O IS FOR OPPONENT
BY: SAMARA GINSBERG
COVER ART: JULIANNA LUKACS
Every year, the fashion industry model changes as new trends come in, old trends come back into style, and brands revamp their ideas and creative practices. The history of fashion is built upon thousands of years worth of ingenuity, popular culture, and timeless pieces. Through the ages, consumers are constantly experiencing renaissances of advancement pushed by the development of fashion houses and their corresponding brands. The underrated yet significant force that continuously works behind the scenes in these aspects is competition and rivalries. Where would any brand be today without the constant work they have to put in to compete with similar brands? Historical rivalries have made brands such as Nike, YSL, and Gucci into the household names they are today.
TikTok and Instagram are unique examples of opponents that affect both the fashion and business worlds. With the growing popularity of TikTok, Instagram had to fight to keep its platform alive and culturally prominent. While many people believe that Instagram introducing their new “reels” feature was them attempting to keep up with TikTok, in reality, it was a strategic business tactic that enabled influencers and micro-influencers alike to expand their platform.
Nike, Adidas, and Reebok are all sports-centric fashion brands that have infamously competed with each other for footwear market share for years to be the most successful and cutting edge house in their particular niche. In the high-end marketplace, Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent are other examples of a historic fashion rivalry that has worked to develop both their brands into what they are today. Their particular rivalry, fed by large egos and scandalous affairs, led to huge career jumps and worldwide impacts.
The term “opponent” encompasses the fast-paced and highly driven people it takes to be in a work environment that emphasizes creating a worldwide cultural movement. Bringing politics, ethical practices, environmental issues and more into fashion is the result of competitors seeking to one-up their opponents by appealing to consumers’ needs—and in effect, reaching the end goal of fashion, which is to make a difference.