“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” – Coco Chanel
Last week while I was watching the Toronto Fashion Week one thing which struck my mind was, if we see the models minus their accessories wouldn’t they look drastically different? I also recollected reading a column in The Independent (a UK daily) which proclaimed that fashion accessories are as a matter of fact saving the fashion industry!
All this made me think that there must be something which makes these accessories so important to the fashion fraternity worldwide. Experts say the answer is: They complements one’s garment. In addition to adding colors, style or class to an outfit, they also have practical utility and importance.
That bring us to another important aspect as to so what exactly qualifies as a fashion accessory? My in house experts say anything which supplements a dress like jewelry, gloves, handbags, hats, belts, scarves, watches, sunglasses, pins, stockings, bow ties, leg warmers, leggings, neckties, suspenders etc can be considered as a fashion accessory.
Experts agree to the fact that accessories are some times used as visual symbols of religious affiliations like Crucifixes, Jewish stars, Islamic headscarves, skullcaps, turbans etc.
Due to the economic downturn, the garment industry has been struggling to make profits (due to cut throat competition among the manufacturers) but to the surprise of many analysts, fashion accessories have been able to buck this trend much to the market’s delight!
Consumers across the globe are spending on fashion accessories like never before. Many research reports have confirmed this trend. The industry insiders vocally agree to the fact that the this industry is on the verge of its renaissance. This change is also visible on the internet auction sites such as eBay etc.
Even though all seems well for the fashion accessories industry, there are still many challenges to address.
These challenges include
* Continuous increase in the raw material prices
* Intense competition
* The ever changing buying preferences of the consumers
* Emergence of new low cost manufacturing locations
* Strict vigilant governments and regulators
Charles Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest holds true for the fashion accessories industry as well. Fashion accessories manufacturers know that their existence and growth will require keeping a constant tab on the industry dynamics and pro-activeness for adjusting as per the market’s requirement.
The Asia pacific region being the flavour of this decade is all set to gain more in the times to come. Business in countries like India and China will flourish as they offer the much needed cost advantage to the bigger players. Many branded names are setting up their manufacturing units in India and other low cost destinations thus giving a boost to their domestic market.
If the overall sales projections are anything to go by, these are indeed one of the most exiting times for the fashion accessories industry across the globe!
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I am a b2b industry analyst. I write on the export industry in India a