Unlike many of the entries on Wikipedia relating to statistics or computer science, fashion related topics have not not been thoroughly documented. For example, the entries on Martin Margiela and Rei Kawakubo pale in comparison to the breadth of content on John Bayes, structural equation modeling, or R. In lieu of this, I wanted to investigate whether people were using particular fashion related entries on Wikipedia and see how usage patterns had evolved over time. My focus was on the four major fashion weeks given that they are central events within the industry and are paid attention to by tens of millions of people. This analysis is ultimately exploratory and we’re unable to make any inferences about whether an adequate amount of people are using the fashion week entries on Wikipedia or if that’s the result of them not being thoroughly documented. At the end of the day, millions of people use Wikipedia and there’s no doubt that the fashion community needs to be more progressive in ensuring that the fashion related entries on the site are covered in a more cohesive manner.
Unsurprisingly, there are two spikes each year in and around the months where the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer collections are shown. Of course, the spikes since 2013 have been less pronounced and a gradual trend downwards in visits. This is surprising given the increasing interest in fashion that has occurred over the past five years. This same downward trend also exists in Google search volume on fashion related requests over the past few years.
The line graphs showing visits to the Wikipedia page for the four major fashion weeks are presented below. They each have own characteristics and because these trend charts are explanatory, there’s really no major conclusions to be gleaned from them.
Ultimately, there’s no doubt that high fashion is more popular today than ever before. This is evidenced by sales patterns, amount of media exposure, and the explosion in fashion blogging. This post sought to identify whether people were using Wikipedia to inform themselves about the major fashion weeks and how that trend has changed over time. While those patterns have seen slight increases or remained stagnant, that does not minimize the emergence of high fashion into American popular culture.