How Arts influence High Street Fashion

Art High street fashion

“Trendy” and “affordable” are the keys for the success of high street fashion. High street brands like Zara, H&M and Topshop. They sell whatever could be popular and embraced by the public. Unlike the luxury brands which only wealthy people can afford, high street brands target a much larger population. While art today being much more open to public than in the past when art was only appreciated by wealthy people and upper class, the audiences of art and the consumers of high street fashion are largely overlapped.

Art museums today are very welcoming the public. Especially in big cities like London and New York, museum visiting has become a regular leisure event for the citizens and an important part for tourism. High street brands watch closely of any popular trend and catch the trend speedily. As you walk out from Moma (Musuem of Modern Art) on Fifth Avenue in New York after seeing images of Andy Warhol’s tomato soup can, you will turn into Uniqlo at the same block see a tee shirt with the tomato soup can print. (see picture below) And you will probably buy the tee shirt because it is popular, artistic and affordable as it labelled $20.00.


Andy Warhol inspired Tomato Soup can print T-shirt from Uniqlo.

Art → High end fashion → High street fashion

Although we are not sure Damien Hirst’s diamond skull has how much influence on the popularity of the skull images using on high street fashion design, we know that Alexander McQueen’s signature skull design is a big hit that everybody fellows. We all know that high street Fashion is highly influenced by high-end luxury brands, because high-end brands like Channel, Dior and Armani are considered trend setter in the fashion industry. These luxury brands and famous designers put on catwalk shows every season, and then the whole industry including high street brands all start to fellow and make them more affordable.

It is not a secret that high street fashion is inspired by high end fashion; it is also not a secret that high end fashion designs are deeply inspired by artists they admire, so eventually high street is still influenced by art.

“As a fictions example, let’s say we know that a major exhibition about Art Nouveau will be staged at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York next summer. In all probability, as designers often attend such shows, we will see fashions inspired by the style of the early 1900s emerging on the catwalk a season or so later.” (Tungate, 85)

Here are some examples of how high end designers are influenced by art.


Click the image to see how Paul Smith’s design is inspired by modern art master, Henri Matisse.


Christina Dior 2014 winter collection inspired by ancient Egypt scene.


Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Japanese contemporary artist, Yayoi Kusama.

Art The Trend Book → the whole fashion industry (including High Street Fashion)

Lots of people have found that there are lots of similarities in the high-end brands new collection every season. The runway is full of baby blue this season and hot pink next season; the beautiful models are in deconstructive oversize coats in season and slim-cut lace top next season. Are these just coincidences from all the genius designers, or is it some kind of conspiracy and top-secret from the luxury brands?

The author of Fashion Brands: Branding Style from Armani to Zara, Mark Tungate, revealed the secret for us in his book.

The Trend Book created by the agency called, Nelly Rodi, is the secret.

“Each October, the agency rounds up 18 personalities from the fields of fashion, design, sociology and the arts for a brainstorming session.” (Tungate, 85)  “the agency produces a dozen separate trend books covering categories such as read-to-wear, knitwear, lingerie, colours, prints, fabrics, lifestyle and beauty. “ (Tungate, 85)

Clients come from the different fields of fashion, textiles, beauty, retail and interiors buy the trend book every season cost around 1,400 Euro each. Their clients include L’Oreal, LVMH, Mango, H&M, Givenchy, etc. Pierre-Francois Le Louet, chief executive officer of Nelly Rodi, told Mark Tungate that although some designers are perfect at creating the trends and lots of the high-end brands are not in their client list, photocopies of the trend books are often found in their design studio.

So the top-secret is the fashion industry is influenced by the trend books which are inspired from all related fields of fashion; and art is undeniably one of the most important.

Here is an example of how the magical trend books look like.



Tungate, Mark. Fashion Brands: Branding Style from Armani to Zara. London: Kogan Page, 2008. Print.


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