Emerging Brands Can’t Afford the Fashion Industry

Red Carpets Free-Outfits Expose a Sick System


Emerging brands can’t afford the cost of the fashion industry. The contemporary fashion industry poses insurmountable challenges for emerging designers, especially regarding the financial burden of celebrity endorsements. This issue was thrust into the spotlight by an Instagram post from 1Granary, which resonated deeply and exposed the harsh reality of an unsustainable system.

We explored this topic in 2021, but the situation remains unchanged, highlighting the persistent struggles new designers face in an industry dominated by high costs and elite influencers.

We have reached a point where celebrities collect numerous outfits from various brands, both famous and emerging. While established brands pay celebrities to wear their clothes, emerging designers often provide garments for free, lured by the promise of gaining visibility. However, this exposure doesn’t pay the rent. More often than not, the provided outfits are never worn and are returned at the designer’s expense, highlighting a glaring lack of respect and consideration.

What’s the point of stars wearing luxury designer clothes on red carpets when it’s common knowledge they don’t pay for these outfits?

Red carpets & free outfits: Exposing a bloated and sick system


Let us express a few considerations:

  • Corporations own luxury brands and have the funds to promote a system that manipulates consumer behaviour.
  • This is marketing! Marketing has always targeted women, traditionally deemed as fragile and easy to influence or manipulate. Unfortunately, women fall into this trap.
  • Historical Context: In the 1980s, Giorgio Armani pioneered the strategy of dressing Hollywood stars to sell to the American middle class. In an era of massive overproduction and a booming economy, perhaps this strategy made sense. Following Armani’s lead, other designers began giving outfits to stars, resulting in the middle class – primarily women – purchasing these outfits.
  • Current Realities: Today, the landscape is starkly different. The middle class has been eroded, and the economic model is collapsing. Amid ecological breakdown, this marketing tactic feels increasingly obsolete and irresponsible. Most importantly, some consumers are tired of being treated as mere tools in a marketing ploy.

Conclusion: How can emerging brands afford this fashion system?


In essence, the fashion industry has flipped the script: celebrities who can easily afford expensive clothes are given outfits for free. And they are even paid to wear them. This reversal means that those who are most able to buy these clothes are not the ones contributing to the industry’s profits. While those who can least afford to bear the costs are manipulated into purchasing overpriced items. This system creates a distorted market. But also inflates retail prices, as the cost of celebrity marketing is passed on to consumers.

Clearly, emerging designers can’t afford the financial burdens imposed by the contemporary fashion industry. This entire system lacks logic and respect, leaving new talents struggling to survive.

Imagine a different approach: What if celebrities purchase their outfits? Luxury designers could donate the proceeds to charity, and emerging designers could support their creative work and pay their rent. This vision promotes a fashion industry that supports creativity and fairness, rather than perpetuating a cycle of exploitation and exclusion.

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