Individual Cultural Code–Mixture

May 28, 2010

United Kingdom is an island country, with the preserving elements of distinctive traditions, customs and symbolism. Also, with the impact of large amounts of immigrants and tourists from various cultures, British people started to embrace various cultures while respecting and keeping their heritages from the history.

British people are comfortable to embrace various trends in fashion. Even though some of them might not like everyone’s dressing styles, they choose to embrace them rather than judge them. There’s a 28 years old salesman I have talked with in a shoe shop told me that his first memory about fashion is a pair of sneaker, which originally is an important part of hip hop culture. He said, “When I was 10 years old, I want to buy a pair of sneakers, I like it so much. So I tried to do a lot of housework and persuade my mom to buy it for me. I was so excited to get it finally, but it was stolen in two days. I was more than sad. So it was my first impressive memory about fashion”. This is the first time he started to get the picture of pop culture in fashion world besides its British heritages.

Furthermore, the openness of the mixture in fashion styles makes consumers to dress and do shopping confidently. When British people went for shopping, they usually do shopping alone. The most important reason is that they don’t want to wait for others and they prefer to allot their own time and schedule. Also, British people are confident enough to create their own pieces. There’s one girl I have talked to in the TopShop. She told me her first memory for fashion is her best friend’s mom is a fashion designer. And she can get some self-customized pieces from her, which inspires her interest in fashion and she started to mix her out-of-dated pieces’ fabric into their new pieces.

Moreover, the mixed culture in UK also drives a lot of fashion brands to mix the British vintage styles with the modern trends. Such kinds of trends largely affect consumers’ shopping and consumption habits and preferences.

Finally, UK definitely provides consumers a large amount of options for shopping, including high-end department store, middle-level stores and flea market. For example, in the Top Shop and H&M in Oxford Street, space is as premium, which is definitely overwhelmed compared with those high-end markets. However, in luxury market, the concept is always: when a thing is scarce, it is precious. Consumers are likely to enjoy the spacious shopping environment, and then the shopping experience. Then, the most interesting market is the flea markets, which definitely provide consumers more opportunities to talk with the salesperson about the product. You can have the access to them quite easily because each stand is privately-owned and in small scale.

Therefore, my final individual cultural code for fashion in UK is MIXTURE, which reflects British fashion products, brands, shopping environments, consumers’ attitudes toward fashion, as well as their shopping and consumption habits. However, no matter what the trend is, UK people will never follow it blindly. They only choose the best fit piece for themselves.



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