Fashion is about creating trends. Every trend has its own lifecycle that is made of three stages: Introduction, peak, and decline. Various factors participate in this process. At the beginning, trends are introduced by fashion innovators: Designers. Then, they are adopted by the so called, “opinion makers” or “trend setters.” They are people like fashion editors, socialites, bloggers, or VIPs. But even small groups of consumers that want to differentiate themselves because of class reasons, identification, or because they want to share some specific values with others. Then the trend enters into the so called “mainstream phase.” When the vast majority of people will go for it. And this is the moment in which sales peak. And then the decline phase will start as time passes and the product will lose its value in the market. It will be discounted as a left over at the end of the season and then it will be bought by people searching for value for money. Or for the so called, late adopters like us. A very interesting point to be made, is that even if there people with no interest in fashion that buy the product, just when they are already in the decline phase. However, fashion is something that effects everyone. And in order to understand this very important concept. I suggest you to watch a scene of a very famous movie. The Devil Wears Prada. Where Miranda, the editor in chief of Vogue, explains to her assistant that was making fun of her obsession for fashion. Why fashion is part of everyone's life. She humiliates the girl by telling her that even if she's happy with the cheap blue sweater she's wearing. Indeed that blue was firstly introduced by a trend setting designer. Then it was diffused, thanks to the support given by the media system. And just in the last phase, it trickled down from the top of the market into the mass market until the moment it was sold in the casual corner, where the protagonist bought it. So, she may think that fashion has nothing to do with her. However, the choice about the blouse she's wearing was made by people working in the fashion industry, not by her. With this example, we start understanding who makes trends. But another very important question is: Where do the trends come from? What are the different sources of inspiration? Designers may use different inputs. Travel, movies, or music icons too. But, as well they take inspiration from architecture, art exhibition, design, food. And, sometimes of the street style can be very inspiring, as well for the high fashion. For example, the teenager trend or showing off the brand of their underwear by wearing very low waist baggy pants, was inspired by the black culture and more specifically by people going to prison. And the reason is that, when they were entering prison, they had the bad confiscated in order to avoid to use it as a weapon. And then when they were going back to their normal life, in order to show they survived the prison they were keep wearing their trousers the same way. So, it is a paradox but fashion most of the time combines the mass, the bottom and the very high end of the market. Technology may also play a very important role. More and more, we are familiar with microfibers, but as well as matte fabrics that can adapt to the different climates, nanotechnologies and every kind of innovation. However, it has to be specified that somehow technology follows a different timing than the one of seasonal trends. Because it is leaded by research and development. So, the way we dress and accessorize ourselves has changed a lot because of technological improvements. But is not necessarily related to a trend. And last but not least, there is the role of the so-called pipeline. Fashion is a system, and the system is made by the designer, and the apparel makers, by the media, the example I gave you about the movies. But as well, by all the manufacturers that gave the designer, the possibility to make a garment with a special fabric, with a different fibers and so on and so forth. The concept of pipeline refers to the supply chain that goes from the very materials, the fibers for the textile and clothing industry, down to the transformation of these raw materials into the final product and their distribution in stores. So we have the fiber but then the fiber will become yarn that will be woven in a fabric that will be cut and made in a garment and finally sold. Behind the beautiful dress, there is much more than the creativity of the design. There is as well the innovation of research and creativity that was made by textile companies. And those textile companies exhibit these innovations in the trade shows. So the designers can get inspiration as well from the up stream level. And so finally, okay, the very important message to be understood is that trends can come from a variety of sources. But eventually there are some direction for the whole system to go. In terms of new color, new materials, new patterns. Every single company has to look at those directions, but in the meantime needs to have the ability to adapt the trend to its own unique personality. It's like to be on a highway. We all go in the same direction, but then is up to us to decide how fast we want to drive and what kind of exit we want to take.