The “Monarch” of the Fashion System

For many people today the word fashion would immediately be associated with a name of fashion designer. Vetements and Balenciaga are today strongly associated with a Georgian young man wearing a baseball cap and having a name Demna Gvasalia. The fashion house of Dior would even today, after more than fifty years since the death of its creator, still appeal to the iconic name of Christian Dior and the same would concern the House of Chanel. Thus the fashion houses are capitalizing on their designers in spite of time. The figure of designer is thus considered central in the fashion system and serving to uphold, reproduce and distribute fashion from the creative stage to the consumption one.

 

At the same time the designer is the key link between the production and consumption, helping with his/her, within the fashion field gained, social capital and carefully analyzed and, adopted to the socio-economic practice, cultural preference to turn the product into fashion. As the key link the designer is thus, speaking the language of Norbert Elias, “the monarch”– in relation to the consumer society – of the fashion creating process seeing as a collective activity. All other members, as a rule, stay in the shadow of the designer, demonstrating their belonging only within the system of fashion. The designer with his competence of the “connoiseur”, what actually is a collective concept for the members of the creative production stage, “channels” his mastery to the other intermediates of the fashion system, which also can be viewed as a cultural industry at that point, just before the consumption turns it into a monetary activity.

 

The channeling process, from the economic point of view, consists of a number of well-planned and carefully analyzed marketing activities aimed to adopt the product to the market needs in order to correspond the fashion requirements. Seeing from the cultural perspective the marketing activities engage a number of cultural intermediates in order to uphold the status of fashion as a culture-producing organization which through its star – the designer personifies the product and its design making it unique and consequently distinctive and thus fashionable.

 

Those other cultural intermediates members of the image-making and culture industry of fashion, placed within the frame of mediation space, in order to convert the product into fashion, are photographers, fashion magazines, stylists, film production, advertisers and so on, distributes fashion further. Those actors embody fashion by means of the habitus of taste and aesthetic value, which takes the product through the whole process – from the creating stage till the stage of consumption – converting it into a final desirable object of the fashion system.

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I believe when knowledge meets passion they can do a lot for a person, making the person pass it on to the people around one and this is how, I think, any changes in the world take place.