The “fashion system,” which includes the business of fashion as well as the art and craft of it, as well as not only production but also consumption, is a larger social and cultural phenomenon that includes the fashion industry. In addition to the individual consumer who chooses, purchases, and wears clothing as well as the language and imagery that influence how consumers think about fashion, the fashion designer is a significant factor. All the elements involved in the entire process of fashion change are part of the fashion system. Some aspects of fashion, which involves variation for the sake of novelty, are inherent (e.g., when hemlines have been low for a while, they will rise). Other elements are outside
Individual trend-setters like Madonna and Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as changes in lifestyle like the introduction of new sports like skateboarding in the 1960s and music all contribute to the development of trends (e.g., rock and roll, hip-hop). Fashion is a complex social phenomenon that involves a number of sometimes conflicting motivations, including the desire to both express one’s individuality and to belong to a group, as well as the desire to both follow fashion icons and defy convention. In order to satisfy any consumer’s desire to embrace or even to reject fashionability, however that term may be defined, the fashion industry must be diverse and adaptable enough to do so.