Fashion is a multifaceted phenomenon that covers an industry, aesthetics and trends. It has a significant impact on personal expression, cultural understanding and economic development. It has become a source of inspiration for many artists and designers. It also allows people to stand out from the crowd and create a unique identity for themselves.
Originally, clothing was worn as a practical tool for protecting the body against the elements but it evolved into an important symbol of status and power, especially in the upper classes. In Europe, the continual and accelerating change of clothing styles can be reliably dated from late medieval times.
While the fashion industry is often associated with images of models sashaying down the runway and high-fashion stores, it has much wider impacts on society. From designers sketching new collections to tailors meticulously crafting each garment, to retail workers helping customers find their perfect look – the fashion industry is a global powerhouse that employs millions of people.
The discourse about fashion is vast and varied, ranging from reports on good or bad products to ethical analyses of the brands we buy from, and even critiques that denigrate it as an entirely bad thing. It is also a subject of intense interest to social scientists who study it in the contexts of culture, history, and society.