Friday, June 21, 2013

changes in popular music on fashion retailing

The impact of changes in popular music on fashion retailing

Music is closely associated with fashion in many parts of the world. Musicians are considered by many people as celebrities and role models in various aspects of life. The lifestyle as well as dressing of musicians is therefore imitated by many people leading to development of a fashion. Popular music has greatly influenced how fashion retailers market their products. As it is today, early fashions were promoted through observation and mimicry. In relation to mimicry, drama also played a role in advertising and change in fashion designs.

Example early 1910’s saw the memorable performance held in Paris in which its participants wore a design called the fashionable silhouette (Barnard, 1996). Immediately after this performance there was need to transform the design from the stage attire to the contemporary clothing. This saw the rise of Paul Poiret who pioneered and transformed this stage attire into a fashion. His contribution to the fashion industry saw his clients; most of them from the forbidden families streaming in for fashion. This essay seeks to analyze the impact of changes in popular music to fashion retailing.

There is a strong relationship between popular music with the development of popular culture theories and other conceptual categories of music put forward by diverse scholars or authors. There is a claim that all popular music is defined by its standardization and how this mode of standardization functions to support an economic system founded on Fordist principle (Barnard, 1996). For many years, the unspoken but highly evocative language of music has had greater influences on individuals and the societies at large. Consequently, the power of music to convey, express and generate powerful emotions cannot be overstated.

It is stated that, music is a reflection of personal tastes and situations that are determined by the different types of settings. Therefore, music as an art is integral in shaping how people perceive certain issues at both the individual and societal level. There are different types of music that are sang depending on the occasion for instance during times of mourning, celebration, worshiping, and other occasions of value to people. Music has played a big role in the growth of the fashion industry.

Fashion design encompasses the application of art in design in natural beauty in clothing and its accessories. Today, fashion designers boost of a variety of designs that suit different occasions and their accessories. However, most fashions especially in the clothing fashion industry are an improvement of the old designs. The 19th century is credited with the rise of the fashion industry notably through the pioneering works of Charles Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionnet and Christian Dior among others (Leslie & Nancy, 2007). It is also important to note that the designs were at that time popular among the citizens of France and America. The fashion industry is very cyclical and it is subject to many changes.

Music is deeply entrenched in people`s lives forming an intrinsic part of their environment. Music is very common in the current world making it the best marketing tool. Fashion retailers take advantage of musicians’ popularity to market their products (Davis, 2006). Artists normally team up with retailers to create interactive videos whereby viewers can click on the outfit online and purchase it within the shortest time. It is a direct progression from music to consumerism. Creation of cinema newsreels and increased television watching has enabled people across the world to watch fashion shows. The viewers imitate certain types of clothing worn by celebrities thereby establishing a fashion. The red-carpet events also provide a good opportunity for the celebrities to be photographed wearing certain designer fashions which provide valuable publicity to designers.

The international pop stars greatly influences people`s clothing choices in many parts of the world. The link between fashion and music is growing stronger every year. This is mainly due to technological advancements that allow many people to watch music videos. Increased use of the internet enables a big number of people to watch online videos. Social cites such as Vimeo and YouTube are commonly used to sell music which also makes them the most effective advertising platform for the fashion retailers (Davis, 2006). Views can love musician outfits through watching them either in concerts, on television or online. This generates the desire to buy that particular outfit which eventually drives people to look for them in retail shops. Youths are the most interested group in the fashion designs. Music is therefore very important in marketing fashion products.

The celebrity clothing line has become a popular trend with designs such as Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani and Jay Z. Popular music artists have become stylists working with fashion retailers to market their products (Leslie & Nancy, 2007). It is possible to trace trends of a particular artist to their popular music video with a lot of ease. All the outfits worn by artists are normally available for online for interested people including hair styles, crowns and other attires. Many fashion retailers stock products that resemble those worn by artists. Most of the products offered in fashion shops are influenced by celebrities, especially the singers` clothing styles which are seen in their videos. Any outfit that looks iconic in the video clip starts showing up in retail shops because most consumers will develop an interest in the product.

Cultural changes have led to the change in popular music which contributes to fashion changes. Today, modernism of the fashion can be traced back to different periods and personalities whose imagination and artistic approach transformed the industry. Therefore is plausible to note that the demand of the people with the changing times of history also contributed to the transformation of the industry. History is rich in content of how fashion transformed from the original clothing that could only suite the demands of the few; royal family to modernism (Davis, 2006).

In relation, fashion has been in constant change and this relates to the ever changing demands of the people. Art played a vital role in the advertising and marketing of the fashion during early times just like it is today. It is the contributions of various personalities in the fashion industry that prompted the designs of the day. Musicians have over the years inspired the fashion decisions of many people.


Barnard, M. 1996. “Fashion, Clothing and Postmodernity”, in M. Barnard Fashion as Communication London: Routledge.
Davis, Mary E. 2006. Classic Chic: Music, Fashion, and Modernism. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp 21-27.
Leslie Davis Burns and Nancy O. Bryant, (2007). The Business of Fashion: Designing, Manufacturing, and Marketing, 3rd Ed.