Impact of Feminism on Fashion
There has been a heated discussion on the equality of man and woman since a century ago when feminists began to strive for women’s benefit. Compared to women in nineteenth century, women in this day and age have more rights and freedom. Women are now more considered to be independent individuals, as long time ago, they were possessions of men. Furthermore, women were compelled to follow every single order from men unconditionally. As an important impetus to fashion, feminism, which was mainly formed by three waves, has changed the stereotype significantly and lead to the decrease of restrictions on women’s dressing.
“Feminism encompasses many different theoretical, political and academic traditions. At the centre of feminist concerns, however, is the liberation of women from oppressive social practices and ideologies.”The first wave of feminist movement dated from nineteenth century to 1940s in United Kingdom and United States. Accompanied by anti-feudal movement, feminism finally became the most indispensable part and the criteria of social revolution.
Originally it focused on the promotion of equal contract and property rights for women and the opposition to chattel marriage and ownership of married women (and their children) by their husbands. However, by the end of the nineteenth century, activism focused primarily on gaining political power, particularly the right of women’s suffrage.
Basically, it was the first time when women have the opportunity to vote. During this wave, World War I took place, which was another cause of changes in women’s status. In order to defend national sovereignty, men were conscribed to fight in the battle front. Therefore, women had to do men’s physical labour in factory. Females no longer stayed in the house only serving their own family, but also went out working to support the household and their country. Not accidentally, (see Illus. 1) Coco Chanel’s simple and practical designs catered to the needs of working women. In her shop, she sold “flannel blazers, straight linen skirts, sailor tops, long jersey sweaters and skirt-jackets”which were inspired by menswear. These convenient clothes enabled women to work with higher efficiency. ”Chanel used such serviceable materials and relaxed patterns in the design of fashionable daywear for sophisticated urban women, safe in her knowledge of their aspirational and practical qualities.” Her accomplishment in fashion helped her situated in the roles of feminist pioneer. Simplicity has become a recognized characteristic of Coco Chanel and affected the fashion trend afterwards. Unfortunately, after the men returned from war when the WWI ended, women were dispatched back to the kitchen.”Still, an important new stage had been reached, since the induction of women into the war effort initiated the whole process of liberation.”
Between early 1960s and late 1980s, it was the second-wave feminism. Though after the first-wave feminism women have won over some legal rights, they were still limited and oppressed in working place. Slightly different from the first wave, the second-wave feminism concentrated on issues of real equality of women such as eliminating discrimination. Feminists went all out marching and protesting in the street. Owing to their hard struggle, females gradually earned some equality in the working place and other aspects of life. In all their achievements, the most remarkable event was the release of some gynocentric legal reforms. Without the legal obstructions to women’s personal freedom and professional achievement, women had a chance to prove themselves to be as capable as men.
The 1960s, also called the Sixties, was a decade when tremendous changes happened to fashion. In this era, fashion was influenced by various factors such as “social mobility, daring fashion photography, easier travel abroad, the Vietnam War, new music of the Beatles and their much copied hairstyles, retro military and ethnic clothes, musicals, pop art and film all played a part”. Feminism was absolutely one of the most influential causes of all. Le Smoking (see Illus. 2), designed by Yves Saint Laurent in 1966, is a typical example of impact on fashion by feminism. Yves Saint Laurent wasn’t the first person who created trousers for women. However, it was the first of its kind to draw attention in the fashion industry and the public. This innovative creation started androgynous style for women and pantsuits have been popular ever since. It’s still one of the favourite outfits of office ladies in present-day society. The popularity of power suits demonstrates women’s liberation and equality between men and women to some extent. Besides, it provides women another choice in their wardrobes and dresses were not the only selection any more. In a word, the appearance of pantsuit is a symbol of women been considered to be an independent individuals in workplace. In group of people in younger age, some daring youths were seeking for something new in fashion as restrictions on women reduced. Mary quant’s miniskirts (see Illus. 3), of which the hemline was set 6 or 7 inches above the knee, fulfilled their needs. It was controversial when it first came into the market, but then more people began to accept it in the mid-1960s and went into the major international trend. Miniskirt was reckoned to be a sign of women’s liberation and enabled women to run and show their beauty without limits.
The third-wave feminism began in the early 1990s, and the fashion in this decade was casual and comfortable. However, fashion and feminism don’t always go hand in hand. The release of women’s body didn’t go further because every woman wants perfect body for both personal reason and attracting men.
Wearing garments that show their nice body makes women feel better, more beautiful and sometimes even more confident. Fashion nowadays emphasized on silhouette and only slim and S-shape body is deemed to be beautiful. This brings stress on women and urges them to fit themselves into clothes that might be too tight. After struggling for equality for more than one hundred years, phenomena of inequality have decreased remarkably. But men have been in the dominant position for the majority of time in history. Reforms in laws are definitely not enough to change the status. To gain real equality, male chauvinism should be eliminated entirely. Anyway, it’s still a long way to go to have final equality of men and women.
L’oreal is the world’s biggest cosmetics and beauty products company. Basically it’s a French based company and its headquartered in Paris. It is focusly engaged in the field of production and marketing of concentrating on hair colours, skin care, perfumes and fragrances, make up and styling products. L’oreal products also based on dermatological and pharmaceutical fields. Their products are made for Individual and professional customers. This company operates over 130 countries like Asia, America, East and West Europe through 25 international brands.
This company started with the 3 employed persons but now research team exist nearly 2000 persons. L’oreal started its business in the hair color but in short time company also jumped into the cleansing and beauty products. The company has five research and development centre throughout the world.
L’oreal mostly emphasis to built strong consumer relationship so the company’s lifestyle and philosphy to provide more satisfaction to the consumer with the l’oreal products. So, The slogan of company is “Because we’re worth it”. They also produce products for the kids known with the name of L’oreal kids.
30.8% ownership by Bettencourt Family.
29.6% by Nestle.
3.2% by treasury shares.
Rest of 36.4% by public traded.
The primary strength of the company is always keep doing the new research and innovations in the beauty so that’s why l’oreal always gives best to the customers. Even in the competition market also because of the researching strategy they are the leader in the beauty and cosmetics field.
Other strength of the L’oreal is that they set more attention in their particular acts and activities. Their acts and activities are going to separate in the five groups. These groups includes First is the Consumer product division in which all their range distributed through massive markets. L’oreal’s products and quality available to maximum customers or consumers and their luxury international brand product division available through perfumeries, departmental and duty free shops. Their professional hair care products used by the professional hair dressers and also sold to the customers through salons. These divisions and sub-division maintains the quality of L’oreal group.
The other enumerated strength of the company is L’oreal advertising strategy it also play very vital role towards the company’s growth. In the course of achieving the culture of their target market advertisement is the best way.
The biggest weakness which a company always facing is that its decentralized organizational structure. This problem is also faced by the L’oreal. Because of the many subdivisions of this company it is not easy to operate and control of L’oreal. So, because of this the production of company getting slow down.
Other weakness which the company faces that it that their profits. The margin between their cost price and selling price is comparatively low than their other smaller competitors. So, the profit does not match with their expectations. This is also happen because of large scale advertising and marketing. Lastly, due to its multinational marketing strategy, even there’s also some diffrences occurred in the promotion and campaign of L’oreal products as to what image they are to be project.
The l’oreal company focuses on the beauty and cosmetics products for the women of all the ages. The regular demand for beauty products gives opportunity to the company to keep their focus in their specialized field, specially on the hair stying and color, perfumieries, cosmetics and skin cares. Exist as the leading brand in their field the company has well known image in the world. Even in the developing countries also. Another opportunity for the company is that taken from their greater market share due to the numbers of patents registered by the company.
The basic threat to the company is facing competition within the field of cosmetics brands. Because of the keeping going addition in the products, there’s the danger that some other brand may take the profit of L’oreal.
Other threat to the company is different economy. Because most of the products are only within the reach of the people of developed countries but some how L’oreal solve this problem they make products for the people of under-developed countries also. Thus the L’oreal company produce the product of best of it line even people may tell that their products are not upto their basic needs and would reject to buy the L’oreal product.
Each and every company must follow some strategy for their existence and growth in the business. So, that’s why L’oreal also follows the Pest analysis because they believe that it may have some impact on the company’s present and future.
Political factor always make effects the business specially during the period of elections. Every government make different strategies and rules regulations so it really makes effects the business because it is not easy to adapt that changes for the whole business so that’s why even sometimes company have to bear the great loss.
The economy measures the strength of the policy to support the business cycle and specially in the period of recession. In terms of economic growth it is necessary to create business environment more attractive in which business can be fully establish and grow.
Taxation law always effects to the way business is conducted.
The today’s young social factor is quiet diverse. To being in the market every business needs to examine customers demand, their buying pattern and must be innovative. People wants to be more socially aware and concerned about environmental and ethical issues. Females are particularly influenced by social issues as environment or community related.
Customers are very conscious about their image. They have different opinions so they will look for different brands that really suits their personality and also reflects current fashion. The society is more complex and diverse therefore the people likely to adapt diversity in their life.
These days usually companies compete at global level so that’s why rapid development comes in the technology.
It is an ability of an organization to adapt and use latest technological advanced software’s for the sake of security as this security can reduce the different illegal working behaviour such as fraud, shop lifting, misconduct and so on.
5. Aims And Objectives
To provide best quality product to the consumers.
To be friendly and helpful towards customer and staff also.
Treat everyone equal so that’s why their products available in every range.
6. Company marketing Strategies
The L’oreal group is known for their regular improvement in their quality of their product and services which they provide to their customers. Their products are stylish and according to the latest fashion trends. Though provide a wide variety so their products are available in reasonable range to luxurious too. So, they always give customer satisfaction.
L’oreal is famous throughout the world for setting the fashion trend. So, the price of their products are also caters according to the demand and budget of the customers from young to the aged ones.
7. Control of the Company
The success of company depends upon their leaders or staff that how they run and handle the business. The company L’oreal is very conscious about the governance of company. Their directors and members are very perfect in their jobs because they know very well that the future of the company is in their hands. So, they are well aware of their responsibilities and act according to the demand.
8. Worldwide Marketing
8.1 Place of promotion
The L’oreal group planned strategy to do marketing in the worldwide. So, at their primary stage they did the research and understand the demand of their customers and this strategy help the company to formulate products that suits the customers thoroughout the world. Through their research and development L’oreal mostly covers all the parts of the world and still got highest rating from customers.
8.2 Promotion Strategy
Advertising is the best way to increase the sales of the products and also helps specially to promote the new product and keep that in the mind of public. So, L’oreal also follows this strategy through print media and multimedia So, L’oreal uses the actors of different ages and personality for their promotion.
I would suggest L’oreal should follows the decentralised strategy so the complexity in their business decreases.
L’oreal should use better visual display in the stores to look product more fashionable.
10. Implementation plans
L’oreal group contribute to the community at such worthy cause as “For women in science” and educational opportunity they have done partnership with UNESCO in 1998, this programme promotes the role of women in scientific field and also encourage the young women throughout the world to come and join this stream.
In evey country government apply the rules for the cosmetics companies to write the ingredients which they used in their product so before buying the product customers knows everything about that. L’oreal is very careful about their ingredients and very particularly while select the ingredients. So, the company hired the well qualified and trained scientists and they use natural and synthetic substances and conscious for the formulation of product, its functions, use and concentration, absorbed in skin, its purity and stability. Company ensures that their product whether it consist with natural or synthetic substances it is equally safe to use.
11. Target Market
L’oreal has rapid growth in his business and keep focus on the new target market. It is leader in fast fashion world and quickly turned according to the demand of the customers ant their traditional strategy to existing leader market. Since 1990 their sales always double every year. To attract new market and also hold the established customers they always come with something new and different. They also target on their little competitor because some how these little companies effects their business they want to take over that companies.
L’oreal is a well known brand around the world
and easy to get it across the world. It sets the fashion trend.
With the passage of time they increases its strength and reduces the weaknesses.
The company very much emphasis on the advertisements to keep its name in the public.