Fashion is an area where interpersonal communications have been found to be highly important in the diffusion of information. Additionally, the frequent introduction of new clothing styles each season makes the fashion market a desirable study for diffusion research focusing upon innovativeness.
Fashion is characterized by constant innovations, whether real or perceived that often include small changes from the previous season or year. Because fashions are constantly changing, but the fashion changes are not extreme innovations, they can be classified as dynamically continuous innovations. Understanding the diffusion process for fashion therefore is crucial to marketers in the industry since fashion is so dynamic in nature.
The results have typically shown that the fashion diffusion process is similar to that of any category, with fashion innovators being the first to try a new style (comprising approximately 2.5% of the population,) followed by early adopters (comprising approximately 12.5% of the population) who pick up some of the new styles from innovators. If fashion opinion leaders are among this category, then the new look has a greater chance of becoming an established fashion, and of increasing the next category, the early majority, to make this new style into a full-fledged fashion trend.
If designers can determine who these opinion leaders are, and target them effectively, then the introduction of a particular fashion has a much higher probability of becoming adopted. We propose that for the fashion industry, specifically for the teen market, celebrities are key opinion leaders in influencing them to adopt a new style.