Student researches conducted a series of interviews on the people of Southampton, focusing on “what fashion meant to them.” The investigation was carried out on males and females aged 16-30. The general consensus was that people are caring more about how they look.
Statistics show the global financial crisis has forced consumers to reign in their spending, with fashion retailers being the biggest casualties. This idea was addressed in Parliament last week, a Tory MP stated: “Fashion means less and less to people now a days with what appears to be a double-dip.”
Product Design Student, Daniel Adewolle, 21, takes great pride in what he wears, “I look to designers such as Ralph Lauren and Oliver Spencer, the truly British look, as I want to try and incorporate that in my look.” He said: “My cousin Isha is my biggest influence, she is a stylist working for a company called Individualism. Although I don’t have a lot of money I spend on average £300 a month on clothes and accessories. I also tend to plan my outfit the night before, so I don’t have to worry about it in the morning.”
He spoke of how he didn’t look to celebrities for guidance, as he likes to have a unique feel to what he wears. Echoed by Fashion Store Manager, Gina West, 28. “I don’t really make much of an effort, the reason being, I don’t like the keep up with trends that are seasonal. I subscribe to Vogue Paris for inspiration and like to buy couture, it’s something I can’t afford easily, but I love saving up over time for quality pieces that don’t channel the high-street. My style is quite cliché, as I purchase clothes that are slightly dated, I think it is because I feel too old to shop in places like Primark,” she explained.
The avid shopper’s favourite designer is Vivenne Westwood. Someone who Dawn Byrant also looks-up to. The 20-year-old shop assistant commented on the clothes she wears: “ During working hours I have to wear Monsoon clothing, I get a discount which is a bonus. But my style varies from wearing vests and shorts; band tees, which are baggy and quirky, I think they are going to be on trend for quite a long time. I guess I can say I’m quite edgy, quirky, and sophisticated.” She revealed she can easily spend £50 a week on clothes.
Two interviewees didn’t take much concern in what they wore. Michael Price, 25 year old, DJ and Retail Assistant said: “I wear anything that is clean and I don’t really have a style, I just buy what I like here and there, but don’t really have the time or money,” he said.
Laurie Walker, 17, Student in Essex, said: “I just put anything together, and buy a lot of stuff off eBay, to be honest I don’t really care as long as it looks good.”
(This was a new piece we all did as part of the Fashion Writer Unit at university)