There was once a time when global fashion was lead by the fashion houses of Paris, New York and Milan. However, times have changed and now there are many more cities in the mix that are having a huge impact on the world of fashion. Trends are now moving freely from West to East and East to West as the Internet and social media has opened up the opportunity for fashionistas all over the world to communicate.
Cities like Tokyo, New York and London are leading a new street fashion revolution. Tokyo’s Harajuku district has long been known as the epicentre of fashion in Japan where the city’s youth used their quirky sense of style to distinguish themselves and stand out. Their over-the-top fashion innovations and the publicity garnered from their outlandish outfits soon caught the attention of fashion designers and labels. The influence of Tokyo street fashion can now be found in the clothing offered by popular retailers throughout the world like H&M and Topshop.
New York and London are not far behind Tokyo in that the residents of these cities have taken fashion into their own hands and crafted styles all on their own. Taking inspiration from both vintage looks and cutting edge clothing, trendy streetwear has made a lasting impression on the fashion industry. This has lead to new styles on store shelves everywhere from major shopping centres to small towns.
Of course, the long-established designers and labels that call London, Paris, Milan and New York (the “Big 4”) home will always enjoy a strong influence on the world of fashion and do more than their fair share to keep these cities as the four main fashion capitals of the world. Over the years these cities have built a strong reputation as being very fashion conscience and quick to adopt new trends and have traditionally been where the design world takes their cue from. But, In that same vein, Shanghai and Moscow are two up-and-coming cities that fashion writers, magazines and designers have their eye on.
Fashion is often a reflection of popular culture, so it stands to reason that cultural capitals can also be viewed as fashion capitals. Whether it is from the runway or from the street, trends are making their way all around the world, which leaves rooms for more than just the “Big 4” to have a say in what will be stocked on store shelves this season.