How Uniqlo And H&M Are Ruining Designers’ Careers

uniqlo grand opening

[credit provider=”Karlee Weinmann, Business Insider”]

The 20th century was full of big-name designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani. But today’s designers can’t aspire to make it to that level because of fast-fashion brands like Uniqlo and H&M, David Lipke at Women’s Wear Daily reports.

Consumers have come to expect high fashion at low prices and are relatively unimpressed with brand names. 

One famous designer dished to WWD about the trend: 

“The market is still open to new ideas, but there’s so much more competition today. There are so many players and it’s difficult,” said John Varvatos, one of the few men’s designers of the past decade who has built a true lifestyle brand of meaningful scale — just ask Chrysler, which just tapped him to design a production car.

Even people in fashion have given up on being as successful as Hilfiger or Lauren, one consultant told WWD: 

“Who will be the next Ralph or Calvin? I’m not sure that anyone will ever get that big again,” said Brooks Thomas, founder of consulting firm Brooks Thomas Group and a former vice president and divisional merchandise manager of men’s at Bergdorf Goodman. “The environment has changed so much and there’s so much product out there, from J. Crew to Uniqlo to everything under the sun.”

WWD focused on the trend in menswear, but we think it can be applied to women too.

In an age where Lady Michelle Obama wears J. Crew and Princess Catherine Middleton wears Zara, brands are pretty meaningless. 

DON’T MISS: Why Ousted JCPenney President Michael Francis Is A Brilliant Hire For Gap >