The Fashion Industry is a multi-billion dollars industry and that’s no news. The luxury market is also valued at a whopping 339.4 billion dollars, with the men’s wear industry valued at 402 billion dollars and the women’s wear valued at 621 billion dollars.  The Fashion United Industry Statistics also show two other segments of the industry that are major stakeholders: the bridal wear and children’s wear segments.

The facts stated above make it extremely crucial for fashion industry players to understand the types of the market within the industry. The women’s wear, men’s wear, luxury fashion, bridal, and children’s wear all fall into these five types of the fashion market.

Therefore, fashion start-Ups can clearly identify the market they fall into and the customer persona they are catering to. These five kinds of Market are:

  • HAUTE COUTURE: The phrase “haute couture” is a French word that implies “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”. It implies that the apparels in these categories have no other standard to compete with. They rank as the highest, most expensive fashion category in the world. Though Different cultures have the characteristics of what haute couture will imply in terms of fabric, silhouettes, and aesthetics the aura that surrounds the apparels are the same. They are described as “larger than life designs” extraordinary, bizarre, unusual, and out-of-the-box concepts. A major African designer who is globally recognized as an haute couture designer is Imane Ayissi.Imane Ayissi: "Africa is no longer excluded from international fashion"


  • LUXURY FASHION: The major characteristics of luxury fashion are the price points. However, these categories of fashion feature designs that are not necessary for everyday life. They are known for their delicate details, rare materials, long hours of hands-on labor and they come in few editions or quantities.


  • BRIDGE BRANDS/DIFFUSION LINE: These brands are also characterized by their price points. They are known to be the offspring of already existing popular luxury brands. A great globally recognized example would be Dolce & Gabbana’s D&G brand. The initials brand is simply an offspring of the designer brand DOLCE & GABBANA


  • HIGH STREET: The term “high street” was coined when medieval towns started embracing urbanization. These towns referred to streets with shops and store as high streets and the goods sold in these streets were termed as slightly above average income earners. Such brands in today’s world would be Asos and Marks & Spencer.


  • FAST FASHION/ECONOMY: Just as the name implies, fast fashion brands are known for their quick turnaround time in design, manufacturing and most especially retail. Many of the popular brand such as Zara, Primark, H&M and many others are known to be in this category.


The Africa Fashion Industry players, most especially start-Ups need to recognize the impact that each of these five types of the market has on the world as a whole as recognize which category they choose to in.


The most important characteristics of that differentiate these brands are price points, turnaround time, method of production, sourcing of materials, and type of labor required or applied.