Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Fashion week is more than expensive brands


It’s September, and in the fashion world that means a few very important weeks of new trends, designs and designer collections. Designers are determined to put their best foot forward this month at fashion weeks, showing their collections for spring and summer 2017. New York Fashion Week finished up last week, followed by London this week and Milan is happening right now. Paris Fashion Week, considered to be the grand finale to fashion weeks, starts next Tuesday.

High-end designers and expensive clothes are the players, but that doesn’t mean fashion week is only for the rich and famous. Buyers for companies and stores attend fashion week, and designers compete for their attention. Trends that start out on the runway at “Big 4” fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan and Paris) will eventually make their way to the clothes people wear everyday.

Je’Anna Parnell, a sophomore majoring in fashion retail, said fashion week can affect everyone.

“So let’s say a lot of designers in their collection put the color light pink in their shows, so that was in a lot of their clothes or hair or accessories,” Parnell said. “That’s going to be something that will trickle down. You’re going to go into a store like Chanel or Dior, and they’re going to have a purse or some sunglasses that are that color, then it’s going to trickle down to what’s next, like Michael Kors. Then it finally makes its way to the mass market like Forever 21 or H&M.”

Trends start at fashion week and make their way all across the fashion world, beginning with famous international designers like Vera Wang and Marc Jacobs and eventually making their way down to the clothes sold at all kinds of stores, from Gap to Topshop to Target.

“People don’t even realize that the reason they’re buying clothes is the designers are like, ‘I’m going to do this,’ then that’s why they buy it,” Parnell said. 

Because fashion week sets the stage for the fashion market everywhere, it can affect everyone. As the lead character, Andrea, in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” discovers, a handful of people choose the clothes that everyone wears.

“It’s like the scene in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ where she is explaining how the blue sweater she was wearing was chosen by the people in this room,” Parnell said. “It’s so true.”

Fashion week affects fashion majors and regular customers alike.

“I think it affects all people because they look at the new trends for new clothes and adopt those for themselves,” said Ashleigh Lenoir, a sophomore majoring in fashion retail. “It’s all about fitting in. If they see something and know people are going to wear it, they copy it for themselves.”

For Lenoir, fashion week is also about applying concepts from school to real life.

“I think it’s significant because if you’re learning about trends and how to fix things for the real world, you can start to understand what it’s all about instead of just learning about it in a textbook,” Lenoir said. 

A wide range of designers have shown and will show their collections at fashion weeks this season, but one in particular has caught Parnell’s attention.

“I really like Marc Jacobs’ show,” Parnell said. “The way he made his models look – there was so much color and so much pattern. It was electric.”

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