When a woman opens the closet and you don’t hear “I have nothing to wear,” there will be a reason for global concern. In the meantime, consumer behavior is all that has changed. The social experience of shopping has lost its appeal for both men and women.
Once the idea of browsing the mall with friends was part of the pleasure of making a purchase. Today, that has been replaced by the ease of sitting on the comfort of our couch and clicking a button to access a universe of merchandise ready to be delivered to our door.
In 2017, the rise of e-commerce prompted the bankruptcy of nine retail chains in America. In contrast, Amazon’s sales in North America quintupled from $16 billion to $80 billion between 2010 and last year.
What’s behind these changes? It is nothing less than a human transformation.
We, as human beings, are driven by a scale of desires determining what we do and choose at every moment of our lives. This includes desires as basic as food, sex and family, to those related to social status, such as money, honor and education.
How today’s generation measures the importance of fulfilling these desires represents the real impact of the fashion industry. In other words, the evolution of fashion over history is a consequence of the evolution of desires.
What do we ultimately need clothes for? We need clothes to cover ourselves. Traditionally, however, the desire to be respected and valued in society was a major incentive for people to make a statement through their clothing. Take kings and their descendants, for instance, as well as certain professions that still require a specific dress code.
The norm in the past was to distance ourselves from each other according to social status and occupation, and people were ready to keep that standard at any price. But as humanity evolved, the younger generation no longer willingly puppets fashion trends dictated by society, which is bombarded by a multimillion dollar advertising industry. Comfort, affordability and a sense of independence are now in.
As displayed by market trends, materialism and luxury brands are less attractive nowadays. Humanity is undergoing a significant transformation. We are becoming more focused on inner qualities and attributes. While most of us are unaware of this inner change and are yet to know where the real fulfillment is, the signs pointing that way are unequivocal.
This shift in the pyramid of desires will only grow in the future to the point where the fashion industry as we know it will vanish. Who we are as human beings will be more important than what we have. People will discontinue basing their happiness on material possessions and what is trendy, and will emphasize human connections. Sooner or later we will realize that what is really out of fashion are the desires and urges that separate us. A tight social fabric of inner connection and solidarity will become the new vogue.