George Simmel has quite the interesting take on the notion of “fashion.” He believes fashion is a way for individuals to find identify with a specific class or status. People dress or express themselves in certain ways to find acceptance into the social niche of their choosing. At the same time, fashion has become a way for individuals to express their “individuality.” There are instances where individuals seek to distance themselves from certain groups through following a distinctive style of fashion.
While individuals seek distance themselves from certain groups, socioeconomic groups try to collectively differentiate themselves from other classes. One medium of this collective differentiation is through “conspicuous consumption.” “Conspicuous consumption” is the concept of buying commodities in order to visibly showcase wealth and power. The wealthy and members of high socioeconomic status seek buy brand-name, designer, and luxury clothing and commodities to not only flaunt their money but to differentiate themselves from groups of lower status. Without conspicuous consumption, it is difficult to visually differentiate class and wealth in crowd. Conspicuous consumption separates the collective group of wealth and power from the crowd.