A Bird’s-eye View of Fashion in Finland
For more than a century already, design has been very important to the Finns. Finland takes pride in its design, especially when it is recognized outside the country. Design is usually dictated by time and place, but fashion is perhaps the most short-lived branch in design. Its worth is not only ascertained by fashion professionals, but also by the people who patronize it.
Pure and clear postmodern style has always been the trademark of fashion in Finland. While the attributes seem definitive, they are by no means specific only to Finnish design. It is part of a global trend, and a fundamental element of Scandinavian design.
But there are some aspects that can be seemingly originally Finnish, though. Finnish fashion designers often look to nature for inspiration. It is, however, more evident in classic fashion than in current fashion. This is probably an offshoot of the worldwide trend for more conceptual and abstract designs. Modern fashion deems references which are too explicit inelegant and dull.
Individualism is another differentiating trait of Finnish fashion design. Finnish designers tend to fabricate fashion lines tailor-made for stylish individuals, not for the masses. It is a very prohibitive practice that substantially narrows the target market. It can be said that fashion in Finland places more importance to design and artistry rather than increasing profits. The positive thing is that the fashion industry in Finland is more fascinating and varied than some of the rival fashion industries.
Finnish fashion also subscribes to globally appreciated values like morality and renewability. It believes that a garment should withstand the test of time. Moreover, Finnish designers set their sights on giving their seamstresses a secure and equitable working environment. They will not outsource jobs in a country with a record of exploitative business practices.
Viewpoints and notions vary on the present state of the Finnish fashion business. Some consider the industry dormant and marginalized but others think it is better than that. No matter the perspective, fashion in Finland is doing fairly well. Export can be very tricky as the clothes are so bound to inspiration, brands and time. One design only has a shelf life of six months and caters only to a certain market because of its higher price tag and radical design.
Like other business enterprises, the fashion industry is dependent on the law of supply and demand. A consumer in need of something will undergo a decision-making process before eventually buying the product or not. Clothes are a basic need for everyone.
The dilemma facing Finnish fashion brands is that the local market is not big enough to support all of them but going global entails a lot of effort and capital. Getting into foreign markets is hard and more so for fashion companies whose products are susceptible to fluctuations and time of manufacture.
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