The fashion industry can be dated as far back as the 8th century in Europe.  First it started as a change of costumes in regard to changes in socially or economically. This culture then spread throughout Europe and other parts of the world in the middle of the 14th century according to historians such as James Laver.  Today the fashion industry is one of the largest industries in the world.  Major fashion capitals in the world today include Paris, New York, London and Milan. The most notable designs in fashion include the highly prestigious Houte Couture and the Pr? t a Porter.

Houte couture is a phrase used in France implying high fashion. Couture means the act of dress making while haute is used to mean elegant. Houte couture is said to have started in 1858 when one Charles Frederick worth opened a fashion house in Paris.

Houte couture fashion gives designers a chance to use the best materials available making this garments very costly. A business must register with the 'Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture', Paris, for it to be recognized as a Houte couture fashion house.  Each member company should have at least 15 employees and be able to exhibit their elegant outfits twice each year (Kabaivanova, (2007).

Although haute couture garments are very expensive, their sales are usually very high due to their high publicity and the elegant and high status that come with them. A simple blouse for example will cost from as much as $10000 in a Houte Couture house. The Houte Couture houses usually boost of very rich regular clients who buy their products. Even though these designs seem very impractical, you cannot deny the fact that they represent fresh and whimsical features regarding fashion (Thomas, 2010).

Historical Houte couture designers

From the history of fashion design, the first Houte couture house was established in 1856 by Charles Frederick Worth in Paris.

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Contemporary Houte couture designers

In the 20th century, Houte couture became very popular and some of its major designers are: Chanel, Christian Dior and Balenciaga, to name a few.

Commonly referred to as Chanel is a Houte couture house specialized in the production of luxury commodities such as garments and their accessories. Its founding father was the late couturier Gabriel Chanel in 1909. The fashion house is presently co- owned by Gerard and Alain Wertheimer.

Cristobal Balenciaga who was from Spain founded this fashion house in 1918 in Spain and moved to Paris in 1937. He held a reputation of producing high quality garments without compromising on their standards. Balenciaga fashion house is now under the large Gucci group.

This is a French name that stands for clothes that are ready to wear. As opposed to Houte couture where clothes are made for specific people, Pr? t a Porter designs are usually made for the general public in bulk. Ready to wear clothes are usually presented by fashion houses in a special period called the 'Fashion Week' in specific cities such as Paris, Milan and New York.

Ready to wear garments are usually cheaper because they use materials that are cheap to obtain and therefore appeal to a larger part of the society. These garments are usually very trendy and their styles change very frequently. Fashion designers use celebrities to market most of their products and thus drive their demand (Hopkins, 2010).

Historical Pr?t a Porter designers

Just like Houte Couture, the history of ready to wear garments can still be traced back to Charles Frederick Worth who revolutionized the fashion industry in terms of design from 1856

Contemporary designers

Very many designers today deal with ready to wear garments. Major figures in the fashion industry include Chanel, Christian Dior and Gucci.

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