Fashion Week Johannesburg is no longer a fulfilling experience. To some it may seem like a superficial occasion but to fashion lovers it’s a huge part of their life and something to celebrate. This year many people have found nothing much worth celebrating at the Fashion Weeks that took place in Joburg.
This is what I have identified through exploring current attitudes of fashion lovers towards the occasion. The people I learned from were once excited about Fashion Week but have now lost interest. But why? One they have been so many times it has lost its appeal, two they find it boring or three they don’t enjoy the superficiality of the show.
Perhaps Fashion Week works for the media, bloggers and high status people because they are the ones who promote these clothes, buy them or really get them to wear but there’s a huge group of people they are missing the mark with. That is the youth market. Particularly the large group of youth who are dedicated consumers of fashion. They are the ones unimpressed by the show put on.
I spoke to a SA fashion week attendee who couldn’t say much came from her experience. The experience is supposed to be about celebrating clothes, seeing what you love and being able to buy after. She would buy none after the show she saw. The underlying reason for this is because the clothes that hit the runway just do not relate to the youth market because the designers are not in touch with the youth. The reality is that we live in a see now, buy now time. The youth are important consumers of fashion as they are the ones who give more time and attention to looking stylish and staying in touch with trends. This is because they want to look good, make a good impression and be successful at living their dreams.
Fashion is about culture, celebrating and being with the times and fully experiencing life in your clothes. Clothes are a tool to pursuing ones dreams.
Not to say Fashion Week shouldn’t exist. It does serve it’s purpose which is a vital one to promoting local designers but there is an opportunity to adapt to the current South African environment and trends and create a new secondary experience where the designers that are showcased are more relevant to our country’s youth culture and even what they like to wear.
This would require an entirely new approach but one worth looking into as the youth is a lucrative market.
By adapting to the youth culture and connecting with them through fashion you may create a fashion experience worth talking about and that promotes a love for local designers amongst the youth.
Article by Gabrielle Mixon
TrendER Insights’ Fashion Researcher, Communicator & Trend Analyst