The Fashion Cycle


Credit: Erika Torok '22

Montrose girls wearing the ever-present claw clips — a trend that’s currently in the peak stage of the fashion cycle.

The 2000’s trends are coming back and I’m totally here for it. Things like flare pants, baguette bags, platform shoes, hair clips, strappy shoes, corset tops, and mini Uggs aren’t seen as “vintage” or “cheugy” anymore, but seen as trendy today. There are a couple reasons for this: influential celebrities wearing them, designers including them in their collections, and primarily  the fashion cycle. The fashion cycle is clearly the reason behind the constantly changing fashion industry. It’s why something trendy last season is now “out of style”, and why something once seen as “chuegy” is now seen on everyone’s favorite celebrities and as part of everyone’s wardrobe. The cycle consists of five main stages, and lasts for a different amount of time depending on the trend at hand. 

The Introduction: The first and most important stage is the introduction. The trend usually starts when it is seen on a fashion influencer or in a big designer’s collection. At first this trend is usually expensive, unaccepted, and hard to get your hands on. Before this trend really takes off, many who jump on it first will be looked down upon and judged. At this stage, many people question the trend, but, in the back of their mind, wish to take part.

The Rise: In the next stage, the trend begins to become more and more popular as it becomes easier to find and cheaper to buy. During this stage, a lot of celebs will be rocking this trend while many manufacturers make their own version of it. 

The Peak: The peak stage is most commonly the longest stage. At this stage, this trend is found in all your favorite stores, and almost everyone has it in their closet. There is also a wide price and quality range at this point. The trend is socially accepted and extremely popular with everyone. Sometimes the trend becomes so demanding at this stage, that it’s extremely hard to get your hands on and is sold out everywhere. If popular enough, this trend will last for what seems like forever because it becomes a classic. 

Decline: Depending on the trend, after it has the hype for a while, the trend will start to decline. Once the fashion industry has been flooded by this product and has had enough of it, people will start to pay less and less for it and stores will make markdowns. 

Obsolescence: The last and final stage is the obsolescence stage. This is when the trend dies down and starts to be forgotten by everyone. Stores and manufacturers begin to stop producing this product and the price of it goes down extremely. People start to see the trend as “out of style” and barely anyone wears it anymore. If seen wearing the trend at this stage, it isn’t seen as trendy anymore, but looked down upon. 

Keep in mind, the amount of time it takes for a trend to go through this cycle varies for every different product. For example, some go through these stages in a short few months, or it could be a long couple of years. This cycle happens when a trend is re-born again from years ago, or when something brand new is introduced into the industry. Either way, each passes these five stages of the fashion cycle!


Fiona Hernon ‘24, Staff Writer