If you read only one of my articles this year, this is the one. We all know fast fashion. Groups like Zara and H&M being the large purveyors meanwhile old establishments of “quality” like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Barney’s (RIP) have been competing with this throw away model since it’s inception. Fashion retailers, like any purveyor of goods and services, are beholden to market demand. As we’ve seen over time, retail has moved from brick and mortar to click and order. At cheaper prices with fast fashion, quality and design integrity are diminished. I’m by no means saying this is a bad thing. Judgement on model at such a fast pace can be a futile exercise, but it’s well worth looking at for your brand and what you provide, regardless of industry.
Are you Fast Fashion? Hip and in today, but thrown out/discarded tomorrow to continue build your image juggernaut. Are you part of the older establishment of high quality design and production value, and thus lies heavy on the pocket book perhaps for the sake of cocktail commentary? Or are you part of the sustainable movement, concerned with where materials are sourced, and more inclined to vote with your dollars on the global impact and working conditions to make your goods of choice?
It’s well worth understanding your place and value in whatever market/business model ethos you ascribe to. All with their inherent issues, the fact remains, the mob (market) dictates much of what we purchase, regardless of our own core values.
Art struggles to find it’s home in any model, the disruptor/illuminator that it is. The only clear market value adjudicator being it’s timelessness. I’m a photographer of the soul. There’s nothing quick about that, nor should there be, so the idea of fast photography in outside of my purview. One, (1) amazing, earth moving image is far better than 100 images for the sake of being thrown away in a social media or marketing campaign. But that’s a portrait, a Karjaka Portrait. Built on over time, innovation and inspiration. Not to be trifled with, taken lightly, just like you.
Regardless of camp you find yourself in, understand that, as with any of these fashion trends, we must adapt to survive, innovate and inspire. Make the investment in you and your brand as you shop this holiday season.
Invest in quality.