It has been said that individuals act out the roles that are associated with their identities and positions in society. It states that people have to look the part to play the part. An ingenious statement because what people look like is often controlled by society and the positions they take (Crane 7).
To succeed in today's society most people have to work. Since wrong first impressions are irreversible, an individual's knowledge, attitude, character, etc. will not be attention worthy, and therefore, the desired employment will be given to someone with a better wardrobe and personal appearance management. Outcome for that would be the employers cast by appearance rather than anything else (McRobbie 23).
With that in mind, people can't help themselves not to wonder about why the fashion empire has such a direct affect on our society. The effect fashion has on our society is undoubtably great, this is a country that loves to have more than it would ever need. American people are obsessed with the idea that anything they want is something that they can't live without (Deinhart interview). For instance, Maurizi Gucci was shot dead on March 27, 1995, on the steps of his Milan office. In November 1998, prosecution witnesses testified that Regginni Martinelli, Gucci's ex-wife, wasn't satisfied with her $860,000 a year in alimony and had taken out a contract to kill her estranged husband (D'Emilo 1). That brings us to the subject at hand., what causes fashion to play such a role on society. People are exposed to it everyday, through magazines, television, etc. Everything people see in their daily lives can have a sub-conscience effect on them.
Sometimes this is taken to far. In the summer of 1997, Gianni Versace was unlocking the gate to his South Beach mansion when a fashion obsessed man named Andrew Cunanan walked up behind Versace and put a gun to his head, pulling the trigger and ending Versace's life in the blink of an eye ( ).
Another thing that is quite often associated with fashion is money. Take fashion designer Giorgio Armani, who just celebrated his 65th birthday, his company -Giorgio Armani S.p.A- nets over a billion dollars a year (Lipovetsky 34). More money than is spent on cancer research and AIDS research combined. Why? Because cancer and AIDS don't have their own television channels and magazines. The world-renowned designer is Italy's richest citizen, according to 1998 tax returns (Galant 13).
To come to a clear-cut solution about how the fashion empire's impact, or control if you will, could be limited is almost impossible. When how someone dresses and their sense of style matter more when getting a job then the skills you have to adequately preform a job means it has gone too far. A way to control the power the fashion empire has could be through the media, mainly by moderating the amount of advertising and coverage given to fashion. All to often it's not surprising to turn on the television or open a magazine and see something on fashion. But in the big picture, fashion is truely the only luxury people can actually afford (Armani, quote).