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Module: Fashion and Luxury, Essay Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1602

Essay
  1. Describe the luxury concept comparing it to the fashion concept.

Luxury and fashion are two different concepts, though these concepts do have similarities. Luxury is defined as an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction or ease (Merriam-Webster, 2013). Fashion is defined as social standing or prominence especially as signalized by dress or conduct (Merriam-Webster, 2013). The two concepts are related in that many times fashion can be deemed a luxury. Trending fashions are often unnecessary, but desired by the consumer to elicit social standing or group acceptance.

Luxury is dependent on the mood and experience of the consumer. It is an overindulgence of the senses. The key components involved in luxury are a strong element of human involvement, a very limited supply, and the recognition of value by others. Luxuries are non-essential items or services that contribute to a higher standard of living; a convenience beyond the necessities of life.

Fashion is often associated with art, creativity, and uniqueness. Most garments that are fashionable or trendy do not fall into the category of art form; however they are often influenced by high fashion zones. Fashion is often a particular style of clothing worn by a specific group of people.

Many of the high fashion trends are considered to be luxury items. The branded items that are limited in quantity, but high in quality are fashionable luxury items. Many of the items that models are seen wearing on the walkway are considered to be high fashion luxury items.

Top fashion designers include Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Givenchy, and Burberry Prorsum (Top Fashion Designers, 2013). Most of these names are recognized worldwide. Their designs are beautiful and envied by many. These designs are luxury items. They are unique, limited, and expensive.

  1. Define the term “fast fashion” and give an example of “branding in fast fashion”.

“Fast Fashion” is a system that combines quick production capabilities with enhanced product design capabilities to create trendy products that capture the latest consumer styles and exploit minimal production lead times to match a supply with an uncertain demand (Cachon, 2011). Fast Fashion can be defined as a phenomenon which emerges because certain high fashion retailers have shortened their lead times to satisfy lead time by having the right product in the right place at the right time (Hayes and Jones, 2006). Fast fashion is greatly influenced by the catwalk and celebrity style.

Fast fashion can also be considered a business strategy that strives to reduce the businesses process involved with the buying cycle and lead times for getting new fashion products into the stores. Fast fashion starts by moulding the fashion trend, producing the trend quickly, and delivering the trend rapidly to the retailer. The companies that accomplish this are successful in this strategic and market segment.

Localized production, sophisticated information systems that allow for frequent inventory monitoring, and expedited distribution methods enable short lead times (Cachon, 2011). The careful monitoring of trends and consumer styles to gain knowledge of unexpected fads allows for a trendy product design (Cachon, 2011). These two aspects of fast fashion are extremely important for success and these attributes are shown by Zara, a European retailer (Cachon, 2011).

Zara has been extremely successful in the fast fashion industry. Branding in fast fashion has many components, most of which Zara is capable of producing. It is important to understand the concept of branding before determining the success of Zara.

There are two significant aspects of competition in fashion. They include companies that have an elevated capability of predicting and contributing to moulding of fashion trends and companies that lack product planning but compensate with a production management model that have characteristics of rapidity and flexible, The latter are usually unbranded companies.

The ability to influence fashion trends is associated with a strong brand image, however creating an effective ready to wear formula is a much more important aspect of fast fashion. Fast fashion relies on the ability to quickly manufacture products, deliver them rapidly, and sell them to the waiting market. The key is to not keep the consumer waiting too long.

Zara produces a majority of its clothing lines in costly European and North African factories (Cachon, 2011). They constantly monitor inventory levels in order to effectively match supply and demand (Cachon, 2011). Because of these to aspects of the company, the company is able to quickly determine the market need and speedily produce and deliver the necessary product.

Zara’s parent company, Inditex, is the world’s largest clothing retailer based on sales (Dishman, 2012). Inditex subsidiaries are placed in 80 countries with more than 5,500 stores (Dishman, 2012). They practice rapid expansion which increases brand recognition worldwide. With their expansion, the company also began seasonal, weather appropriate customization of their clothing based on where the stores were located (Dishman, 2012).

(Tiendas en el Mundo, 2013)

Another successful practice is having a short supply chain. Though it is pricier in the beginning to produce products in the home country or close to it, it saves money in the long-run by avoiding the mark downs when the trend quickly goes out of style (Dishman, 2012). It is important to get the product to the shelf as quickly as possible in fast fashion.

The third successful aspect of the company is quality. Though the products are cheap in comparison to their catwalk counterparts, to the common consumer, the products do not look or feel cheap (Dishman, 2012).

Though many companies seek ways to minimize cost, Inditex, parent company of Zara, is increasing labor, locating factories at home, and quickly expanding. Though this seems like a waste of money, the company continues to increase brand recognition and beats sales goals every year (Dishman, 2012). They continue to maintain a profit, even when similar businesses cannot.

(Inditex, 2013)

  1. Which are the motives for luxury consumption? Give an example of luxury market segmentation.

There are three different market segmentations when dealing with luxury items. The first segment is the affluent. The affluent have the desire and financial means to purchase luxury items. The next group is the excluded. The excluded have the desire to purchase luxury items, but they do not have the financial means to do so. The third segment is the excursionist. This group only purchases luxury items in specific or special circumstances.

These three segments bring the conclusion that there is a definite demand for luxury items. This demand is now not only focusing on the affluent, but the other two segments that wish to acquire luxury items. Now that there is a known demand from all three groups, the supply side is considering this idea and beginning to offer products to a much wider public than before.

There are many motives for purchasing luxury items. The first is desire. People desire luxury items. In the case of the excluded, they desire to identify with the affluent. Owning similar products allows this.

Luxury goods can also be seen as a status symbol. Owning luxury items shows your status or place in society (Sun, 2011). This may offer a seemingly higher social status than is actually achieved (Sun, 2011).

Another motive is Buying to impress others (Sun, 2011). If a specific group is impressed with the items that a person is able to obtain, this person can attain a higher social status than is currently attained. This could be helpful to the person.

Self orientation can also be included in the motives for purchasing luxury items (Sun, 2011). When owning luxury items one may feel more comfortable, or indulge senses that would not otherwise be indulged with cheaper items. It may be more pleasing to the eye, or feel better when wearing if it is a garment. It could smell better if it is a perfume or soap. Luxury items are often more appealing to the senses.

Luxury items are not essential, but are of great value. The consumer can receive many perks from purchasing luxury items and that is why there is such a high desire or demand for these products. These products were once provided to a niche market, the affluent, but are now marketed toward a much larger market to include the excluded or the excursionist. It is important to have a wide variety of consumers to make the product successful.

  1. Define the term “industrial retailer.”

The industrial retailer is a retailer, or a company that participates in retail sales, however the company also tends to integrate some functions as a manufacturer also. This can include design, sourcing of raw materials, quality control, or supply chain coordination. Though the company is related to a net of suppliers as well points of sales, these aspects of the company are managed with a strong influence of a retail perspective.

There are several industrial retailers; they include but are not limited to Gap, Marks and Spencer, Hennes and Mauritz, and Inditex. Each of these firms have retail stores but participate in some manufacturing aspects of the business as well.

The Gap operates retail stores worldwide, selling clothing, accessories and personal care items; they also have product development offices, distribution operation offices, design and merchandising teams that allow products to be designed, manufactured, and delivered in minimal time to the retail center. The Gap is an example of how an industrial retailer works. Though they operate retail stores, the company is also involved with the design, merchandising, product development, and distribution of their products.

References

(2013). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com

Cachon, G. &. (2011). The Value of Fast Fashion:Quik Response, Enhanced Design, and Strategic Consumer Behavior. Management Science, 778-795.

Dishman, L. (2012, March 23). The Strategic Retail Genius Behind Zara. Retrieved from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com

Inditex. (2013). Retrieved from Con Empresariales Al Dia: http://www.conempresialesaldia.blogspot.com

Sun, M. W. (2011, June). Consumption of Luxury Fashion Brands: The Motives of Generation Y Consumers in China.

Tiendas en el Mundo. (2013). Retrieved from Faro de Vigo: http://www.farodevigo.es

Top Fashion Designers. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.top-fashion-designers.info

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