Additionally, there is a long history of fashion in West Africa. Cloth was used as a form of currency in trade with the Portuguese and Dutch as early as the 16th Century. Locally produced cloth and cheaper European imports were assembled into new styles to accommodate the growing elite class of West Africans and resident gold and slave traders. There was an especially strong tradition of cloth-weaving in Oyo and the areas inhabited by the Igbo people.
^ Noricks, C. (2006). From style to strategy: An exploratory investigation of public relations practice in the fashion industry. Unpublished master's thesis, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. in Cassidy, L. & Fitch, K. (2013) Beyond the Catwalk: Fashion Public Relations and Social Media in Australia, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 14, No. 1 & 2, Murdoch University.
Fashion trends are influenced by several factors including cinema, celebrities, climate, creative explorations, political, economical, social and technological. Examining these factors is called a PEST analysis. Fashion forecasters can use this information to help determine growth or decline of a particular trend. Fashion trends change daily, it can not stay unchanged
Military technology has played an important role in the fashion industry. The camouflage pattern in clothing was developed to help military personnel be less visible to enemy forces. A trend emerged in the 1960s and camouflage fabric was introduced to street wear. The camouflage fabric trend disappeared and resurfaced several times since then. Camouflage started to appear in high fashion by the 1990s. Designers such as Valentino, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana combined camouflage into their runway and ready-to-wear collections.
Fashion is a popular aesthetic expression in a certain time and context, especially in clothing, footwear, lifestyle, accessories, makeup, hairstyle and body proportions. Whereas, a trend often connotes a very specific aesthetic expression, and often lasting shorter than a season, fashion is a distinctive and industry-supported expression traditionally tied to the fashion season and collections. Style is an expression that lasts over many seasons, and is often connected to cultural movements and social markers, symbols, class and culture (ex. Baroque, Rococo, etc). According to sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, fashion connotes “the latest fashion, the latest difference.”
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