profit,
  150. now, the most important thing
    is a constant turnover.
  151. Now such online stores as Amazon
    are becoming the sales leaders,
  152. and it's because they can sell at a loss.
  153. The most important thing for them is
    is the turnover of information.
  154. And the traditional shops,
    the leaders of the 20th century,
  155. are forced to close their doors
  156. because they cannot stand the competition
  157. for the purchasing power
    of a new generation.
  158. In the information world,
  159. the most important thing
    is the constant movement of information,
  160. but not the quality of that information.
  161. The faster the information circulates,
    the greater it becomes.
  162. This is just what we see
    in fashion trends,
  163. where quality is becoming marginalized.
  164. And we cannot even say
    that quality corresponds to price.
  165. In fact, the development and design
    of new looks is already not so important.
  166. You can imagine that just yesterday,
  167. this would have been
    the greatest of horrors
  168. for a professional designer?
  169. Flip-flops with socks and shorts.
  170. I just laughed at it.
  171. I took this photo today
  172. from one of today's
    most famous brands: "Vetements".
  173. And this is what
    they're actually presenting,
  174. I mean, that's the outfit
  175. of the most fashionable
    men and women of fashion in the world.
  176. Does it get any better than this ...
  177. (Applause)
  178. Hoodies.
  179. (Laughter)
  180. We see three almost identical hoodies,
  181. their colour and design are the same.
  182. "Off-White", "Supreme", I don't know -
    You know them? Ever heard of them?
  183. Very prominent contemporary brands.
  184. Basically, the difference in them
  185. is only in the brand logo
    and the added pictures and patterns.
  186. And the last hoodie in the picture -
  187. I checked this morning
    before coming here -
  188. you can't buy it in a conventional shop,
  189. it's only for collectors.
  190. You can buy it for yourself on eBay
  191. for up to $25,000.
  192. Basically, with these three
    very fashionable hoodies,
  193. we just see the information
    about their brand, and nothing else.
  194. So, brands are acquiring
    a new informational status,
  195. where the product itself
    is no longer important.
  196. What is important is the information
    and product promotion on social media.
  197. "Supreme" can be stuck
  198. onto practically anything.
  199. If before, when before,
    when fashion houses were being created,
  200. brands were being created,
  201. there was a client in mind, one client,
    at which the brand was aimed,
  202. defined by the price tag.
  203. That is, a product line
    offered by one brand
  204. would all have about the same price.
  205. In the case of Supreme,
  206. the price can start
    in the luxury segment -
  207. a Ferrari with a Supreme sticker -
  208. while at the same time,
    we can see in the slide,
  209. they sell shovels with the same logo.
  210. It can be glued onto any product,
    and the price raised.
  211. The second very interesting change
  212. is that the development
    of the design of this product
  213. is nor provided by the Supreme team.
  214. It is being done by factories
  215. who actually make the product,
  216. and Supreme is just gluing its logos on.
  217. Similarly, the hoodie by Louis Vuitton
    which we've just seen
  218. was designed by Louis Vuitton,
  219. and Supreme has just glued on its logo.
  220. And this is exactly how
  221. firms that started their businesses
    in the 20th century
  222. are surviving today:
  223. by collaborating
  224. with such information brands as Supreme.
  225. Today, I've told you
  226. how we can see, through fashion,
  227. how our society is changing,
  228. and how the centre of power is changing.
  229. We started from the monarchy,
  230. where all power was
    in the hands of one person,
  231. and then we moved on to capitalists,
    who brought us individuality to fashion.
  232. Then, via print media,
    we've arrived at the world of information.
  233. I wouldn't like to tell you
  234. that Steve Jobs was a great fashion icon.
  235. I don't honestly think
    he was very preoccupied with fashion;
  236. he just wore his jeans and sneakers
  237. and went about minding his own business.
  238. Even less that he thought about
    how we all should dress.
  239. That's not the issue at all;
    it's that the vector of power has shifted.
  240. And that's already reflected
    in the way we dress.
  241. Look around you.
  242. Has anything changed?
  243. No, I don't mean in how we're dressed,
  244. we're dressed just as we were
    18 minutes ago.
  245. But, maybe, something's changed about you,
  246. in how you see fashion?
  247. Thank you.
  248. (Applause)