10 ways fashion has changed in the 2010s

The decade is gone and as we flip the page to 2020 let’s look back and see how fashion has changed in the 2010s. And there has been plenty of change in the fashion industry brought by shift of generations and new technologies.

10 ways fashion has changed in the 2010s


With climate change being in focus we got to learn more about pollution problem on our planet. It happens that fashion industry has a huge part in it. As consumers became more aware of the situation, brands started taking more steps towards creating sustainably. There is a long way to go, but some progress has been made. Now sustainability is something that both brands and customers are talking about and labels with sustainable products are way more available as in comparison to the beginning of the decade.


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Rise of Vintage

Talking about sustainability created a big moment for circular economy. Fashion was no exception and more and more conscious consumers started buying vintage. Even the high end followed with luxury vintage websites popping up offering pieces from previous collections. Now wearing pre-owned items gives you bragging rights, and not shame like it was not-so-long-ago.

No fur

Thanks to more and more people refusing to wear fur, even the most luxurious brands are slowly turning their backs to this choice. Refusing to buy fur products, consumers are helping put pressure on fashion brands to ban its use. Some examples of fashion houses taking notice include fur-free Gucci, Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani, Versace and the late bloomer Prada, that pledged to go 100 percent fur-free beginning with the brands s/s 20 collection.


Another big topic in fashion was diversity. The covers, editorials and runways are (slowly) becoming filled with diverse models. There is a long way to go, but here are a few facts to celebrate how much has changed: in 2015 Denise Bidot was the first plus size model to open a straight-size show at New York Fashion Week; Halima Aden became the first hijab-wearing model on an international catwalk in 2017 and last October Krow Kian became the first transgender man to close the women’s ready-to-wear season. Now let’s hope that in this decade we’ll go even further and embrace beauty of all sizes, shapes, colors and genders.


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Athletic-wear, leisurewear or streetwear – whatever you wanna call it we’ve seen it taking over street style, Instagram feeds and finally runways. The biggest influence came from Virgil Abloh and his Off-White brand. Off-White has managed to capture a young audience while still keeping quality at luxury prices. It shifted the entire fashion landscape with heritage brands injecting a dose of this hip culture into their collections. Before you know it we had Balenciaga selling puffer jackets, LV doing chunky sneakers, and hoodies and oversized logos were everywhere. Luxury giants are also teaming up with unexpected brands for cool collaborations. Just look at Louis Vuitton collaboration with Supreme, and Gucci working with legendary Harlem designer Dapper Dan. The lines between luxury and streetwear got erased.

Influencers and social media

Internet changed a lot of things and fashion is not an exception. We went from buying magazines to looking for inspiration from our favourite bloggers, later turned influencers. Social media became the place to be seen, to hunt for trends and even to advertise. We saw people like Chiara Feragni rising to fashion royalty, and many more following in her footsteps. These influencers got front row seats at Fashion Weeks and lucrative deals with brands. Consumers started buying products that they endorsed and recommended. Seeing the power of their personal brands many influencers chose to sell their own products by starting their brands, like make up lines or shoe collections. The influencer industry has grown tremendously and it doesn’t seen to be going anyway. We can just sit and watch how it will evolve.

Social media didn’t change the game just for influencers and big brands. It also gave an opportunity for smaller brands to be seen. Now we have labels that only exist online, advertise only on social media and are incredibly successful. Many say that social media democratised fashion, giving everyone a space to express themselves.


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Street Style

Another thing that changed with the rise of the internet and social media is street style. We saw bloggers being photographed on the streets wearing fabulous outfits. We also saw fashionable people rise to fame and build careers based on their personal styles. Spaces outside fashion shows became a runway on their own where stylish editors and aspiring fashionistas were competing to grab attention of bloggers like The Sartorialist. And while we feel like this trend has passed its peak, we still enjoy scrolling through street style images from around the world.

Transitioning online

If brands or magazines missed the train taking them online they are long gone by now. This decade showed us that there is no existence without the online existence. Tech savvy  generations wanted everything to be just a click away, and fashion had to listen. Brands worked hard on expending their online presence and providing great service for online shoppers. This trend is only speeding up and it will be fun to see what inovations will come with future technologies.

Speeding up the fashion cycle

Talking about customers wanting everything to be just a click away, the already dynamic industry started moving even faster. People are no longer patient to wait for new collections and we saw brands selling products directly after presenting them on the runway. We’ve also witnessed more and more collections being made, with pre-fall and cruise as an example. Many brands chose to captivate consumers with drop collections in limited quantities and it was clear that the old ways of selling and attracting customers needed to be shaken up.


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Retail revolution

The move online and the speeding up of fashion cycles also affected the retail aspect of fashion. With online shopping that takes just a few click it was getting harder and harder to get customers into stores. Many brands (like Gap, Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch,…) were cutting down the number of their shops. The department stores were also affected as no one was safe. Even iconic giants like Barneys were hit pretty hard, in this case filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Fashion stores of the past are not interesting to new generations that seek experiences. That is why there are more pop up shops with cool designs and unique time limited offers and shops that dubble as cafes or galleries. It will be exciting to see where the evolution of stores will take us as it connects fashion with various arts and experiences.


What is your favourite change in fashion that happened in the last decade and what changes do you hope to see in the 20’s?


Ivona Josipovic

Ivona Josipovic is a co-founder of The Smoke Detector, writer, fashion stylist, social media manager, curious creature, chocolate lover.

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