The American Fashion Industry Is In Crisis — And Its Big Awards Gala Made It Obvious

by MR Magazine Staff

The American fashion industry is in crisis. Or perhaps it’s just dazed and befuddled by consumers who now have the ability to shout their preferences from the Twitter mountaintop and bully the industry into submission. Fashion is no longer defining itself. Increasingly consumers are telling the industry what constitutes fashion. This is a problem. Not because the industry shouldn’t listen to its customers; it should. But then it should merge those demands with its own expertise, vision and standards to create something that is better and more relevant than the consumer ever imagined. Instead, on Monday night at the Brooklyn Museum, the fashion industry gave its prize for menswear designer of the year to James Jebbia, the founder of Supreme, the streetwear brand best known for the scarcity of its products. Supreme is not fashion in the sense that what it aims to offer is especially inventive or daring. But Supreme has been extraordinarily influential in its business model. Its streetwear isn’t so much exclusive (it’s not all that expensive) as it is elusive. It’s frustratingly hard to find. The merchandise — T-shirts, backpacks, baseball caps, hoodies, soccer jerseys — isn’t particularly inventive, but it has a reputation as authentic and uncompromising because of its association with impeccably cool people. Supreme is desirable because the people associated with it have declared it so, and their opinions are credible. Read more at The Washington Post.