Behind the Scenes of Fast Fashion

fast fashion - 2

Dr. Christina Moon, Assistant Professor in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons New School for Design, has recently published an article in the Pacific Standard about the world behind fast fashion. The article can be found here:

Dr. Moon highlights points about the fast fashion industry and how it all began which will surely surprise any TMD/TM major. With that said, I highly recommend this article to all students in our field of study. It was surprising to discover that the fast fashion business was created by the Korean immigrants of Los Angeles, and progressed thanks to the help of their children who brought “Americanized cultural identities” to the table. As Dr. Moon points out, second generation Korean students became the driving force behind US fast fashion. A business coordinating all parts of the apparel manufacturing process such as design, production, logistics, wholesaling, and marketing is bound to be a recipe for success; however, I don’t know if I go as far to claim this business model “sparked an explosion of creativity.” With a two week production cycle as compared to a traditional three month production cycle, I don’t see too much room for innovation. Although, with our fast paced lifestyle and our becoming accustomed to easily attainable, inexpensive, and stylish clothing, innovation and creativity are most likely not at the top of a consumers list when shopping for a new outfit. As a TMD/TM student, what’s your take on fast fashion?

Any and all thoughts are more than welcome!

By MacKenzie Cahoone

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39 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes of Fast Fashion”

  1. When going shopping, fast-fashion is the answer for most college students because we do live such fast paced busy lifestyles. At least speaking for myself, when I am going shopping I want something, like MacKenzie said, that is easily attainable, inexpensive, but yet still stylish. I thought this article was a good read because the content is both relevant and easily relatable, while also informative and containing information I was not previously aware of.

    I was surprised to learn that the business of fast-fashion was created by Korean immigrants of Los Angeles, and will be continued by their children. After reading this article and thinking about what I had learned, I realized that the manner in which the fast-fashion industry has played out makes a lot of sense. These Korean immigrants brought with them decades of industry experience and understood everything from pattern making, to fit, to quality control. They also had connections abroad to fabric and trim sources, factories, sample-makers, sewers, etc. The one aspect in which they were lacking, which would soon be a necessity for survival, was American cultural fluency. This lack of sensibility for design and aesthetics could be easily fixed though through the second generation. Korean immigrants children could attend top-name fashion design schools, and then return to L.A. to help their family businesses. The skills these children obtained while at school allowed for all parts of the apparel cycle to be run by a single Korean family; progressing fast-fashion even more.

    Another point I found interesting was in regards to Forever 21 and the Chang family, who own the company. The fun-fact about where “John 3:16” comes from on the bottom of their bags was something I was not expecting to learn when I started reading this article. Moreover, Moon points out that Forever 21 gained a following because of their on-trend, knock-off garments, that were offered in a variety of new designs almost daily. I found this to be noteworthy because that is exactly the feel of the environment when walking into a Forever 21 store today. They provide trendy clothing at great prices and there is always a huge variety of choices with changing designs quite frequently. If this was the strategy behind their original success, Forever 21 is guaranteed to be successful for years to come.

    As a TMD student, I feel as though the information from this article is not only relevant but also beneficial to us. The bolded quote in the article says it all, “These young Koreans are the driving force behind fast fashion – a phenomenon whose rise is less a story about corporate innovation than one about an immigrant subculture coming of age”. The progression of fast-fashion all makes sense and is much more clear to me after reading this article.

    1. Great thoughts! As you mentioned, this article provides us with a detailed picture of what’s behind the scene of fast fashion. On the other hand, the phenomenon of globalization showcased in this article also interests me a lot. For example, are you worried about the penetration of Koreans in the US fast fashion industry? What are the impacts of immigrants on the future of the US fashion industry?

      1. I can see why this topic would interest you. I definitely think the penetration of Koreans in the US fast fashion industry is something we need to keep an eye on, but I don’t think it is the absolute worst thing that could happen in the world of fast fashion right now. I understand we need to be cautious of the amount of immigrants because it will have an impact on the future of the US fashion industry. Not only might immigrants be taking jobs from other US citizens that have been here longer, but also we need to remember that these immigrants have connections with other countries. These other countries can provide cheaper labor, for longer hours, under bad working conditions, etc. This is where we might see globalization start to be showcased even more so than it already is. These immigrants are penetrating the fast fashion industry here in the US right now, but there is always potential for the industry to leave the US due to their connections with other countries. In my opinion, I do not think globalization is a bad thing, but always in moderation. I do understand that we need to be cautious that globalization does not get out of control, there needs to be rules and regulations to create a sense of organized chaos. There will always be winners and losers with trading and globalization, and there is no way of keeping everyone happy at all times. This being said, we can try to make sure globalization doesn’t get taken out of hand by first starting to be cautious and keep an eye on immigrants coming to the US and impacting the fashion industry.

  2. This article is surprising and interesting. I never knew the driving force behind fast fashion were started by the Koreans located in jobbers. The latest fashions also came from jobbers. Koreans who worked in textile factories in Korea immigrant to US back in the 80’s and brought their apparel related skills with them. Their children goes to university to get a better understanding of textile industry and takes over their family business.

    This article really got me interested where the fashion designers get their ideas from besides celebrities. When i went back to china 2 years ago, I’ve seen one of my friends wearing the galaxy leggings. The next summer I began seeing almost the exact same thing in Forever 21 and rainbow. I know China often copies their designs from Korea and japan. It makes me think if the Korean designers in LA are influenced by their home country Korea.

  3. I found this article extremely surprising. I think it is hard to imagine going shopping in a world not run by the phenomenon of “fast fashion”. I would have never guessed that Korean immigrants living in Los Angeles were the driving force to create this sector of the fashion industry. When thinking of the Korean garment industry, the “hub” of US fast fashion is certainly not what comes to mind. I was interested when Moon began to talk in depth about Forever 21 and how the retailer became to popular. By competing with retailers using a 3 month time frame vs. two weeks they are able to provide fashion at a pace that keeps up with todays consumer who wants to pay the least amount possible, for fashionable items, and have them as soon as possible. Todays consumers are not shopping for items that will last them years, they shop for the latest trends that may last one season and they can easily dispose of. I found it interesting when the article talked about that in relation to the popular “fashion haul” videos with “overstuffed bags”. This article was beneficial to read in order to better understand how “fast fashion” works and why it is so important to todays consumers.

    1. great comment. As my comment above, what interests me is the phenomenon of deepened globalization as mentioned in the article. Importing and exporting definitely is part of globalization, but now we are also dealing with more and more foreign investment –like forever 21 and uniqlo (a Japanese apparel retailer). At the same time, US-based retailers are also expanding globally, such as GAP (let alone Zara from Spain). In the class we mentioned a lot about the debates associated with trade. But how about foreign investment as such? Are TMD/TM students ready to compete with Koreans in the US retail market?

  4. I really enjoyed this article about the “fast fashion” model. I agree with the other students that the root of this fast fashion craze in the U.S. is from Korean immigrants living in Los Angeles was very surprising. I knew Forever 21 was originally from Korea, but I never made the connection. Before reading this article, I was always under the impression that the “fast fashion” model was dictated by the consumers instead. This article is extremely relevant to us TMD/TM students because I am sure that many of us will be working in fast fashion companies in the future or at least will be affected by the fast fashion model in whichever aspect of the industry we end up in.

    When they article brought up the idea of fashion haul videos and “overstuffed” bags, all I could think about was the affect of this fast model on the environment. This idea of buying cheap clothes and the latest trends that maybe last for a season before they are thrown out to make room for the new trends. Obviously, this is not a very sustainable practice and I think the question of sustainability should be important for these fast fashion companies.

    1. Really great comments! I am interested in what makes you question the “impression that the “fast fashion” model was dictated by the consumers instead.”? Isn’t the essence of “Fast fashion” is to quickly respond to identified market needs?

  5. I found this article very interesting. Fast fashion is a large part of our lives as TMD/TM majors and as college students. Most people our age are not able to afford high fashion items and instead try to imitate the looks that we see on the runway. Fast fashion makes these trends available to the average person quickly and at a very affordable price. This industry is becoming very popular among consumers. I was not aware that fast fashion was rooted in the Korean neighborhoods in Los Angeles known as Jobber Markets. It was interesting to read that fast fashion is designed, manufactured, and sold in these neighborhoods to major companies such as Forever 21. These Korean immigrants run their own shops with their families that will be taken over by their children. It was fascinating to read how these neighborhoods have evolved the fast fashion industry into the thriving business it is today.

  6. Fast fashion has been a discussion in many of my classes. It has been something that is constantly written about and discussed and whether or not we like it, fast fashion is here to stay. Like mentioned in this article, The Secret World of Fast Fashion, fashion used to be a three-month production cycle, which is no more. These fashions are available to everyone, every size, at any time. It is interesting to me to find out that Korean immigrants have created fast fashion and continue to make it a huge market. The families help in parts of the production of clothing and sell them wholesale to many fast fashion popular companies like Forever 21 and T.J. Maxx. I think it was interesting the author told us that a large portion of her students are Korean’s from Los Angeles going to school for fashion marketing and design so they can go back to their parents and help boost their business. When these kids graduate and return back home, they revamp the business and give a new start based on what is up and coming. These kids are going to schools not only in New York, but in Milan, London, L.A., and Paris to get the best education on fashion to help with the family fast fashion business and to expand it.

  7. Fast Fashion is a big part of our lives, especially being fashion students and going to work in the fashion industry. The contents in this article are easily relatable to us students, especially myself because when I go shopping, I want to buy things. It is interesting to me that fashion is so influenced by other people, and other countries as well. I never knew that Korea was the creator of “fast fashion”, and continue to keep it going. Their families help in parts of the production and then send it out to major companies. Their children go to school to learn about fashion and textiles, in LA, and then go back to Korea to help run the family business. This is a reason why Korea is fashion forward because they are educated on the industry.

    Fast Fashion is how clothing gets produced quickly and to the consumers quickly, and at a reasonable, affordable price. It was interesting reading Ran’s post. She went to China and saw her friend wearing the galaxy leggings, and now, that pattern is very common over here. This is the reason why fast fashion is a part of globalization. Countries are influenced by one another and that is how a trend spreads around the world so quickly.

    1. glad to see the conversation is going. PS: although the article put Korean as the “creator” of fast fashion, it shall be noted that there is no single business model of “fast fashion”. Even comparing Zara with H&M, how they plan pre-season and in-season design & production, how they choose store location, how they source fabrics, how they manage stores are very different. On the other side, I agree with your observation (also one of the main purpose of sharing this article) is about how globalized this industry has become and how it affects everybody.

  8. I thought this was an insightful article that Mackenzie posted as to the history of fast fashion and how it has become a global phenomenon. What was once a garment district similar to that in New York City, Los Angeles has become the hub for U.S. fast fashion. Industry skills and family businesses are being passed form generation to generation encouraging Korean immigrants to continue to be the driving force in this industry. While I was always under the impression that fast fashion was a business like any other, it is more about an immigrant subculture coming of age story.

    Applying my knowledge from the case study on Zara’s business strategy from TMD 432, I was able to draw connections on the importance of the fast fashion business model in terms of consumerism and profitability. Shortened lead times allow for new merchandise to arrive in stores frequently, while the production of smaller quantities create a sense of urgency for consumers to shop often and purchase immediately. Through this strategy, Zara had minimal to no advertising costs yet were able to get their average customer in the store roughly 17 times a year (compared to the industry average of 3-4 times a year). With the social media outlets that are present today, by the time a design is shown on a runway, stores such as H&M, Forever 21, and Zara are putting the design into production. What was once reserved for the upper class, “on-trend” has become available to a dramatically broader audience.

    This brought me to thinking about the repercussions on these fast fashion retailers in regards to the designs produced by luxury fashion houses. Extensive amounts of time and capital are invested in not only the designs but the runway shows themselves. Instead of creating a sense of excitement among consumers on what is to come in months following, their designs are posted on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and put into stores not even weeks later. High end designers put in time and effort to create a piece of art unique and original to that brand, yet don’t get to enjoy the benefits it reaps. While it is hard to determine what is “copyright infringement” or “creativity” in the fashion industry, it will be interesting to see what companies will choose to do in the long run about the reoccurring situation.

  9. This article was very interesting to me. Fast fashion is very popular especially among young college students. With styles changing season to season, fast fashion is popular because of its cheap prices and quick ways of keeping up with the new trends.
    It was intreging to read about how Forever 21 started. I would have never guessed that this very popular retailer started by Korean immigrants living in LA. They began their business in the 1960 -80’s when the United States was in its prime in textile and apparel trading. This helped the company succeed. Reading about the families who have stores in the Jobbers made me wonder how the small “mom and pop” shops compete with million dollar companies such as Forever 21. This being a cutthroat business must make it a very difficult competition.
    Having a family business in the fashion industry must make it easy for their children to find jobs. Already having a hands on experience in fashion before attending fashion school gives those kids a great advantage over others. It must be nice to know that they have a set career after their graduation. By attending fashion school they help improve and modernize their families business. Bringing home knolwedge with all the new ways of designing and new modern technology could help the family business grow and expand.
    I enjoyed reading this article. It was very interesting and I learned a lot

  10. Fast Fashion is a tremendous part of American culture and the fast times that we are living in. I think this article is very interesting and relatable for anybody but especially to a TMD major like myself. I do a lot of shopping, especially at my favorite retail store, Forever 21, where I am constantly captivated by their trendy, inexpensive products. I had no idea that fast fashion was started by Korean immigrants in L.A. I found it very interesting that Koreans are going to school in major fashion capitals all over the world to gain as much knowledge they can on upcoming fashion trends so they can help enhance the companies back in Korea! Sustainability is definitely a major concern with these retail stores because of the “fast fashions” that are constantly changing. After creating certain products and garments that will only last a month or so, it is hard to imagine how many of these trends are just tossed out and neglected at the end of its cycle. Overall, I was completely intrigued by this article and how the Koreans have evolved fast fashion into what it is today.

  11. After reading this article I found it hard to imagine going shopping in a world not run by the phenomenon of “fast fashion”. I was surprised to learn that Korean immigrants living in LA were the ones who created this sector of the fashion industry.These Korean immigrants brought with them decades of industry experience and understood everything from pattern making, to fit, to quality control. They also had connections abroad to fabric and trim sources, factories, sample-makers, sewers, etc. I think that this is a reason why Korea is fashion forward because they are educated on the industry.

  12. I never would have imagined that fast fashion came out of Korea. First of all, I didn’t imagine they could be capable of doing so. Although I don’t know much about history, I do know that, for a while, Korea was in a bad place. They weren’t very developed, and although they are doing better, they still aren’t in top shape. It was shocking to learn that a culture that was doing so poorly had the experience and power to completely change the fashion industry. Second, when I think of fast fashion, the first brand that comes to mind is Zara, which is based out of Spain. Therefore, I always thought of fast fashion as being a European phenomenon. Long story short, it was shocking to me to learn that fast fashion came from Korean immigrants.

  13. This particular article really captured my attention. The term fast fashion is used all the time but I never really knew where the “fast fashion” industry began. I would have thought that China was responsible for a majority of the fast fashion world. I had no idea that Korea was such a strong driving force behind fast fashion.

    I was also surprised that 6,000 Korean clothing labels operate in Los Angeles. I lived in LA for a short period of time and I have even gone to the neighborhoods spoken about in this article. I really had no idea that all of the clothing labels I was seeing were Korean. It was interesting to learn that Forever 21’s success was due to these industrial neighborhoods in LA

    One thing that we need to be careful of is how fast fashion effects the environment. At this point in time it is not a sustainable process. Fast fashion clothing has to be made very quickly and in large quantities. Because the clothing is so cheap there is no way to make it environmental friendly without raising the price. This article reinforces the idea that the fashion industry is becoming more and more globalized. All of the clothing that millions of American’s are purchasing at stores such as Forever 21, is possible because of the Korean’s fast fashions. .

  14. The title of this article is what first caught my attention. It caught my attention because I’ve heard the term “fast fashion” thrown around before but never really knew what it meant. Reading this article helped me realize what it meant. After reading the article and other class mates comments, I agree that I would have guessed China would responsible for a most of the “fast fashion” world, but it was great to read that Korea was a driving force in fast fashion. I didn’t realize that so many clothing labels that that you can find in places like LA are Korean.

  15. This article was very surprising to me as well. Fast fashion is particularly appealing to me because, as a college student, I do look for clothing that is cheap but still stylish and up with trends. Fast-fashion allows me to do this. However, when shopping in stores like forever 21, I did not know that it all began with korean immigrants in LA. Seeing the amount of growth they were able to achieve just by 2001 and now looking at how successful they are today is astonishing. However, I am not surprised that fast-fashion is as large or a topic and as it is today because of the consumer’s desire for products right now and at a low price as well. As a TMD student, reading this article helps me understand aspects in the industry that I previously never really questioned. It is amazing to see the effects of fast fashion in regards to globalization and how the industry really has become so vastly global. The fact that the younger generations of these successful businesses are going to fashion schools around the world and then bring their knowledge to their family businesses also shows fast fashion in a global sense. There are so many factors that contribute to this vast industry and it is only going to continue to grow as consumers continue to demand trends quickly and for low prices.

  16. Fashion is an ever-changing industry. In the past 15 years the industry has been completely transformed. The production cycle has gone from a 3 month period to an almost chaotic 2 week cycle. More people are wanting fashion quicker. We believe that the fashion industry is a consumer driven field but this article shows the back story behind fast fashion.
    The fast fashion industry is an immigrant subculture not a corporate innovation Dr. Moon says. It began with a 50 year migration process. Immigrants flooded North and South America looking for better opportunities for their children. Due to lack of money and language skills, the immigrants had to stick to the textile trade. These families still had connections abroad and were able to build businesses with their years of experience. The failures lacked American culture fluency and aesthetic and design sensibility. They also failed to connect with American retailers which was necessary for survival.
    In the early 2000s, the second generation of immigrants began to enter school to gain knowledge to better their parents businesses. They re-vamped them in the “American way.” Fast Fashion did not just arise from a new intergenerational division of labor but arose from a new distribution of risk.
    The fashion industry is constantly changing but I believe that fast fashion is going to stick around for a while.

  17. I was unaware that Korean immigrants had such a dramatic impact on the american fast fashion industry.For decades, Koreans have immersed themselves’ into this industry and are able to: design, produce and distribute garments in record time. The jobber market is the core of the mid to low level fast fashion market. Many buyers in this infrastructure, such as, Forever 21 and H&M, attribute speed, low cost and a fast paced lifestyle to this trend. Korean immigrants were and continue to be the driving force behind this complex and intricate ‘web; In L.A alone, Koreans share more than 90% of apparel related companies. Fast fashion has certainly changed the design and production cycle.This change in production, marketing and a growing consumer demand has transformed the traditional meaning of retail. An ever changing supply and demand relationship has left mass merchandisers at the mercy of unpredictable consumer demands.
    Second generation immigrants have been emerged in this industry since childhood. Which certainly places them one step ahead of the game. This generation has become more accustomed and aware of American behavior and buying trends. Studying fashion at American universities has prepared this second generation with a deeper knowledge of branding, social media and marketing. Equipped with access to new technologies and innovations provides this second generation with the tools to remain on the cutting edge of fashion.This may make it difficult for the average American graduate to compete in the global market.
    Consumption consists of people buying things that they do not need with money that they do not have. Fast Fashion retailers appeal to the consumer by providing trendy clothing at an extremely low cost; who could refuse? Low prices encourage more purchasing. I understand the desire to for trendy clothes at a cheap price, however; the concept of ‘fast fashion’ comes at a cost.It is important for each individual consumer to educate themselves’ on international company policies and regulations. There is no excuse for ignorance!

  18. Take a glance at my outfit and youll quickly know I love fast fashion. I like all other college students am not in a place to buy high end fashion items. Would I like to? Yes, but who wouldn’t? Fortunately fast fashion isnt too far off from high end. Not quality wise, but most if not all fast fashion is inspired by haute couture. However I was not aware of the major Korean influence in the fast fashion market. It’s important to know more about where and who your clothing is coming from.

  19. As a consumer I think fast fashion is great. It is quick, easily accessible, affordable, and trendy. As a TMD student I think it is stifling creativity for designers and changing the fashion industry. Fast fashion takes away the exclusivity the industry used to have. Now everybody can have a piece of the latest designer collaboration instead of only the very wealthy or fashion insiders. I think it is great that fast fashion is truly fashion for everyone, but there is beginning to be too much of it. Stores like H&M and Zara are repeated within blocks of each other in major cities in America and Europe. There needs to be some sort of exclusivity to make consumers want to feel a part of something and buy into it. Designers are losing their creative freedom because fast fashion is what consumers demand and consumer demand drives the industry.

  20. It blows my mind to think of a world without fast fashion. To think of how fast the process and production cycle of designing, manufacturing, and distributing clothing has become is astonishing. “Fast fashion” is something that my generation lives for. We get the chance to see clothing from fashion week and on the runway, and then see copies in stores for bargain prices weeks later. I feel like ever since I can remember I have been shopping for “fast fashion” items, so this article seemed interesting to me to try and pinpoint just when this phenomenon came about and just who is designing and manufacturing the garments in the United States. I was unaware that these Korean families transformed Los Angeles garment district into a central hub for fast fashion in the Americas. However, the stores names do not surprise me. (Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom.) These stores are always up to date with the latest fashions and current trends. I had the opportunity to work for Nordstrom, and it always shocked me seeing the shipments we would get in daily of new fashions and styles. It is amazing to find that these young Koreans are the driving force behind this concept of “fast fashion.” Stores like Forever 21 and T.J. Maxx will continue to be so successful because of their updated styles and cheap prices.

  21. This article is very relatable for college students and especially TMD/TM students. A college budget does not go very far when there are so many additional expenses these days. Having a love for fashion and shopping is something that we all have in common with one another. Most of us rely on fast-fashion because it is very cheap. These items are not meant to last forever- they are meant to be affordable and trendy so that we can participate in the latest trends without going broke. I was surprised to find out that it all began with Korean immigrants. The article gave me a new perspective on fast fashion and it’s origins. I believe that the trend of fast fashion will be around for a while. With stores constantly competing to come out with the newest designs at the most affordable prices, fast fashion has become a way of life for Americans.

  22. As a TMD major, I think this information is essential to know and to understand. It is articles like these that makes us appreciate the outcomes of globalization. Without globalization fast fashion would not be possible for us. I was shocked to find out how fast fashion began and it is incredible where it is today. Without fast fashion, the production cycle would be completely different and take much longer. Furthermore, the amount of time it takes for a new design to become a huge trend and adopted by the majority would take much longer. Working for Modus Publicity in London this past fall, I had the opportunity to work with Runway Collections. It was incredible to witness how quickly the trend would spread from a design shortly after being in a runway show or London Fashion Weeks. Most importantly to me, without fast fashion us fashionistas would not be able to be in style without spending a fortune!

  23. I couldn’t imagine life without fast fashion either. To be able to buy a dress or s shirt that fits when I try it on, and I can purchase it right then and there is what is awesome. I don’t have to wait for 2 weeks or so for some to take it in and hem a seam. Or even to browse online, see a cute pair shoes that i like, go to the store the next day and just purchase them. This is life that we know. Literally we stop and then we shop. The best thing is that it is affordable too.I would have never thought for ‘fast fashion’ to have started in Korea. That’s something new to take away from the article too.

  24. Fast fashion is a hard thing for us, as Americans, to live without these days. We have so many companies that base their entire business model off of fast fashion models such as Forever 21 and H&M. They work hard to stay on top of trends and sell clothes at an extremely cheap rate because of how fast the fashions flip and go in and out of style. People do not want to pay big bucks for something that will only be cute for about 2 weeks until it is out of style again. I, however, do not visit these stores very often. I find their clothes to have a low quality, meaning I can only wear a piece once before it rips and shrinks in the wash. I would like to see fast fashion go out of the malls a little more and bring back qualities and classics once again. Fast fashion, some would say, takes away the art of fashion and makes clothes meaningless and allows them to be easily discarded. I personally believe that fast fashion is ruining our fashion systems and damaging all the business models. Two weeks is just too fast for a fashion model; and while I do agree that fashion is fast and forever changing, I believe fast fashion pushes a little too much and allows for too much error and poor quality.

  25. “Fast Fashion” is an important topic in the textile and apparel industry because it’s steadily continuing to grow faster as technology develops more. The fact that fast fashion was created in a “jobber” district among the korean community is a very surprising fact. It is not only surprising but also extremely impressive; the korean community of Los Angeles was able to not only speed up the production and distribution of fashion products in LA but also globalized the market in the process.

    With globalization and technological advancement fast fashion continually growing fast fashion will too grow. Take the internet for example, a fashion show in Paris can be watched at home in the U.S. Within a few weeks garments from that show will be replicated and sold all around the world. Also consumers themselves have a direct impact on fast fashion. Because new fashion trends are reaching consumers at a rapid pace it puts pressure on suppliers to keep up with consumers demand for new fashion.

  26. I found this article to be very interesting. I was not aware that Korean immigrants were the cause of this new trend, fast fashion. It amazes me that Forever 21 was built up by the concept of creating and manufacturing products within a two-week period. You look at Forever 21 and think it’s a corporate structure, however the history behind the company describes something completely different. Producing these trends in a neighborhood in Los Angeles was not something I have envisioned. Globalization seems to be a large player in the impact of this industry and fast fashion where the products are accessible quickly and globally.

  27. As many people have mentioned, this article is surprising. Revealing more about “fast fashion” than we originally knew. As a college student, I am very familiar with fast fashion brands providing trendy clothing and accessories at an inexpensive price, with shorter lead times. I was aware that Forever 21 was owned by a Korean family in Los Angeles, but had no idea that Koreans had such a powerful impact on this area of the industry. Globalization plays a major role in this industry, redeeming itself once again. This concept of fast fashion has developed into something I feel will be around for many more years to come, especially now that a number of other companies have followed along and consumer demand is high.

  28. As long as the consumer demand is there, globalization increases and the advancement of technology enhances, fast fashion will continue to be readily produced. It is what some may say helps us fit in with the crowd, or allow us to dress similar to those who can invest the money in high end apparel. But with the truth being said, fast fashion is a dangerous and contagious method. It is something more than half the world’s clothing stores are based upon and it is an easy source of replications. The danger comes to designers and those interested in becoming a new up and running designer; how quick will the garments they make be replicated and sold locally in a store near you? We take for granted the way clothing is made in general, fast fashion or luxury. With no way to completely stop the damages of fast fashion compared to designer clothing, some of the industry may seem harmed with the clothing most see as innocent, affordable, and trendy.

  29. Wow extremely surprised by this article! As college students we all know how hard it is too budget money where it needs too be spent. With fast fashion, it makes it possible too keep up with trends but keeping at a reasonable price. I know when I see outfits that are trending I always check cheaper stores that have something that replicates the outfit. Great read!

  30. My take on fast fashion is that at this point in the world, fast fashion is necessary. As a college student, I know how important it is to manage your expenses. Fast fashion allows for college students to be able to buy groceries and still strut the latest trends in fashion through the supermarket aisles. With the demand for new clothes in new colors and patterns being so high and the majority of consumers interested in saving their money, fast fashion has gone from a niche market to taking over the fashion industry.
    The start of fast fashion surprised me, I think it is incredible how Korean immigrants started with nothing and through generations they created an empire of clothing, worth millions of dollars in some cases. Everyone thinks its celebrities and fashionistas who start trends, where in reality it is these Korean vendors who are “in-the-know” about what’s next to hit the racks in the world of fashion.
    However, “fast fashion did not just arise from a new intergenerational division of labor within Korean fashion businesses. It also arose from a new distribution of risk in the industry, with much of it falling on the shoulders of the Korean and Mexican families near the bottom of the production chain.” Generations of families have continued to keep fast fashion going and growing, assuming the risks of putting thousands of garments into production without knowing for sure that it will sell. Alice Moon’s family is one of these, continuing to create the trends seen on retailers’ racks and Alice wears them sitting in her bedroom looking fashionable even at home.
    The haul videos explained in the article are interesting as well. “The videos exemplify the new dynamics of fashion consumption in America: the sheer cheapness, the low barriers to gratification, the disposability of stylish clothing.” Showing off how inexpensive it is to buy so many trend-setting pieces is the new thing to do. Fast fashion is the reason people without a lot of money can still dress to impress. This new phenomenon has taken the fashion industry by storm and has no intentions of stopping.

  31. Articles like this one are always attention-grabbing. Trend analysis is not only done by watching the runway shows and looking for the newest line but luxury designers, it is also done by walking through a fast fashion store such as the ones listed in the article above. The concept of fast fashion is one sometimes hard to imagine and still surprises me daily, but this article really took me by surprise. I aways read about the negative impact fast fashion has on the environment and ways they are trying to compensate with manufacturers to make their products more environmentally friendly but this is the first time I have seen an article written on where this whole phenomenon even came from. I am particularly shocked that Koreans have such a powerful impact on the fast fashion sector. This article is great example of how fashion will forever be globally innovative.

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