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A practical guide for starting a small business

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Fashion USA

Overview of Fashion USA

Fashion USA is an industry that employs several million workers.  It has been opened to imports from other countries with a low cost of labor such as China, Mexico and others.  The domestic clothing and textile market can be divided into 3 segments:

  1. Fashion products - They have a 10 week life cycle, the shortest of all three segments with about 35% of the market.
  2. Seasonal products - They have a 20 week life cycle with 45% of the market.  The clothes in this segment are sold according to the seasons.
  3. Basic products - With about 20% of the market, the smallest of all 3 segments, items in this category are sold year round.

Trends in Fashion USA

Men and children's clothing styles tend to be more stable than women's fashions.  Therefore, men and children's clothing are much more suited to mass production.  Women's clothing has more seasonal clear outs which makes it more unpredictable from a demand perspective.  

Men and women have understood the power of Fashion USA and the communicative message that clothing brings about.  Clothing influences self-esteem, career advancement and image.

Here are some of the more popular trends in Fashion USA:

Structure of the Apparel Industry

The Fashion USA apparel industry is composed of groups of individuals whose responsibilities often overlap each other.

Fashion USA - Trends in the Decade of 2000's

During this decade, Asia meets the west where styles of the orient influenced western styles.  Off center closures, asymmetrical designs, bamboo prints and words from Asian languages can be seen in Fashion USA.  What began as high end fashion has migrated to everyday wear. Silk, a popular Asian fabric has been infused in western styles.

In the early 2000s, small music bands tied to smaller labels became popular.  This music trend ultimately influenced fashion of that time. Formal business jackets were paired with a pair of jeans.  This "inde" fashion trend also brought back the popularity of the retro canvas sneakers, Converse.

Fashion USA Forecasting

The secret to success as an Importer for Fashion USA is the ability to forecast the next decade of fashion trends.  Fashion trends involve identifying changes in themes such as floral or geometric and in color such as pastels and darks.  It can also entail the increase of types of clothing that are included in a certain group of apparel such as sportswear.

With this knowledge of the Fashion USA market, you can identify your role as an importer, the market segment that you want to serve, and the type of clothing that you want to bring into the United States.

Photo Credits:  The girl poses near the car - Belovodchenko Anton