Emerged side-by-side with Millennials without pockets deep enough for a Gucci jacket is contemporary fashion. There is no formal definition of contemporary fashion, but in short it describes “accessible” fashion, both in terms of price and design.
Factors influencing how a brand is perceived, regardless of their clothes design, are price point and consumers. Take Armani as an example, and imagine the price being ten times as low, and 70% of their consumers where skateboarders. The brand would probably be perceived differently. This is where the segment defined as contemporary fashion makes its entrance, viewed by many designers as a bridge between high-end luxury brands and main street in terms of price and consumers: The clothing style does not represent one segment alone, e.g. skateboarders or business men, but rather becomes attractive to several.
Contemporary fashion as the before mentioned bridge is arguably a result of the clothing’s modern, easy to wear, style, combined with high quality fabrics. Consumers who are buying contemporary items are further more of a younger breed, turning to labels that makes a statement and that are branded with individuality. There are always exceptions regarding the younger consumers, but it´s typically the case with contemporary fashion.
Let´s dig deeper into the factors influencing the designer brands, starting with design, followed by pricing, and concluded with designers.
We have established that the consumers of contemporary fashion typically are of a younger breed, often below 30. That means that the design is created thereafter, to appeal to this consumer. The brands aesthetics varies a lot, but a common factor is casual pieces, often styled with prints, color contrasts and fittings. Often important to designers behind contemporary fashion brands are furthermore their acknowledgement of their own influence, specifically their position to influence the consumers views on important matters, such as anti-racism, police violence and other political issues. The contemporary pieces often reflect this in a provocative way.
Moving on to the fabrics, which is typically of a higher quality than what´s used in low-priced clothing lines, but not always as high as luxury line´s fabrics. Again, with contemporary fashion as the bridge between low-price clothing and luxury brands. Almost always expected is an above average quality in the industry.
Contemporary fashion´s price point varies of course between brands and items, but in general pieces can be bought for an average price running from $100 to $900. This is significantly below luxury brands price-point, but still above lower-priced clothing, which can be explained by the fabric-quality and time spent on designing the items. As a reference, lower-priced clothing can be bought for $10 to $200 on average, while luxury brands price-point can be found between $1000 to $5000 per piece.
3. Contemporary Fashion Designers
If you were asked to mention three well-known contemporary brands, you may draw a blank. The fact is, however, that the category has shot through the roof regarding popularity, and designers behind famous luxury brands are creating new lines to meet the demand and to get a piece of the fast-growing market. Ralph Lauren has his Polo Ralph Lauren, which is priced well below his Purple Label, and Marc Jacobs has his Marc for Marc Jacobs line. Known as pure-breed contemporary fashion designers are Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim and Emil Ringheim, which is the designer behind Outdrop, a contemporary concept brand founded in 2015 in Oslo, Norway.
With the increasing embracement of street culture and culture in general, the demand for clothing that represents statements like these has never been higher. And along with the increase also comes contemporary fashion, which urges the consumers to reflect their views, must it be political or something completely different, at an affordable price.
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