The fashion industry creates and sells the fashions people wear. The key players in the fashion industry are the fashion designers who create the items of fashion sold across the world by retailers. Behind the fashion products and the designers who stand at the forefront is an industry that is as old as, according to Who Owns What, the idea of wearing clothes.
The fashion industry is a global industry that spans across six of the seven continents. The major or traditional fashion markets are France (Paris), Italy (Milan), United Kingdom (London), United States (New York) and Japan (Tokyo). Other fashion markets are emerging and gaining recognition within the fashion industry such as Russia (Moscow), Israel (Tel Aviv), South Africa and India.
The fashion industry is a multibillion-dollar industry where even the smaller markets contribute billions to it. Israel's emerging fashion market exports approximately £0.7 billion annually, according to the Israel Textile & Fashion Association. Haute couture adds to the total profits of the industry with dresses that can sell for £65,000 or more, states People's Daily Online.
The industry hosts various events to promote the different designer collections, fashion retailers and fashion publications. Fashion shows, trade shows and trunk shows are ways designers present their newest collections to the industry. Fashion retailers host pre-sale parties and other promotional events to spark interest in new designer collections arriving to their stores. Fashion publications also hold events and fashion shows as a marketing effort in partnership with a particular store or designer label to attract additional advertising and readership.
Many innovations have occurred within the fashion industry concerning designer-retail partnerships and designer-customer relations. Top designers are collaborating with retailers and companies from other industries to create designer items that are accessible to more of the public. New companies are applying Internet-based strategies such as crowdsourcing to make designer clothing more accessible to the public by allowing customers to have input in developing designer's collections and voting on what looks they like.
Ongoing concerns within the industry are the global use of sweatshop labour and the use of unpaid interns in the United States. Economic trouble has affected well-known fashion designers such as Christian Lacroix, who can no longer design under his own name because his design house was sold to a bigger fashion firm. Sustainability, or eco-fashion, is another concern of the fashion industry, with entire college programs devoted to the area. Colleges such as the University of Delaware focus graduate studies around this sustainability within the fashion industry.