Research and development in apparel industry is ongoing process. Every now and then, we encounter new developments, innovations, improvements in existing processes, which are in terms of fabric, style, stitching details, patterns, prints and their designs, but cycle of fashion keeps on revolving and always repeats after certain period.
Fashion trends moves in the direction from west to east. Trends which are in the western countries (USA, UK, France and Italy), will be the future trends in east and other countries. In other terms, we can call them fashion trendsetters.
Trends are in terms of styling, detailing and patterns, which is the invention of their dexterous designers and trend readers. Innovations and research done in terms of fabric and accessories in China, India, and Hong Kong shall be the basis of styling and patterns of trendsetters. Eventually call them supporters/active participants of the trends.
Nevertheless, we can segregate the whole apparel and fashion world in three categories.
- Fashion and trend-setter countries
- Retailing, Marketing and merchandising specialist countries
- Sourcing, Production and process oriented countries
1. Fashion and trendsetter countries are France, Italy, UK and USA. We find lots of excellent designers, designing institutes, fashion stores, boutiques, and renowned brands. Like- Chanel, Armani, Hugo Boss, GAP, A&F, Valentino etc.
2. Marketing and Merchandising specialist countries are USA, UK, Hong Kong & India. They have the best concepts of marketing, retailing and merchandising in their own areas. Due to presence of the best fashion merchandising schools, they have good command over their retailing and marketing skills, India and Hong Kong are the emerging markets nowadays in terms of their retailing plans and encouragement to satisfy the domestic demand. Like- Macys, Wal-Mart, Target, GAP, A&F, Nordstrom, Reebok, Nike, Sainsbury, Lifestyle, Wills lifestyle, Max. etc.
3. Sourcing, Production and process-oriented countries are China, India, Vietnam & Bangladesh. They are export & process oriented countries due to less expensive labor, cheap raw material and govt. encouragement to exports. They are the best in to their own areas of specialization. Like- LinFung, Must Garments, Lenny Fashions, GI, Orient Craft etc.
There are many other countries, which are the part of above-mentioned categories like Spain, Germany, Pakistan, Canada, Brazil, Thailand etc. Nevertheless, they cover only a small part of these categories.
However, buyers study the trends very carefully, understanding the concepts of behavior of consumers, their presence, their aesthetic sense etc. Generally, when we get into this concept, we find that North American buyers travel to European markets to grab the idea of fashion trends, stories, themes and color combinations. After studying the market, they apply the same to prepare their style packages, to get the prices and costing from vendors. It applies the same to European buyers; visit the America or Retail outlets of US based brands to sense the market trends.
Many Italian/US brands emphasis to colors and hand feels with their basic patterns. Brands like UCB, American eagle are the examples of these outfits. However, it is presumed thinking that, It is not the color, but also the hand feel, which sells the garment into the market. Colors are their to tempt the customers to pull them in the showroom, it is the hand feel and price, which ultimately satisfy their aesthetic desires and psychological needs.
Behavior is a quite personal term to be used, but their behavior always depends on the behavior of their customers and competitors. All buyer look for, all kind of resorts to launch their product first, with improved innovations in market, to fetch the sales profit. This is the nature of business, first come first profit. Who reaches the destination first, is the winner of the game?
About the Author
The author is student of Post Graduate in International Business at George Brown College, Canada.
The author expresses his views on Buying Behavior of Buyers