Fashion capital

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Escada Sport at Berlin Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013

A fashion capital is a city which has a major influence on international fashion trends and in which the design, production and retailing of fashion products – plus events such as fashion weeks, awards and trade fairs – generate significant economic output.

The cities considered the global "Big Four" fashion capitals of the 20th century were Paris, Milan, London and New York; while the fashion scene turns more multipolar in the 21st century with other important centers like Rome, Berlin, Barcelona, Tokyo, São Paulo and Los Angeles.[1]

Definition of a fashion capital[edit]

In addition to their leadership role in clothing and design, fashion capitals usually have a broad mix of business, financial, entertainment, cultural and leisure activities and are internationally recognised for having a unique and strong identity,[2] it has also been noted that the status of a fashion capital has become increasingly linked to a city's domestic and international profile.[3] Fashion capitals are also likely be part of a wider design scene, with design schools, fashion magazines and a local market of affluent consumers.[3]

Often the term fashion capital is used to describe the cities that hold fashion weeks, most prominently Paris, Milan, London and New York,[4][5][6][7][8] to showcase their industry.[9][10] Also various other cities host notable fashion events and are influential in global fashion.[11]

History[edit]

Historically, several cities have been, in turn, fashion capitals, during the Renaissance era, different city-states in what would become modern-day Italy were Europe's main trendsetters,[12] due to the cultural power they exerted in that period of time; this includes cities such as Florence, Milan, Rome, Naples, Genoa, and Venice.

Progressing into the late-16th century, with influence of the English Royal Court, London became a major city in European fashion. Similarly, due to the power of Spain at the period, the Spanish court started to influence fashion, making it a major centre; in the 17th century, as the Renaissance started to fade away, with the power of the French court under Louis XIV, Paris established itself as Europe's main fashion centre.[13]

During the 19th century, with the powerful British Empire and a young Queen Victoria on the throne (from 1837), London once again became a major fashion leader.[14] However, it continued to look to Paris for stylistic inspiration, and the British 'father of haute couture' Charles Frederick Worth relocated to Paris in 1846 to perfect and then commercialise his craft, also holding the first fashion shows and launching the concept of fashion labels there.[15]

20th century and beyond[edit]

New York's Garment District, 1955

During the Golden Twenties, Berlin was considered the vanguard fashion capital.[16]

Throughout the 20th century – but particularly after World War II – New York City rose in stature as a fashion capital, challenging the dominance of Paris with a different approach, especially in its development and popularisation of sportswear as fashion during the 1940s and '50s.[17]

During the 1950s Italy rose in prominence again.[18] Florence re-emerged as a leading city in fashion,[19] although focus shifted to Milan from the 1970s on as leading design houses moved to the city.[20]

"Swinging London," Carnaby Street, c1966

In the 1980s, Tokyo claimed its place as a fashion capital with a new generation of avant-garde designers, including Issey Miyake or Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons gaining worldwide attention, even if the fashion show were all in Paris. The fashion was radically different in both its use of textiles and in the way designers cut and draped.[21][22]

More recently, new fashion hubs have emerged worldwide, and the old order has faced challenges from all corners of the globe, including Africa, Australasia and South America,[23] since 2007, Berlin has again been highlighted as an increasingly important centre for global fashion trends.[24][25]

A 2011 issue of Fashion Theory: Journal of Dress, Body and Culture explored the move away from the traditional dominance of five key cities (London, Milan, New York, Paris, Tokyo), with co-editor Lise Skov suggesting what she described as a "poly-centric" fashion industry developing in the 21st century.[17]

A 2010 Milan Fashion Week event

Annual fashion capital rankings[edit]

An annual ranking of the leading fashion capitals is produced by Global Language Monitor, a US-based company that tracks trends through language use worldwide, the 2017 top-sixty three fashion capitals, according to its rankings, are listed below.[26]

Rank (2017) City Last
1 Flag of the United States.svg New York City 2
2 Flag of France.svg Paris 1
3 Flag of Spain.svg Barcelona 7
4 Flag of Italy.svg Milan 6
5 Flag of Italy.svg Rome 5
6 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg London 3
7 Flag of the United States.svg Los Angeles 4
8 Flag of Germany.svg Berlin 8
9 Flag of the United States.svg Las Vegas 23
10 Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg Dubai 17
11 Flag of Singapore.svg Singapore 14
12 Flag of Hong Kong.svg Hong Kong 12
13 Flag of Italy.svg Florence 11
14 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Amsterdam 24
15 Flag of Spain.svg Madrid 9
16 Flag of Indonesia.svg Bali 40
17 Flag of South Korea.svg Seoul 56
18 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Prague 33
19 Flag of Brazil.svg Rio de Janeiro 18
20 Flag of Argentina.svg Buenos Aires 29
21 Flag of the United States.svg Washington, D.C. 54
22 Flag of Russia.svg Moscow 22
23 Flag of Japan.svg Tokyo 10
24 Flag of Chile.svg Santiago 43
25 Flag of Austria.svg Vienna 34
26 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Shanghai 15
27 Flag of India.svg Mumbai 38
28 Flag of Australia.svg Melbourne 49
29 Flag of Sweden.svg Stockholm 46
30 Flag of Thailand.svg Bangkok 50
31 Flag of Poland.svg Warsaw 42
32 Flag of Denmark.svg Copenhagen 36
33 Flag of the United States.svg San Francisco 37
34 Sydney 13
35 São Paulo 16
36 Antwerpen 25
37 Flag of South Africa.svg Johannesburg 48
38 Dallas 20
39 Flag of the United States.svg Austin 45
40 Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg Abu Dhabi Debut
41 Flag of Russia.svg St Petersburg 35
42 Flag of South Africa.svg Cape Town 41
43 Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico City 53
44 Portland, Oregon Debut
45 Flag of Germany.svg Frankfurt 51
46 Boston 24
47 Kuala Lumpur Debut
48 Flag of South Africa.svg Johannesburg 37
49 Monaco 21
50 Flag of Canada.svg Montreal 47
51 Flag of India.svg New Delhi 39
52 Flag of Canada.svg Vancouver 52
53 Chicago, Illinois 27
54 Houston, Texas 30
55 Flag of Canada.svg Montreal 47
56 Flag of Senegal.svg Dakar Debut
57 Flag of Lebanon.svg Beirut Debut
58 Flag of Poland.svg Kraków 44
59 Toronto 28
60 Flag of Nigeria.svg Lagos Debut
61 Columbus Debut
62 Accra Debut
63 Flag of Venezuela.svg Caracas Hiatus

Commentary from Global Language Monitor About the 2017 edition of its annual fashion capital rankings[edit]

The current 2017 rankings now include 63 fashion capitals. There are three new fashion capitals from West Africa: Accra, Ghana; Dakar, Senegal; and Lagos, Nigeria. There is one new fashion capital from East Asia: Kuala Lumpur. There is one new fashion capital from the Middle East: Beirut, Lebanon, before the various insurgencies in the region, Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East. There are two new fashion capitals from North America: Portland, Oregon known for its ‘weird’ culture, much like Austin, Texas and Columbus, Ohio known in the fashion world as the manufacturing headquarters of Henri Bendel, Victoria’s Secret, the Bath & Body Works, Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F), and others.

Commentary from Global Language Monitor individual cities in the 2017 edition[edit]

No. 3 Barcelona — Moving into Big Four Territory is Big News by definition.

No. 4 Milano — Reclaiming its Big Four status; hmm, perhaps all that re-thinking and revamping just might be having an impact (we’ll see in 2018).

No. 6 London — Had a great run earlier in the decade, but not so great lately (If you consider the No. 6 spot not so great).

No. 7 Amsterdam — Moving up 15 spots is quite a move.

No. 9 Vegas — Back in the Top Ten, more evidence that the Red Carpet experience does indeed have an impact.

No. 10 Dubai — More evidence that billions of dollars Do, indeed, have an impact.

No. 17 Seoul — Finally making the move in Asia, not No. 1, but a respectable No. 3 regionally.

No. 21 Washington, DC — A move into respectability!?

No. 28 Melbourne and No. 34 Sydney — Trading Places

No. 44 Portland, OR — A very nice debut.

No. 47 Kuala Lumpur — Another solid debut.

No. 46 Boston, No. 48 Miami, No.53 Chicago, No. 54 Houston, and No. 59 Toronto — All down by twenty spots, or more.

No. 63 Caracas — On Hiatus due to Insurrection.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The big four fashion capitals of the world
  2. ^ Gemperli, Natalia. "Fashion World Mapper: Your City on the Trend Radar". Master Thesis, University of the Arts Zürich. June 2010.
  3. ^ a b Florida, Richard (7 September 2012). "The World's Leading Cities for Fashion". The Atlantic Cities. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Armstrong, Lisa (22 September 2013). "Is there a future for Fashion Week?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Bradford, Julie (2014). Fashion Journalism. Routledge. p. 129. 
  6. ^ Dillon, Susan (2011). The Fundamentals of Fashion Management. A&C Black. p. 115. 
  7. ^ Godart, Frédéric (2012). Unveiling Fashion: Business, Culture, and Identity in the Most Glamorous Industry. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 57. 
  8. ^ "The Big Four : Fashion Capitals of the World". Fashion Days. 5 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Big Four: Fashion capitals of the World". Fashion Days. 5 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Heyman, Stephen (1 October 2014). "The Figures Behind the Catwalk". New York Times. 
  11. ^ "Top fashion weeks around the world". The Independent. 2 January 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Renaissance Fashion". Renaissance-spell.com. 9 May 2007. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  13. ^ Godart, Frédéric (2014), "The power structure of the fashion industry: Fashion capitals, globalization and creativity", International Journal of Fashion Studies, 1 (1): 39–57 
  14. ^ Johnstone, Lucy. "Corsets & Crinoline in Victorian Fashion". V&A. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  15. ^ staff. "Worth". Vogue. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Schreiber, Mathias. "The Age of Excess: Berlin in the Golden Twenties". SPIEGEL. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Fashioning the City: Exploring Fashion Cultures, Structures and Systems". Royal College of Art. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  18. ^ Fearon, Francesca (31 March 2014). "Exhibition at London's V&A Museum to chronicle rise of Italian Fashion". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "the birth of italian fashion". Gbgiorgini.it. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  20. ^ Bruzzi, Stella; et al. (2013). Fashion Cultures Revisited 2013. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. p. 23. 
  21. ^ "Japan Fashion Now". 2010–11. Fashion Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Miyake, Kawakubo, and Yamamoto: Japanese Fashion in the Twentieth Century". Metrolopolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  23. ^ staff (2 January 2011). "2011 top fashion weeks around the world: Paris, New York, Milan, Tokyo...". The Independent. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  24. ^ Staff. "Germany's fashion capital: the improbable rise of Berlin". 17 January 2012. Fashion United. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  25. ^ Scholz, Kay-Alexander (18 January 2012). "The Phoenix of Fashion Rises in Berlin". Die Welt. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  26. ^ "New York Bests Paris for 2017 Top Global Fashion Capital Title". Languagemonitor.com. Retrieved 11 September 2017.