Although the fashion industry developed first in Europe and America, as of 2017, it is an international and highly globalized industry, with clothing often designed in one country, manufactured in another, and sold worldwide. For example, an American fashion company might source fabric in China and have the clothes manufactured in Vietnam, finished in Italy, and shipped to a warehouse in the United States for distribution to retail outlets internationally. The fashion industry has long been one of the largest employers in the United States, and it remains so in the 21st century. However, U.S. employment declined considerably as production increasingly moved overseas, especially to China. Because data on the fashion industry typically are reported for national economies and expressed in terms of the industry's many separate sectors, aggregate figures for world production of textiles and clothing are difficult to obtain. However, by any measure, the clothing industry accounts for a significant share of world economic output. The fashion industry consists of four levels:
There has been great debate about politics' place in fashion and traditionally, the fashion industry has maintained a rather apolitical stance. Considering the U.S.'s political climate in the surrounding months of the 2016 presidential election, during 2017 fashion weeks in London, Milan, New York, Paris and São Paulo amongst others, many designers took the opportunity to take political stances leveraging their platforms and influence to reach the masses.
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In the 16th century, national differences were at their most pronounced. Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten entirely different hats. Albrecht Dürer illustrated the differences in his actual (or composite) contrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century (illustration, right). The "Spanish style" of the late 16th century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, and after a struggle in the mid-17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century.
Black activists and supporters used fashion to express their solidarity and support of this civil rights movement. Supporters adorned symbolic clothing, accessories and hairstyles, usually native to Africa. Politics and fashion were fused together during this time and the use of these symbolic fashion statements sent a message to America and the rest of the world that African Americans were proud of their heritage. They aimed to send an even stronger message that black is beautiful and they were not afraid to embrace their identities. An example would the Kente cloth, it is a brightly colored strip of cloth that is stitched and woven together to create different accessories. This woven cloth of brightly colored strips of fabric became a strong symbolic representation of pride in African identity for African Americans of the 1960’s and later. It was developed into what is called a dashiki, a flowing, loose fitting, tunic style shirt. This cloth became one of the most notorious symbols of this revolution.
Milan though will always be synonymous with style and fashion. Times, Sunday Times (2009)You can always spot a fashion woman. Times, Sunday Times (2013)Why not treat fashion as an art? Times, Sunday Times (2006)Yet art and fashion form a natural alliance that extends beyond mere money. Times, Sunday Times (2014)The real problem is that it is not a successful museum show about fashion and celebrity. Times, Sunday Times (2007)They also keep clobber in case it comes back in fashion. The Sun (2014)What is your one piece of fashion or beauty advice? Times, Sunday Times (2008)Then he had a moment of clarity and saw a new way to do high fashion. Times, Sunday Times (2016)Luck builds for fashion and music projects. The Sun (2016)What about fashioning something out of porridge? Times, Sunday Times (2008)Most certainly it was not the most democratic way to fashion a governing class. Peregrine Worsthorne IN DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY (2004)It was a style that perfectly balanced the fashion of the time. Times, Sunday Times (2015)There is no denying both women are fashion icons. The Sun (2011)We have dropped away dramatically in a similar fashion to last season. Times, Sunday Times (2013)Can you tell the difference between clothes and fashion? Times, Sunday Times (2009)Fashion is a form of cultural dialogue. Times, Sunday Times (2010)THERE'S only one fashion tribe to be in this season. The Sun (2009)She was so nervous on her first day at the fashion house that she wore a prim grey school skirt. Times, Sunday Times (2006)Russian clients are highly visible at the world 's leading fashion shows. Times, Sunday Times (2013)My mum was extremely glamorous, beautiful and very into style and fashion. The Sun (2013)It would hardly be a fashion show if there weren't a few howlers. Times, Sunday Times (2015)I became that woman through fashion. Times, Sunday Times (2009)Her efforts at the flourishing fashion house in which she is a partner keep them all in comfort, but at what personal price? Times, Sunday Times (2013)