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The notion of global fashion industry is a product of the modern age.[29] Prior to the mid-19th century, most clothing was custom-made. It was handmade for individuals, either as home production or on order from dressmakers and tailors. By the beginning of the 20th century—with the rise of new technologies such as the sewing machine, the rise of global capitalism and the development of the factory system of production, and the proliferation of retail outlets such as department stores—clothing had increasingly come to be mass-produced in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices.

A few days after the 2010 Fall Fashion Week in New York City came to a close, The New Islander's Fashion Editor, Genevieve Tax, criticized the fashion industry for running on a seasonal schedule of its own, largely at the expense of real-world consumers. "Because designers release their fall collections in the spring and their spring collections in the fall, fashion magazines such as Vogue always and only look forward to the upcoming season, promoting parkas come September while issuing reviews on shorts in January", she writes. "Savvy shoppers, consequently, have been conditioned to be extremely, perhaps impractically, farsighted with their buying."[53]
In the fashion industry, intellectual property is not enforced as it is within the film industry and music industry. Robert Glariston, an intellectual property expert, mentioned in a fashion seminar held in LA[which?] that "Copyright law regarding clothing is a current hot-button issue in the industry. We often have to draw the line between designers being inspired by a design and those outright stealing it in different places."[69] To take inspiration from others' designs contributes to the fashion industry's ability to establish clothing trends. For the past few years, WGSN has been a dominant source of fashion news and forecasts in encouraging fashion brands worldwide to be inspired by one another. Enticing consumers to buy clothing by establishing new trends is, some have argued, a key component of the industry's success. Intellectual property rules that interfere with this process of trend-making would, in this view, be counter-productive. On the other hand, it is often argued that the blatant theft of new ideas, unique designs, and design details by larger companies is what often contributes to the failure of many smaller or independent design companies.
Although the fashion industry developed first in Europe and America, as of 2017, it is an international and highly globalized industry, with clothing often designed in one country, manufactured in another, and sold worldwide. For example, an American fashion company might source fabric in China and have the clothes manufactured in Vietnam, finished in Italy, and shipped to a warehouse in the United States for distribution to retail outlets internationally. The fashion industry has long been one of the largest employers in the United States,[30] and it remains so in the 21st century. However, U.S. employment declined considerably as production increasingly moved overseas, especially to China. Because data on the fashion industry typically are reported for national economies and expressed in terms of the industry's many separate sectors, aggregate figures for world production of textiles and clothing are difficult to obtain. However, by any measure, the clothing industry accounts for a significant share of world economic output.[31] The fashion industry consists of four levels:
Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous.[25] The idea of unisex dressing originated in the 1960s when designers such as Pierre Cardin and Rudi Gernreich created garments, such as stretch jersey tunics or leggings, meant to be worn by both males and females. The impact of unisex expands more broadly to encompass various themes in fashion including androgyny, mass-market retail, and conceptual clothing.[26] The fashion trends of the 1970s, such as sheepskin jackets, flight jackets, duffel coats, and unstructured clothing influenced men to attend social gatherings without a tuxedo jacket and to accessorize in new ways. Some men's styles blended the sensuality and expressiveness despite the conservative trend, the growing gay-rights movement and an emphasis on youth allowed for a new freedom to experiment with style, fabrics such as wool crepe, which had previously been associated with women's attire was used by designers when creating male clothing.[27]
Although tailors and dressmakers were no doubt responsible for many innovations, and the textile industry certainly led many trends, the history of fashion design is normally understood to date from 1858 when the English-born Charles Frederick Worth opened the first true haute couture house in Paris. These fashion houses have to adhere to standards such as keeping at least twenty employees engaged in making the clothes, showing two collections per year at fashion shows, and presenting a certain number of patterns to costumers.[23] Since then, the idea of the fashion designer as a celebrity in his or her own right has become increasingly dominant.[24]
In fact, Thomas’s connection with fashion stems, in part, from her personal biography. — Anne Showalter, Smithsonian, "The Fierce Pride and Passion of Rhinestone Fashion," 9 Aug. 2019 Since Palmer started hosting the show last year, she’s spoken to leaders and influencers, in industries that run the gamut from culinary arts and fashion to Hollywood and politics. — Renee Morad, NBC News, "The podcast that's inspiring women to pursue positions in leadership," 8 Aug. 2019 For older students, animal prints can be used to make a bold fashion statement such as in a leopard print dress or cheetah print pants. — Tyra Mcclung, courant.com, "Back to school in style: Here’s what’s trending this fall," 7 Aug. 2019 Anything But Classic Chanel is a fashion house known for many things, but its quilted purses are its most sought-after pieces. — Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Kylie Jenner’s Chanel Bag Is Anything But Classic," 5 Aug. 2019 More head-turning pieces are piled on top, including dramatic chandeliers collected through the years, porcelain vases from China, 1920s privacy screens, and even textiles from the Louis Vuitton fashion house. — Chadner Navarro, Condé Nast Traveler, "A New Hotel Is Embracing the Laid-Back Eastern Side of the Algarve," 26 July 2019 Designer Giorgio Armani, the sole shareholder of his eponymous, 41-year-old Italian fashion house, is streamlining the far-reaching company, in reaction to sales falling for a third year. — Robert Williams, Fortune, "Giorgio Armani’s Restructuring his Fashion Empire," 26 July 2019 Givenchy is the nephew of the fashion house's founder, Hubert de Givenchy. — Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Scarlett Johansson's Engagement Ring Is One of The Chicest We've Ever Seen," 24 July 2019 Shortly after, the fashion house and Dapper Dan began working together on a line, and a collaborative collection between the two debuted in 2018](https://fashionista.com/2018/07/gucci-dapper-dan-collection-clothing-accessories). — Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Dapper Dan Addressed Why Black-Owned Fashion Brands Don't Get Support On “The Breakfast Club”," 12 July 2019
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