According to Britannica Online Encyclopedia, “The fashion industry is a multibillion-dollar global enterprise devoted to the business of making and selling clothes”(Steele). However, the fashion industry’s impact goes beyond that of just the making and selling of clothes. The fashion industry’s impact becomes more influential when it is combined with mass media, more specifically advertising. Advertising can implement ideals into the minds of society that are sometimes unachievable for most. The media plays a significant role in shaping beliefs and ideals. Considering that both industries are influential in their own right, combing them allows us to see the numerous ways both industries shape and influence ideals in society.
Prior to the development of the fashion industry, in the mid-19th century, clothing was mostly handmade for individuals in the home, or by tailors and dressmakers. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the emergence of the sewing machine and factories beginning to be the hub for production, clothes began to be mass-produced and sold at fixed prices. In addition to the introduction of mass-produced clothing, women’s magazines were on the rise . Magazines such as Godey’s Lady’s Book, was the first to offer color illustrations and ultimately led it to become the predecessor of other women’s magazines. Richard Martin discusses the relationship between fashion advertising and society in Fashion in the Age of Advertising, stating “Advertising and its cultural permeation restructured and realized our relation to clothing and to the significance of fashion in the first quarter of the 20th century. Fashion assumed new roles and forms represented and disseminated through advertising” (Martin, 235). The pow...
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...nd evolving to showcase beauty in diverse cultures. This is apparent when they state, “Periods of history have tended to be characterized by one specific ideal of beauty…But the increased globalization and diversification of the society in which we live, and the popular culture in which we are immersed, are creating more ways to be beautiful” (Englis et.al, 53).
Ultimately the fashion industry’s use of advertising has the impact to define the standards in society, in addition to possessing the ability to control the identity that some strive to assume. The goal of fashion advertising is to place consumers into social categories with the products and with the ideal images that they use. Consequently, combining a multibillion dollar global enterprise with the powerful advertising medium of mass media, the effects that they have together on society is extraordinary
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