Additionally, there is a long history of fashion in West Africa. Cloth was used as a form of currency in trade with the Portuguese and Dutch as early as the 16th Century. Locally produced cloth and cheaper European imports were assembled into new styles to accommodate the growing elite class of West Africans and resident gold and slave traders. There was an especially strong tradition of cloth-weaving in Oyo and the areas inhabited by the Igbo people.
In the mid to end of the 1900s, African American style changed and developed with the times. Around the 1950s is really when the black community was able to create their own distinct styles. The term “Sunday attire” was coined, communities emphasized "Correct" dress, it was especially important when "stepping out" for social occasions with community members, a habit that continues in the early 2000s. Hair-dos and hairstyles also became a fashion statement, for example the "conk" which is hair that is slightly flattened and waved. Afros also emerged and they were often used to symbolize the rejection of white beauty standards at the time. Around the 1970s is when flashy costumes began to appear and black artists really started to define their presences through fashion. Around this time is also when movements started using fashion as one of their outlets.
^ Dalto, A. (2010, September). Brands tempt female bloggers with ‘swag’. O’Dwyer's Communications and New Media: The Fashion Issue, 24(9), 12–13. Retrieved from http://www.odwyerpr.com/profiles/O%27Dwyer%27s%20Magazine%20-%20Sep.%202010.pdf in Cassidy, L. & Fitch, K. (2013) Beyond the Catwalk: Fashion Public Relations and Social Media in Australia, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 14, No. 1 & 2, Murdoch University.
Benefits of primary research is specific information about a fashion brand's consumer is explored. Surveys are helpful tools; questions can be open-ended or closed-ended. A negative factor surveys and interviews present is that the answers can be biased, due to wording in the survey or on face-to-face interactions. Focus groups, about 8 to 12 people, can be beneficial because several points can be addressed in depth. However, there are drawbacks to this tactic, too. With such a small sample size, it is hard to know if the greater public would react the same way as the focus group. Observation can really help a company gain insight on what a consumer truly wants. There is less of a bias because consumers are just performing their daily tasks, not necessarily realizing they are being observed. For example, observing the public by taking street style photos of people, the consumer did not get dressed in the morning knowing that would have their photo taken necessarily. Through observation patterns can be seen, helping trend forecasters know what their target market needs and wants.
Why: Of Turkish/Iranian Jewish descent, Medine kicked off her career with a blog called Boogers + Bagels. Her ironic fashion-addict asides soon had her readers rolling in the aisles, and she decided to focus on the topic full-time after a joky conversation while out shopping with a friend about how ‘man-repelling’ all the fashion-forward outfits they loved were. It’s now a male-scaring empire, providing in-depth intel: ‘The difference between Mom Jeans and Dad Jeans’, the fabulous ‘Manstagram’ – all the best fash items du jour – and fun features and style news aplenty.
Susie Lau's Style Bubble has been going for over a decade and includes intelligent articles on everything from underground global fashion talent to perfume. She also provides fascinating behind-the-scenes pieces on the real work it takes to create a beautiful Chanel garment. Then there's the tongue-in-cheek Man Repeller run by Leandra Medine and her team. Its smart, witty take on fashion is refreshing. And if over-the-top clothes aren't your thing, we've also found plenty of bloggers with more pared-back styles for the minimalists.
In the 16th century, national differences were at their most pronounced. Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten entirely different hats. Albrecht Dürer illustrated the differences in his actual (or composite) contrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century (illustration, right). The "Spanish style" of the late 16th century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, and after a struggle in the mid-17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century.