“[…] For Simmel “…fashion represents nothing more than one of the many forms of life by the aid of which we seek to combine in uniform spheres of activity the tendency towards social equalization with the desire for individual differentiation and change.” (F, p. 133) In each social relation there are two forces at work: one pushing us to bind ourselves to others through imitation, and another pushing us to unbind ourselves from others, to undo the social network, through distinction. But social life changes in so far as the balance between the socialising force and the de-socialising force is always unstable and provisional. Fashion is an example of the way in which actual social life always includes in some way its own opposite, an asocial life. As Kant said, society is based on ungesellige geselligkeit, “unsociable sociality”. […]” (From: ‘Fashion: Georg Simmel’, Sergio Benvenuto in Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation vol. 3, no. 2)
Georg Simmel, Philosopher and Sociologist, was founder of formal and conflict sociology in Germany. He published the article ‘Fashion’ in 1904, what made him to one of the first trying a general theory of fashion. In case you`d like to read more, there are various texts about Georg Simmel (English, French & German) to be found here.