The life cycle of a fashion trend

Berkeley Sumner, Staff Reporter

   The fashion cycle is the lifespan of a specific fashion trend. It consists of five stages: the introduction, rise, peak, decline, and obsolescence stage. Some trends stay in the peak stage for much longer than others. For example, Adidas goes in and out while always staying one of the top brands, but Puma has had only one big spot in the peak stage and now continues to be one of the background brands. What is interesting about the fashion cycle is that every trend you can think of has fallen into these categories at one point or another.

   The first stage is the introduction stage where the trend is first seen. These are like the new styles in fashion shows or a new design being released by a brand or even a new brand coming out. An example of this is chunky shoes. Their introduction stage began in 2017 when Kanye West partnered with Adidas to create the Yeezy 700 Boost Wave Runners. 

   The second stage is the rise stage, in which trends pick up in popularity. Most of the time, trends grow an audience through working with influencers and other companies to further advertise and spread the word. Adidas did this by partnering with famous rapper Kanye West and by working with other influencers that would show support for the shoe. Not much later, other brands would recognize the success of the shoe and started creating their own version of chunky shoes.   

   That leads into the third and most profitable stage, the peak stage. Within this stage, trends will be the most successful; they earn the most money and continually gain customers. Adidas is currently in this stage with Yeezy’s because many brands are competing with chunky shoes and they are able to come out with more styles. 

   The fourth stage is the decline stage where sales and popularity begin to decrease. In this stage brands either give up on the trend or try to salvage it by modifying it in a simple way or by rebranding. Adidas has not had to go through this with the Yeezy’s yet because they keep redesigning their shoes. But with brands like Fila, their formerly popular chunky sneakers are now disliked by a wide community of people and are in their decline stage.

   The fifth and final stage of the fashion cycle is the obsolescence stage. This is practically a trends graveyard. Typically, there is no coming back for a long time once a trend falls into this stage. Adidas Superstars have fallen into the obsolescence stage after being quite popular for almost two years.

    Even though it may seem small, the fashion cycle is incredibly valuable to the world today. Without the fashion cycle, apparel would not be considered stylish or popular, and fashion as we know it would not exist. Everyone would have the same styles and fashion would never have evolved into what it is today.