Free Essays

Free Law Essay: UK Trademark Law and Fashion Brands

Does UK Trademark law offer enough protection for Fashion Brands?


Alligator and Crocodile[1]. A crocodile which faces left and a crocodile which faces right[2]. “Criminal” and “Criminal Damage”[3]. Two bounding felines[4]. “Amaze Collection” and “Ama Zing”[5]. “The Gunners” and “Arsenal Gunners”[6]. By such finely nuanced words and concepts the battleground of Trade Marks in the fashion industry is defined. The need to protect products stems from the industrial revolution[7] and has been swept along by the current of modern capitalism which has seen the field of Trade Mark registration encroach into almost every field of human industry covering sounds, smells and even 3-dimensional images.

Fashion brands are often pitched at the centre of this ongoing struggle between competing companies, multinationals and street vendors alike, and individuals: the international counterfeiting fashion industry was reported in 2005 to be worth ˆ500 billion and can justifiably be said to be undermining the protection which UK Trademark law offers by flooding markets with cheap counterfeit goods which are in one sense undetectable by the law[8]. Are fashion brands right to think that Trade Mark law cannot keep up and take the law into their own hands[9]The counterfeiting industry is, however, the extreme end of Trade Mark violation: what of two retailers who genuinely believe they are selling a unique and distinct product, one of which is already registeredThe distinction here is sometimes extremely subtle and this dissertation will articulate these nuanced positions. The regulatory regime in the UK does provide a measure of protection to brands, but it is wise to recount Lewison J’s observations:

“English law does not, however, protect brands as such. It will protect good will (via the law of passing off); trade marks (via trade mark infringement); the use of particular words, sounds and images (via the law of copyright); and configurations of articles (via the law of unregistered design right) and so on. But to the extent that a brand is greater than the sum of the parts that English law will protect; it is defenceless against the chill wind of competition”[10].

Within the context of Lewison J’s definition there are two distinct areas of protection in the modern law of Trade Mark in the UK: the common law action of passing-off in tort and the registration regime under the Trade Mark Act 1994 which both enable the protection and enforcement of rights. This Project will address the application of both of these aspects of Trade Mark law in the UK specifically to the fashion industry. This aspect of trade mark law is a neglected one and a field which deserves closer scrutiny given that the fashion industry contributes ?21 billion to the British economy[11]as well as ethical, creative and market justifications for protection[12]. One traditional view of research, adopted by the Harvard School and articulated by Pickering[13] in this field is that the protection afforded to brands effectively creates a monopoly to the detriment of the customer[14]. A recent landmark case from 2010, however, which marked the end of a 4-year legal battle, has ended in victory for a small clothing retailer against an international company, La Chemise Lacoste[15]. This decision can be directly contrasted with the 40-year legal siege which finally came to an end in 2008 between La Chemise Lacoste v Crocodile International Pte Ltd[16] and recent Lacoste trademark rulings in China.

This project will argue, in light of both recent developments in China and Australia regarding Lacoste and the Chemise Lacoste case itself in the UK, that the UK Trade Mark regime does provide sufficient protection both at common law and at a statutory level from the smallest street vendors to the largest Multi National Corporations and that anti-competitive arguments against trade marks are becoming less relevant: if David can beat Goliath in the landmark fashion law case of the 21st century so far, then surely the law is fulfilling its roleThe role of passing-off however, is clearly diminishing as the statutory framework grows and it is possible that when there are no holes left in the Trade Mark Act 1994 this tort will not have a role[17].

This project will use statute, textbooks, journals and newspaper articles to address the hypothesis that UK trademark law is sufficient enough for the protection of internal disputes but inadequate to deal with the blight of sophisticated international counterfeit operations. The breadth of the scholarship and sources used will be complemented by recent case law to bring the research into 2011. Such a research project can later form the basis for further research and study in the field and can be drawn upon in the future for further development and study.

Literature Review

The Development of Trade Mark Law

Cornish and Lleweleyn[18] trace the history of Trade Mark law and note that in 1875 a campaign for a registration system succeeded in the historic Trade Marks Registration Act 1875. Pickering[19], Bently and Sherman[20], Torremans[21] and Bainbridge[22] all note the development with Pickering noting that: “the advantages of protection by this method are clear: it is no longer necessary to go through the costly and laborious process of proving that a mark has an acquired reputation connected with the plaintiff”[23]. The 1905 Act saw certain advancements upon the advent of registration in 1875, notably making non-use for the previous five years a ground for the mark being removed from the Register, something which is preserved under the Trade Mark Act 1994 s.46(1)(b).

Cornish and Llewelyn also observe that the inter-war years saw an increase in the commercial significance of trade marks by “the spread of production, the growth of a popular press with is immense prospects for advertising, the increase of transnational business in successful products and the consequent need to shield high-priced markets against parallel imports from elsewhere”[24]. There were Acts in 1883, 1905 and 1919 but the key Act, foreshadowing the current regime, was the 1938 Trade Marks Act. This Act, as Bently and Sherman note, allowed the assignment of marks separate from the good will of the business. The criteria for registration under this Act has been widely criticised as being too complex and unduly restrictive[25], plagued by obscure drafting[26] and unclear over the consequences for non-registration[27]. Several amending acts were subsequently passed in the UK but these only added to the difficulties in the interpretation of the 1938 Act. The 1984 Trade Marks (Amendment) Act which tried to incorporate service marks into the regime was “clumsy” according to Bainbridge and Torremans[28].

External pressures overtook the 1938 Act and its amendments and soon the case for a regime more in line with European countries was irresistible. Indeed, the EC directive on the harmonisation of trade mark law has been hailed as the single largest driving force behind the 1994 Act[29]. Frank Schechter, the leading historian of trade marks, is also seen as a precursor to the 1994 Act. He argued, radically at the time, for a single rational basis for trade marks and, such marks being a species of property which necessarily protects both similar and dissimilar marks, the only reason for protection is preservation of the unique nature of the mark[30].

The modern regime is enshrined in the 1994 Trade Mark Act which, in the words of Bainbridge: “brought a welcome breath of fresh air to trade mark law…Gone is the obscure drafting of the 1938 Act.”[31] Under the 1994 Act the significant changes were that the criteria for registration were relaxed and broadened, the scope of protection for registration was enlarged and the previous formalities eradicated. Such formalities were for so long a barrier to transnational businesses who, in the words of Cornish and Llewelyn, “want simple, certain and cheap registration without having to apply country by country using systems encrusted with individual idiosyncracies”[32].

Trade Mark for fashion brands: an exposition of relevant case law (1) passing off cases

The earliest case which incorporates both fashion and Trade Mark law is Southern v How[33], a case from 1618 which involved two clothes makers, one putting the others mark on his inferior product and thus giving rise to a common law action in deceit. The modern common law tort of passing off is quite different, being comprised of three elements as advocated by contemporary opinion: “that confusion being generated by the activity of a trader in causing his goods or services and/or their presentation to become confused with those of the claimant, and that protection being afforded by the grant of a right of action to the trader whose economic interests and trading goodwill are harmed by the confusion”[34].

The first significant fashion case under passing off comes in 1988 in Unidoor v Marks & Spencer [35] where M&S were marketing t-shirts with the slogan “COAST TO COAST” underneath the words “Marine girl”. The plaintiffs in this action had a part B trademark for “Coast to Coast” and complained of the defendants’ use while the defendants challenged the validity of the plaintiff’s trade mark. The High Court of Justiciary, Chancery division, held that both under statute and the common law tort of passing off there was no case as the plaintiff had not acquainted the purchasing public with the fact that “Coast to Coast” was a trademark of theirs. In AMAZE Collection Trade Mark[36] the distinction was a fine one between “Amaze Collection” and “Ama Zing”, the plaintiffs owning the latter and the defenders owning the former. The plaintiffs applied for a declaration of invalidity under s.5(4)(a) using passing off as a former right to rely upon. The court refused the application, holding that A had failed to establish he had owned the relevant goodwill in the company before the relevant date and in any event held that the words wouldn’t create any confusion in the minds of the public.

In Criminal Clothing Ltd’s Trade Mark Application[37] the words involved were “Criminal” and “Criminal Damage”. This case concerned an appeal by a clothing manufacturer (C) who sought to challenge the decision of the Trade Marks Registry to uphold a decision supporting M which prevented from registering a trade mark. M had opposed C’s mark as confusingly similar and for identical goods, and had claimed that because of the goodwill and reputation enjoyed by M, use of C’s mark would amount to the tort of passing off. The appeal in relation to s.5(4)(a) failed as there was an acute risk of confusion according to the Chancery Division.

The final case I have selected for analysis is a very recent one: Zaba’ish v Zebaish Clothing Ltd[38] where a company using the same name as another company to sell the same goods with a lower quality was guilty of passing off because the deceptive similarity of their names was likely to damage the goodwill of the earlier company. Judge Fysh QC put the test in the following way:

“A claimant alleging passing off had first to prove a reputation or goodwill in association with a particular word or mark associated with its business; secondly, a misrepresentation of some sort in the course of trade on the part of the defendant had then to be shown; finally, that misrepresentation had to be calculated or, at least, likely to damage the claimant’s goodwill or business.”

Case Law relating to Trade Mark protection in the fashion industry under TA 1994: s.5 relative grounds of refusal

As noted above the recent case of Chemise Lacoste and Baker Street Clothing

Ltd[39] has heralded a significant victory for a very small clothing manufacturer against the giant Lacoste under the Trade Mark Act 1994. A predecessor to the Lacoste legal wrangles under s.5 of the 1994 Act (the relative grounds of refusal) is firstly the ZIPPO Trade Mark[40] case where P registered the trademark in class 18 in respect of items of fashion. A had three prior registrations for an identical named mark for lighters. A thus applied for a declaration of invalidity on the grounds that P’s mark was identical to theirs and this could lead to confusion under s.5(2). A also tried revocation on the grounds of non-use under s.46 for 5 years. The Trade Marks Registry held that the challenge of invalidity failed under s.5(2) as A had not challenged the registration of the trade mark in 1986 and secondly the s.46 revocation failed to an extent as the trunks, umbrellas and parasols had not been in use while the bags, cases and wallets had been despite the very minimal amount of use.

The LOADED Trade Mark case[41] also came under s.5 in respect of the proprietor of a magazine called LOADED who appealed against the dismissal of their application opposing the registration of an identical trademark in respect of clothing. IPC contended that the application should be refused inter alia under s.5(3): damage to their reputation. The appeal was allowed as LOADED had built up significant reputation in the men’s magazine sector and dilution of the market as had happened could compromise advertising revenues.

In Baker Street Clothing Ltd v La Chemise Lacoste (SA) Trade Mark Registry 9/12/2009, Lacoste tried to revocate the registration of Baker Street’s alligator mark under s.46(1)(b) and succeeded in part. The court observed that the minimal use of certain products qualified them to escape revocation but others did not: “Therefore, the evidence collectively established that in 2005 B was making preparations to secure customers and create a market share for its clothing and that that should be considered to satisfy the requirements for there to be genuine use.”

This case proved only a stepping stone to the landmark decision in November 2010[42] where Baker Street finally won over their multinational rival. Sections 5(2)(b), 5(3), 5(4)(a) and 56 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 were invoked by Lacoste to oppose the applications to register ALLIGATOR as a Trade Mark.

The Registry significantly pointed out at paragraph 50 that:

“The Applicant’s word mark ALLIGATOR would naturally be perceived

and remembered as an allusion to alligators in general. Pairing and matching it with the particular images of the Respondent’s marks, in circumstances where they had come to be firmly associated and identified with the name LACOSTE, looks to me like a process of analysis and approximation that the relevant average consumer would not naturally be concerned to engage in.”

The fashion industry: counterfeiting and attitudes to Trade Mark law

Okonkwo has observed that major brands such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton consider the fight to protect their Trade Marks against counterfeiters a losing battle and are instead focusing on preventing supply in raiding stores and factories across the world[43]. Chaudry meanwhile, echoes Okonkwo’s findings and develops the idea of three central distribution areas which evade law and customs: “established retail shops, informal channels such as “flea markets”, sidewalk vendors and clandestine shops and of course the internet”[44]. These informal locations are very much evident in the back streets of the UK and their seepage into the pores of UK commerce is evident[45] as is their dilution of the market[46]

Of course the market in counterfeit goods would not exist if there wasn’t a demand for it[47] and Okonkwo in particular identifies study of consumers in the UK which revealed that about a third of the public would knowingly buy counterfeit goods for a variety of reasons. Phillips[48] describes the exceptionally tough stance of the French who put counterfeiters in jail for 3 years with a possible fine of 300,000 euros.

Explanation of the legal position

S.1(1) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 provides that a trade mark is any sign which is capable of being represented graphically. This representation distinguishes the goods or services from other undertakings. The crucial point here is that once registered, the trade mark represents a property right which is vested in the owner. Given this two tier level of protection the legal position will be analyzed in relation to pre and post – registration.

When the mark has been registered or is in the process of being registered:

For a trade mark to be registered, it must not fall into the grounds of refusal of registration. Under s.3 of the 1994 Act, they are firstly that the Trade Mark must have a descriptive character, it must not be descriptive of the underlying goods or services which it represents and it must not represent a customary articulation of the trade. Registration will also be refused if it is contrary to public policy or accepted levels of morality (eg being deceptive in nature).

S.5 of the 1994 Act provides additional relative grounds of refusal in addition to s.3:

5. – (1) A trade mark shall not be registered if it is identical with an earlier trade mark and the goods or services for which the trade mark is applied for are identical with the goods or services for which the earlier trade mark is protected.

So if a trade mark is identical to an earlier trade mark and the trade mark applied for is for goods either identical to or similar to those for which the earlier trade mark has been registered and there exists a likelihood of public confusion then registration can be refused. The third part under s.5(3) concerns the unfair advantage or detriment caused to the “distinctive character” of the earlier trade mark and finally s.5(4) incorporates the law of passing-off by providing that a trade mark will be refused registration if in the UK there is any rule of law which prevents its use. When the mark has already been registered then s.10 of the 1994 Act is applicable:

10. – (1) A person infringes a registered trade mark if he uses in the course of trade a sign which is identical with the trade mark in relation to goods or services which are identical with those for which it is registered.

This part of the Act is similar in its wording to s.5 but not identical in that the mark itself can either be similar or identical to the earlier trade mark in question but clearly, as Torremans points out, it is written “in accord with section 5 of the Act”[49]. Torremans distils this section into a three point test: firstly is the sign used in the course of tradeSecondly are the goods and services for which the sign is used similar to those in relation to which the trade mark has been registeredAnd finally is there a likelihood of confusion because of that similarityIt should be noted finally that under s.42(1) a Trade Mark initially lasts for 10 years but through the grounds of s.46(1) if there is, for example, non-use for five years there is a ground for revocation.

When the mark has not been registered

Then the Trade Mark Act 1994 cannot apply and the common law must fill in where the statute cannot. Different formulations of this action have evolved over time but it is the rule laid down by Lord Diplock which according to Bainbridge, is the one that is closest to the present legal environment[50]. Lord Diplock, from the case of Spalding & Bros v A W Gamage Ltd[51] , laid down a classic formulae which has been further distilled into a three-part test by Nourse LJ[52]:

The goodwill of the claimant
The misrepresentation made by the defendant and
Consequential damage

The central element of the common law action of passing-off is the goodwill element: without this there can be no action. Clearly, as Bainbridge points out, “if a trader has only just started in business or has only recently started using an unregistered mark or ‘get up’ he may be unable to succeed in a passing off action[53]. The central question here is whether a reputation has been acquired, regardless of the shortness of time. Regarding misrepresentation this need not be malicious as innocent misrepresentation may be enough. Finally the damage element relates to confusion in the public.

Remedies at common law and under the 1994 Act

At common law the remedies available are:

injunctions (including interim) and/or
Damages and/or
Account of profits
Declarator or order to destroy the offending marks[54]

Under the 1994 Act the remedies are contained under s.14:

Count and reckoning
Order under s.15 to to erase, remove or obliterate the offending sign
Order under s.16 for the offending material to be sent to the correct trade mark owner[55]

Analysis and/or evaluation of the particular issue. [500]

UK trade mark law offers no more than adequate protection for fashion brands. As has been discussed if the trade mark of the fashion brand is registered then the full suite of rights and remedies is available under the Trade Mark Act 1994. There can be no better demonstration of the powerful protection which UK companies can claim than in the very recent La Chemise Lacoste[56] which demonstrates aptly the power of the UK system in overturning the Harvard School of thought which criticizes protection of trade mark as a form of monopoly. Although the exact consequences of this case are unclear, they can be contrasted with other Lacoste cases in both China and Australia where Lacoste was successful in preventing Crocodile International from registering further trade marks into the market. Protecting smaller retailers and larger companies alike can only enhance the credibility of the UK system when two brands have an arguable case.

Case law in fashion brands and trade mark has been conducted in both the common law of passing-off and the statutory regime. It is clear that fashion brands have been using protecting their rights at both the pre and post- registration stages of a trade mark. Where the offenders are blatant counterfeiters however, it is less clear how the global plague of counterfeit goods can realistically be stopped. The seeping into markets of hordes of goods from China has diluted our economy and damaged the reputation of trade mark law: such sales on street corners, “flea markets” and clandestine shops undermine the regulatory regime and have witnessed major brands such as Burberry effectively take the law into their own hands. If they are turning their backs on trade mark law then there needs to be a serious re-examination of the strictness of anti-counterfeit laws and perhaps a more mobile type of justice which can move with the cunning criminal minds which engineer the system.

Internally the trade mark system is working in the UK if the trade mark is registered. The level of ignorance about trade marks is high though and it is this state of limbo, along with the streams of counterfeit goods which penetrate the UK which render the protections of trade mark law as inadequate. A lack of awareness of the full suite of protections under the Trade Marks Act 1994 is an indictment of the system The range of remedies is very similar between the common law and statutory regimes, however, and can be said to offer a good measure of protection once it is proven that a trade mark infringement has occurred.

An unregistered trade mark can be a toxic asset as the hard work and labor which has gone into its production can be undermined easily if for example confusion to the general public cannot be evidenced.

Critical reflection

Looking back on this dissertation I would have liked to have conducted more research into primary case law. The question itself is quite specific and the case law on intellectual property as a whole is undoubtedly vast and suffers from over-analysis. If I had more time I would have liked to have obtained case law on the full range of the 1994 Act. In this study I have only been able to find case law relating to fashion brands in respect of the relative grounds of refusal under s.5 and also the revocation regime after 5 years of non-use.

Furthermore, the opinions of those in the fashion world would have been very revealing. Despite all the speculation of case law it is difficult to perceive how those who manufacture and market the brands view their legal rights: do they make use of trade mark lawDo they feel it protects themDo they feel that they have to take the law into their own handsSome quantitative research in this direction would illuminate the study and could inform a future piece of work.


In conclusion the protection of the Trade Mark laws, both at common law and the statutory regime under the 1994 Act, is adequate for companies and individuals based in Britain but inadequate when faced with the flood of counterfeit goods from countries such as China. Clearly a registered trade mark which has built up a reputation can expect excellent protection but not to the extent of a monopoly as evidenced by the recent La Chemise Lacoste case. Ignorance of the law of trade mark, the attitudes of brand manufacturers in taking the law into their own hands and searching properties and persons and the fading relevance of the common law action of passing-off all rein in the protective level of the Trade Mark Laws. Both pre and post- registration fashion brands have enjoyed the protection of the law but in this age of globalization of commerce the dangers of cheap goods bought by an often complicit public is ever present.

My Recommendations:

(1) Education: The general public and indeed companies need to be made aware of the benefits of trade mark law and the possible effects of not having trade mark law (for example Pakistan pharmaceuticals and lowest denominator). The range of things which can attract a trade mark, such as sounds, smells and even 3D images are simply outside the knowledge of those outside the specialized IP profession.

(2) Counterfeit penalties: The French have a highly refined sense of culture and also a highly developed set of punitive measures: 3 years in prison and 300,000 euro fines act as powerful deterrents.

(3) Development of the common law action of passing-off into a more embracing form which incorporates criminal offences such as under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 s.1.

(4) Further research into this area along the lines of America – who have specialist books in this area unlike the UK where the subject is simply one which has not been considered in any detail.


[1] Baker Street Clothing Ltd v La Chemise Lacoste (SA) Trade Mark Registry 9/12/2009

[2] La Chemise Lacoste v Crocodile International Pte Ltd [2008] ATMO 90

[3] Criminal Clothing Ltd’s Trade Mark Application (No. 229214) [2005] EWCH 1303 (ch)

[4] Sabel BV v Puma AG (C-251/95)

[5] AMAZE Collection Trade Mark [1999] R.P.C. 725

[6] Arsenal v Reed (no.1) [2001] 2 C.M.L.R 23

[7] Cornish W & Llewellyn D (2007) Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights p.606

[8] Okonkwo, Uche (2007) Luxury Fashion Branding: Trends, Tactics, Techniques p. 173

[9] Ibid p. 174

[10] O2 V Hutchison [2006] E.T.M.R. 677 at para 7


[12] Bently & Sherman (2004) Intellectual Property Law p.699 – 702

[13] Pickering, C.D.G (1998) Trade Marks in Theory and Practice p.74

[14] Yelnik, Sasha ‘From the point of view of commercial value of trade marks, do current laws sufficiently protect brands from infringement?” European IP law (fix)

[15] In the matter of applications 2338089 and 2354259 in the name of Baker Street Clothing Limited and oppositions 94205 and 94206 by La Chemise Lacoste SA (BL 0-333-10, September 16 2010)

[16] [2008] ATMO 90

[17] See Hollyoak & Torremans (2005) Intellectual Property Law 4th ed

[18] Cornish W & Llewellyn D Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights p.606

[19] Pickering, C.D.G (1998) Trade Marks in Theory and Practice p.3

[20] Bently & Sherman (2004) Intellectual Property Law p.699 – 702

[21] Hollyoak & Torremans (2005) Intellectual Property Law p.364

[22] Bainbridge, David (2002) Intellectual Property p.534

[23] ibid p.3

[24] Ibid p.610

[25] Bently & Sherman (2004) Intellectual Property Law p.696

[26] Bainbridge, David (2002) Intellectual Property p.549

[27] Cornish W & Llewellyn D Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights p.606

[28] Hollyoak & Torremans (2005) Intellectual Property Law p.364

[29] See Pickering, C.D.G (1998) Trade Marks in Theory and Practice p.5, Cornish W & Llewellyn D Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights p.611, Bainbridge, David (2002) Intellectual Property p.549, Phillips & Firth (2001) Introduction to Intellectual Property Law 308

[30] F.Schechter ‘The Rational Basis of Trade Market Protection’ (1927) 49 Harvard LR 813, 831

[31] Bainbridge, David (2002) Intellectual Property p.549

[32] Cornish W & Llewellyn D Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights p.611

[33] (1618) Popham 144

[34] Hollyoak & Torremans (2005) Intellectual Property Law p.448 And also see Pickering, C.D.G (1998) Trade Marks in Theory and Practice p.5, Cornish W & Llewellyn D Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights para 17-01, Bainbridge, David (2002) Intellectual Property p.640, Phillips & Firth (2001) Introduction to Intellectual Property Law 308

[35] [1988] R.P.C. 275

[36] [1999] R.P.C. 725

[37] (No. 229214) [2005] EWCH 1303 (ch)

[38] Patents County Court [no reference]

[39] Baker Street Clothing Ltd v La Chemise Lacoste (SA) Trade Mark Registry 9/12/2009

[40] [1999] R.P.C. 173

[41] (2001) 24(2) I.P.D 24012

[42] In the matter of applications 2338089 and 2354259 in the name of Baker Street Clothing Limited and oppositions 94205 and 94206 by La Chemise Lacoste SA (BL 0-333-10, September 16 2010)

[43] Okonkwo, Uche (2007) Luxury Fashion Branding: Trends, Tactics, Techniques p. 173

[44] Chaudry & Zimmerman The Economics of Counterfeit Trade p.22


[46] Hines & Bruce Fashion Marketing: Contemporary Issues p.148

[47] Okonkwo, Uche (2007) Luxury Fashion Branding: Trends, Tactics, Techniques p. 173

[48] Philips, Tim (2007) Knockoff: The Deadly Trade in Counterfeit Goods p. 9

[49] Hollyoak & Torremans (2005) Intellectual Property Law p.398

[50] Bainbridge, David (2002) Intellectual Property p.549

[51] (1915) 84 LJ Ch 449

[52] Consorzio de Prosciutto di Parma v Marks and Spencer plc [1991] R.P.C. 351

[53] Bainbridge, David (2002) Intellectual Property p.644

[54] Bainbridge, David (2002) Intellectual Property p.679

[55] Ibid p.620

[56] In the matter of applications 2338089 and 2354259 in the name of Baker Street Clothing Limited and oppositions 94205 and 94206 by La Chemise Lacoste SA (BL 0-333-10, September 16 2010)

Free Essays

Molecular gastronomy has become a key topic and it is the new fashion for chefs to offer their customers.


In these few years, molecular gastronomy has become a key topic and it is the new fashion for chefs to offer their customers. This is a new culinary trend called molecular cooking has been investigated as the most exciting development in haute gastronomy. Molecular gastronomy is refers to a modern style of cooking, which is a discipline practiced by both scientists and food professionals that studies the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking. As well as it is the use of such studies process in many professional kitchen and lab.

Nowadays, molecular gastronomy can be seen in some haute hotels and restaurants, which has shown that this is getting popular. However, the confusion of molecular gastronomy has been appearing to be increase and what it was intended to achieve (Consin, J et al 2010). Therefore, this assignment is to explore the molecular gastronomy. Firstly, it is providing an overview of culinary changes through different periods including Tudor Kitchen, Georgian Kitchen and Victorian Kitchen as well as gastronomic figures especially Georges Ausguste Escoffier (1846-1935) who was a French chef had great contributions on gastronomy and an historical perspective and then summarise the origins and background of molecular gastronomy and the current literature of this subject.

Literature Review

The overview of culinary change

In 17th century, gastronomy had major changes, new foods arrived in this century and the taste had change. The consumption of exotic birds such as peacock, swan, crane and heron decreased and they preferred meats were beef, veal, and mutton as well as huge quantities were still remained but only freshwater fish e.g. salmon and trout were the preferred (Strong, R 2003). In this period of Tudor kitchen, the consumption of meat in the Middle Ages was very expensive, rare and very much reflected social class who could afforded. However, the consumption of bread and pottage were reflected to lower class and peasantry as well as soft cheese and eggs were available if they had hen and cow (Paston- Williams, S 1995). Almost peasantry and lower class kept animal such as pig in order to provide some fresh meat, also animal were not only used in cooking, it was used in culinary and clothing, items like bone for spoons and leather for shoes and clothes. In terms of cooking utensils, most of the utensils were made in wood or terracotta clay and no fork were used as it was unknown at that period.

The changes in Georgian time, sweet and savoury had launched in Georgian kitchen. Also, wooden trenchers and cooper pans had replaced by pewter, silver and copper pans. There was a big change in terms of British culinary habits in Victorian Period in 18th Century as well as there were more British citizens began to used imported goods. People lifestyle changed including what people ate and the way they preserved and prepared food, many kitchen tools had been invented and improved.

Eating our market had been increased as well as foreign food. Taste had major changed between 1986 and 1990, fast food outlets turnover increased by 83% and cafe and restaurant increased by 63% (Cullen, 1994).

The greatest attribute of a chef has been to create a successful and lasting fashion. This is throughout history and the tradition has also continued to be well demonstrated over the last three hundred years, by chefs such as Alexis Soyer (1809-1859) and Antonin Careme (1784-1834). However other great gastronomic figure Georges Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935) had also emerged to contribute to the development of cuisine and gastronomy. Escoffier was a French chef and legendary figure among chefs and gourmands in gastronomy. He was also one of the most important people that developed of modern French cuisine and his cuisine technique was based on Antoine Careme (Escofffier, 1921). Moreover, Escoffier’s recipes, techniques and approaches to gastronomy are still highly influence today, not only France, it have been adopted by chefs and restaurants throughout the world. He wrote the definitive text on classical cuisine Le Guide Culinaire (1902). However, it was not until the 1970s, it was because the supremacy was threatened by the arrival of nouvelle cuisine.

In 1879, Cesar Ritz and Escoffier left from the Savoy hotel and therefore, Ritz had a chance to set up his own hospitality business, it established in 1898 and called the Ritz Hotel Development Company. For Escoffier set up his kitchen and recruited the chefs for his kitchen in London (Brigid, 2004). Many clientele of the high society came from Savoy hotel to Carlton hotel where he was cooking. Carlton hotel in London offered haute cuisine at lunch and dinner as well as tea, which has became a fashionable institution in Paris and later in London (Ashburner, 2004). However, after launching the tea in hotel, it caused Escoffier real distressed as it cased that customer might have too many meals in a short period of time (James, 2006)

What has made Escoffier became successful in gastronomy. Escoffier had a better contribution in his culinary in 1913, he met Kaiser Wilhelm II on board the SS Imperator which was one of the largest ocean liners of Hamburg Amerika Line in Germany. The culinary experience on board the imperator was overseen by Ritz Carlton, the restaurant itself was a reproduction of Escoffier’s Carlton restaurant in London. He was in charged and supervising the kitchen on board the Imperator during the Kaiser to France. The Kaiser was so impressed with Escoffier’s dinner as well as Kaiser’s favourite strawberry pudding and named fraises. Therefore, he became Emperor of chefs, this was quoted frequently in the press as well as many newspapers, he was establishing Escoffier’s reputation as France’s preeminent chef (James 2006). Escoffier retired in 1920 but he continued o run the kitchen through World War One.

The Morden Gastronomy

In any historical account of gastronomy, Escoffier’s legacy is also can not be ignored. And in the modern gastronomy, he is generally considered to be main exponent of cuisine (Levy, 1984). In terms of his culinary, he broke the traditional culinary and lightened saucing and garnishing. However, he still remembered the primary for his efforts to simplify the kitchen working practices and utilise talent more rationally (Wood, 1991). He instituted the kitchen system in an effort to eliminate the disorganisation and duplication of prevalent in the conventional kitchens of the period caused by failures to institute clear cut accountability and work systems.

According to Escoffier’s partie system, in the kitchen each employee was assigned a well defined role and operated within carefully fixed parameters. A full range of job titles were developed and some of had already existed, each of the employee who work in kitchen relating to specialist range of procedures and responsibilities. Escoffier’s system was hierarchically, it stratified over the twentieth century and it has been remained to some level. Although the shortages of modified with periodic of skilled talent, but the catering production and the changes could be improved from the technological advances (Wood, 1991).

According to this hierarchy of the classically modelled ‘grand’ partie system, the top of the hierarchy was the ‘maitre chef des cuisines’ as also status as executive and was assisted by the ‘chef de cuisine’, which is the head chef that we know the role today. Below the ‘chef de cuisine’, there are one or more sous chefs, depending on the size of the brigade it was also hierarchically stratified and numerically titled, the lower possessing more seniority such as first sous chef and second sous chef. Below this level of the working members of the brigade, the specialists term ‘chefs de partie’ or other named as section head, it presided over by the premier chefs comprising chef, they were expect to be elevated to more managerial roles by dint of their knowledge and successful passage through of the ranks. The lowest rank in the class kitchen is ‘apprenti’ (Gillespie, 1994).

Escoffier’s kitchen should stimulate and provides training in order to develop individuals to the stage where a thorough basic and eventual specialism in the craft of the chef could be codified. To some people thought that Escoffier’s hierarchy was viewed as bureaucratic founded phenomenon constraining innovation in cuisine. But the outcome of the system for chef was that they formed a formal job structure, a culinary aristocracy comprising those who had made it through the hierarchy to become a head chef (James, 2006).

Nowadays, many restaurants and hotel the kitchen has been designed to be more productive and the organisation of production has become more systematic, this is designed around standardised final products, these changes is due to the cook chill and in the ability of yeast to be reactivated after freezing have changed approaches to the preparation of food. Therefore, the kitchen system have reduced die to the ability of technology to maintain freshly prepared food for long period of time (Riley, 2005).

Moreover, technology of food production, storage and regeneration are supporting for attractions of food and the cooking order might require a long time for cooking. Other alternative is to offering a small variety produce at a controlled level of quality. This could be more productive, but it could segment the market (Riley, 2000). To addition, many people prefer ‘keep it simple’, which means not so complex of the food, even at the higher level in the restaurant. However, according to the French cuisine in earlier times, cuisine was based on Escoffier’s guide to modern cookery encouraged large a la carte menu (Riley, 2005). Not only the knowledge of French cuisine as well as other national cuisines have embedded within a set of physical or craft skill, this is in order to perform and motivate of the occupation chef. Despite the fact that the principles of cookery can be taught outside the French cooking class, it is essential for any level of cooking, even the mixture of cuisine which is beloved of famous chefs. However, within the vocational education, there was debating of serious issues of resourcing chef training (Baker et al, 1995).

The fashion of culinary

Professional chefs need to have a well knowledge and skills, also cultural and artistic training are also essential. According to Ferguson and Berger (1985), creativity is important and the first priority element in culinary education, it is in order to develop the best chef in future. However, there was a research that mentioned culinary arts has been limited, but cooking is still seen as a skill oriented discipline (Horng and Lee, 2009). In the old days, the chefs were mainly focused on developing culinary skills and techniques, modern management concepts and creativity were not in the core when they were in training. However, in now a days, with the advantages of the internet and more advanced technologies for communication and transportation. Therefore food cultures and markets could become more diversified than the old days. There is an increasing number of creative professional in the culinary arts, it is because of the higher level institutes for culinary education. This has become the most important in culinary education (Guildford, 1950). In the traditional assumption of individual’s creativity is mainly based on their own personal characteristics (Simonton, 1988), creativity is linked to environmental variables, and the outcome is that the environment might play a role in fostering, stimulating or repressing creativity (Sternberg, 1988). Creativity is mainly influenced by environment and culture, as well as the background and the context of the people where they grew up, in the special field which is to express the personal creativity and a range of other social and cultural factors (Horng and Lee, 2009). In recent years, the social and environmental factors of creativity have become clearer, cooperation and competition between chefs could also help chef encourage individual culinary creativity (Yeh, 2004)

Nowadays, good chef not only needs a good skill and technique of cooking, they also need to have a potential of business management skill as well as creativity in order to enhance the commercial success (Gillespie, 1994). In recent years, public relations play an important role, it is to spreading information to the media or press in order to maintain a recognisable profile (Levin, 1993). Furthermore, good chefs noticed that the importance of fashion ability by establishing their won market within contemporary culinary culture. The merchandising of having an own brand product is one simple way and very effective of doing this, there a more chef endorse other merchandise, equipment, plant and companies (Gillespie, 1993).

The status is very important to chef as a motivation and a major driving force of these individuals, also chefs have an ability to differentiate themselves from other chefs quite startlingly. Whereas, the status and the rank in the Escoffier style culinary was based as much on training program, as well as length of service and apprenticeships, the status hierarchy of chefs is much flatter in nowadays. Serving in the world great hotels is no longer as a guarantee of star status (Gillespie, 1994).

The molecular gastronomy

For years, there is a culinary combined with creative and fashion called molecular cooking, it is a new trend in gastronomy and it is the most exciting development in haute cuisine, it is a modern style of cooking which takes advantages of innovations from scientific discipline. It is a new fashion for chefs offering some fake food which is used by chemical and other ingredients. E.g. fake caviar made from sodium alginate and calcium, spaghetti made from vegetables and ice cream made from liquid nitrogen (This, 2006). Molecular gastronomy is invested by both scientists and food professionals that occur while cooking, the current objective of molecular gastronomy is to investigate and explain the chemical reasons behind the transformation of ingredients, also social, artistic and technical are the important components of culinary gastronomic phenomena in general (This, 2006).

The origins of the term molecular cuisine was firstly invested by Herve This and Nicholas Kurti. Herve This is a French physical chemist and work at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique dates the invention of molecular gastronomy to 1988, he is specific interesting and keen on molecular gastronomy which is the science of culinary phenomena. Nicholas Kurti (1908-1998), he was a Hungarian born physicist and one of the leading experimental physicists. He is also interesting in cooking and always applying scientific knowledge to culinary problems, he had been given a title as the physicist in the kitchen (This, 2005). The name of Molecular gastronomy came from the international commercial workshop on the on the physical and chemical aspects of cooking which was run by This and Kurti, also Kurti and This used the term molecular and physical gastronomy. However, after Kurti died in 1998, they decided to use the less cumbersome term molecular gastronomy that they always preferred (This, 2005). Moreover, the epithet molecular was chosen to limit the scope of this new scientific enterprise on gastronomy the definition of gastronomy is the reasoned knowledge of all that relate to human feeding themselves, It is aiming to the preservation of man by means of the best possible food. The original objectives of molecular gastronomy are exploring existing recipes also introducing new tools, ingredients and methods into the kitchen and lastly, using molecular gastronomy to help the general public understand the contribution of science to society (This, 2006). Furthermore, the original of investigation of molecular gastronomy are investigate how ingredients could changed by different cooking methods, using machine of aroma to release and the perception of taste and flavour, how cooking methods affect the eventual flavour and texture of food ingredients as well as how new cooking methods might improve the result of texture and flavour (This, 2005).

The chemistry and physics of the phenomenon, behind the preparation of any food is in order to gain knowledge through the scientific study of food preparation which enable to be healthier, attractive and more people to cook better food. As a molecular gastronomy, it could inspire chefs to create exciting new dishes and inventions (This, 2006). To addition, there were many scientists had contributions in the science of food preparation, but there was difference between the science of ingredients and the science of culinary processes. Although there have an impact on other aspect of lives, but scientific advances have done little to change the cooking habits (Kurti, 1995).

In the evolution of molecular gastronomy, often there has been misused in the media for chefs apply molecular cooking techniques developed by scientists to their own way of cooking. However, molecular gastronomy has been misunderstanding that the trend on cooking or cooking techniques, consequently many chefs was successfully adopting tools and techniques more traditionally associated with the sciences than culinary arts (Blanck, 2007). According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Ferran Adria has always been promoted as being a founder of the molecular gastronomy trend in cooking and his restaurant el Bulli has been named as ground zero for the world’s molecular gastronomy movement (Walkup, 2006).

Molecular gastronomy seem to be phenomenon throughout the European, but in USA there are two profile studies have been highly recognised into the scientific study of cooking: culinology and experimental cuisine (Consins et al, 2010). According to Food Product Design mentioned that the term culinology was coined in 1996 by American Research Chefs Association (ARCA), they described the fusion of two disciplines which were culinary art and food technology, which is to allow the blending of culinary art and the science of food (Cousminer, 1999). ARCA offers degrees which are focused on the science of mass food production and preservation of restaurant such as dishes based on culinary artistry in many colleges and universities (Cousminer, 1999).

Molecular gastronomy has been launched over 20 years, Mr This analysis recipes from the old days, this is try and see whether the old chefs’ intuitions could be scientifically tested to show if they made sense or not (Cressey, 2008). This is because of many chefs often making very precise observations of chemical reactions in the kitchen. However, sometimes chef’s explanation was rather unscientific. Moreover, Mr this are interesting putting old chef’s quote through scientific testing is very typical of the French mind, more related to rationality and abstract reasoning but proudly attached to its century old traditions at the same time (This, 2006).


The aim of this assignment was to explore the changes of gastronomy from the old days till nowadays. The literature review had highlighted that throughout the history, fashion, modern and fashion of gastronomy as well as the newest culinary molecular gastronomy. The great people had contribution on gastronomy and they had a big impact on modern gastronomy as well as the changes of daily life in this century. Moreover, in the last 300 years, the changes inside the kitchen as well as cooking tools had all contributed to the improvement of culinary. Escoffier had a big contribution on gastronomy and his effort from the past had also influence the chefs in nowadays. He codified the cuisine of the time and also built up the foundations of modern professional cookery and food production management. To addition, the gastronomy movement from the end of the twentieth century, which is known as nouvelle cuisine was also initiated. This was supported by a range of chefs at the top of their professional and also supported by the influential and knowledgeable publishers at the time.

Moreover, the physical chemist Herve This and the physicist Nicholas Kurti, they had explored the science of cookery and launched molecular gastronomy, even though Kurti died, This was keep exploring the science of cookery to culinary, also they referenced from the past gastronomic figures in order to improve the culinary and more innovation of science of cookery. Having used the term molecular gastronomy, it has since become also associated with culinary movement. Adria is a chef that developing new and distinctive type of restaurant concept, dining experiences and the most important is they also follow the traditions of the great innovators of the last 300 years who were working in gastronomy. Although molecular gastronomy is still very fresh and new to customers and might only offer in the high level restaurants, but surely molecular gastronomy could be common to people and this developments will lead to a lasting gastronomic movement, however, the movement will clearly need to be accepted and understand the name.

Free Essays

Explore the relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision amongst UK fashion retailers

Chapter 1


1.1 Introduction

Marketers, nowadays, are confronted with increasingly multicultural marketplaces.

Globalisation of markets and international competition are requiring firms to operate

in a multicultural environment. In addition, migration patterns and communication

media i.e. satellite and televisions are developing multicultural mind sets in single

domestic markets and exposing consumers to alternative behaviours and activities

(Douglas and Craig, 1997 cited in Luna and Gupta, 2001).

United Kingdom is one of the biggest countries in the world supporting immigrants.

Immigration made up more than half of Britain’s population growth from 1991 to

2001 ( 2008). The net difference between immigration and emigration

was 191,000 in 2006, which is expected to increase due to inflow of Eastern European

migrants ( These immigration patterns are making UK a multicultural country rather then homogenous and single cultured as it was in 1970s.

This inflow of immigrants from different cultures has brought diverse cultures

together in distinct country. Individuals from sundry cultures are living and working

together while possessing unlike mind sets and behaviour for similar products and

commodities. These contrasting mind sets are affecting high street retailers as they

have to serve diverse markets apart from local population including migrants from

Asian countries which are working here for years and recent migrants from Eastern

European countries.

The women’s outerwear market has been characterised in the past five years by

falling prices and rising volumes as women have adopted fast, throwaway, celebrityinspired fashion (Mintel 2008). The UK clothing market has many drivers; it is Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

sensitive and remains as multi-level and eccentric as has been increasingly the case

since around 1975, recognised as the emergence of the modern market (Hogg Bruce

and Hill 1998). This modern era is fairly been attractive and catching for marketers

and high streets retailers.

1.2 Significance of Study:

Several attempts by different researchers around the world have been made to

highlight the cultural influence on consumer behaviour (Jamal 2001). Most of the

research papers have focused on the influence of culture as a explanatory tool for

marketing purposes (Craig and Douglas 2005; Dmitrovic and Vida 2005; LeBlanc and

Herndon 2001) and very few researchers have spotlight the elements of culture and

their influence on consumer behaviour (Luna and Gupta 2001).

Furthermore these research studies regarding effect of culture on consumer behaviour

do not offer a framework in which literature can be adequately integrated, are not

firmly grounded in theory, or do not contain a full account of how specific cultural

dimensions affect specific consumer behaviour components. As a result, Douglas et

al. (1994) call for further research in this area stating that strong theoretical and

conceptual frameworks are needed, integrating constructs from the different research

subjects and disciplines.

Additionally, most of the cross-cultural studies in past had focused on different

cultural aspects and values. Very few works have been done on aesthetics and its

influence on consumer behaviour. Aesthetics is an important element of culture and

represents the idea of beauty and appearance in material culture (Hofstede 2000). It is

one of the visible parts of culture that gives an idea to outsiders about cultural values

and beliefs. It also plays an importance role in shaping new trends and consumer

behaviour in a society (Usanier and Lee 2005).

Moreover, market conditions are changing very rapidly now-a-days. Between 1975

and 1990, the total retail market grew from 40 per cent to 70 per cent (Jones and Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Hayes, 2002 cited in Priest 2005). Even with the current medium term jitters, the UK

clothing market have very attractive prospect.The UK clothing and fashion market

remains attractive because of its size and growth. Retail sales climbed 0.8 per cent in

January – a marked improvement on the 0.2 per cent fall recorded for December –

according to the Office for National Statistics. UK retail sales rose 1.2% on a like-forlike basis, compared with July 2006, when sales were up 3.4%. July’s growth was the

weakest since November 2006 and half the monthly average for the second quarter.

The three-month trend rate of growth fell to 2.1% from 2.5% in June, for like-for-like

sales, and to 4.1% from 4.6% for total sales, reflecting the continuing slow growth of

retail space (Retail week 2008)

Lastly, in the present situation of multi-ethnic groups with manifold and growing

demands for apparel in sole market, it is very thorny for retailers, marketers and

entrepreneurs to develop strategies. According to Jamal (2001), in a multicultural

market place, consumer of different ethnic groups coexists, interact and adapt to each

other. During this adoption process, demands changes and new commodities are

expected in market.

Fig 1.1: Research Pattern

Source: Adopted from Foxel et. al. (1998) Consumer Psychology of Marketing 2


Edition p. 148








Self Concept

Consumer Behaviour

(Brand selection and

lifestyle products


Culture Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

This research paper opts to address the above-mentioned problems and future market

potentials by looking in to the cultural factors that influences the consumer behaviour,

as shown in figure 1.1. It will look in to consumer’s brand selection decision on the

basis of one of the cultural elements i.e. aesthetics. This element of culture is far

above the ground important for apparel brands and retailers and will be researched

with respect to self reference criterion (SRC).

1.3 Aims and Objectives

Consumers may allocate a portion of their purchase time and money to express their

personality and lifestyles (Kahle and Kennedy 1989). Consequently, an understanding

of the basic values and beliefs of consumers should improve our understanding of

unseen buying motives and provide specific guidelines for marketing strategy.

This research is intended to explore various cultural aspects that influence female

customers’ decision for different outerwear and clothing brands operating in UK. It

seeks to comprehend the influence of consumers’ back-home culture when they make

a decision to buy ready-to-wear clothing from apparel retailers.

1.3.1 Objectives:

The research objectives of this study are as follows:

1. Identify and explain the cultural factors that influence female consumers’ decision

and behaviour for casual in-home and outerwear clothing (Women’s outerwear

including coats, dresses, tops, T-shirts, jackets, trousers, jeans, blouses, skirts,

shirts etc. but excluding accessories (e.g. belts, hats, gloves), lingerie and hosiery

whereas in-home include casual skirts, jeans and tops)

2. Identify and describe the social pressure and motivation for shopping culturally

acceptable fashion wear Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

3. Explore the perception of female consumers from different cultures for wearing

cross cultural dresses

4. Identify the advantages and disadvantages for clothing fashion retailers to sell

multi-cultural outfit ranges

1.3.2 Research Question:

The primary research questions of this study are:

1. How cultural values affects self concept of individuals which in turn influence

consumer behaviour?

This dissertation will try to find relationship between consumer culture and behaviour

while focusing the aesthetical part of their value system. This paper will also spotlight

the concept of self image in individuals while discussing self-reference-criterion

(SRC). Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Figure 1.2: Research question

2. What are the implications of these cultural values for apparel companies operating

in United Kingdom?

From the result of consumer interviews and focus groups, this study will explore the

ways by which the retail apparel brands are affected and what would be the

implications in future for their higher sales and profitability.

1.4 Structure of Dissertation

This dissertation is divided into six (6) chapters. A brief description of these chapters

is presented hereafter.

Chapter1: This chapter covers introduction of dissertation and significance of this

study for different stakeholder. Research aims and objectives are also covered in this


Pakistani Indian Bengali British Polish Italian German


M & S






Cultural Influence

Cultural Influence Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailer

Chapter 2: This chapter covers previous studies conducted in the field of topic in

hand. Culture, consumer behaviour and relationship between them are discussed in

details. The final part of this chapter covers significance of apparels and clothing in a

society followed by research question.

Chapter 3: This chapter entails description of research methodology involved in this

study. Research strategy, methods and context of study are important features of this


Chapter 4: This chapter wrap-up the finding from the participants’ responses. These

findings are an analysed using content analysis method, which is explained in

methodology chapter.

Chapter 5: This chapter preset the findings of this reports with respect to the

literature review. Previous studies presented in chapter 2 are compared with the

results obtained in chapter 4.

Chapter 6: This is final chapter of report and presents a final conclusion of project.

At the end of chapter, brief recommendations and recommendations are given for

managers and retailers. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Chapter 2


Dealing distinctive consumers in various countries is becoming a necessity for today

multinational organisation. These multinationals achieve their marketing objectives

whilst serving consumers in a country according to its cultural preferences and values.

These cultural values play an important role in consumer’s decision making and

choice of product. As mentioned by Poon (2003), economic and cultural differences

lead to substantial variations in the behaviours of consumers.

The relevant literature presented in this part will discuss the studies related to culture

and cross-culture, consumer behaviour and relationship in between them. It will also

highlight the studies which unfold the importance of culture in the selection of

apparels’ brands.

2.1 Culture

2.1.1 Concept of Culture

Culture, a thorny word, is translated differently in various civilisations around the

world. It is too complex to be defined in one line or paragraph. Authors around the

world have developed more then 164 different definitions of culture (Usanier and Lee

2005). It is a lens, shaping reality, and a blueprint, specifying a plan of action. At the

same time, culture is unique to a specific group of people (Fan 2008). Groups,

organisations and individuals identify and relate themselves with the culture they

belong. Civilisations use culture they inherit as guidance for their acts and beliefs.

Keegan (2005) elucidate the term culture as ‘ways of living, built up by a group of

human beings, which are transmitted from one generation to another’. This means that

culture identify the ways of life, actions and symbols of past generations and their Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

significance to present civilisation. Hofstede (1991) view culture as “the collective

mental programming of the people in an environment. Culture is not a characteristic

of individual; it encompasses a number is people who were conditioned by the same

education and life experience”

Culture acts like glue, binding together individuals, groups and civilisation in a

patterned way (Kluckhohn 1962). Without this patterned way of living, it is

impossible for people in a society to live together. It collectively defines the

boundaries of actions and values carried by a society. Cultural orientation has been

the central construct used in psychology and other social sciences (Oysermann et al.,

2002) in order to understand and define society and culture (Aaker and Maheswaran,

1997; Aaker, 2000). As mentioned by Goodenogh (1971) cited in Usanier and Lee

(2005), culture is set of beliefs or standards, shared by a group of people, which help

the individual decide what is what, what can be, How to feel, what to do and how to

go about it. This makes culture important in individual and groups psychological

developments while shaping their norms, values and rituals.

Culture can be defined in terms of national culture, sub-culture and counter-culture.

Whereas national culture is collective fingerprint of a country, sub-culture is practiced

by smaller number of people. National culture and sub-culture are coherent by values

but apparently different (Keegan 2006). Counter-culture is a culture or sub-cultures

whose values and beliefs are apposite or in disagreement to that of national culture

( 2008).

2.1.2 Importance of Culture

Culture drives behaviour of members in a society. It is the most important block of a

civilisation that defines and explains its origin and history (Lukosius 2004). Culture is

concerned with the development of coherent viewpoints which bring a cumulative

effect to ‘otherwise’ isolated experiences of a group, making them feel special yet

allowing others to have a parallel experience (Veltman 1997). Individuals and groups

usually associate themselves with the culture they belong to and feel proud of it. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

According to Craig and Douglas (2005), culture has a profound influence on all

aspects of human behaviour. Its impact may be subtle or pronounced, direct or

oblique, enduring or ephemeral. It is so entwined with all facets of human existence

that it is often difficult to determine how and in what ways its impact is manifested

(Jamal 2001). Adding to the complexity of understanding culture is its inherently

dynamic nature.

Fig 2.1: Cultural importance framework

Source: Adapted from Mooij (2005), p. 106

The impact of culture can also be viewed in every day life of individuals in a society.

According to Hofstede (1997), culture influences behaviour through its manifestations:

values, heroes, rituals, and symbols. This influence is visible at personal level as well

as organisational and group levels. Culture influences change and evolves as the

political, social, economic and technological forces (Usunier and Lee, 2005). Figure

2.1 presents a framework that highlights the importance of culture in individual’s

social participation, which is affected by individual behavioural domain. The

behavioural domain possesses visible and non-visible culture, values and beliefs,

religious base and concept of heroes.


Material culture



Visible Culture





Individual Behavioural


Individual Social

Participation Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

2.1.3 Manifestations of Culture

Hofstede (1991) defined four main manifestations of culture in his famous Onion

Model shown in fig 2.2. According to him, values, rituals, heroes and symbols reflect

important parts of culture and need to be studied in order to understand it. These

manifestations are important to study because different cultures perceive different

things differently.

According to Mooij (2005), symbols are words, gestures, pictures, or objects that

carry a particular meaning recognised only by those who share a culture. Symbols are

at the outer most layer of onion model and include dressing and hair styles, special

hand or face gestures, status recognition and pictures possessing some meaning for its

viewers. Usunier and Lee (2005) describe heroes as persons, alive or dead, real or

imaginary- who thus serve as a role model for common societal behaviour. These can

be fantasy figures or real heroes. Rituals are the collective activates considered

essential for culture and are carried out for their own sake. These three manifestations

are visible and are termed as expression of culture that an outsider can observe (Mooij


Fig 2.2: The onion model

Source: Hofstede, G. (2000) Culture Consequences, Comparing Values, Behaviours, Intuitions and

Organisations across Nations, 2


edition. p. 11

At the core of culture are values and are defined as broader tendencies to prefer a

certain state of affairs over other ( 2008). Developmental

psychologists believe that values are among the first things children learn, not



Heroes, Stories


P r a c t i c e s Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

– 12 –

consciously but implicitly (Mooij 2005). Members of a society are not conscious of

the values they hold, but act according to them.

It is important to note that value system is placed firmly in mind of child by the age of

10, and they act according to that in later stages of life. These cultural values, in

which child is brought up, play an important role in evaluation, organisation and

selection of commodities and brands. Not only it steer members of society to choose

from alternative choices and brands but also affect their consumption patterns. The

value system, once developed, is very difficult to change and affect individual

throughout there life (Douglous 2006).

Salter (1997) further elaborates the concept of culture after the values that arise within

the way of life of people. According to him, these values give members of society

solidarity, identity and authoritatively judge what is good or bad, real or false, not

only in art but in everyday life. So it can be argued that these judgements or

perceptions of external stimuli are jointly accepted in individuals from same cultural

background or civilisation.

2.1.4 Elements of Culture

There are four major elements of culture explained by Usunier and Lee (2005) i.e.

language, institutions, material productions and symbolic productions. These elements

are further divided in to sub-elements. We will discuss only three elements which

have relevance to this research paper including language, aesthetics and institution.

A county’s language affects people’s thoughts and mental representation and is one of

the building blocks of culture (Usunier and Lee 2005). Language illustrates culture

and it reflects all manifestations of culture, the expressions and the values. According

to Mooij (2005), there are two ways of looking at language i.e. either language affects

culture or language is expression of culture. In both views, language plays an

important role in culture related studies. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Fig 2.3: Elements of Culture

Source: Adopted from Luna, and Gupta (2001) “An integrative framework for cross-cultural consumer

behaviour” International Marketing Review Vol. 18 No. 1, 2001

Aesthetics are the ideas of beauty, taste and appearance mainly expressed in colours

and fine arts (Blocker and Flint 2007). Aesthetics play an important role in selections

of ensigns and related commodities. Lastly, institution reflects the idea of family

structure in a society (Usunier and Lee 2005). Institution plays and important role in

spending of capital and product range required by a family.

2.1.5 Sources of Culture

The national culture is not always the main source of culture when regarded as

‘operational culture’ (Goodenough 1971 cited in Mizik and Jacobson 2008). Man is

an intelligent animal and learns cultural values and activities from society around him.

He learns from people around him, adopt things and then respond accordingly. Some

of the main sources of culture which help individuals to act in a pertinent way are

family, religion, social class and language. Usunier and Lee (2005) gave a framework

to explained ten (10) different sources of culture, which are shown in figure 2.4.

These factors affect an individual’s personality directly and indirectly, modify and

design behaviour while determining new values.


Material culture Institution/Family


Symbolic Productions

CultureRelationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Fig 2.4: Sources of culture

Source: Usunier and Lee (2005) Marketing Across Culture, 4


edition. p. 11

2.1.6 Cross Cultural Studies

There are two main types of cross culture studies, etic and emic. Etic approach looks

at a culture while comparing it with other culture. Researchers, who use this method,

try to find common elements between diverse cultures and then compare them for

further understanding. According to Luna and Gupta (2007), this approach is

commonly used in typical cross-cultural psychology and other comparative social


However, there is another point of view for cross-cultural studies i.e. emic

methodology, which focuses upon the understanding culture from the view point of

subject being studied (McCracken 1988). Researcher studying consumer behaviour

from emic methodological views are more inclined towards the culture which subject

hold rather then general national culture. Emic methodology is more appropriate for

Sources of














Social Class



Language Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

the studies apt for multicultural consumer studies. So it can be argued that the etic and

the emic philosophies seem to refer to similar constructs but from different perspectives

(between-cultures versus within-cultures).

As explained by Luna and Gupta (2007), consumer ethnocentrism is a construct often

studied by cross-cultural researchers. The construct could be viewed as an

instrumental value (Rokeach, 1973), as used by Shimp and Sharma (1987). In their

study, Shimp and Sharma (1987) found that consumers’ ethnocentrism determines

their perceptions of domestic versus foreign values (cognition), as well as their

attitudes and behaviour.

2.2 Consumer Behaviour and Decision Making

2.2.1 Consumer Behaviour

The field of consumer behaviour is complex, changing and is in flux. Perspectives

from different disciplines around the world cross-fertilise with it to obtain required

data. Consumer behaviour’s researchers include different theories from diverse

subjects to conclude results. So it can be argued that consumer behaviour is series of

actions and reaction to certain stimuli.

As commercial global integration unfolds in the world’s marketplaces, decision

making is becoming increasingly complex for consumers. The introduction of new

products and brands in market has not only confused customers with a massive

display of choices but also has created scarcity of places in retails stores. Brands are

now commonly assessed by customer mind-set measures (e.g., awareness, attitudes)

(Mizik and Jacomson 2008).

Consumer behaviour encompasses consumers and their reaction to environment.

Customer reaction is the key elements in consumer behaviour. Consumers recognise

that they have a need; search for a product that can meet heir need; use the product to

satisfy their need; and then dispose of the product once it has met the need (Wells and

Prensky 1996). Hence, the central concept in consumer behaviour is exchange. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

According Solomon et. al. (2006), consumer behaviour is defined as the study of the

processes involved when individuals or groups select, purchase, use or dispose of

products, service, ideas or experiences to satisfy needs and desires. This definition

demonstrates consumer behaviour as a study of process which starts from product’s

selection till its disposal.

On the other hand, American Marketing Association (AMA) defined consumer

behaviour as the dynamic interaction of affects and cognition, behaviour, and

environmental events by which human beings conduct exchange aspects of their lives.

This definition elucidates consumer behaviour as a dynamic and changing, involves

interaction between individuals and groups and finally hold exchange.

Consumer decision-making style, in simple terms, can be defined as “a mental

orientation characterizing a consumer’s approach to making choices” (Sproles and

Kendall, 1986, p. 267 cited in Lysonski, Durvasula and Zotos 1996). This definition

looks at just one aspect of consumer behaviour i.e. making choices.

All of the above definitions explain consumer behaviour and decision making from

different angles but focus on one thing i.e. the consumer’s mental cognitive process.

Consumer behaviour mental process involves the thoughts and feelings people

experience and the actions they perform in consumption process. It also includes the

things in environment that influence their thoughts, feelings and actions (Peter and

Olson 2005).

2.2.2 Understanding Consumer Behaviour

Consumer decision making process is complex and ever changing. It varies from

individual to individual, group to group, organisation to organisation and across

country borders. This understanding of consumer behaviour affects the level and

intensity of exchange between marketers and consumers. Consumer behaviour subject

has gripped the attention of researchers in recent years. The popularity of

customisation has hanged the focus of marketing from macro consumer behaviour to Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

micro consumer behaviour. It is impossible to satisfy the needs and wants of a society

without cramming consumer values and the road to consumer values, attitude and

behaviour is culture.

According to Lysonski, Durvasula and Zotos (1996), consumer decision making can

be categorized into three main approaches: the consumer typology approach (Darden

and Ashton, 1974; Moschis 1976); the psychographics /lifestyle approach

(Lastovicka, 1982; Wells, 1975); and the consumer characteristics approach (Sproles,

1985; Sproles and Kendall, 1986; Sproles and Sproles, 1990).

The unifying theme among these three approaches is the tenet that all consumers

engage in shopping with certain fundamental decision-making modes or styles

including rational shopping, consciousness regarding brand, price and quality among


Fig 2.5: The pyramid of consumer behaviour

Source: Solomon M. et al (2006) Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective, 3


Edition, p. 24

Cultural anthropology






Social Psychology


Human ecology

Developmental psychology

Clinical psychology

Experimental psychology

Macro Consumer Behaviour

(Social Focus)

Micro Consumer Behaviour

(Individual Focus)Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

– 18 –

Fig 2.5 shows the pyramid of origin of consumer behaviour and interdisciplinary

influences on the study of consumer behaviour. These disciplines explain the

importance of consumer behaviour as a whole.

2.2.3 Consumer Decision Making Processes

Consumer behaviour is outcome of mental processes and judgements that individual

goes through every time before taking an action. These processes are explained by

researchers around the world in various ways and steps, such as AIDA by Strong

(1925) cited in Kotler (2003), Hierarchy of effects by Lavidge and Gary (1961) cited

in Antonides and Raaij (1998) and Innovation-adoption model (Rogers (1962) cited in

Kotler (1999). Most of these processes generally include need recognition, search for

alternative, evaluation of alternatives and action (Foxall et al 1998). Some researchers

have divided this process in further sub-steps (Wells and Prensky (1996), Solomon

(1999), Peter and Olson (2005), Solomon et al (2006)), but the idea remains the same.

2.2.4 Factors affecting consumer behaviour

A number of researchers have given several explanations of different factors affecting

consumer behaviour. Wells and Prensky (1996) explained different factors including

demographics, personality, psychographics, lifestyle, values and reference groups,

which affect consumer behaviour. It is worth mentioning here that all of these factors

are affected directly or indirectly by culture. Other factors that influence consumer

behaviour at the point of purchase are price, product perception, brand loyalty,

celebrity endorsement and people using product (Kotler 2003).

2.3 Relationship between Culture and Consumer Behaviour

Culture and consumer behaviour are intimately knotted together and “untying the

rope” is almost an impossible task (Lukosius 2004). Anthropologists have long

theorized about the influence of culture on decision making (Stewart, 1985).

Consumer culture is premised upon the expansion of capitalist commodity production

which has given rise to a vast accumulation of material culture in the form of Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

consumer goods and sites of purchase and consumption (Featherstone 1990). This

expansion of material culture has raised desire of leisure and expectations in


The empirical study conducted by Henry (1976) shows that culture is underlying

determinant of consumer behaviour. Culture affects consumer behaviour, which itself

may reinforce the manifestations of culture (Peter and Olson, 1998). Culture

influences behaviour through its manifestations: values, heroes, rituals, and symbols

(Hofstede, 1997). These are the forms in which culturally-determined knowledge is

stored and expressed. This knowledge in-turn reflects consumer living style, attitude,

and behaviour. Each cultural group possesses different cultural manifestations which

are important for marketers to assess consumer behaviour, as shown in figure 2.6

(Luna and Gupta 2007).

Fig 2.6: Relationship between culture, marketing and consumer behaviour

Source: Luna, and Gupta (2001) “An integrative framework for cross-cultural consumer behaviour”

International Marketing Review Vol. 18 No. 1, 2001

The analysis of culture also offers some useful starting points for consumer attitude

and behaviours. Some recent studies have explored the influence of national culture

on cultural value perceptions (Overby et al., 2004; Furrer et al., 2000). But these are Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

largely limited to consumer contexts. For example, in a cross-cultural consumer

context, Overby et al. (2004) find that consumers’ national culture influences the

content and structure of value perceptions through the way customers attach meaning

and importance to various aspects of a firm’s products. This show that consumer’s

national cultures, in which they are brought up, hold utter importance in their

selection and perception of products and services.

2.3.1 Culture, Consumer Behaviour & Brand Selection Decisions

Consumers often choose certain products, services and activities over other because

they are associated with specific life style. This lifestyle reflects trend and fashion

expression and influences the choices made by consumer in their own anticipatory

consumption or the purchase of aspired lifestyle products (Brandon 2003 cited in

Forney, Park and Brandon 2005). These life styles techniques are provided by

different brands around the world (Kotler 2003). Consumer preferences for specific

brands are growing stronger day by day. Brands are one of the important factors that

influence groups to accept or reject an individual in a society.

An important study conducted by Aaker and Schmitt (1997) found that both

individualist and collectivist consumers use brands for self-expressive purposes (as in

McCracken, 1988). Moreover, this study clearly shows the difference of two cultures

i.e. eastern and western, as eastern consumers are more collectivist then western. Both

of these use brands, however, in different ways: collectivist consumers use brands to

reassert their similarity with members of their reference group, while individualist

consumers use brands to differentiate themselves from referent others.

Moreover, those who cannot keep up with the latest brand styles and knowledge

forms the ‘‘out’’ groups and those that can keep up are seen as members of the groups

as ‘‘cool’’ and ‘‘popular (Auty and Elliot 1998). The influence of brands is increasing

gradually in the form of consumer satisfaction to preference and repeat purchases and

then to next level i.e. brand loyalty. These branding decisions are influenced by

consumer behaviour which is reflection of individuals’ culture. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

2.3.2 Cultural adoption and reinforcement:

According to the empirical study conducted by Henry (1976), culture is underlying

determinant of consumer behaviour and it affects consumer behaviour, which itself

may reinforce the manifestations of culture (Peter and Olson, 1998). According to

Nguyen and Barrett (2008), individual from a sub-culture adopt manifestations from

mainstream or dominant culture. These adopted manifestations became part of

consumer mind set and reinforce further behaviour. Framework in figure 2.7 explains

cultural adoption and reinforcement process, which holds its very importance in study

of immigrants’ culture.

Figure 2.7: Framework of ethnic and mainstream cultural affects on consumer behaviour

Source: Adopted from Wines and Napier (1992) “Towards an understanding of cross-cultural ethics: A

tentative model” Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 11, Iss. 11. Pp. 831

2.3.3 Self Reference Criterion (SRC):

Self reference criterion is the unconscious reference to one’s own cultural values or

one’s home country frame of reference (Lee 1966). It was introduced from

managerial point of view to handle cultural differences and eliminate the root cause of

international problems, but it can also be used from consumers’ perspective. Culture

is subjective (Schutte 1999) and the people in different cultures often have different

ideas for the same object (Usanier and Lee 2005). When travelling overseas, it is

virtually impossible for a person to observe foreign culture without making reference,



Consumer values &

attitude sets


& Ethics










Adaptation Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

perhaps unconsciously, back to his own cultural values. Individual’s opinion about

another culture is also heavily influenced by the media (Peter and Olson, 1998).

Through the tinted glass of parent culture, individuals see things in a foreign culture

not as what they are, but according to what he sees in them according to his own

perception (Fan 2008). For example, dog is man’s best friend in west but in Arab

countries it is considered as a filthy animal. This explains the differences in consumer

behaviour in different cultures about same object.

Moreover, McCort and Malhotra (1993) cited in Luna and Gupta (2007), describe

number of studies on the effect of cultural values on information processing issues

such as perceptual categorization, perceptual inference and learning. An individual’s

behaviour is result of that individual’s cultural value system for a particular context

(Loader 1999). Figure 2.8 explains the influence of demographics and personality

development on lifestyle, self concept and eventually on consumer behaviour.

Fig 2.8: Demographics & personality variables with lifestyle, self concept & consumer behaviour

Source: Adopted from Foxel et. al. (1998) Consumer Psychology of Marketing 2


Edition p. 148


Clothing is primarily a mean of communicating, not personal identity, but social

identity (Noesjirwan and Crawford (1982) cited in Auty and Elliott 1998), which

strengthen the idea of cultural bond and group belonging. Researches conducted in

clothing behaviour have shown that consumers differ in attitudes, values and

expectations of clothing. Clothing is a way by which people identify themselves with



Life Style

Self Concept



S R C Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

a social class, project or group of people. Researchers have proven the construct of

symbolic meaning of clothing and its use in social environments (Hwang, 1996; Horn,

1975 cited in Alexander, Connell and Presley 2005). Clothing used positively

contributes to one’s feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.

Fashion is defined as currant mode of consumption behaviour or in other words style

or styles being worn by consumers of clothing (Evans 1989). Fashion, like all other

industries move in cycles (Miller and Merrilees 2004) and defined by consumers as

exciting, continuously changing and display of status, contribute to self confidence

and personally development (Evans 1989). This is a way by which consumers define

themselves as who they are and how they want others to perceive them. It is a way by

which individuals relate themselves with a group, celebrity, culture or country.

“Amongst the functions of fashion is to create uniformity amongst equals whilst at the

same time differentiating status and background, signposting preferences and

commitments. Reflecting the resulting market complexity, fashion forecasters have

developed a range of detailed and colourfully named descriptors to differentiate

consumer groups, identify, and recognise trends” (Priest 2005).

Fashion clothing means different things to different people from various backgrounds.

Consumers attach different perceptions to fashion which may be not same as their

family and friends’ beliefs. The use of fashion clothing enhance consumer’s

confidence and self-image concept. Empirical study conducted by Cass (2004) proved

that fashion apparel increase confidence and satisfaction among individuals. The

study presents a framework and proves that materialism, gender and age are important

antecedents of consumer involvement in fashion clothing and plays an important role

in enhancing consumer confidence.

According to Shim et al. (1991) clothing is an extension of the bodily self and has

important symbolic meanings in social interactions. Fashion concept is often a

manifestation of self image. There is an increase desire of self-expression (Evans Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

1989) and fashion is one of the most important methods for it. Figure 2.9 shows the

impact of fashion clothing on consumer confidence.

Fig 2.9: Fashion clothing impact on consumer confidence

Source: Cass (2004) “Fashion clothing consumption: Antecedents and consequences of fashion

clothing involvement” European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 38, Iss. 7. p. 869


As mentioned earlier in chapter 1, most of the cross-cultural studies in past had

focused on various cultural aspects and values. Very few works have been done on

aesthetics and its influence on consumer behaviour. Aesthetics is an important part of

culture and represents the idea of beauty and appearance in material culture. It is one

of the visible parts of culture that gives an idea to outsiders about cultural values and

beliefs. It also plays an importance role in shaping new trends in society.

Furthermore, studies conducted by various researchers specifically focused on the

cultures of various countries rather then various cultures in a single country, as it is in

case of Great Britain. The immigration trends in UK have made it a diverse cultured

country, while making it difficult for retailers and business to handle multi-ethnic


This research will identify the differences or gaps between the preferences and

choices of these consumers belonging to different cultures and answering the question








Confidence Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

“How does culture influence buying behaviour of female consumer for apparels and

clothing?” It will help identify the aesthetical part within the cultural values and

believes while focusing on visible aspect of material culture i.e. clothing and apparels.

Furthermore, this study will look into the different aspects of culture that influence

consumer’s buying behaviour and implications of these differences for women

clothing brands in Great Britain i.e. Zara, M&S, Next, Top Shop, Primark and House

of Frazer. The multicultural environment requires fashion retailers to be more flexible

and responsive when designing outfits. This study will help these retailers to achieve

multi-cultural consumer’s satisfaction via knowing their preferences and offering

diverse clothing ranges.

Figure 2.10: Research question

Pakistani Indian Bengali British Polish Italian German


M & S






Cultural Influence

Cultural Influence Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

– 26 –

2.6 Summary

This chapter has discussed in detail the previous studies explaining the concept of

culture, consumer behaviour and relationship between them. Moreover, the

importance of fashion and clothing with respect to consumer confidence was also

discussed. At the end of chapter, the gap within the previous studies is identified

which will be the focus of this research by using the methodology explained in next


Here the 1


research question is revisited i.e. How cultural values affects self concept

of individuals which in turn influence consumer behaviourThis is done through the

exploration of relationship between culture and consumer behaviour and its impact on

self image i.e. Self Reference Criterion. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Chapter 3


This chapter will elucidate the research strategy and design used for the data

collection. The context of study, data collection among main-stream and ethnic

participants and the methods of data analysis are also explained. In the end of chapter,

limitations of are presented.

3.1 Research Strategy

This project is intended to explore the values and attitude of individuals from western

and eastern cultures. On the basis of these values and beliefs, consumer preferences

within clothing and apparels will be explored. These preferences will help determine

the idea of beauty and appearance within that culture. For this reason, the inductive

theory method is used. An illustration of this method is given in figure 3.1.

Fig 3.1: The concept of induction

Source: Bryman and Bell (2003) Business research methods p. 11

In this method, the researcher on the basis of findings and observations deduce a

result that draws generalised inferences. In other words, with an inductive stance,

theory is the outcome of research (Bryman and Bell 2003). This dissertation also

constructs generalisable results on the basis of research conducted.

3.2 Research Design

There are different kinds of research designs available, but for this study comparative

design is used. Hantaris (1996) has suggested that such research occurs when

Findings Theory Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

individuals or teams set to examine particular issues or phenomena in one, two or

more countries with the express intention of comparing their manifestations in

different socio-cultural setting (institutions, customs, traditions, value systems,

lifestyles, language, thought patterns). According to him the main aim of this study

design is to seek explanations for similarities and differences to gain a greater

awareness and a deeper understanding of social reality in different national contexts.

Moreover, the typical forms of comparative research design are qualitative i.e.

ethnographic or qualitative interviews on more then two cases (Bryman and Bell

2003), which are discussed in section 3.3.1.

Usunier (1998) further classified the comparative study in to two approaches.

According to him cross-cultural approaches are the one which compare national

culture and local customs in various countries. An example of this approach is

Hofstede (1984) study, which conducted research on IBM in more then 40 countries.

The second approach is intercultural approaches which focus on the study of

interaction between people and organisations from different national/cultural

background. This research project is more focused on intercultural approaches as it

will look into interaction of people from different cultural backgrounds and their

influence on each other.

3.3 Research Methods

Historically qualitative research has been given less than a fair sense of appreciation

and has been criticized for lack of scientific rigour, small samples, subjective and

nonreplicable efforts (Goodyear, 1990). Today, researchers and buyers of research

still see qualitative research as the provision of a homogeneous data collection method

based on group discussions or in-depth interviews (Wright 1996). This method has

proved to be beneficial for exploratory as well as for non-quantitative researches.

Qualitative approach is selected as in this research there are more exploratory

objectives which need deep insight analysis of consumers’ behaviour. Qualitative

research emphasises more on words rather than quantification in the collection and

analysis of data (Bryman and Bell 2003). The research methods used for this study are Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

primary research methods secondary research methods. Primary research is carried

out with the use of qualitative research tools, which was in accordance to the


Not only that qualitative method helps to identify people’s attitude towards a product

category through group brain storming, it also assist exploring customers behaviour,

lifestyles, needs and desires in a flexible and creative manner. Another reason of its

preference is that researcher can ask probing questions to clarify something they do

not fully understand or something unexpected and interesting that may help to explain

consumer behaviour (Dibb & Simkin 1997).

3.3.1 Primary Research Methods

The primary research methods used are interviews and focus group. These two

methods are used in semi-structured pattern (Bryman and Bell 2003) as they give a

deep understanding of market trends and people’s behaviour. Among the different

interview methods, semi-structured interviewing is focused. This term covers a wide

range of instances and typically refers to a context in which interviewer has a series

of questions that are in the general form of an interview schedule but is able to vary

the sequence of questions. Moreover Semi-structured interview also covers in-depth

interviews (Bryman and Bell 2003).

The second primary research method used is focus group. The focus group method is

a form of group interview in which: there are several participants (in addition to the

moderator/facilitator); there is an emphasis in the questioning on a particular fairly

tightly defined topic; and the accent is upon interaction within the group and the joint

construction of meaning (Merton et al. 1953). This technique help researcher to

develop an understanding about why people feel the way they do (Hutt 1979). Focus

group also offer research opportunity to study the ways in which individuals

collectively make sense of phenomenon and construct meanings around it (Wilkinson

1998) Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

3.3.2 Secondary Research Methods

Secondary research included the material from secondary research reports (Mintel,

GMID, Snapshot and Fame), books, articles, journals and newspapers related to

culture, brand identity and personality, consumer behaviour and UK fashion industry.

This data from secondary sources was used parallel with primary research for

valuable results.

3.4 Context of Study

This research is based on study of western and eastern cultures in Britain. For this

reason, it was conducted in London, a city which is famous for attracting different

immigrant groups from different parts of the world, as it won’t exist without mass

immigration ( 2008). Moreover, according to 2001 census

survey, more then 20% of Londoners are from an ethnic minorities (

2008), which make it suitable for ethnic minority studies and researches.

3.5 Participants of Study

The sample size consisted of a 13 eastern (Asian, 8 Pakistani and 5 Indian) and 12

western consumers (white, 3 Italian and 9 English). For the purpose of this research,

they are termed as “ethnic participants” and “mainstream participants” respectively

(Jamal 2003). All of 25 participants were female and were randomly selected on the

basis of social relations in both communities. Out of 13 ethnic minority participants, 5

were born and educated in UK whereas rest 8 came from Pakistan for educational

purposes and had been in UK for 1 to 4 years. These ethnic participants are bilingual,

single and their age ranges from 21-27 years. Out of total 12 mainstream participants,

9 were born and educated in UK whereas rest 3 came to UK in past 3-4 years from

Italy. All of these participants are single and involved in education or working

activities. Moreover, mainstream participants had exposure to ethnic participant’s

culture during their stay in London. Most of interviews conducted for this study were Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

inside british institute of technology and e commerce from students whereas focus

groups were conducted at university Halls and at researchers’ home facility.

3.6 Data Collection among Ethnic Participants

Data among female ethnic participants was collected through interviews and focus

group discussion. Total 8 interviews were conducted each lasting for an average of

10-15 minutes. 4 interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed with permission

whereas rest 5 were written in detail after they were conducted.

Name Age Nationality Profession



Interviewee-1 23 British-Pakistani Student/Doing job Single

Interviewee-2 22 British-Pakistani Student Single

Interviewee-3 24 Indian Student Single

Interviewee-4 24 Pakistani Student/Doing job Single

Interviewee-5 26 Pakistani Student Single

Interviewee-6 21 Indian Student Single

Interviewee-7 24 Pakistani Student Single

Interviewee-8 23 British-Indian Student/Doing job Single

Focus Group


27 Indian Student Single

Focus Group


23 Pakistani Student Single

Focus Group


26 Pakistani Student/Doing job Single

Focus Group


21 British-Pakistani Student/Doing job Single

Focus Group


24 British-Indian Student/Doing job Single

Table 3.1: Ethnic participants’ demographic details

A focus group within these ethnic participants was also conducted with 5 members to

get maximum feedback on consumer behaviour, while they perform daily life Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

functions as member of group or community. Open ended questions were used for

probing purpose during 30 minutes session of focus group. The demographic details

of ethnic participants are given in table 3.1.The detail questions asked from ethnic

participants are given in appendix A.

3.7 Data Collection among Mainstream Participants

The data among mainstream participants was collected in same manner as for ethnic

participants. 7 interviews were conducted with one focus group. None of the

interviews were tape recorded but written in detail after they were conducted. Each

interview lasted for an average of 10-15 minutes.

Name Age Nationality Occupation



Interviewee-1 21 British Student/Doing job Single

Interviewee-2 22 British Student/Doing job Single

Interviewee-3 24 British Student Single

Interviewee-4 24 British Student/Doing job Single

Interviewee-5 26 British Student Single

Interviewee-6 21 British Student Single

Interviewee-7 28 Italian Professional worker Single

Focus Group


25 British Student Single

Focus Group


23 British Student/Doing job Single

Focus Group


25 British Student Single

Focus Group


24 Italian Student Single

Focus Group


23 Italian Student Single

Table 3.2: Mainstream participants’ demographic details

A focus group of 5 people was also carried out while using open ended questions. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

This focus group lasted for 30 minutes. The demographic details of mainstream

participants are given in table 3.2. The detail questions asked from mainstream

participants are given in appendix B.

3.8 Method of Data Analysis

The method of data analysis used in this research is content analysis. According to

Bryman and Bell (2003), content analysis is an approach to the analysis of documents

and texts and is further classified into semiotic and qualitative content analysis or

ethnographic content analysis. The term ethnographic content analysis (ECA) was

first used by Aitheide (1996) and comprises a searching-out of underlying themes in

the materials being analysed while illustrating extracted themes-for example, with

brief quotations from newspaper articles or magazines.

Qualitative content analysis offers an important method for the cultural studies

because it enables researcher to analyse values, attitude and behaviour (Kabanoff,

Walderse and Cohen 1995). Furthermore, content analysis is highly flexible, nonreactive and transparent research method (Bryman and Bell 2003). It allow researcher

to gather information about social groups that are difficult to access and observe

(Maylor and Blackmon 2005).

3.9 Limitations

This section will present limitations of research methods and whole research study.

Some of the limitations of research methods are as follows:

1. The research methods used in this study are primary and secondary, which have

some limitations.

a. More time is required for primary data collection whereas reliability and

validity are major issues in secondary data collection methods (Bryman and

Bell 2003). Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

b. Interviews takes a lot more time then questionnaire and some time require

physical presence of researcher.

c. Major issue with focus groups is that there is the possibility of groupthink i.e.

people expressing an opinion which is in line with the rest of the group even if

that opinion is at odds with their own personal one (Dibb & Simkin 1997).

2. Likewise above-mentioned limitations of research methods, content analysis

method also have some disadvantages. It is accused of being too much

‘atheoretical’ (Bryman and Bell 2003) and most of the times cannot explain the

answers of question ‘Why’ (Maylor and Blackmon 2005)

Limitations within research study are:

3. Due to lack of time, limited numbers of participants were interviewed. Inclusion

of more participants would have increased the level of validity and reliability.

4. Limited numbers of questions were asked from participants of interviews and

focus groups. Detail interviews and focus groups would have given more handy

results on cultural influence on participant’s behaviour.

5. Participants from other nationalities in mainstream and ethnic cultures might also

have included for further deep understanding.

6. The participants selected for this study had similar demographical data i.e. single

and students. Data strength would have been increased with the selection of

varied demographic participants.

3.10 Summary

This chapter has discussed in detail the methodology of research design, data

collection techniques and participants’ description. Furthermore, the method used for Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

depicting findings of collected data and its analysis is also explained. The next

chapter will cover the outcomes of data gathered and its implications. Based on the

results, first three objectives of this study (given in section 1.3.1) will be met. The last

objective i.e. implication of this research study for high street retailers will be given

in conclusion and recommendations. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Chapter 4


This chapter will present the results of interviews and focus groups gathered during

this research study. It is divided into two sections. The first section elucidates the

results from interviews from two different cultural participants’ i.e. ethnic participants

and mainstream participants. The second section covers the findings of focus group,

also from ethnic participants and mainstream participants. These results are analysed

using the content analysis method explained in methodology i.e. section 3.8.

4.1 Findings from interviews

During the research study, semi-structured interviews were conducted among 15

participants from ethnic and mainstream cultures. Both interview groups were asked

the same questions apart from minor changes in selection of apparel preferences,

which were changed with respect to their cultural norms and values. For the

convenience of participants, they were also shown the pictures of other groups’

cultural apparels.

As stated in previous chapter, aesthetics are the ideas of beauty and appearance in

material culture. The interview questions were designed according to research pattern

given in figure 1.1, to assess the participants’ involvement with apparel aesthetics,

attachment with their values and beliefs, life style patterns in different seasons and

their preferred apparel brands. They were also questioned to assess the level of

confidence and peers pressure while wearing eastern or western clothes.

The interview questions were selected from surveys conducted by O’ Cass in 2004

and 2000, Flynn and Goldsmith in 1999, Auty and Elliot in 1998 and Richins and

Dawson in 1992. The main theme of these questions was to assess involvement and

attachment with their cultural values and beliefs and its impact on consumer

behaviour. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

4.1.1 Ethnic Participants Interviews

Total 8 ethnic participants interviews were conducted, 4 of which were tape recorded

and transcribed. One of the interviews is given in appendix C. These participants

were from Pakistan and India and age between 21-27 years. Moreover, these

participants are in UK for past 1-4 years and going through their undergraduate and

post-graduate degree programmes in different universities. The interviews were

conducted in a time period of 2 weeks. The findings from ethnic group are explained

and analysed hereafter.

The 1


two questions of interview were taken from Aron O’ Cass’s (2004) research to

assess the involvement in apparels. The first question was about an average

percentage of total monthly budgets spent on apparels. The answers were in range of

20pc-30pc, which shows participants’ interest at a significant level in apparels. As

interviewee 4 added:

Yes, I am fashion-oriented and like to buy clothes which ever I think

will suits me. In the winter or summer season’s start, I plan with my

family for shopping and buy whatever is ‘in’ fashion. Some times my

spending is more then what I had planned from my budget, but I

manage it with my forthcoming monthly budgets.

According to Kotler (2003), consumers plan ahead for the purchase of ‘shopping

goods’ only, which require high level of involvement. Furthermore, in order to

measure the involvement in 2


question, participants were given a scale from 1 to 5,

1 being lowest level of involvement and 5 being highest level of involvement. Most

participants fall in the range of 4, which verify the result of 1



The next block of questions was about the consumer preference for winter and

summer clothing. These questions were asked in order to check consumer preferences

within their cultural clothing and apparels. A very interesting dilemma is noted in the

replies of these questions from British born immigrants and the immigrants staying Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

for a short period of time. According to interviewee 2, from London:

Well, I usually wear Shalwar-Kameez (a Pakistani Dress) at home.

That is more casual, comfortable and relaxing. But I think it is more

about my values, parents and the relative who are visiting our palace.

They expect me and my sisters to be more Pakistani and culturally

bound. As far as university or work place clothing is concerned, I am

free to select what ever I want, but within my religious and cultural


As shown in graph 4.1, 87% of British-Pakistanis and British-Indian participants were

more inclined towards jeans or trousers with shirt or ‘Kurta’ (a type of embossed

shirt) as out-of-home dresses. Moreover, 75% of participants rejected any western

dress at home including jeans, as shown in graph 4.2. These replies clearly indicate

that the migrants are trying to go along with the mainstream culture of UK while

practicing the norms and values of their previous cultures. These values are fed in the

minds of children in the early stages of youth and are practiced through out the life

span of individuals.

Ou t-o f-H ome App a rels



Ethnic Apparel

Mainstream Appareal

Graph 4.1: Out-of-home apparel selection by ethnic participants Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

– 39 –

Ou t-o f-H ome Ap p a re ls



E thnicA pparel

Mainstream Appareal

Graph 4.2: In-home apparel selection by ethnic participants

The participants were also questioned to assess their attachment with their cultural

values. They were asked the reason to choose those dresses. Most of the participants

put their weight in categories of fashion, practicing social norms and following family

traditions, as shown in graph 4.3.







Celebrity Endorsement

S oc ial Norm s

Graph 4.3: Values preferences by ethnic participants Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

– 40 –

These answers clearly indicate attachment with social values as well as desire to keep

pace with ‘in’ fashion. This is due to the peer pressure, which further raise the

question of confidence in individuals.

When it was enquired that in which dress do they would feel more confident i.e. their

native cultural dress or mainstream cultural dress; most of the answers were vague

and unclear. According to one interviewee 8:

It all depends on situation and circumstances, for example, if you are

going in a party or celebration where all of your close relative will

wear Sari or Kurta, you can’t wear jeans or skirt in between them.

Obviously you will feel confident looking like hem, not a separate

identity. Same is the case when you go for job.

The peer pressure directly affects the confidence level in individuals. The fitting of

apparels, brand name and ‘in’ fashion are at secondary importance. Cultural values,

norms and rituals hold the most important place in ethnic minority groups, who are

pushing to keep their culture alive.

The final segment of questions was asked to assess the brand loyalty. Most of the

respondents said they are brand loyal and purchase from Next, H&M, MKone and

Doherty Perkin0073. According to them, they prefer these brands as they are fashionoriented and keep the latest inventory of clothes. Participants also showed high level

of interest in buying their ethnic minority clothes from these brands. This response is

support the idea that respondents would go for increased shopping from places which

take care of their interests.

4.1.2 Mainstream Participants Interviews

Total 7 mainstream participants were interviewed whereas none of the interview was

tape recorded. The participants were from England and Italy and age between 22-28

years. These participants were students and doing their postgraduate or undergraduate Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

from universities. The same questions were asked from mainstream participants apart

from minor changes in dress choices. The data was collected for a period of 2 weeks

and is explained henceforth.

Even though the involvement in clothing brands was found at level 3 (from scale 1-5,

1 being lowest and 5 being highest involvement) in mainstream participants, but the

spending was between 15pn-20pc, which is quite less then ethnic participants. This

indicates that the high level of involvement do not suggest amplified spending.

The next questions were asked in order to check consumer preferences within their

cultural clothing and apparels. The major preferences during summer season were

mini skirts, sleeveless shirts, jeans and hot pants whereas for winter season were

jumpers, coats, jeans and jerseys or sweater. It is important to note that unlike ethnic

participants, mainstream respondents were more determined to practice their cultural

values and beliefs at home, work place or any social gatherings by wearing their

preferred clothes. Graph 4.4 shows mainstream participants in-home and out-of-home

apparel preferences.

InH ome&Ou t-o f-H omeAp p a re ls



E thnicA pparel

Mainstream Appareal

Graph 4.4: In-home & out-of-home apparel selection by mainstream participant Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Moreover, when it was enquired that why do they wear their preferred clothes, the

answers were fashion and fashion, tradition, celebrity enforcement. Because of the

impact of these traditions and values, majority of participants rejected any possibility

for ethnic cultural clothes, as they do not relate to them.







Celebrity Endorsement

S oc ial Norm s

Graph 4.5: Values preference by mainstream participants

According to these participants, they will not look good in these dresses and their

confidence will be shattered. According to interviewee 6, from Oxford:

It is impossible for me to wear Asian clothes, not at all. I have never

tried them on me and I don’t think there is any chance that I would

look good in it. Also, I don’t want to be bullies by my friends. They will

not accept it even if it is fashion or culture, until and unless it is


As mentioned by her, there is no chance that their peer groups accept it even if it is

‘in’ fashion. These responses clearly indicate a hard line drawn between eastern and

western culture by mainstream participants. The pressure from peer group and the

idea of ‘self image’ is very much visible from these answers and holds utter Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

importance. Also the major brands identified by mainstream participants for shopping

were Next, Top Shop, H&M, MKone, and Gap. According to these respondents, they

don’t hesitate to buy from other brands in high street if better things are available

from them.

Lastly, the respondent’s involvement level in mentioned brands was found healthy,

even if these brands sell ethnic cultural wears. This shows a high level of brand

loyalty within mainstream participants. According to one interviewee 3, from London:

I live near-buy South-hall, one the biggest shopping markets of Asian

clothes in London. Some times I visit it with my mother or sister for

routine shopping. There are a lot of things that you can use casually

like sandals, flip flops, summer tops and jumpers and especially

jewellery. I have bought a lot of my things from their and no doubt that

I will buy them, if these things are available in high-streets brands.

It is important to note there that participants showed their interest in buying the

commodities which match their own culture from an ethnic shopping mall; the

implication is that mainstream cultures accept to buy possessions from places where

ethnic cultures buy. This also shows that mainstream cultures adopt, accept and adjust

with ethnic cultures.

4.2 Interview questions tabulation

In order to assess the popular and non-popular themes, the interviews were divided in

5 different domains. The comparison of ethnic and mainstream cultures by using this

coding technique is given in table 4.1. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers


Ethnic Participants


Mainstream Participants


Domain 1: Involvement in

apparels. (2 Questions)

High level of involvement at

4 (1 being lowest and 5 being


20pc-30pc monthly budget


Moderate level of involvement

at 3 (1 being lowest and 5

being highest)

15pc-20pc monthly budget


Domain 2: Preference for

winter and summer clothes.

(2 Questions)

Different preferences for inhome and outdoor wears

Same preferences for in-home

and outdoor wears.

Domain 3: Attachment

with cultural values. (2


Positive towards fashion and

following social norms

Positive towards fashion,

maintaining identity and

following social norms

Domain 4: Confidence and

peer pressure. (4 Questions)

Mixed opinion for western


Increased level of confidence

with western cultural clothes

at job or work place and

Asian clothes in eastern social


Highly positive towards peer


Strong negative opinion for

Asian clothing and apparels.

Decreased level of confidence

and shattered self image with

Asian clothing.

Highly positive towards peer


Domain 5: Brand loyalty (3


Positive towards brand


Aim for increased shopping if

these brands keep Asian


Moderate signs of brand


Interest in brands found

healthy if they start keeping

ethnic wears.

Table 4.1: Interview questions tabulation Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

4.3 Findings from Focus Group

During two focus group sessions, questions were asked from 10 participants from

ethnic and mainstream cultures. Both groups were enquired the same question apart

from minor changes in selection of apparel preferences, which were changed

according to their cultural norms and values. Alike interview sessions, pictures of

other groups’ cultural apparels were also shown to participants.

The question were structured according to research pattern given in figure 1.1, in

order to assess the participants’ involvement with apparel aesthetics, attachment with

their values and beliefs, life style patterns in different seasons and their preferred

apparel brands. They were also questioned to assess the confidence and peer pressure

while wearing eastern or western clothes.

The focus group questions were similar to those of interview questions and were

selected from the same surveys conducted by different authors mentioned earlier. The

main theme of these questions was to assess involvement and attachment with their

cultural values and beliefs and its impact on consumer behaviour.

4.3.1 Ethnic participants’ focus group

Ethnic participants’ focus group included 5 members from Pakistan and India and age

between 21-26 years. These Participants are living in UK for past 1-4 years and going

through their post-graduate and undergraduate programmes in different universities.

This focus group was conducted at researchers’ home premises and had duration of 30

minutes. The findings from ethnic focus group are explained and analysed henceforth.

Most of the participants spend an average of 20pc-25pc of their total monthly budget

on apparels. The big amounts are spent on seasonal sales or monthly special offers in

big stores. According to the respondents, they look for sales or offers through out the

year and save considerable amount of money from these benefits. It is important to

note here that the budget mentioned by these participants is less then the budget cited Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

by interviewed participants. Social pressure within the group led to a precise budget

figure rather then estimated numbers. Moreover, the hunt for sales promotions in high

streets shows a high level of involvement and interest in apparels and clothing.

The preferences of clothes, in-house and out-of-home, were identical to those of

interviewed. According to the respondents, they wear Shalwar-Kameez or Kurta at

home whereas jeans, trousers or full-sleeves shirts for work or university purposes.

The reasons mentioned by these participants were also similar to the interviewed

respondents i.e. keeping the native culture alive at home whereas participating and

sharing equally with mainstream culture. These answers show a resistance from

members and groups of ethnic cultures to completely accept and practice mainstream

or counter culture.

Moreover, all members of group unanimously declined to wear western clothes such

as mini-skirts, hot pants or deep necks. According to them, these clothes will not be

accepted by their family or friends and certainly will shatter their confidence in social

gatherings, even if they are ‘in’ fashion and accepted by society at large. The agreed

behaviour of whole group for western clothes shows a high level of peer pressure and

strong commitment with their values and beliefs.

At the end, the group as enquired for their loyalty towards high street brands. Most of

the participants buy from Next, Debenhams, New Look, Primark, Top Shop and

Doherty Perkins. All the participants had encountered sale experience from these

brands once or more. Increased interest and elevated buying were mentioned by group

members if these brands start keeping ethnic cultures dresses and apparels.

4.3.2 Mainstream participants’ focus group

Mainstream participants’ focus group included 5 members from United Kingdom and

Italy and aged between 22-27 years. 3 of these participants were born and living in

UK whereas 2 participants came from Italy last year i.e. 2007. This focus group was Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

conducted in British institute of technology and e commerce Halls for duration of 25

minutes. The findings of this focus group are as follows:

According to the respondents, the average monthly budget spent on apparels is

between 15pc-25pc, which is slightly less then ethnic participants’ budget. The

members showed their interest in buying dresses and apparels from sales as well as in

normal shopping days. According to these participants, they don’t just wait for

seasonal or monthly sales but also go along with fad and fashion and buy what ever

they think will suits them. These answers show a high involvement in apparels

throughout the year.

The preferences of clothes, in-house and out-of-home, were identical to those of

interviewed. According to them, the major preferences during summer season were

sleeveless shirts with jeans or trousers, mini-skirts and hot pants whereas for winter

season were jumpers, coats, jeans and jerseys or sweater. When it was enquired that

why do they wear their preferred clothes, the answers were to look fashionable and

following cultural and social norms. These answers indicate a strong sense of

association with ‘in’ fashion and their cultural values and beliefs.

Moreover, these respondents were also determined to wear their native cultural

apparels at home, work place or any social gatherings. Because of the impact of these

social gatherings and norms, most of participants rejected any possibility to wear

ethnic cultures apparels. According to these participants, their close friends and

family members will not accept them in those dresses. From these responses, it is

clear that peer pressure plays an important role in buying behaviour of society.

Lastly, the important brands identified by the mainstream participants for shopping

were Next, Top Shop, H&M, Zara, Debenhams, asos and Gap. The respondent also

showed interest in these brands even if they sell ethnic cultural wears. This shows a

high level of brand loyalty within mainstream participants. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

4.4 Summary

This chapter has discussed the results of interviews and focus groups. Participants’

involvement, interest and association with cultural values and beliefs were also

discussed. In addition, these results and findings were assessed by using content

analysis method. Moreover, these results have helped meeting the 1


three objectives

given in section 1.3.1. The next chapter will discuss these objectives and obtained

results with respect to the literature review presented in chapter 2 followed by

conclusion and recommendations. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Chapter 5


This chapter will analyse the finding with respect to the literature review presented in

chapter 2. Based on the research objectives, literature review and findings, the

discussion will advance to examine three concepts: the effects of culture on

consumers’ selection of apparels and wears followed by effects of clothing and

fashion apparels on self image and confidence. Lastly, the influence of culture on

consumer behaviour and brand selection decision will be discussed.

5.1 Culture and its influence

The visibility of sub-cultures (Keegan 2006) in mainstream culture is noticeable in

this research. These sub-cultures are practiced according to the native national

cultures of consumers. Consumers act and behave according to these sub-cultures’

values and beliefs and pass them to next generation. Moreover, the selection of

eastern dresses by ethnic participants and western dresses by mainstream participants

for social gatherings reflects profound group pressures for cultural coherence. These

group pressures are concerned with development of unique experiences for

individuals, which makes them feel special as well as part of their native society

(Veltman 1997).

The dilemma of in-home and out-of home apparels’ selection reflects motivation of

eastern participants to keep a balance between ethnic and mainstream cultures. This

balance helps them to maintain their social identity as a mainstream cultural member

as well as allowing them to buttress manifestations and values of ethnic culture

(Hofstede 1991). These values are fed by immigrants in the minds of their children at

young age (Douglous 2006), so that new generation can keep these traditions alive.

These traditions also allow them to go parallel with mainstream cultural values. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Furthermore, the reasons mentioned by ethnic as well as mainstream participants for

the selection of their preferred clothes are similar i.e. ‘in’ fashion, keeping up their

cultural identity and pursuing social norms. According to Salter (1997), norms and

values arises within the way of life of people and give them solidarity and identity.

Hence, relationship with native culture gives a sense of identity and cohesion within

individuals. Moreover, individuals’ selection of ‘in’ fashion was also found to be in

accordance to the cultural values and beliefs, which strengthen the Salter (1997)

social norms concept.

Moreover, when the individuals from ethnic culture were inquired if they could use

some western culture apparels (jeans, tops, jerseys, jumpers and etc), a positive

opinion was received. According to Nguyen and Barrett (2008), individual from a

sub-culture adopt manifestations from mainstream or dominant culture. These

adopted manifestations became part of sub-culture and consumer mind set while

reinforcing further behaviour. The adoption process is shown in figure 2.7 and is

clearly support by this study.

5.2 Effects of culture and apparels on self confidence

Empirical study conducted by Cass (2004) proved that fashion apparel increase

confidence and satisfaction among individuals. Participants of this study also showed

a high level of confidence in wearing fashion apparels and wears in social gathering.

Confidence in participants was found significantly low and shattered while going for

out of fashion and old clothing apparels.

Moreover, as mentioned by Shim et al. (1991), clothing has important symbolic

meanings in social interactions. These social interactions are family, relatives, peer

groups and other social groups within society. Social gatherings in ethnic or

mainstream culture represent their traditions and values. Aesthetics, clothing and

apparels are one of the ways by which these traditions and values are visible to outer

world. Participants showed their concerns for odd or culturally unacceptable apparels

in social gathering and interactions, as these will not be accepted by stakeholders. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

There is an increase desire of self-expression (Evans 1989) and fashion is one of the

most important methods for it. Fashion concept is often a manifestation of self image.

This self image is projected in society with apparels and wears used by individuals.

Also, the participants of this study showed a positive relationship between self image

and apparels. Some participants never tried opposite culture’s clothes as they thought

that they will not look good in it. The imagination of bodily self-image did not allow

them to wear those apparels.

Here the concept of self reference criterion (SRC) is revisited in figure 5.1. Self

reference criterion is the unconscious reference to one’s own cultural values or one’s

home country frame of reference (Lee 1966). Individuals grown up in different

contexts possess negative and unfavourable feelings for customs and values of

opposite cultures, especially the ones which are unacceptable in their native culture.

Participants of this study also showed a strong negative response to the apparels

which are undesirable in their national cultures.

Fig 5.1: Demographics & personality variables with lifestyle, self concept & consumer behaviour

Source: Adopted from Foxel et. al. (1998) Consumer Psychology of Marketing 2


Edition p. 148

Moreover, as mentioned by Loader (1999), an individual’s behaviour is a result of that

individual’s cultural value system for a particular context. Demographic and

personality development milieus play an important role in shaping concept of self

image and life style patterns. These personality and demographic traits are

strengthened in initials childhood stages of ethnic and mainstream participants’,

where parent and peer group appreciate culturally acceptable clothing and apparels.

These personality traits and life style patterns have permanently shaped their

behaviour towards opposite cultures



Life Style

Self Concept



S R C Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

5.3 Culture, consumer behaviour and brand Selection

Brands are one of the important factors that influence groups to accept or reject an

individual in a society. Most of the participants of study were found brand loyal and

regular buyers from specific brands. Among the most mentioned brands are Next,

Doherty Perkins, Gap, MKone, Top Shop and H&M. All of these are well known

brands and exist in every famous high street of UK. It is important to note that no one

mentioned M&S, one of the biggest high street brands. Consumers often choose

certain products, services and brands over other because they are associated with a

certain life style (Brandon 2003 cited in Forney, Park and Brandon 2005). None of

the participants wanted to be associate with M&S as it is considered for old

generation life style in UK.

The study by Aaker and Schmitt (1997) shows difference between eastern and

western consumers decision for brand selection. As eastern consumers are more

collectivist then western, they use brands to reassert their similarity with members of

their reference group. This study paper proves the previous research in this regard.

When it was inquired from ethnic participants, if they would still buy apparels from

theses brands, if they start keeping ethnic apparels, a highly positive response were

received. These positive answers from ethnic participants show their high association

towards these brands as majority of their social groups will buy from these them. The

association with these brands will make them confident and satisfied in social

gatherings and interactions.

Moreover, individualist consumers use brands to differentiate themselves to referent

from others (Aaker and Schmitt 1997). This statement was found contrary in this

study as healthy involvement in above-mentioned brands was identified even if they

sell ethnic apparels. Mainstream participants will buy western apparels from these

brands as eastern or ethnic apparels will not b accepted by their peer groups. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

5.4 Summary

As mentioned by Poon (2003), economic and cultural differences lead to substantial

variation in behaviour of consumer. These differences guide societies and civilisation

to varied way of life and value system. This chapter have looked into these

differences with respect to literature review presented in this report. The next chapter

will present conclusion and finally the recommendations for managers, entrepreneurs

and researchers for further studies in this regard. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

Chapter 6


6.1 Conclusion

With growing migration patterns throughout the world, it is becoming difficult for

entrepreneurs as well as for researchers to depict and meet demands of society. These

migrations, which result in interaction between different cultures, play an important

role in moulding consumer needs and wants. Consumer values systems, attitudes and

mind-sets are modifying accordingly with the changes in society. These values,

beliefs and attitude plays important role in our daily lives and shape them

accordingly. Our feelings, involvement, and reactions towards certain objects are

developed and silhouette by members of society.

This dissertation has sought to discuss the factors that effect consumer behaviour in a

multi-cultural society. The differences between eastern and western cultures are

highlighted in this report while focusing their values and attitude towards apparels

and clothing. The influence on consumer behaviour is then analysed from the

participants’ feedback is and linked to the previous studies conducted in this regards.

Revisiting objectives of this dissertation report, first 3 targets of this dissertation are

achieved and examined in discussion and analysis chapters. The last objective, i.e.

advantages and disadvantages for retailers, is explained here. One of the main

advantages for keeping cross-cultural apparels will be higher turnover which in turn

will boost sales of company. Higher sales will bring more profit for retailers in high

streets. Another advantage for retailers would be brand reorganisation amongst

different buyers from different countries. This will reduce entry barriers in those

countries. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

These benefits will also bring some disadvantages with them. One of the main

disadvantages will be issue of brand reposition in UK market. According to Aaker

and Schmitt (1997), individualist consumers use brands to differentiate themselves to

referent from others. The focus of new position would be to attract more and more

customer, keeping brand superiority and uniqueness at side. This might repel

hardliner western customers who wanted to buy from these brands for differentiated


6.2 Recommendations

Suggestion for managers and retailers are presented in this section based on the

finding and discussion. Suggestions for researchers are as follows.

1. This study was conducted in West London, amongst the students and part time

jobbers. Further research can include other areas of London, Birmingham,

Manchester and Bradford, as these cities have high ratio of immigrants from

different countries. Diverse answers from participants of these cities can further

clarify relationship of culture and consumer behaviour. Moreover, recent

immigration trends can base further research in this regards. The immigrants from

Eastern Europe include Poland and Lithuanian citizens.

2. Further study in self reference criterion needs to be carried out. This concept can

unveil consumer understanding of different objects and commodities. Moreover,

it can help in development of frameworks that elucidate culture and its influence.

Further studies on SRC are very much necessary for deep insight into aesthetical

element of culture.

3. Some of the participants mentioned religious factor for selecting apparels.

Religious beliefs play a very important role in individual’s life. It is very difficult

to separate culture from religion and its influences. Religious factor become more

important while conducting research on Eastern or Asian values and beliefs. This

aspect of culture can be carried out in future researches on culture and its

influence. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers

4. Cultural influence on brand loyalty is discussed very briefly in this report. Culture

plays an important role in binding consumer emotions, feelings and attitude

towards a brand. These cultural influences on brand loyalty and attachment can be

carried out in further researches.

Moreover, some of the important recommendations for retailers and managers are

also presented here.

1. As mentioned before, keeping cross-cultural apparels in different outlets would

increase their sales and ultimately profits. This will increase store traffic which

can influence brand sales.

2. The cross-cultural traffic might hit the existing customer’s perception for brand

negatively. Hard-line mainstream customers might not like to shop from outlets

where ethnic consumers buy apparels. For this reason, separate outlets can be

introduced in ethnic consumer’s majority areas. This will increase profits while

safeguarding brand’s position in consumer mind. Relationship between consumer culture and brand selection decision: Study on UK fashion retailers


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Free Essays

The Rules of the Fashion Industry

The rules of the fashion industry have changed. Fashion is no longer the diktats of seasonal fashion houses. Fashion today is ever evolving, ever changing. What’s hot today is not tomorrow. The definition of haute couture (high fashion) and pret-a-porter (ready to wear) no longer bear the exclusive association of highly-priced designer garments or expensive boutiques available to the cream of society. The average person be it a teen , college student, guy or girl next door, mums and dads with toddlers, or people in their 40s and 50s ageing like fine wine, just about everyone wants to be trendy, fashionable, well dressed and smart. Affordable, fast-changing fashion is driven by customer needs and demands and not supply. Making affordable, fast-changing styles of fashionable clothes to the consumer is the key success driver of the fashion retailers.

Consequently, the choice of a supply chain management (SCM) model and the supply chain practices adopted by fashion companies are also keeping the customer at the helm.

Traditional Supply Chain Issues in Fashion Apparel Industry

As I begin to research the best possible SCM model for the fast-fashion retail company I’ve been hired for, I first seek to understand the limiting factors in the traditional supply chain management in apparel industry. My analysis of the broad issues are as follows:

1. Changing Customer Tastes Unmet Due to Long Lead Time

In any retail operation, particularly of fashion garments, there is variability in consumer demand due to changing tastes. For example tunic tops last quarter, jeggings this quarter and so on. Changing consumer tastes and long lead time from design to production render ordering of fashion garments risky. The long lead time also hinders offering variety to consumers in terms of styles and range. As consumer tastes become more diverse and fast changing, increasing the fashion range and decreasing the garment lifecycle, whilst managing inventory becomes exponentially challenging.

2. Unpredictability in Demand Resulting in Inventory Costs
The problem of selling fashion garments due to demand uncertainty has grown enormously for fashion retail houses. Adding to this problem is the level of SKUs (stock keeping units), which raises the level of uncertainty if a particular range of fashion garment will sell or not in a given season. This means the retailer carrying a range of fashion garments that don’t sell or overstock and also that sells beyond expectations resulting in running out of stock.

Delays in replenishment for not having an inventory of fashion garments in high demand will result in stock-out costs. Therefore, inventory is not always undesirable.

Three types of costs are typically incurred in inventory:

Enforced markdown of unsold overstocked garments
Loss of sales due to stock outs of high-demand clothes
Warehousing costs

The level of inventory will depend on forecasted demand, frequency of orders, lead time and cost to receive replenishment.

3. Inflexible Supply Chain Hindering Control

Supply chain includes different requirements and roles from its participants. The typical participants include Supplier, Manufacturer, Distributor, Retail Merchant and Consumer.

The fashion manufacturer’s success hinges on their ability to maintain relationships between each of the entities in the supply chain. In a way, the participants of the supply chain foster dependency and a slight slip at the supplier end has the capacity to bring operations in the supply chain to a grinding halt. This dependency of the manufacturer on various entities of the supply chain necessitates weighing the option of make v/s buy. The strategy involves decision on activities that can be performed in-house versus those that can be outsourced.

Control, quality and speed of the activities within the supply chain are key determinants in choosing make or buy, produce in-house or outsource.

4. Ineffective Information Flow Impacting Operational Efficiency

The IT infrastructure or lack thereof has a direct impact on the information flow between entities, which in turn impacts the operational efficiency of the supply chain.

A bullwhip effect at the downstream has a significant impact on forecasting, production and inventory at the upstream.

Even if apparel companies install IT systems, it is challenging for companies to obtain sales data that do not own their sales channels. It becomes difficult to refine manufacturing according to sales data.

Countering Traditional Supply Chain Issues – The Fast Fashion Supply Chain Practices

Some of the key words that have stood out from my analysis of the traditional supply chain are changing customer tastes leading to uncertain demand, long lead time, inventory costs, ineffective information flow, IT infrastructure, make or buy strategies.

How did some of the high-velocity fashion retail houses conquer these challengesAn analysis of the supply chain practices at two such fast fashion retail companies Zara and H&M provide key insights.

1. Quick Response to Shifting Consumer Tastes and Demands

The retail clerks and store managers at Zara determine the new styles to manufacture by feeding sales data back to the manufacturers. Store managers and staff relay customer feedback to regional managers on styles, fabric, cut and colours. While most fashion houses create designs for the public, it is the public that creates Zara’s designs.H&M‘s design team too bring to the stores clothes that customers are demanding. H&M adopts a customer-driven approach to production. By making use of traditional research methods as well as street trends, H&M’s central staff and national offices channelise a lot of their effort into research and prediction of emerging trends.

The new high velocity retailers require frequent shipment in small batches as an ongoing replenishment determined by ongoing sales data as well as customer preferences at sales outlets in contrast to traditional apparel supply chain model where manufacturers made typical bulk shipment per season.

Both H&M and Zara long renounced the traditional industry practice of spring/summer and autumn/winter collections. Their seasonless cycle involves bringing new clothes on a rolling basis throughout the year, which enables designers to receive customers’ reactions to their new line and incorporate them into more new lines rapidly.

Zara has the fastest lead time with a catwalk to rack time of just 15 days.

2. Increased Flexibility of Supply Chain Through Vertical Integration

The success of Zara’s fast production is in its vertically integrated supply chain model providing total control of its process from design to sale. Zara owns most of its manufacturing capability and is thus able to maintain flexibility of the manufacturing process enabling it to respond to rapidly changing consumer tastes.

About 50% of Zara’s clothes are manufactured in its state-of- the art factories. Zara uses a hybrid manufacturing approach with high demand trendy, highly perishable clothes being produced in its factories in small batches, whereas low demand variability items such as T-shirts and jeans are produced by contract manufacturers.

H&M does not have factories but relies on a network of 750 external suppliers with flexible lead times and low production costs. H&M also pioneered vertical integration with the distribution network. This vertical marketing enables H&M to directly gain and exploit information about sales and customers and accelerate its response to the market.

Vertical integration enables cost savings due to reduced tiers in supply chain.

3. Better Inventory Management Through Controlled Production

At Zara, if a particular range or style of clothes sells out, it simply makes more of them. If it doesn’t, then it stops production. This approach coupled with Zara’s bi-weekly shipment to retail stores minimises overstock and inventory enabling Zara’s clothes to be sold at full retail price with high profit margins. Zara limits each design to 3 sizes and 3 colours. Zara is efficiently able to move inventory owing to its up-to-the-minute design, just-in time production and delivery.

H&M, which relies on its suppliers aims to find the optimal time and supplier to order each item of clothing. On an average, H&M is able to get supplementary orders in a few weeks for clothes that are selling well. At H&M, the stock management is primarily handled internally. The store stockroom within H&M called the ‘Call-Off warehouse’ replenishes stores with clothes that are in high demand on item level.

4. Use of Efficient IT Infrastructure for Rapid Information Dissemination

High-velocity operation depends on rapid information flow to a large extent.

All of Zara’s stores are linked to its headquarters electronically. The entire supply-chain operation at Zara from design to retail is digitally controlled. Information flow binds the entire pieces of Zara’s operation together. Information is shared openly across business units that are highly adaptable with decision making capacity.

IT is a crucial component of H&M’s value chain. IT integrates H&M stores with the logistics, procurement departments and the central warehouse. An intelligent procurement system processes sales data gathered from central departments. Communication on design and new product development occurs electronically between departments.

Limitation of Fast Fashion Supply Chain Practices

Clearly, some of the supply chain practices of Zara and H&M have been a break-through in the traditional supply chain apparel industry. While the advantages of their practices are undisputable, it is important to be aware of some of their limitations.

1. Vertical Integration v/s Economies of Scale

While vertical integration has several advantages, it is important to note some of the limitations. As seen from Zara’s vertical integration model from design to sale and H&M’s vertical integration in distribution, flexibility and control are the key drivers.

However, vertical integration doesn’t enable acquiring economies of scale. Low lead times of Zara and H&M does not give them the cost advantage of high volume discount manufacturing or buying.

2. Centralised Distribution Centres v/s Global Expansion

Both Zara and H&M are quickly able to replenish garments in their numerous retail stores across Europe. Although both Zara and H&M have scaled up their distribution systems, the centralised logistics will be subject to diseconomies of scale as newer stores are opened in new markets and continents. Shipping garments from their single distribution centre may work well within Europe. However, short lead times and low operational costs may be impacted as they branch out in new territories.

3. Vertical Integration in New Markets v/s High Labour and Production Costs

To have state- of- the art factories and replicate the manufacturing, distribution process in new countries may be challenging. Potential economic and regulatory variables such as minimum wages or unions may render manufacturing in new countries impractical.

The Best Fit Supply Chain Practices for a Fast Fashion Retail Company

Taking the best supply chain practices of fast fashion houses Zara and H&M and at the same time covering the gap for some of their identified limitations forms the basis of my recommendation.

1. Seamless Integration of Design Cycles with Inventory Control

Integrate design cycles seamlessly inventory control and thereby control short term expenses with long term performance goals. Customers can be compelled to revisit stores for new designs and catering to their varied tastes through rapid response through effective inventory management

2. Make Them And Buy Some

The advantages of vertical integration are far too many. But vertical integration as seen is not without limitations. The costs associated with rapid manufacturing maybe suitable for fast forward apparel. However, for clothes with low demand variability, a long lead time with materials and manufacturing costs savings may be more efficient. Low variability garments also enable acquiring economies of scale with bulk manufacturing or buying.

3. Negotiate Shipping Contracts for Overseas Expansion & E-Retailing

Thinking ahead, as part of overseas expansion and e-retailing strategy, setting up manufacturing and distribution centres overseas can involve significant costs. It would be prudent to set up contracts with 3rd party logistic companies that enable negotiations of transportation costs based on volume and frequency by acquiring economies of scale

4. Use Efficient IT Systems for Seamless Information Flow

Invest in Enterprise-wide IT systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to integrate all entities of the supply chain. Use of other IT systems such as personal device applications (PDAs) by sales clerks to feed in real-time sales data and customer feedback linked to ERP systems will be a key success driver in dissemination of information which in-turn will positively aid in rapid production.


As a concluding note, emulating the success of fast fashion houses may or may not prove to be the most beneficial approach. Ultimately, the long term goal, positioning and vision of the fast fashion retail company holds the key to adopting the best fit supply chain strategy and practices.

Bibliography Marketing % 20 Case % 20 Study .htm#Idea _ Generation _ and _Design

Free Essays

What fast fashion is, and to know which factor influence fast fashion?


In the past decade fast fashion has become the main feature fashion industry in UK. (liz Barnes, Gaynor Lea-Greenwood, 2010 ) ‘Fast fashion’, as it has come to be called, it has become rising popular among retailers already. So lots of chain stores adopt business model of the vertically integrated, this idea originally comes up from the ‘Just-in-time’ manufacturing philosophy and generating rapid-response strategies (Birtwistle et al., 2003) Excellence in the development of fast fashion retailers can be attributed thanks to the high means of buy from consumer behavior, which is more fashion-hungry. (Constanta and Grete, 2010)

This proposal investigates from the consumer perspective which factor attracts the consumer in the fast fashion clothing purchase. So, in the research, it will investigate the consumer behavior of fast fashion. Then, it will reveal the reason why consumer buys their clothes, which of the 2 brands is more popular and explore also the interest of the consumer. Finally the proposal will let the reader knows which factor leads the consumer to buy or not, fast fashion in both brand of products.

Chapter 1. Literature review

1.1 Chapter summary

The purpose of this chapter is to know what fast fashion is, and to know which factor influence fast fashion.

1.2 Background of fast fashion

Fast fashion is an idea in mind that retailers of targeting business strategies to reduce product of fashion into the store, and working in a system for a buy-season when product ranges are constantly updated through the season. (Doyle et al, 2006; Sull and Turconi, 2008) Fast fashion means that there between the time scale of a new fashion trend and time spent for the company to respond of trend exists with product sold in the market. (Michael, 2006) To defining fast fashion is ‘a business strategy which aims to reduce the processes involved in the buying cycle and lead times for getting new fashion product into stores, in order to satisfy consumer demand at its peak’ (Barnes and Lea-Greenwood, 2006, p.259) Otherwise, the reason for the significant increase of fashion apparel market, can be explained due to high demand since recent years for cheap fashion. Indeed, fast fashion has won some market share and it represents now like a fifth of total in UK clothing marketing (Defra, 2008a). This phenomenon has led consumers to buy and processing of growing batch of clothing. In the UK, more than one billion kilograms of textiles send to landfills each year. (Waste Online, 2008). Fast fashion retailers used to respond to market time in a very short time: they just need few weeks, compare to the traditional industry which usually needs six month. (Sull and Turconi, 2008) The basic of fast fashion principle is to shorten lead time and obtain products from concept to consumer. (Bames and Lea-Greenwood, 2006; Sull and Turconi, 2008) An example of fast fashion retailers: H&M, ZARA, New Look and Top shop etc. It has launched a newline average two or three weeks for a very low price. Thereby raise sales via impulse buying. (Constanaza and Grete, 2010)

In Europe the fast fashion is dealing with the service of the youth and young adult women who desire stylish, short, and relatively cheap clothes, and who are willing to buy small retail shops and boutiques. (Nagurney and Min Yu, 2010) According to the apparel marketing and literature, in general fashion leader are often young consumers. (Mason and Bellenger, 1974; Gutman and Mills, 1982; Horridge and Richards, 1984; Goldsmith et al., 1991). The reason of this, is that young consumers have courage and are interested in trying new style and new fashion. At the same time, new fashion always starts in young consumer. (Ka Ming, Zhi-Ming and Chung-Sun, 2004). Fashion apparel sales grew steadily and competitiveness in the traditional British Fashion Market. It increased 21.4% from 2000 to 2005, and is expected a further 19.5% from 2005-2010. (Verdict, 2005) Fashion is the key factor for a consumer to buy fast fashion clothes.

1.3 Fashion

Fashion can be defined like “the process of social diffusion by which a new style is adopted by some groups of consumers.’ (Solomon et al., 2006) The one of the most famous fashion designer Coco Channel said that ‘fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening’. Fashion is one of the most striking. It reflects the aesthetic, economic, political, cultural and social life changes. (Behling, 1985; Bush and London, 1960; Lauer and Lauer, 1981; Robenstine and Kelley, 1981; Wilson, 1985) Fashion is about something else and something greater. Fashion is about to escape from whom we really escape and who aspire to be. Fashion is temporary, at least in today’s fashion was happen at the yesterday. (Michael, 2006) Fashion trends work with the principles of product life cycle (PLC) management, from introduction products to the marketing to decline is very limited time. (Bruce and Barnes, 2005) This is very suited to the fast fashion, because it only does the newest fashion. The retailers put pressure to manufacture to decline the length of fashion product PLC and complement more frequent. Because of fast fashion needs more range of product to keep up-date, it is not amazing to see that the PLC of fashion product has reduced from months to weeks or even days. (Sull and Turconi, 2008; Barnes et al., 2007) Furthermore, Fashion also refers of the fact that consumer demand derived by weekly and daily television programs shopping more frequently, so consumers want to see the new look and the latest works of each purchase. (Barnes, 2008) So it can conclude that fast fashion is driving by fashion show, celebrity appearance and novelty, especially identified in the media, which projects creation and promote high-level of consumer demand. (Barnes and Greenwood, 2010)

On the other hand, as consumer pursues fashion all the time, and the money is limited, this is a creative chance for fast fashion. The all aspects of consumer require as a factor of fast fashion, that including theory of broadened, build on the in season buying and reduced lead time idea of ‘new’, this is also a key feature of fast fashion, in other words, newness means constantly update, updating of ranges and delivery of goods to the store. (Barnes and Greenwood) From this aspect, the consumer factor also very important in fast fashion.

1.4 The consumer and self-concept

Solomon,et al (2010) define self-concept is that ‘refers to the beliefs to the beliefs a person holds about their attributes, and how they evaluate these qualities.’ Self-concept can help us to define who we are and guide us to buy goods and services. (Hoyer and Macinnis, 2009) Self-concept aims and focus on saying the personality of people, who we are, and of course influence our way to act (Macinnis, 2008 p50) As Stone has figure out that ‘a person’s appearance announces his identity, shows his values, expresses his mood, or proposes his attitude.’ Mintel (2007) media and magazines have huge influence for consumer behavior. From the high street consumer are really careful about finding some ideas on magazines because it is where there are the last trends such as glossy magazines with a strong way of influence.

Schiffman et al (2010) define consumer behavior ‘as the behavior that consumers display in searching for, purchasing, using, evaluating, and disposing of products and services that they expect will satisfy their needs’. Consumer has become more ‘fashion’, ‘smart’ and intends to fashion and appearance for longer, so the size of the fashion product is increasingly in market. (Bruce and Daly, 2006; Mintel, 2009) As consumers are becoming more believed by self for fashion, ask adding new products growing of fashion product and in the UK fashion consumer want to change their style now. (Bruce abd Daly, 2006; Barnes, 2008) Fashion consumer’s expectation and thrive to changing, that the new products must be frequently used. Consumer purchasing a new supplier to engage in this rapid turnover of different products, in other words, the suppliers also need understand for change and have ability to provide such a relationship. (Bruce and Daly, 2006) Fast fashion is flexibility of design is referring to the ability or creating new design to close to start wear in-season, in which capture ever-changing and uncertain consumer trends. (Cachon and Swinney, 2008) In fast fashion field, the activities regarding the purchase are key. It is also influenced with the product decision -making and the changes.

According to Mintel (2007), the development of fast fashion retailers can be attributed to an excellent high purchase for impulse. The reason comes from an increasing purchase from low-cost countries in consumer attitude and removal of sigma attached to buying from value retailers.

1.5 Motivation

Motivation is identified as “the driving force within individuals that impels them to action’ (Schiffman et al, 2010) The ingredients of motivation are different. It can be responsive for three signals- natural, forward or reverse. (Rabey, 2001) Consumer behavior has two types in motivation thinking. One is called rational motives, another is called emotional motives. Rational motives mean that consumer are very carefully when they are buying. Emotional motives will pay attention to feelings such as pride, fear etc to choose one product to buy. (Michael et al, 2009) This is led to the increasing buying number of ‘season’ and transportation time providers must take in to consider.

There are three main reasons when consumers are buying fast fashion clothing, that have impulsed buying or emotional buying. The first one is the timing which is a priority. Fast fashion has the aim of getting clothing in to store with the time as time as possible. This is led to the increasing buying number of ‘season’ and transportation time providers must take in to consider. In Fashion industry, companies increasingly use time as a factor to enhance their competitiveness. More and more high street retailer’s procurement only few weeks from introducing new fashion product and add stock. This reduces chance of thinking for customer. Second deals with cost factors. Cost is one of the important buying decisions in consumer and company will take advantage of lower priced product from oversea, like China, Far East etc. (Lowson, 2001; Mattila et al., 2002) Third one is fashion buying cycle. In the tradition buying cycle, company spends long term forecasts from historical sales, this often happens one year before a season, that leads from orders placed to launched product. It spends for company six month. Also, company has a risk if during this time product out-of –date, all this working will cancelled. (Birtwistle, 2003)

Chapter 2. Research aim and objectives

21. Chapter summary

2.2 Aim

The aim of this research is to provider deeply understanding of the increase reason of fast fashion sales. This is focusing in which factor influence consumer purchasing motivation and reason for buying fast fashion clothing.

This aim will achieve by following three objectives:

1. To identify the profile of vintage consumer

2. To explore what fast fashion clothing means to the consumer

3. To critically analysis what makes consumer purchasing fast fashion clothing.

Chapter 3. Methodology

3.1 Chapter summary

This chapter is talking about methodology. The researcher will consider and evaluate different techniques of research used to obtain data relevant to the study in order to achieve the goals set.

3.2 Strategy

For this research, secondary research will be used. The reason for this is that some based data have been precociously collected by a third party.

Some resource of secondary research:

Journals, articles

Internet website such as Google Scholar, Science Direct etc


Case studies

The first source is journal and articles. These will be some relevant information, such as some objective examples of fast fashion and some methodology. Case studies also helpful, it is true that the advantages of finding multiple case studies is that it help to generate answers to the questions why a well as what and how. (Saunders, 2009)

In addition, this research will use key words. This will help research define subject matter and make appropriate keywords. (Saunders, 2009)



Fashion buying cycle

3.3 Ontology

Ontology a large extent determines the strategic planning of this study. Ontology is ‘concerned with nature of reality.’ (Saunders, 2009) This is emphasis on the active involved in the key construction projects. (Bryman, 2004) Following the ontological status of constructivism, this study asserts that social phenomena and their meaning are continuously being created and received by social roles. It can only be researchers’ own account, as there are building particular version of social reality, rather than one that can be defined as definition. (Bryman, 2004)

3.4 Research design

When research establishes question for research and hypotheses. It must be getting a plane a design for research which is get answers to the research question, test and hypotheses. Research design includes three categories of research approaches, there are: exploratory, descriptive, and causal. (Wrenn et al, 2006) So, in this research it will search before journal or article as them assumptions. Next, it will collect and analyzing both types of data via quantitative and qualitative. Naslund nad Mentzer et al (1995) states that more research choose quantitative than qualitative. However, Naslund argues that if research want to develop deeply and more logistics research, it must be combine both methodologies.

3.5 Quantitative

Quantitative can be defined that ‘quantitative models are based on a set of variables that vary over a specific domain, while quantitative and causal relationships have been defined between these variables’. (Bertrand and Fransoo, 2002) Quantitative modeling is original research in operations; this model is label as operational research in Europe also in USA. Quantitative modeling is towards to solve real-life problems rather than developing scientific. Quantitative studies usually have a logical and liner structure,

1. Liz Barnes, Gaynor Lea-Greenwood. Fast fashion in the retail store environment

2. Michael Saren, 2006 Marketing Graffti: the view from the street

3. Cholachatpinyo, I. Padgett, M. Crocker and Fletcher: a concept model of the fashion process-part 1 the fashion transformation process model. Vol. 6 No. 1, 2002, pp11-23

4. Michael Saren, 2006 marketing

5. Ka Ming Law, Zhi-Ming Zhang and Chung-Sun Leung, Fashion change and fashion consumption: the chaotic perspective. Vol. 8 No. 4, 2004 pp. 362-374

6. Helen Goworek, 2007, fashion buying, second edition. Published by Blackwell publishing.

7. Georg Simmel, Fashion, 1904, 1 (22) international Quarterley 10 (1904), 130-155

8. Constanza Bianch and Grete Birtwistle, the international review of retail, Distribution and Consumer Research: give away, or donate: an exploratory study of fashion clothing disposal behavior in two countries. Vol. 20, No. 3, July 2010, 353-368sell,

9. Anna Nagurney and Min Yu, Fashion Supply China Management Through Cost and Time Minimization from a Network Perspective.

August 2010; revised September 2010

10. Leon G. Schiffman, Leslie Lazar Kanuk and Joseph Wisenblit, 2010 consumer behavior, 10th edition, published by Pearson Education, Inc.

11. Margaret Bruce and Lucy Daly; Academic paper buyer behavior for fast fashion. Journal of fashion marketing and management Vol. 10 No. 3, 2006 pp 329-344.

12. Gerard P. Cachon and Robert Swinney; the impact consumer behavior on the value of operational flecibility. Chapter to Appear in Operations Management Models with Consumer-Driven Demand, Serguei Netessine and Christopher Tang, Editors. October 1, 2008

13. Martin Evans, consumer behavior towards, consumer behaviour towards fashion.

14. Wayne D. Hoyer, Debroah J. Macinnis (2009) Consumer Behavior. 5th edition. Printed in the United States of America.

15.Michael R. Solomon, Gary Bamossy, Soren Askegaard and Margaret K. Hogg (2010) Consumer Behavior A European perspective. 4th edition. Published by pearson education, inc, publishing as prentice Hall

16. Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill, 2009 Research methods for business students. 5th edition, published by FT Prentice Hall.

17. Bruce Wrenn, Robert E. Stevens and David L. Loudon, 2006, marketing research text and cases, 2nd edition, published by Best Business book, an imprint of the Haworth Press, Inc.

18. John Mangan, Chandra Lalwani and Bernard Gardner, 2004, Combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies in logistics research. International journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management Vol. 34 No. 7, 2004

19. J. Will M. Bertrand and Jan C. Fransoo, 2002 Modeling and Simulation operations management research methodologies using quantitative modeling; international journal of operations & Production Management Vol. 22 No. 2, 2002, pp. 241-264

Free Essays

Why is fast fashion marketing effective? An analysis into the online fashion marketing industry and examination of marketing principles and technique, and how these can be linked to greater sales figures

1. Introduction

The fashion industry has undergone significant change and development over the last few decades, gradually transforming from a more stable industry into a very turbulent one. The change in the fashion industry is said to be driven mainly by sourcing from abroad which can be directly attributed to cheaper labour costs (Jones, 2002). The industry is practically finding it difficult to compete on price alone as a result of tough competition from countries with low labour costs (Bruce and Daly, 2006). This suggests that firms that want to compete successfully in the industry must adopt a number of alternative strategies that would ensure that they remain competitive.
Competition from low cost products has forced some fashion retailers to adopt alternative strategies. One of these strategies is fast fashion marketing. Fashion retailers such as Topshop, H&M and Zara have adopted fast fashion marketing as a means of responding to low cost competition. Fast fashion marketing has had a significant impact on revenue streams of the companies that practice it. Fast fashion marketing companies not only solicit and value customer insights but take appropriate action on those insights so as to enable them improve their competitive position (Miller, 2006). Fast fashion retailers work mainly on a basic principle which suggests that “the customer is always right”. By so doing, the companies ensure that the customer is satisfied while at the same time realising maximum benefits their knowledge about the customer (Miller, 2006).
Fast fashion retailers continuously seek to understand customer needs and preferences. In addition, they study how these needs and preferences change over time. By understanding customer needs and preferences as well as their changes over time, fast fashion retailers can develop fashion products that meet customer requirements at all times and at the same time adapt to changes when necessary. For example in Topshop, when a customer picks up a pink skirt, and asks a salesperson whether there is a complementary white T-Shirt with a plunging necklace, the store manager immediately understands the customer’s need and transmits the message to the company’s buyer’s and design team. In less than a few weeks the complementary T-Shirt can be found on the shelves of Topshop (Miller, 2006).
Fast fashion retailers are growing at an alarming rate with their growth rate calculated to be almost three to four times the rate of the apparel industry as a whole (Miller, 2006). While traditional retailers bring in new products approximately once a month, fast fashion retailer like Topshop, Zara, and H&M source approximately 300 new designs per week. This shows that the turnover of fast fashion retailers is approximately ten times that of traditional retailers. The shelf life of a garment in Topshop and other similar fast fashion retailers is approximately a few weeks as oppose to approximately six months for traditional fashion retailers. This suggests the reason why these shops are referred to as fast fashion retailers. The innovation in the fast fashion industry can be compared to the innovation that took place in the fast food industry in the 1960s. Unlike in the traditional fashion retail stores where styles are dictated months in advance, fast fashion retailers depend on in-season trends for their cues. In addition, fast fashion retailers do not advertise heavily. Rather, they rely on the frequent flow of new products to lure customers into their stores. Compared to traditional fashion retailers who introduce new designs to racks just ten to twelve times a year, fast fashion retailers introduce new designs to racks approximately two to three times per week.
By creating a “buy it now” mentality, consumers of fast fashion products have been made to believe that there only a single opportunity for them to buy a particular product as it would not be replenished. Moreover, fast fashion retailers have made consumers to believe that their products are reasonably priced, which means that there is no need to postpone their buying decisions. Consequently consumers are forced to buy on the spot. It is therefore difficult for consumers to think that the product will go on sale. They have been made to believe that the product will no longer be available by the time they are expecting it to be on sale.
Fast fashion retailers therefore have significantly higher sell-through rates compared to traditional fashion retailers. This is evidenced from the fact that most fast fashion retailers are capable of selling their products at as much as 85 percent of the full price as opposed to an industry average of 60 percent. While production cost from local sourcing appears to be higher, fast fashion retailers are still capable of achieving profitability that is approximately two times as high as that of their traditional counterparts.
Fast fashion retail was a concept that was initiated by European retailers who have maintained a leadership position for some time now. However, a number of U.S companies have gained significant interest in the business model and are beginning to catch up with their European counterparts. Despite this catch up, U.S retailers are yet to fully embrace the concept. For example, Fast fashion represents only 1 percent of the U.S clothing market as opposed to 12 percent for the U.K. The companies that top the charts in the U.S include Forever 21, Charlotte Russe and Bebe Stores. These stores influence shoppers with instant messages, iPods and reality TV (Miller, 2006).
Some U.S companies have reacted to the threat of fast fashion by infusing “pseudo-fast fashion” into their business strategies. In early 2006, Target for example introduced a new series known as “Go International Series, Limited-edition collections” which was produced by up-and-coming apparel designers and was available only for 90 days. This series sent a clear message to consumers that it was a fast fashion product that will be available only for 90 days indicating that anyone who failed to purchase it within the 90-day window would be lost out. Another example of the “pseudo-fast fashion” in the U.S was by Chico who introduced the FAS. This strategy enables the company to employ frequent product flows to generate newness and scarcity thus transmitting an instant message to consumers that they may lose out if they fail to take necessary action.
While fast fashion appears to be leading the charts in the clothing and apparel sectors, one is forced to ask questions as to whether they are successful. The key question that one needs to ask is why is fast fashion marketing effective. This paper aims at providing answers to this question by conducting an in-depth analysis of a number of online fast fashion marketers. These include Zara, Topshop and H&M. The study will be looking at four key aspects of these companies. These include category management, quick response, marketing and production. Therefore, the study will be interested in answering four sub-questions:
– How do fast fashion retailers manage their categories to ensure that customers are satisfied?
– What are the strategies adopted to ensure that rapid response is achieved?
– How do fast fashion retailers source their products?
– What are the marketing strategies adopted by fast fashion retailers.
Providing answers to the above questions will enable one to understand why fast fashion marketing is successful and thus provide recommendations as to whether traditional fashion retailers can change their business strategies into the fast fashion model so as to increase their competitive position.
The study is organised under five key headings: Section 1 above provided a general background to the study and provided the objectives of the study; section 2 will provide a literature review which will focus on both theoretical and empirical literature; section 3 will be concerned with the methodology and data description; section 4 will provide the empirical findings and results as well as a discussion of the findings; and section 5 will provide general conclusions, recommendations and areas for further research.

2. Literature Review
Brun and Castelli (2008: 169) review the work of Blumer (1969) who defines fashion as “the word used to describe trends, which affirm themselves in a spontaneous way in accordance with the Zeiteist, i.e., the spirit of the age prevailing at a given moment”. This definition suggests that fashion is something that varies with time. Dealers in fashion products must therefore develop distinctive capabilities that can enable them to easily adapt to change. In other words, fashion dealers must have the capabilities necessary for delivering the critical success factors of the industry.
In response to its changing nature, fashion is no longer the way it used to be. A new type of fashion has emerged. Today, most retailers and designers talk of fast fashion. Fast fashion is a contemporary phrase employed by retailers of fashion products, which signifies that new designs leave the catwalk to the store within a very short time so as to meet up with current trends in the market (Tony and Bruce, 2001).

Fast fashion emerged from a product-driven concept known as quick response to a market-based concept known as fast fashion (Lowson et al., 1999). The main objective of fast fashion is to produce a product within the shortest time possible using the most cost efficient method. In order to achieve cost efficiency, the retailer must achieve a detailed understanding of the needs and preferences of the target market (Lisa, 2008). A number of factors are required for the success of fast fashion. These include category management, quick response, marketing, production, etc.
Category management links the retailer and the manufacturer in a more collaborative relationship (Sheridan et al., 2006). Sheridan et al. (2006) defines category management as “the strategic management of product groups, which aims to maximise sales and profits by satisfying customer needs”. Collaboration between retailers and manufacturers enables them to pool scarce resources together thereby maximising the total profits of the industry. This in turn makes it possible for high quality products to be offered at low cost to customers thereby keeping them satisfied.
As earlier mentioned, fast fashion emerged from a product-based concept known as quick response. Quick response emerged as a means of improving manufacturing processes in the textile industry with the objective of removing time from the production system (Hines, 2007). The concept of quick response resulted in lower lead times in manufacturing processes and to a more competitive U.S textile industry as well as to lower imports of textile products (Hines, 2007). Quick response is used today as a means of supporting fast fashion. It facilitates the creation of new products while at the same time pooling customers back to repeat purchases (Bruce and Daly, 2006). Speed is at the centre of fast fashion marketing (Miller, 2006). Fast fashion retailers achieve shorter cycles times by delaying decisions farther and farther along in the process (Miller, 2006). For example, Topshop is capable of changing the wash on jeans going through a factory within 24 hours; it can decide to change a short-sleeve jersey into a long-sleeve jersey within minutes following a single last-minute call to manufacturing. Rapid response depends heavily on a flexible supply chain. Flexible supply chains means that fast fashion retailers cannot depend solely on low cost production countries like India and China where labour costs are perceived to be cheap. Rather fast fashion retailers must also make use of local manufacturers who may just be their best option for last minute designs and manufacturing.
In addition to category management and quick response, fast fashion relies heavily on marketing for its success. Marketing remains the key determinant of the success of fast fashion in that it creates the desire for the consumption of new designs as close as possible to the point of creation. Marketing achieves this through its promotion of the consumption of fashion products as something fast, low priced and disposable. The objective of fast fashion marketing is to reduce cycle times from production to consumption so as to ensure that consumers engage in as many cycles as possible over any given period of time.
Unlike traditional fashion retailers who follow the annual cycle of summer, autumn, winter and spring, fast fashion retailers have reduced the fashion cycles into shorter periods ranging from four to six weeks and even lower in some cases. By so doing, more buying seasons have been created within the same time dimensions. Fast fashion retailers employ two main marketing strategies. While some operate with no advertising, others rely on advertising. Primark for example does not invest in advertising. Rather, the company invests in the store layout, shop fit and visual merchandising thereby creating an instant hook. This hook results in an enjoyable shopping experience which in turn leads to the continuous return of customers. Evidence suggests that approximately 75 percent of customers make their decisions within 3 seconds while standing in front of the fixtures. By not spending on advertising, Primark is able to pass these cost-savings to customers through low prices (Sheridan et al., 2006).

In line with this requirement, fast fashion marketing has been developed to enable fashion dealers easily respond to current and emerging fashion trends in a fast and efficient manner.
Fast fashion marketing can be defined as “the strategies that retailers adopt in order to reflect current and emerging trends quickly and effectively in current merchandise assortments” (Sheridan et al., 2005: 301). The speed by which decisions are made, as well as the innovations introduced into the store determine how sourcing and buying decisions are combined in the fast fashion industry (Bruce and Daly, 2006). Consumers of fashion products grow strongly and vigorously on constant change, which means that new products have to be introduced frequently to keep up with the pace of change (Bruce and Daly, 2006). Fast fashion companies can achieve this fast turnaround by making contacts with new suppliers with different products in addition to updating and maintaining relationships with existing suppliers who through an understanding of change in the fast fashion industry as an ineluctable factor that determines competitive advantage have developed capabilities to deliver it (Bruce and Daly, 2006). Buying activities therefore play a critical role in the industry through the selection of suppliers and product decision making (Bruce and Daly, 2006). Buying in the fast fashion industry has therefore changed from a pure strategic decision, which was considered less important to a strategic decision, which must be treated with some level of caution.

The fast fashion retail market can be divided into different segments. Three main segments have been identified. These include luxury, high street, and supermarket/out-of-town discounter. Competition in the clothing market has increased recently owing mainly to the entrance of supermarkets into the clothing sector. Supermarkets have made it easy for customers to buy fashionable clothing as part of their weekly shopping. This has reduced the amount of time spent visiting the high street. One of the major fast fashion retailers is Zara. The company has a rapid stock turnaround and is vertically integrated to its supply chain. According to the Economist (2005); and Stabe (2005) Zara is the market leader in the fast fashion industry. The company focuses on a limited range of products as well as on basic shapes. This enables it to deal with a very narrow product range. Fast fashion does not apply to the whole range of products in a store. Approximately 80 percent of products may be core products with fast fashion accounting for just about 20 percent of the entire product range (Mintel, 2002).
A number of empirical studies have been conducted following the emergence of the fast fashion industry. Most studies have focused on how this has impacted the supply chain of the fashion industry. Christopher et al. (2004) for example argues that the emergence of fast fashion has led to significant changes in supply chain operations. The study argues that product life cycles have become shorter as a result of fast fashion. In addition, impulse buying has increased as well as demand fluctuations. Moreover, higher demand fluctuations have made it difficult for demand to be predicted. Forza and Vinneli (2000) provide explanations for shorter product life cycles. Accordingly, they argue that because consumers have increased their desire for new products and variety, it is difficult for a particular product to stay for long thereby leading to shorter product life cycles (Forza and Vinneli, 2000). Consumers’ desire for new products and variety has been attributed to the higher media availability of fashion trend-based and “gossip” magazines (Doyle et al., 2006). Birthwistle et al. (2003) argues that the supply chain needs to be structured in such a way that facilitates rapid response as this can significantly benefit fast fashion retailers. This is because; time has become a key dimension of desirability in a fashion sector that is also characterised by high levels of demand unpredictability. While Christopher et al. (2004) advocates close-market or domestic sourcing as a solution to rapid response for fast fashion retailers, Finiton (2005) argues that while this may provide some benefits, the domestic or close-market sourcing model is best suited for international fashion retailers rather than to national retailers. Besides, it has been argued that rapid response is not determined mainly by the supply chain. Rapid response depends mainly on the requirements of the market and not on the proximity between the retailer and the supply chain (Abertnathy, 2000; Lowson et al., 1999). Fashion retailers are therefore urged to focus on understanding market requirements rather than trying to figure out which supply chain best suits them.


Bruce, M., and Daly, L. (2006), “Buyer behaviour for fast fashion”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 329-344
Brun, A., and Castelli, C. (2008), “Supply chain strategy in the fashion industry: Developing a portfolio model depending on product, retail channel and brand”, International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 116, pp. 169-181.
Hines, Tony, and M. Bruce. 2001. Fashion marketing – Contemporary issues. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Hines,T. (2007) Supply Chain Strategies, Structures and Relationships, in Hines, T. and M.Bruce. Eds. Fashion Marketing Contemporary Issues 2nd Edn. Oxford, Elsevier
Lowson, B., R. King, and A. Hunter. 1999. Quick Response – Managing the Supply Chain to Meet Consumer Demand. Chichester: Wiley.
Miller, C. (2006) “Fashion’s New Fast Lane”, available online at: [ accessed: 23rd December 2011].
Muran, Lisa. “Profile of H&M: A Pioneer of Fast Fashion.” Textile Outlook International (July 2007): 11-36. Textile Technology Index. EBSCO. Mary Couts Burnett Library, Fort Worth, Texas. Available online at: [accessed: 26th December, 2011].
Sheridan, M., Moore, C., Nobbs, K. (2005) “Fast Fashion Requires Fast Marketing: the role of category management in Fast Fashion Positioning”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 301-315.

Free Essays

Impact of Income on Purchase of Luxury Fashion Products

Executive Summary

The current paper is a synopsis of the study on influence of Income on purchase of Luxury Fashion Products. The suggested study is a quantitative study of women and uses age based sampling; women aged 16-45 years. The traditional economics concept that higher income would lead to higher consumption of normal and quality goods and lesser of inferior goods are often challenged by marketers for luxury goods. Literature suggests that there are a number of other factors other than income that lead to purchase of luxury fashion products such as brand affiliation, prestige and social status, symbolic, functional, emotional attributes. Thus the research would explain the importance of income when young women in UK make purchase decisions related to luxury fashion products. The study is suggested to be quantitative in nature but in accordance with the logical positivism philosophy. It would follow a survey strategy and close ended questionnaire would be used in the research. The findings from the study are expected to have significant implications for companies in luxury products industry as well as specifically for marketers, marketing luxury fashion products to women in UK.

1 Introduction

The current paper provides a synopsis for the study of impact of income on consumer decision making regarding luxury fashion products. The suggested study would use a case study of women in UK between ages of 16-45 years. The synopsis explains the research background, aims and objectives, scope and limitations, literature review and methodology for conducting the study. It further highlights the expected problems and limitations of the research.

1.1 Research Background:

The suggested study is aimed at studying the impact of income on purchase decision regarding luxury fashion products. A further case study of women aged between 16 to 40 years from the United Kingdom has been taken. Like other industries, even within luxury goods, the marketers have to consider factors like competition, globalization, increased customer sophistication and maturity of markets etc to formulate its marketing strategy (Djelic and Ainama, 1999).

The Economic crisis 2008 affected the sales in the luxury goods industry. However an upturn was observed in 2010. According to Passariello (2011) the luxury goods market in the Europe is worth ˆ168 billion and showed reasonable growth in the year 2010. The growth is not just specific to Europe, but market for luxury goods has increased greatly world over in the last few years. According to McKinsey & Co‘s research, the highest growth is expected to be within China which is expected to grow by 20% till 2015 (Atsmon, Dixit and Wu, 2011). In luxury industry, globalization also offers huge opportunities like an emergence of new markets in countries like India, Russia and China (Silverstein, Fiske and Butman, 2003). The fastest growing market as suggested by analysts is that of China since the economy is growing very fast and the income of the people has significantly increased in the last few years (Agarwal and Wu, 2004). According to Roberts (2012) the luxury goods market increased by 4% in Europe in 2012, mainly attributable to high tourist spending but low local demand. Each year, more Chinese tourists visit Europe and are counted as biggest spenders on luxury products (Passariello, 2011). The marketers, in order to benefit from the emerging opportunities and promote sales of luxury fashion products, need to know the motivations of the targeted markets. The UK market is now recovering from recession and is an important market for sales of luxury fashion products. The economists suggest that as the income of consumers increases they move to quality goods from inferior goods. This is an objective explanation and the income is given as objective criteria however for luxury goods, marketers stress subjective reasons more.

For example, Phau and Prendergast (2000) were of the view that how consumers perceive luxury is in subjective terms and it is their understanding of “luxury” which determines their related purchase behaviour. Marketers argue that income is not as important as a factor for purchasing luxury products. According to them Luxury goods consumption has always been a significant social practice while Berry (1994) explains that the value one attaches to luxury is a component crucial to the self-realization of a society. The marketers thus need to identify other factors that motivate the consumers to buy luxury fashions products besides income. The suggested research would study impact of income as well as important factors besides income that the marketers need to consider when developing their marketing campaigns for luxury fashion products. Dubois and Duquesne (1993) in their research found that culture is as important as income that determines the consumptions of luxury products.

1.2 Research Aims and Objective:

The research aim is to study the impact of income level on consumer decision making in the case of luxury fashion products. The aim would be achieved by the following objectives:

To review literature and understand the factors impacting consumer decision making for luxury products.
To study income as a factor and how it impacts purchase decisions regarding luxury fashion products.
To understand the role of income for purchase decisions by young women.
To develop a framework to explain the income effect on purchase of luxury fashion products by women.
To study the significance of variables other than income that has an impact on luxury purchase behaviour.
To make recommendations to the companies and marketers dealing in luxury fashion products for women.

1.3 Research Question

The main research question that the research would answer is: Does income influence purchasing of Luxury Fashion ProductsThe study would test related hypothesis such as:

H1: Income is an important factor for purchase of luxury fashion products.
H2: The women in different age groups have different buyer orientations towards luxury products.
H3: Income if an important factor for young women in UK for consumption of luxury fashion products.
H4: Income is not the main factor but value creation for older women when buying luxury fashion products.
H5: Women only buy luxury fashion products when they have a high income.
H6: Social motivations are more important variable for fashion conscious women in UK.
H7: Luxury loving women do not consider income an important factor when purchasing luxury fashion products.
2 Preliminary Literature Review

Whenever a consumer, practitioner or a researcher focuses on luxury goods, some specific characteristics of a number of luxury brands may come in mind such as Chanel suits, Cartier watches or Hermes handbags. These are all expensive, excellent quality, aesthetic heritage, design, reputation, desirability, exclusivity, inaccessibility, and personality reflection (Quelch, 2006). Quelch (2006, p.100) states that:

Luxury brands are those whose ratio of functional utility to price is low while the ratio of intangible and situational utility to price is high.

Besides satisfying the material needs of the consumers, the luxury goods also addresses social and symbolic needs (Wiedmann et al., 2007). Some researchers have further delineated luxury goods by comparing and contrasting their characteristics to the characteristics of mass consumption products. Riley, Lomax, and Blunden (2004) specified various features of luxury goods (e.g., Christian Dior fragrance) differing from everyday consumer goods (e.g., Dove soap). According to scholars, luxury goods are intended for niche market segments (Riley, Lomax, and Blunden, 2004). The marketers of luxury fashion products use exclusive placing, promotion, distribution and marketing segmentation techniques. On the other hand, for non-luxury products, they focus more on functionality and price. When buying luxury goods the consumers are influenced by quality, status and prestigious brands. Marketers emphasize association with heritage and craftsmanship when positioning luxury brands. Riley, Lomax, and Blunden (2004) also explained that after-sales services and several other methods of value creation are very important in luxury goods.

Hauck and Stanforth (2007) said that income effects, to some extent, the perception of luxury. For example, something might be a perceived necessity for one person while a perceived luxury for another. A popular way to identify luxury is based on five factors framework given by Phau and Prendergast (2000). These factors include brand identity, exclusiveness, high level of brand awareness; focus on customer loyalty and quality.

In consumer behaviour literature the model given by Vickers and Renand (2003) explains that the purchase behaviour is determined by experiential, interactional symbolic and functional aspects for luxury goods since they are high in both social and personal identity. The non luxury products are only high in functional aspects. The model given by Seringhaus (2005) includes emotion related factors like personality and image, effective symbolic communication for brand identity and congruence with self-concept which positions luxury brands.

According to Tse (1996), most of the research done on consumption strongly indicates the reflection of Western society and its impact on individualistic goals. In an individualist society, the behaviour and motivational factors of consumers when purchasing products may be fundamentally different from those in a collectivist society. Numerous scholars (e.g., Phau & Prendergast, 2000) have testified that collectivist consumers have different attitudes and perceptions regarding luxury brands as compared to the consumers belonging to the individualist societies. Wiedmann, Hennigs, and Siebels (2007) however, argued that consumer behaviour for product categories like cars, fashion and luxuries is independent of their cultures and regions. According to this school of thought, the information search and exchange are universal in nature for such kind of products. Behaviour is an aspect of attitude derived from values and hence is associated to culture. Since attitudes are a projection of beliefs; consumers holding different beliefs about making purchases will therefore differ in their methods of searching information and making purchase decisions

Personal attitude and values of a consumer has a bigger impact on their purchase behavior than their income. This means that people of same income group but different social and cultural backgrounds may have different approach towards buying luxury goods, depending upon their preferences and values. For instance the low income segment of consumers may possibly have a desire to buy only the best, as a result of which they may not buy bulk of luxury goods but quality goods. By and large, consumers can be divided into three categories on the basis of their income level: average, elite and lower class. It must be noted that though there would be a substantial difference between the purchasing power of the elite and lower class however both the classes have certain purchasing habits similar to their respective classified segment. But despite all this, it would be illogical to deny the impact of income on a consumer’s buying behavior, on both, prices and types of products.

Early researchers argued that social class can be a better predictor of consumer purchase behavior than income (Keiser and Kuehl, 1972; Shimp and Yokum, 1981). Likewise, Coleman (1960 in Keiser, and Kuehl, 1972) found that while purchasing furniture, the prices of purchased goods and social class have a higher correlation than between the prices of purchased goods and income.

To find the answer to the debate of income versus social class, numerous researches were conducted. The answers established the superiority of income over social class (e.g. Myers et al., 1971). According to Myers and his colleagues (1971) income had more predictive power over social class, when examining the purchase behavior of low priced goods, semi-durable and durable products, cosmetics, plus services such as travel, furniture, clothing and appliances. Sivadas (1997) also testified that income is a better predictor than social class when it comes to consumer behavior for leisure and recreational activities.

Earlier consumers used to shop according to the value of dollar, which stayed limited to purchasing necessary products and services only. Modern shoppers, however, make purchases when rewarding themselves and utilize shopping as a method of “feeling good” and self-satisfaction. In contemporary society, consumers make purchases to make a statement, exhibit their personality and boost their self-image. Since the purchased goods are in accordance with the psyche of the consumers, the researcher decided to assess the pattern of consumer purchase behavior with regards to luxury products. Some researches take income as the prerequisite, for example they study elite consumers only when studying consumption of luxury fashion products. They then use psychosocial variables to differentiate between the consumers of luxury products (Xiao and Pras, 2011).

Researchers further show that even though men buy more luxury products in few cultures but the decision is influenced greatly by women. Study by Kaefer, Heilman and Ramenofsky (2012) showed that attitude of wife towards luxury products is very important and women have an impact on spending their spouses. Truong (2010) considers the role of personal aspirations and suggested that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are important for consumption of luxury goods.

3 Methodology

3.1 Research Philosophy:

The methodology design is a very important part of any research based study. For the purpose of this research, it is suggested that a logical positivism research philosophy should be adopted. The philosophy suggests that empirical analysis should be backed by a logical analysis (Potter, 1996). Such a research would not only suggest findings but would also justify the findings using logic and literature. Using this philosophy would add a qualitative aspect to the research and would help the reader better understand the findings and implications.

3.2 Research Approach:

Research approach can be defined as the studying of a phenomenon in order to collect, transmit and produce knowledge under the examination of a researcher. Thomas (2003) noted that either of the two research approaches, i.e. qualitative or quantitative or both, can be used in a dissertation depending upon the nature and purpose of the study. Qualitative research is also referred to as inductive approach, through which one can understand the research context and the occurrence of different events. However, the drawback of this research approach is its extensive nature and that it is hard to be defined and measured. Different scholars have observed that this approach relies upon a phenomenological and post-empirical assessment of the world, which perceives that reality is constructed socially as depicted by the situational context (Bryman and Bell, 2007). The quantitative research method, otherwise termed as deductive research approach, can be largely regarded as the scientific data collection method. The quantitative data can be effectively classified, measured and assessed due to its numerical outlook. It is framed on firm rules or formulas and follows very strict procedures for making determinations (Bryman and Bell, 2007). A quantitative approach is being used because the results can be easily generalised and presented in the form of an empirical analysis. The quantitative study would provide an objective measure for importance of income for purchase of luxury fashion products. Furthermore, significant variables other than income and the extent of dependence of consumption of luxury on them can be identified using the quantitative approach.

In this research, a quantitative approach is suggested using a survey strategy. The quantitative approach would help study the significance of income as a variable in quantitative terms. A survey strategy is easy and economical, and can help collect quality data in short spaces of time (Saunders et al., 2007). The sample size for the survey is suggested to be 300 however the size can be reduced due to certain problems and limitations of research. Furthermore, as aforementioned, demographic sampling would be used. Women in UK from aged between 16-45 years would be randomly selected and contacted for the study and would be asked to fill questionnaires. This age group has been chosen because they have exposure to different levels of income as well as social motivations are different at different ages. Furthermore, women are generally thought to be the intra-house income decision makers and consumption allocators (Bourguignon et al., 1993; Ashraf, 2009).

4 Data Collection and Analysis

For data collection purposes, a researcher is provided with two techniques: primary data collection and secondary data collection. The suggested research would be primary research and would make use of primary data primarily. As previously mentioned, a survey strategy would be employed and in accordance, questionnaires would be used as data collection tools. The development of a questionnaire is a lengthy process however it is alongside meeting the data collection needs of the research. Prior to development of the questionnaire a framework would be designed using literature review.

Using the literature review, main variables would be indentified that have an impact on purchase and consumption of luxury fashion products. For the initial literature review it is suggested to include several variables such as perceived quality, brand loyalty and social status and as such they should be studied as independent variables. Income can be used as an independent variable or a moderating variable in the study. The choice would be clearer for the researcher after reviewing more literature on the subject. Lastly, the purchase behavior would be the dependent variable. For the purpose of analysis, SPSS would be used which would make the data collection, management and analysis easier.

4.1 Reliability, Validity, And Generalisability:

For any research, issues regarding qualitative or quantitative data, reliability, validity and generalisability are important factors for determining the quality. For quantitative research, the reliability and validity can be tested in quantitative terms (Creswell, 2009). For example, in the suggested study a pilot test would be conducted and using croncbach’s alpha the validity and reliability would be determined. Furthermore, using triangulation and support from literature the findings would be supported according to the logical positivism approach.

This research focuses on an in-depth analysis of the purchase behaviour of women in mainland or suburban areas of the UK, whilst keeping in focus the significance of different income groups of consumers within a market. Since this study is limited to the urban markets of luxury, it might therefore be inappropriate to generalize the results of the study to beyond the urban and suburban areas of UK. Similarly the gender and age based sampling decreases the generalisability of the study.

4.2 Research Limitations

The most important limitations that the researcher would need to consider at every step of research are time and capital. Besides time and finance, the scope of the research would be limited to luxury goods and the UK market. The realm of luxury goods constitutes capital goods like personal jets, real estate, luxury automobiles, and yachts; consumer services in expensive retail stores, resorts and hotels; and wines and champagne, as well as exotic vacations, travelling; and financial services such as credit cards etc., targeted at elite class consumers. However this study will keep itself limited to the superior personal fashion goods such as apparel, perfume and accessories, such as watches, handbags, shoes and jewellery. The research conducted in the future could examine the other product categories for further exploration of the luxury goods market in UK.

5 Conclusion

This study is aimed at understanding and assessing luxury goods consumer behaviour. Product development, communications management, branding strategies and numerous other business activities require understanding consumer behavior, especially towards luxury products. In order for the designers, retailers and producers of the luxury products brands to benefit from the market expansion trends, they need to have a thorough understanding of the consumer behaviour of their target market. Therefore a proactive investigation of the target consumers and their purchase behaviour is necessary to derive the implications for marketers of the industry. Therefore to this end this research provides an insight for practitioners of the UK luxury goods market by documenting the potential and the landscape of the UK goods industry with valuable information regarding the consumer behaviour.



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Free Essays

Fashion and Zara Store

Colour case This case contains colour exhibits which will be affected by the user’s screen and printer resolution. Therefore, to ensure optimum colour quality multiple copies must be ordered directly from ecch. This colour case cannot be supplied as a permission master in either paper format or as a sealed pdf file. However, please contact ecch to check availability of a black and white version which can be supplied for reproduction. ecch the case for learning ecch UK Registered Office: Cranfield University, Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK t+44 (0)1234 750903 f+44 (0)1234 751125 e [email protected] om w www. ecch. com ecch USA Registered Office: Babson College, Babson Park Wellesley MA 02457, USA t+1 781 239 5884 f+1 781 239 5885 e [email protected] com w www. ecch. com Responsive, High Speed, Affordable Fashion This case was prepared by Sophie Linguri under the supervision of Professor Nirmalya Kumar as a basis for classroom discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Copyright © 2005 London Business School. All rights reserved.

No part of this case study may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without written permission of London Business School. London Business School reference CS-05-037 ecch the case for learning Distributed by ecch, UK and USA www. ecch. com All rights reserved Printed in UK and USA North America t +1 781 239 5884 f +1 781 239 5885 e [email protected] com 305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 Rest of the world t +44 (0)1234 750903 f +44 (0)1234 751125 e [email protected] om – 2 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 Zara: Responsive, High-Speed, Affordable Fashion In 1975, the first Zara store was opened in La Coruna, in Northwest Spain. By 2005, Zara? ’s 723 stores had a selling area of 811,100 m2 and occupied ? “privileged locations of major cities? ” in 56 countries. With sales of ?€3. 8 billion in financial year 2004, Zara had become Spain? ’s best-known fashion brand and the flagship brand of ? €5. 7 billion holding group Inditex. Inditex? ’s stock market listing in 2001 had turned Amancio Ortega, its founder and a self-made man, into the world? s 23 richest man, with a personal fortune that Forbes magazine estimated at $12. 6 billion. Zara strived to deliver fashion apparel, often knock-offs of famous designers, at reasonable costs to young, fashion-conscious city-dwellers. Zara used in- house designers to present new items of clothing to customers twice a week, in response to sales and fashion trends. Thus the merchandise of any particular store was fresh and limited. To produce at such short notice required that Zara maintain a vertically integrated supply chain that distributed the clothes through a single state-of-the-art distribution centre.

Unlike its competitors, 70- 80% of Zara garments were manufactured in Europe. In 2005, Pablo Isla was appointed the new Inditex chief executive. With plans to double the number of its stores by 2009, the rapid pace of growth was necessitating changes. First, Zara had opened a second distribution centre to increase capacity. Second, expanding into more distant markets meant that the number of items carried had increased to 12,000. Would Zara? ’s business model be able to scale up? Or would the resulting complexity compromise its speed advantage?

Would Pablo Isla be able to maintain the focus that Zara had established? – 3 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 THE RETAIL APPAREL INDUSTRY AND COMPETITORS The apparel industry was one of the most globalised industries, with 23. 6 million workers in over 20 countries. As labour costs in Western European countries had risen, labour-intensive manufacturing operations had become increasingly outsourced to less developed countries. Hourly wages in the textile industry could be as low as 60 cents in India and China, compared with $2 in North Africa, $3 in Eastern Europe, $8. 50 in Spain, and around $15. 0 in Italy. The 1974 Multi-Fibre Arrangement, which placed import quotas on garments and textiles from developing countries to the industrialised world, had expired on 1 January 2005 for all members of the World Trade Organization. This was amplifying the relocation of textile and garment manufacture to countries with lower labour costs, especially China. For example, in 2004, 400 Spanish textile groups went out of business, due to competition from Asia, resulting in the loss of 15,000 jobs. The Spanish textile guild predicted a loss of another 72,000 jobs by 2009. The apparel retail channels had consolidated during the 1990s, with a few large players dominating most major markets. Competitors included department stores, mass merchandisers (e. g. discounters and supermarkets) and specialty stores. Department stores were usually national players, like Marks & Spencer in the United Kingdom or Federated in the USA. Typically, they had lost market share in recent years. Mass merchandisers such as Target, Tesco and Wal-Mart had increasingly added private label clothes to their mix over the years to become major players.

There were many successful specialty chains like Benetton, C&A, Hennes & Mauritz (referred to as H&M), The Limited, Mango and Next. The traditional apparel industry model worked on long lead times (see Exhibit 1). The industry average was around nine months, around six months for design and three months for manufacturing. As a result, 45-60% of production was committed in the six-month pre-season period, with 80-100% committed by the start of the season. Only the remaining 0-20% was generally manufactured in-season in response to sales patterns.

Excess inventory was marked down at the end of the season, and typically accounted for 30-40% of sales. Despite their best efforts, Zara? ’s closest competitors, H&M and Gap, still took around five months to produce new clothing lines. H&M Swedish clothing chain H&M was founded in 1947. By 2005, it had close to 32,000 employees, just under 1,100 stores in 20 countries. In 2005, it planned to open 155 new stores in Europe and the US. Its 2004 sales were ? €6 billion, which yielded a profit of 1. 24 billion. With close to 30% of its sales, Germany was H&M? s largest market, while the US generated only Iman for H&M Germany – 4 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 6. 4% of its 2004 sales. It manufactured 60% of its clothes in Asia. H&M? ’s business concept was to offer fashion and quality at the best price. In order to offer the latest fashion, H&M had its own buying and design department. It claimed to achieve the best price by: ?? Few middlemen ?? Buying in large volumes ?? Having a broad, in-depth knowledge of design, fashion, and textiles ?? Buying the right products from the right market ??

Being cost conscious at every stage ?? Having efficient distribution H&M? ’s clothing lines in men? ’s wear, women? ’s wear and children? ’s wear, as well as its cosmetics range, targeted cost-conscious shoppers. Within H&M women? ’s wear were different sub-brands: Hennes (women aged 25-35), L. O. G. G. (casual sportswear), Impuls (young women? ’s trends), BiB (plus-size line), Woman (classic), Clothes (current trends), MAMA (maternity) and Rocky (youth fashion). There were also different sub-brands within the men? ’s and children? ’s lines.

H&M stores generally had a somewhat chaotic, marketplace feel, with clothes packed tightly onto racks, frequent markdowns, and queues at the cash register. H&M devoted 5% of its revenues to advertising. Its high-profile ad campaigns featured celebrities, such as Claudia Schiffer, Johnny Depp, Naomi Campbell and Jerry Hall, wearing its low-cost clothes. Dedicated collections by star designers Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney in 2004-5 continued to create buzz among its customers. The Gap Gap opened its first store in San Francisco in 1969, where it sold mainly Levis jeans.

In 1991, Gap announced its decision to sell only private label brands. With around 3,000 stores and 152,000 employees worldwide, Gap positioned itself as a provider of high quality, basic items, such as jeans, khakis and t-shirts. In addition to Old Navy and Banana Republic, Gap? ’s chains included GapBody, GapKids, and babyGap. Its 2004 sales were around ? €12. 5 billion, with a profit of $1. 4 billion. Nearly all of Gap? ’s products were manufactured outside the US, with 18% of its collection made in China. Gap? ’s stores were spacious, with stock well spaced Madonna for Gap and neatly presented.

There was an emphasis on service, with a call button in fitting rooms for customers requiring assistance with clothing sizes. Television advertisements featured hip music and dance sequences, with appearances by celebrities such as Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, Sarah Jessica Parker and Joss Stone. – 5 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 INDITEX HISTORY Spanish entrepreneur Amancio Ortega Gaona started a firm manufacturing lingerie and nightwear in 1963, after quitting his job as a runner for a shirtmaker in La Coruna. He founded Confecciones GOA in 1972, and opened the first Zara store in 1975, to sell stock after a customer cancelled a large order.

Ortega founded the Inditex group in 1985. After floating 26% of its shares on the Madrid stock exchange in 2001, he remained its majority shareholder, with 61% of the company? ’s shares. Ortega retained a low profile, rarely making public appearances (apart from during the run-up to the IPO in 2000), and had never given an interview. Jose Maria Castellano Rios joined Inditex in 1985 and became its Chief Executive in 1997. Castellano had previously been IT manager of Aegon Espana SA, and had a doctorate in economics and business studies. In 2005, Inditex developed a five-year plan, which included a board restructure.

As part of the restructure, Pablo Isla Alvarez de Tejera was appointed as Chief Executive in May 2005. Isla came from the Franco-Spanish tobacco group Altadis, where he had been co-chairman. Isla was chosen for his experience in international distribution. Ortega stayed on as the group? ’s Chairman, and Castellano remained the Deputy Chairman. Portfolio of Stores Besides Zara, which was targeted at trendy city youngsters, Inditex grew its portfolio of apparel chains throughout the 1990s. Each chain was targeted at a specific segment (see Exhibit 2): ?? Massimo Dutti ? – Young businessmen ?? Pull & Bear – Elegant male clothing ??

Berksha ? – Elegant fashion for young women ?? Brettos ? – Trendy young suburban women ?? Oysho ? – Lingerie ?? Stradivarius ? – Youthful fashion ?? Kiddy? ’s Class ? – Trendy children In 2003, Inditex opened a home furnishings chain called Zara Home. By 2005, Zara made up close to 70% of Inditex sales and led the group? ’s international expansion (see Exhibit 3). While, as a group, Inditex had about twice the number of stores as H&M, Zara? ’s 700 stores were fewer in number than H&M? ’s. Inditex was aggressively expanding, and planned to increase its 2,000 stores to 4,000 by 2009, in Europe, Asia, and the U.

S. (see Exhibit 4). In terms of profits, Inditex was performing well compared with its main competitor, H&M (see Exhibit 5 and Exhibit 6). Aamancio Ortega Gaona Inditex Chairman – 6 – 305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 THE ZARA STORE 91% of Zara stores were company-owned; the rest were franchises or joint ventures. Customers entering a Zara store on Regent Street in London, Rue Rivoli in Paris, Fifth Avenue in New York or Avenidas das Americas in Rio de Janeiro generally found themselves in the same environment: a predominantly white, modern and spacious store, well-lit and walled with mirror.

The latest fashions hung from the store racks around them. A long line of people typically waited at the cash registers to pay for their purchases: a few select items. Shop Window of Zara, New York In comparison with other clothing retailers, who spent 3-4% of sales on advertising, Zara spent just 0. 3%. The little it did spend went to reinforce its identity as a clothing retailer that was low-cost but high fashion (see Exhibit 7). Instead Zara concentrated on creating compelling store windows and to the design of its shops, which had won awards.

It relied on its shop windows, which were dramatically lit and used neutral backgrounds, to communicate its brand image. The shop windows of Zara stores were changed regularly, according to display designs sent by headquarters, and were critical for Zara to remain visible and entice customers. Store locations were carefully researched to determine that there was a sufficiently large customer base for Zara2, and as such were generally busy, prestigious, city centre shopping streets. Zara was a fashion imitator.

It focussed its attention on understanding what fashion items its customers wanted and then delivering them, rather than on promoting predicted season? ’s trends via fashion shows and similar channels of influence, that the fashion industry traditionally used. Its 200 in-house designers were trend-spotters who kept their finger on the fashion pulse, and translated trends into styles that were universally accessible. At Zara headquarters in La Coruna, store specialists (who were responsible for a number of stores in a region) worked closely with designers to develop styles that would work for different arkets. Collections were renewed every year, with an average of 11,000 styles produced annually, compared with the more typical collections of 2,000-4,000 produced annually by rivals H&M and Gap. Production and distribution of new clothing pieces was favoured over replenishing existing items, contributing to the perception of scarcity cultivated in Zara stores. Customers returned frequently to stores, to browse new items. The global average of 17 visits per customer per year for Zara was considerably higher than the three visits to its competitors. Visitors were also more likely to purchase, as one senior executive explained: Zara? ’s objective is not that consumers buy a lot but that they buy often and will find something new every time they enter the store. 4 – 7 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 Comments by Luis Blanc, and Inditex director, illustrated how Zara stores fostered an environment of immediacy: We want our customers to understand that if they like something, they must buy it now, because it won? ’t be in the shops the following week. It is all about creating a climate of scarcity and opportunity. Affordable prices helped to encourage purchases, and Zara? ’s offering was often referred to as clothing to be worn six to ten times. Zara? ’s pricing differed across country markets. It set prices according to individual market conditions, rather than using cost plus margin as its basis (which was the formula used by most of its competitors). In Spain, Zara products were low-cost, while in the US, Japan and Mexico, they were priced as a luxury fashion item. Prices in France were somewhat higher than in Spain, since the average French consumer was willing to pay more for fashion than most other European consumers.

For example, in 2003, the price of jeans in Zara stores in France was $34. 58 compared with $24. 87 in Spain and $54 in Japan. 6 Until 2002, Zara had used one price tag listing the price in different currencies, to simplify tagging of items. In 2002, however, it implemented a system of local pricing, using a bar code reader that printed the correct local price for items. Compared with its competitors, Zara generally priced its products somewhat higher than C&A and H&M, but below Gap, Next and Kookai. For example, a similar shirt cost $26 at Zara, compared with a price of $29 at Gap and $9 at H&M. Store Management Store managers were encouraged to run their store like a small business. Salespeople were well trained, and Zara promoted its people from within as much as possible. Store managers? ’ remuneration was partially dependent on the accuracy of their sales forecasts and sales growth. 8 Each evening a handheld PDA displayed the newest designs sent by headquarters, which were available for order. Order deadlines were twice weekly, and were issued via the handhelds. Store managers who failed to order by the deadline received replenishment items only.

Store managers regularly spoke with store specialists, who also received real time sales data from stores, to discuss which items were selling well or if customers had requested Zara Store, Barcelona specific items. This information was then fed back to the design process. 9 Deliveries arrived at stores twice per week from Zara headquarters, a few days after the order was made, and contained both replenishment items as well as – 8 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 new products. Headquarters also sometimes included products that had not been ordered, which stores expected to receive.

If demand of an item exceeded supply, some stores did not receive the product they had ordered. Zara also tested some of its products in limited numbers in its test stores, before introducing them on a wider scale. Failure rates of Zara? ’s new products were reported to be just 1%, considerably lower than the industry average of 10%. 10 Technology was a key part of enabling communications and information flow. While information technology was fundamental to its business, its IT infrastructure was relatively simple (even dated by some standards), which meant that Zara? s IT expenditure was significantly lower than its rivals (as much as five to ten times lower). 11 Deputy Chairman Jose Maria Castellano explained the key role played by technology: Technology in this company is important and will be more important in the future. The technology we use is mainly information technology and [enables] the communication between the shop managers and the design team here in headquarters. 12 THE ZARA SUPPLY CHAIN Around 50% of Zara? ’s garments were sourced from third parties. Unlike its competitors, Zara? s outsourced production came for the most part from Europe (60%), with just 27% coming from Asia, and another 10% from the rest of the world. The products sourced from Asia were basic collection items or wardrobe ? “staples,? ” with minimum fashion content, such as T-shirts, lingerie and woollens, and where there was a clear cost advantage. Formal contracts were kept to a minimum, and Zara was generally a preferred customer due to its order volume and stability. 13 Externally manufactured items were shipped to Zara? ’s distribution centre. Zara intended to source more of the collection from Asia in the future, as commented by Castellano: ? In the next few years, we will source more basic items from China and Vietnam, but the high value added fashion items will continue to be made closer to home.? ”14 The other 50% of Zara? ’s garments, those that were more fashion-dependent, were manufactured in-house, in more than 20 Zara factories located in nearby Arteixo. 15 For its in-house manufacturing, it purchased fabric from Comditel, a subsidiary of Inditex. Half of this fabric was purchased grey (undyed) to enable Zara to respond to changes in colour trends during the season. Dye was purchased from Fibracolor, in which Inditex held a stake.

A team of 200 young, talented yet unknown designers were hired (often recent graduates of top design schools) to create designs, based on the latest fashions from the catwalk and other fashion hotspots, which were easily translatable to the mass market. 16 Working alongside the market specialists and production planners, designers for each of Zara? ’s collections (Woman, Man, Child) kept in-touch with market developments, to create around 40,000 new designs per year, of which around one-quarter were manufactured. 17 The design and – 9 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 production working environment was consistent with Zara? s flat hierarchical structure, in which prima donnas were not tolerated. 18 Illustration: Fast Fashion Computers were used to guide the cutting tools, using patterns made from selected designs. Zara tried to keep its offering of any style simple, usually in three sizes and three colours only. The labour intensive sewing of the garments was outsourced to around 500 local subcontractors, who used seamstresses in cooperatives. Zara was usually their sole client, and they worked without any written contracts. Zara paid these subcontrators a flat fee per type of garment, (e. g. , ? 5 for a pair of trousers and ? €15 per jacket) and they were expected to operate on short lead times and fast turnaround. Subcontractors picked up the prepared fabric pieces from Zara, and returned them to the 500,000 m2 distribution centre. 19 At the Zara distribution centre, optical reading devices were used to sort and distribute over 60,000 items per hour. The garments were then picked up and transported by truck to different destinations all over Europe (which made up about 75% of deliveries). Products for more distant destinations were transported by air (about 25%).

Throughout the process, garments were tracked using bar codes. Shipments tended to have almost zero flaws, with 98. 9% accuracy and under 0. 5% shrinkage. 20 Since Zara? ’s garments were produced in-house, it was able to make a new line from start to finish in just three weeks (see Exhibit 8). This varied somewhat depending on the type of garment: new garments took about five weeks from design to store delivery, while revamped existing items could take as little as two weeks. As a result Zara could be responsive to fashion items that were selling well during the season, and to discontinue those that were not.

By constantly refreshing the collection, and manufacturing items in high-intensity, Zara was a master of picking up up-to-the- minute trends and churning them out to stores around the world in a matter of weeks. ?•After Madonna? ’s first concert date in Spain during a recent tour, her outfit was copied by Zara designers. By the time she performed her last concert in Spain, some members of the audience were wearing the same outfit. ?•In 2003, when the Crown Prince of Spain announced his engagement to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, she wore a white trouser-suit for the occasion (pictured left).

In just a few weeks, the same white trouser-suit was hanging from Zara? ’s clothes racks all over Europe, where it was snatched up by the ranks Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano of the fashion-conscious. – 10 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 short-runs, Zara was able to prevent the accumulation of non-saleable inventories. It was estimated that Zara committed just 15-25% of production before the season began, 50 to 60% at the start of the season, and the remainder manufactured in-season. Percentage of Zara sales consisting of markdowns was 15-20%. In some cases, stores ran out of stock.

However, this was not viewed as a negative since it contributed to customers? ’ perception of the uniqueness of their purchase: ? “Customers are actually satisfied to see items out of stock as they are then confident that there is little chance that many other customers will wear the same dress.? ”21 Castellano explained the rationale for this departure from industry norms: We don? ’t want to compete in the bottom end of the market. We offer fashion with a high design content. If I tried to source my collections in Asia, I would not be able to get them quickly enough to our stores.

By manufacturing close to home, I can scrap collections when they are not selling. And without this rapid response, I would not be able to extract a good relation between quality, price and fashion which is what our customers have come to expect. 22 A study in 2000 estimated that Zara managed to generate 14. 7% operating margins as a percentage of sales, compared with 10. 6% for Gap and 12. 3% for H&M. Additionally, the same study put Zara? ’s inventory turnover at 10. 67 outpacing Gap at 7. 18 and H&M at 6. 84. 23 THE FUTURE Following Zara? ’s success, competitors sought to reduce their own lead times.

The competitive advantage achieved by Zara? ’s vertical integration appeared to be eroding. With its highly centralised structure and its rapid growth, Zara was producing around 12,000 different items per year by 2005. As it opened stores in increasingly distant markets, would Zara be able to retain its flexibility in adjusting production to accommodate differences in local trends? Would the increase in complexity result in a need to create regional production facilities? How would this affect the advantage Zara gained from its centralization?

Might Chinese clothing manufacturers prove to be a competitive threat to Zara, with their high capacity and continuous improvements in quality? Castellano discounted this threat: ? “Being a Zara or Gap is not just about designing fashionable clothes and manufacturing them cheaply. You must also make the transition to being a retailer. It is a big step from manufacturing to distribution. There is also the question of managing the location and presentation of stores, training staff and so on.? ”24 The Zara model seemed to work better in markets where customers had an appetite for fashion (such as France, Italy, Japan and the UK).

However, in countries such as France and Italy, Zara had received bad press for copying – 11 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 designs from couture labels, and the French Fashion Federation had called for limited access by reporters to fashion shows to minimize imitation by copycatters. In other markets, where consumers were less fashion-focussed (e. g. Germany and the U. S. A. ) Zara seemed somewhat less successful. Would Zara be better served in the long run by increasing penetration in these fashion- sensitive markets, or by extending its global reach through increased presence in more markets? – 12 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037

Exhibit 1: Traditional Season for a High Street Store Adapted from Dutta, 200425 – 13 – 305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 Exhibit 2: Inditex Stores and Sales Sales, by Division (2004-5) Zara Home Kiddy? ’s Class Pull & Bear 6. 7% Massimo Dutti 8. 5% Bershka 9. 1% Zara 67. 4% Stradivarius 4. 3% 1. 3% Oysho Source: Handelsbank, 2005 Source: Financial Times, 2005 Percentage of Stores (2005) 0. 7% 2. 1% Zara Home Kiddy? ’s Class 3% Oysho 5% Stradivarius 10% Pull & Bear 16% 6% Zara 31% Dutti 15% Bershka 14% – 14 – 305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 Exhibit 3: Number of Zara Stores by Country (31 March 2005) Russia Slovenia2 2Hungary Czech Rep.

Lithuania1 Asia Pacific = 21 Japan14 Malaysia3 Europe = 576 3 Sweden Denmark Finland Iceland 2 2 1 1 4Romania 3Estonia 1Latvia1 Singapore Hong Kong Mexico Venezuela Brazil Argentina Chile Uruguay El Salvador Panama Dominican Rep. 1 Spain244 Portugal41 France83 Greece30 UK34 Belgium17 Germany34 Italy23 Eire4 Turkey11 Cyprus3 Holland6 Switzerland 6 Poland7 Austria6 Malta1 Andorra1 Luxembourg 2 3USA16 1Canada12 Americas = 98 Middle East & Africa = 40 Saudi Arabia Israel UAE Kuwait Lebanon Jordan Qatar Bahrain Morocco 13 13 4 4 2 1 1 1 1 34 8 13 5 5 2 1 1Adapted from Inditex, 2005 Exhibit 4: Inditex Store Formats ZaraKiddy? sPull & Bear Class – 15 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 MassimoBershkaStradivariusOyshoZara Home Dutti 2004 2003 2004 2003 2004 2003 2004 2003 2004 2003 2004 2003 2004 2003 2004 2003 No of stores723626 Turnover* 3,820 3,220 129103371350 121 90 379 288 22 18. 0 56 19 12. 8 13. 4 30. 5 31 2. 11. 96. 76. 3 61% 80% 44% 16% 327297302 481 389 516 75 60 83 41. 9 40. 9 35. 7 8. 58. 59. 1 50% 56% 52% 253227191104 395 242 162 72 57 394 16 33. 8 15. 4 16. 6 31. 5 8. 64. 33. 51. 3 46% 43%5% 52% 766226 45 40 11 2 0. 3 (0. 5) 35. 1 12. 7 8. 5 10. 70. 2 7%2%– Operating Income* % international sales 648 476 65. 8 63. 5 67. 470 % of Inditex ROCE 38% 33% in millions of Euros, rounded off. Source: Inditex press dossier, 2005 – 16 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 Exhibit 5: Key Indicators of Gap, H&M and Inditex (Financial Years 2003 & 2004) GapiH&MInditex 29 29 30 30 31 31 Reporting Date Sales (millions ? €) Gross Profit (millions ? €) Operating Profit (millions ? €) Profit (millions ? €) Profit after tax (millions ? €) Total Assets (millions ? €) Inventories (millions ? €) January 2005ii January 2004iii November 2004iv November 2003v JanuaryJanuary 20052004 12,47012,6966,0295,3305,6704,599 4,8924,7803,4492,9943,0342,306 1,5981,5221,1981,019925627 1,4351,3491,2361,062886613 882826817706628446 ,7038,5793,1592,8474,2093,510 1,3901,365577558514486 Stores Employees 152,000150,00031,70128,40947,04639,760 Countries 56 20185648 2,9943,0221,0689452,2441,922 Total square3,3993,3931,364vin/a metres (thousands) 1,175988 Source: Inditex, H&M and Gap, 2005 i Gap Inc? ’s stores include Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic. Gap? ’s sales were ? €5. 6 million, with 1643 stores, and 1. 43 million square metres. ii Exchange Rate of 29 January 2005 is used for all currency calculations: 0. 76660 USD = 1? € iii Exchange Rate of 29 January 2004 is used for all currency calculations 0. 80080 USD = ? 1 iv Exchange Rate of 30 November 2004 is used for all currency calculations 0. 11230 SEK = 1? € v Exchange Rate of 30 November 2003 is used for all currency calculations 0. 11050 SEK = 1? € vi Estimated (Adapted from Datamonitor, 2005). Exhibit 6: Iniditex vs. H&M (1998-2004) Sales, Inditex vs H&M (Millions, ? €) – 17 – Inditex H&M 305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 Number of Stores, Inditex vs H&M (1999-2004) 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 22244 66029 5670 1922 55,058 5330 1558 11284 682771 99451068 IInditex H&M 44599 1080 613 44,196 3,980 3,250 922 8844 33,255 1,614 2,035 3,508 2,615 ,631 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 NNumber of Countries, Inditex vs H&M (1999-2004) 60 50 40 30 20 10 556 11998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 44 14 448 330 12 339 33 1414 118 220 IInditex H&M 0 0 11999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 AAdapted from Inditex and H&M, 2005 – 18 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 Exhibit 7: A Zara advertisement The Cheap Frock coat (119) White shirt (25) ZARA Black necktie (65) HACKETT Woollen Trousers (45) and Black boots (55), both ZARA The Expensive Black cashmere frock coat (950) White tuxedo shirt (190) Black necktie (86) and Woollen Trousers (380) both RALPH LAUREN Black boots (500) are by UNGARO 19 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 Exhibit 8: Zara Season Adapted from Dutta, 2004 Endnotes – 20 -305-308-1 LBS-CS-05-037 1 Crawford, L. (2005) ? “Inditex sizes up Europe in expansion drive,? ” Financial Times, 1 February 2005, p. 30. 2 Ferdows, K. J. , A. D. Machuca and M. Lewis (2003) ? “Zara,? ” CIBER Case Collection, Indiana University. 3 D? ’Andrea, G. and D. Arnold (2003) ? “Zara,? ” Harvard Business School Case 9-503-050, p. 7. 4 ? “Zara, la deferlante de la mode espagnole,? ” Interview with Stephane Labelle, MD of Zara France, Enjeux-Les Echos, February 1996. 5 Crawford, L. (2000) ? Inside Track: Putting on the style with rapid response,? ” Financial Times, 26 February 2000. 6 D? ’Andrea, G. and D. Arnold (2003) ? “Zara,? ” Harvard Business School Case 9-503-050, p. 19. 7 D? ’Andrea, G. and D. Arnold (2003) ? “Zara,? ” Harvard Business School Case 9-503-050, p. 18 8 Ferdows, K. J. , K. M. Lewis and J. A. D. Machuca (2003) ? “Zara,? ” Supply Chain Forum 4(2): 62. 9 Ferdows, K. J. , A. D. Machuca and M. Lewis (2003) ? “Zara,? ” CIBER Case Collection, Indiana University, p. 6. 10 Ghemawat, P. and J. L. Nueno (2003) ? “Zara: Fast Fashion,? ” Harvard Business School Case 9-703-497, p. 10. 11 ? The Future of Fast Fashion,? ” The Economist, 18 June 2005, p. 63. 12 ? “Zara: A Retailer? ’s Dream,? ” from http://www. fashionunited. co. uk/news/archive/inditex1. htm 13 Ferdows, K. J. , A. D. Machuca and M. Lewis (2003) ? “Zara,? ” CIBER Case Collection, Indiana University, p. 7. 14 Crawford, L. (2005) ? “Inditex sizes up Europe in expansion drive,? ” Financial Times, 1 February 2005, p. 30. 15 Fraiman, N. , M. Singh, L. Arrington and C. Paris (2002) ? “Zara,? ” Columbia Business School Case, p. 5. 16 Ghemawat, P. and J. L. Nueno (2003) ? “Zara: Fast Fashion,? ” Harvard Business School Case 9-703-497, p. 0. 17 Fraiman, N. , M. Singh, L. Arrington and C. Paris (2002) ? “Zara,? ” Columbia Business School Case, p. 5. 18 Ferdows, K. J. , A. D. Machuca and M. Lewis (2003) ? “Zara,? ” CIBER Case Collection, Indiana University, p. 6. 19 Fraiman, N. , M. Singh, L. Arrington and C. Paris (2002) ? “Zara,? ” Columbia Business School Case, p. 6. 20 Ferdows, K. J. , A. D. Machuca and M. Lewis (2003) ? “Zara,? ” CIBER Case Collection, Indiana University, p. 8. 21 Interview with Anthony Pralle, Senior Vice President of Boston Consulting Group, Madrid, 13 July 1999, as quoted in Harle, N. , M. Pich and L.

Van der Heyden (2002) ? “Marks & Spencer and Zara: Process Competition in the Textile Apparel Industry,? ” INSEAD Case 602- 010-1. 22 Crawford, L. ?“Inditex sizes up Europe in expansion drive: Rapid design, manufacture and distribution keep pressure on rivals,? ” Financial Times, 1 February 2005. 23 D? ’Andrea, G. and D. Arnold (2003) ? “Zara,? ” Harvard Business School Case 9-503-050. 24 Crawford, L. (2005) ? “Inditex sizes up Europe in expansion drive,? ” Financial Times, 1 February 2005, p. 30. 25 Dutta, D. (2004) ? “Brand Watch: Zara,? ” Images Fashion Forum Presentation, New Delhi, 12 February 2004.

Free Essays

The Fashion Channel Case

Dana Wheeler, senior vice president of marketing for The Fashion Channel (TFC) must create a strategy which would help deal with the current marketing challenge. Wheeler’s major challenge is to choose an explicit target market in which her team can market towards in order to increase revenues for The Fashion Channel. The key Point’s of The Fashion Channel case include: 1. Build strong Target Market – In order for TFC to maintain and increase their advertising revenue model they must build a strong target market of “highly valued viewers” who are also appealing to the advertisers. . Build positive Positioning- Wheeler needs marketing initiatives to improve consumer interest, awareness and perceived value. 3. Satisfy Customers wants- In order to increase revenues TFC must expand its audience. To do this it must adapt to changes. TFC must change in order to grow while still maintaining the original TFC which current customers love. 4. Create Brand Loyalty – TFC must build an emotional connection with it viewers in order to create the brand loyalty. By building a brand loyalty it is harder for competitors to take them away.

If I were Dana Wheeler I would interpret the consumer and market data by looking at where the majority of the market and their attitude drivers. By combining this data and the results from the survey I would use this data in order to targeting towards the two segments -the Fashionistas and the Shoppers/Planners. By looking at the pooled data I would use the opinions and preferences of the target market and viewers in order to create new t. v. shows which satisfy the needs and wants of theses consumers.

Free Essays

Which Is the Most Successful Fashion Company in the Department

“WHICH IS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL FASHION COMPANY IN THE DEPARTMENT AND GENERAL STORE SECTOR OF THE UK FASHION INDUSTRY FOR MEN AGED 25-34” CONTENTS 0. DEFINING SUCCESS pg 3 1. 1 Market Research Pg 3 2. 0 Secondary Research Findings Pg 5 2. 1 Horizontal Analysis Pg 5 2. 1. 1 Turnover Pg 5 2. 1. 2 Gross Profit  Pg 7 2. 1. 3 Operating Profit Pg 9 2. Vertical Analysis Pg 10 2. 2. 1 House of Fraser Pg 10 2. 2. 2 M&S and Debenhams Pg 11 3. 0 Primary Research Data. Pg 12 3. 1 Aim Pg 12 3. 2 Objectives Pg 12 3. 3 Methodology Pg 12 3. 4 Method Pg 15 3. 5 Results Pg 16 3. 6 Ethical Considerations

Pg 16 3. 7 Potential Limitations Pg 17 Bibliography Appendix “WHICH IS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL FASHION COMPANY IN THE DEPARTMENT AND GENERAL STORE SECTOR OF THE UK FASHION INDUSTRY FOR MEN AGED 25-34” 1. 1 Defining Success Success can be measures in many different ways, through monetary value and finances, memorable advertising and marketing, but to many, success is a personal opinion. In terms of fashion it could be based upon the consumers like for the brands product, or an advertising campaign that made a positive impression on them.

Many brands today are sporting a CSR approach and are trying to give back to the environment or community. This factor to some is something that will place many brands higher above others in personal preference. To define success, more than one factor must be analysed. Both a quantitative and qualitative approach must be used. This report will look at both approaches looking at current secondary data of each chosen company drawing conclusions of success from there as well as planning means of carrying out lucrative primary data allowing a qualitative approach to the findings. 1. 2 Market Research

From the Fashion Trak frameworks of industry leaders, the chosen category for this report is Department & General Stores and within that looking at Men aged 25-34. Within the fashion industry there isn’t normally much of a focus on Men’s shopping habits. A greater understanding will be gained from looking into this sector. Men are notorious for being unenthusiastic shoppers, often choosing stores where they can satisfy other interests (Mintel) The TGI lifestyle groups look at the different life stages and show an insight into where they spend their money and what on. Men aged 25-34 fall predominantly into: – Fledglings – Flown the nest Nest Builders | |% | |All |56. 7 | |Fledglings |67. 3 | |Nest Builders |66. 7 | |Flown the Nest |65. 8 | |Unconstrained Couples |58. 6 | |Senior Sole Decision Makers |58. 3 | |Playschool Parents |55. | |Secondary School Parents |54. 2 | |Empty Nesters |52. 4 | |Mid-life Independents |50. 7 | Fig. 1 Mintel – Men’s Fashion Lifestyles 2009 It is apparent that the men in the first of these groups have the highest interest in their appearance and that as their priorities change there is a decrease (Fig. 1). This discovery lead to the initial interest of looking at the types of retailer’s men in these ages shopped predominantly in.

Fashion Trak shows that for men of this age, Department and General Stores featured highly among the clothing multiples and discount stores. (See Appendix 1) 2. 0 Secondary Research Findings. The use of the October 2010 Fashion Trak report showed that there where four Genera & Department stores in the top 20 retailers for this age group. These results are done on Expenditure % and although they offer an initial visual to the most successful it is important to look at the other methods of success previously mentioned to gain a fuller knowledge.

Marks and Spencer’s, Debenhams and House of Fraser are clear runners on the UK high street. FAME can be used to take a look at the financial data of each company, looking at Turnover, Profit and other factors. This provides a numerical value of success between the three of them. The results of which are shown bellow. When looking at the financial data of a company it is important to note that it may not be accurate. Figures may be out of date, estimates or not take inflation into account. Because of this, the data below must be treated as a representation and not necessarily the correct numbers. . 1 Horizontal Analysis. 2. 1. 1 Turnover The bellow graphs (Fig 2 & 3) show a clear visual of all three company’s Turnover and % change for the past three years. It is important to note the difference in scale across these graphs. Turnover is the money generated through business activity, be it selling of products or services. It shows how much money has been produced in a given space of time Fig 2 – Debenhams Turnover: Source FAME Fig 3 – M&S Turnover: Source FAME You can see that both M&S and Debenhams have seen an overall increase in Turnover over the past three years.

The line showing the % Change for both of these company’s reiterates the growth patterns for both. Whilst Debenhams has seen a steady continuous increase M&S saw a relatively stable growth grow rapidly from 2009 to 2010. This growth could be due to the 49% increase in only sales through M&S Direct. (Thomas, R. 2010) As well as what M&S Group Finance and Operations Director, Ian Dyson, puts down to “improved market conditions. ” (M&S Online) Although at a lower scale, Debenhams has increased continuously at a fixed rate. Fig 4 – House of Fraser Turnover – Source FAME

Whilst M&S and Debenhams have seen increases in turnover, House of Fraser has not (Fig 4. ) For the past five years (See Appendix 3 for full finances 2005-2010) House of Fraser, has seen a continuous decrease in its Turnover. Much of this will be due to the UK Recession. 2. 1. 2 Gross Profit A 2009 Drapers Online report discusses the increase in sales of 4. 5% over the 2008 Christmas period, a long with increase in Gross Profit for House of Fraser, stating that “The performance appears to be ahead of rival department store Debenhams” (Brown, J. 009) At this point it is important to notify that the FAME report for House of Fraser does not seem accurate as with both Gross Profit and other figures, House of Fraser does not hold a lead over Debenhams. Their online financials do not go past 2008 and so in this case it is hard to measure the financial performance against that of M&S and Debenhams in a fair way. Gross profit enables us to look at the profit a company makes once it has taken away the cost of sales. Fig 5. Debenhams Gross Profit – Source FAME From Fig 5 and looking at the FAME figures, it seems that Debenhams does incur high cost of sales.

Although the graph seems to show a huge increase between 2009/2010, these costs have neither increased nor decreased dramatically over the past three years, as the difference has remained relatively stable. Where Turnover has increased so have the figures for Gross Profit, The difference between the two has remained similar with gross profit increasing on average by 5. 23% a year. Fig 6. M&S Gross Profit – Source FAME Fig 6 shows that in 2009 there is what looks like high costs of sales resulting in a much lower Gross Profit. 010 saw a greater increase in turnover than previous years, which when placed next to 2010’s gross profit shows a near consistent expenditure for cost of sales. Although high, there have been no radical increases in it. 2. 1. 3 Operating Profit Although Turnover is an important measure of a company’s success, Operating Profit provides a better grasp of how much money the company has made, as it is the figures from after the deduction of the costs of production or in the case of Debenhams, expenditure on purchases. Fig 7. Operating Profit – Source FAME

Marks and Spencers are still a clear leader inturns of overall operating profit. However the figures and graph show that is suffered a significant decrease in 2008/9. Both Debenhams and House of Fraser seem not to have suffered at this time. This decrease will be due to a knock on effect from the decrease in turnover which effected gross profit as well. 2. 2 Vertical Analysis The margin ratios give a good incite into the overall management efficiency. It is important to look at them as a whole not individually. 2. 2. 1 House of Fraser |2010 | |2009 | |2008 | | |Gross Margin |60. 42 |2% |58. 99 |3% |57. 27 |28% | |Net Margin | 2. 87 |12% | 3. 25 |50% | 2. 16 |112% | Fig 8. Gross and Net Margin for House of Fraser. Source FAME This table shows the Gross and Profit Margins of House of Fraser over the past three years.

House of Fraser show a good Gross margin, and one that has steadily increased over the past three years. In 2010 for every ? 1 of turnover 60. 42p was left after cost of sales, showing that they have low costs of sales. The Net Margin on the other hand is a lot lower that the Gross Margin. From the Profit and Loss account you can see that this is due to their Admin Expenses being high. ROCE shows (Fig 9) the percentage return on the capital invested in a business. This figure can be used to by potential investors as well as within the company in order to make cost efficient decision. |2010 | |2009 | |2008 | | |ROCE |9. 58 |6% |10. 23 |27% |8. 07 |109% | Fig 9. ROCE for House of Fraser. Source FAME In terms of potential investment, the figures for House of Fraser are relatively low, although they are not in negative numbers, it can be seen that for every ? 1 invested into the company only 9. 6 p will be generated in turnover. 2. 2. 2 M&S and Debenhams

Unlike House of Fraser both Debenhams and M&S have much lower figures for their Gross Margins,(Fig10) showing they’re cost of sales is greater than that of House of Fraser | | | | | | | | |2010 | | | | | | | |2009 | | | | | | | |2008 | | | | | | | | | | | |M&S | | | |37. 94 | | | |2% | | | |37. 21 | | | |4% | | | |38. 5 | | | |1% | | | | | | | |Debenhams | | | |15. 43 | | | |8% | | | |14. 32 | | | |3% | | | |14. 6 | | | |13% | | | | | | | |Fig 10. Gross Margins for Debenhams and M&S. Source FAME | | | | | | | | | | | However when compared next to their Net margin as well, the difference is noticeably small that House of Fraser’s. | |2010 | |2009 | |2008 | | |Gross Margin M&S |37. 4 |2% |37. 21 |4% |38. 65 |1% | |Net Margin M&S |7. 37 |5% |7. 79 |38% |12. 51 |15% | Fig 11. Gross and Net Margin for M&S. Source FAME Both the Gross margin and the Net margin for M&S are low (Fig 11). In order to improve their Net Margin, the expenses must be looked at and a reduction of the proportion of expenses paid out of every ? 1 must be reduced. The Gross margin for Debenhams is also low (Fig 12) , showing again as well as with both House of Fraser and M&S that there is high expenditure.

The margin between Gross and Net compared to the other two companies is narrow, this shows that in terms of other costs before taxation and interest they are low. | |2010 | |2009 | |2008 | | |Gross Margin D |15. 43 |8% |14. 32 |3% |14. 76 |13% | |Net Margin D |11. 74 |4% |11. 33 |12% |12. 85 |7% | Fig 12. Gross and Net Margin for Debenhams. Source FAME Although as stated their expenses are low, the Gross margin shows that cost of sales are very high, some thing that is arguably too high for a company that does not produce clothes but buys them in.

This could also be attributed to the fact that as a brand they have a lot of markdowns (Blue X Sales), which put pressure on their margins. As with House of Fraser ROCE allows us to see if the company would be deemed a good one to invest in as well as other factors. | |2010 | |2009 | |2008 | | |ROCE M&S |8. 9 |4% |9. 31 |36% |14. 44 |10% | |ROCE Debenhams |29. 43 |9% |26. 88 |9% |29. 66 |12% | Fig 13. ROCE for M&S and Debenhams. Source FAME

It is clear that between the three company’s Debenhams has the highest ROCE. (Fig. 13) 3. 0 Primary Data Research 3. 1 Aim: The aim of this secondary research is to determin the most successful fashion company in General & Department stores for Men ages 25-34 in the uk fashion industry 3. 2 Objectives: 1. To determin a qualitative definition of success. 2. Decide upon a relevant research method to use to undertake an academic and successful way of research. 3. To find a suitable method to use in conjunction with the already analysed secondary research. 3. 3 Methodology: In order to ensure the questionnaire is carried out in an accurate and appropriate way a carefully designed plan of action must be made.

The best results are when the questionnaire can grasp a good collection of resualts from a random field. The sample is an important factor, deciding upon who to ask must be taken into consideration. There are various methods of doing this that include. Quota sampling is a method where by the interviewee chooses people inevitably at random but which all show signs of differences based on the chosen interest. (Arsham, H) Stratified sampling is a method of random selection with in a sub group Cluster sampling where an intire department is used. (Easterby-Smith et al. , 2002: 136) It is important here to focus on the target group at question; Men aged 25-34.

Any of the three methods chosen above would be relevant. However in this istance a Quota Sampling method will be used. This allows for the questions to be targetted at males only. Cluster sampling would not have allowed for this as a in order to find a male only/dominated unit would be near impossible without added prejudices. It is also imperative to decide upon the size of a sample. In order to gain an appropriate and relevant understand the size must be one that will provide enough answers to analyse. When conducting this questionnaire an initial numnber of 150 people will be approached. A questionnaire can either be done face to face or not.

When conducting a non face to face questionnaire, it would be difficult to control the span of people it would reach. Online programs such as Survey Monkey are one way of spreading a survey, however in many cases this wouldn’t result in random selection of applicants as it is most likey to be sent on to friends and family. For this survey the starting point for gathering answers will be done on a face to face basis. When designing a questionnaire for face to face gathereing. There are areas to consider which may in turn casue limitations. Many people will not have time to answer a long questionanire and so short, snappy easy to answer questions are imperative.

As well as this keeping the overall length of the questionnaire short. In order to maximise time, make placing the most important questions towards the first half will allow for error if time runs out. The question types must be kept in mind for the planing and creating, looking at both the phrasing of the question as well as choosing the method best suited for the answer. In this instance this questionnaire will firstly need to obtain Nominal and Interval data. In order to seek to answer the Aim only men must be asked, and although not always appropriate in this case it is imporatnt to ask about age. Some people will not be willing to give their xact age and so in this case it will be just asked if they fall into the 24-35 age bracket. Once this has been found the basis of the rest of the questionnaire will use the Likert Scale. A scale that measures the stregth of agreement towards a certain statement or subject. An example of a Likert Scale can be seen in Appendix 2. This method can be used to also look at frequency, importance, likelihood and quality of product or serivice. When using the Likert Scale to look at frequency, agreement is not nessecerily the best method of gaining a quick answer, it is important to not that the perosn being asked the questions may not remember how often they for instance shop at Debenhams.

In this case an other box where they or you can add an extra note or different answer is usefull. As well as this there are many other ways to form questions, – a comment box where there is no help/hint to gain and answer and the oppinons of the intervewee can be voiced. – a ranking or scale method can be used, where level of importance is ranked say 1-5, 5 being most important, 1 being least. Situations like this must be considered to allow for the questionnaire to run smoothly and to make sure the best results are achieved. It is best to try out these various methods within a prototype to see which ones will work best in certain circumstances. Bell, 2005:138) When conducting the design of a questionnaire a prototype or pilot version which can be tested on a friend or two is a good way of seeing if there is continuity and that is is quick and easy to fill out. An example of a prototype for this research this can be found in Appendix 4. The use of this prototype can also be used to asses the wording. Bell looks at the different means of commonly used “survey words” Stating it is important to know how one word to one person could potentially mean something very different to another. As well as meaning, careful selection must be made to assure statements are not made that could be deamed offensive.

This questionnaire seeks a positivist approach to the research proposal where by the observer remains autonomous of the subjects being observed, where by the data can provide ideas to be assumed it will seek to find out the personal opinions of the consumers of the UK high street, this approach will use a qualititative form of questionnaire. It will seek to obstract oppinions rather than fact. The findings from this questionnaire will seek to provide a theory of which to base the conclusion of this research. It is there for and dedutive approach. (Bryman and Bell, 2007) Method: In this occasion the questionnaire is being designed to gather customer information and perception of Debenhams, M&S and House of Fraser. In order to get information for all three, the locations picked will have to be ones where all three of these retailers are present. This will of course not always be the case, and so larger cities across the UK would have to be chosen.

London’s Oxford Street houses all three, however it is an extrodinerily busy place and so completion would prove difficult. Smaller secondary cities and area’s around the capital would be more beneficial. The placement of the questionnaire would need to be around the loaction of each store. Equal ammount of time would need to be spent at each location with approximate equall surveys filled as well. A mutual area in the main shopping area would also provide a good location. In order to ask as many shoppers as possible as well as gather a greater variety, a weekend day would be used. However to gain a great depth a week day should also be considered as well.

Results: Once a representative sample of surveys have been completed, the results will be gathered in and then an indepth analysis will take place. As the survey will have been altered and throughrally designed, the answers to all questions should provide helpful contributions to its chosen field of research. Correlations between the quanitative secondary research and the qualitative primary research will be looked at at this stage and from then on it can be seen wherther or not there are any trends between them. The results of this stage will then begin to form the basis and main argument in drawing a conclusion to the Aim. Ethical Consideration:

Due to the ethnographic nature of this research, one must take into carefull consideration the code of conduct for the establishment underwhich he/she is working. The University of the Arts, Code of Ethics requires that all research be carried out in a responsible way that complys with the code. Helth and saftey must take prominent position and in many cases a risk assesment must be carried out before starting research. This factor is important when undertaking a survey on location as said area must be deamed a safe working environment. When approaching an intervewee it is important that they are clear of who the questionnaire is for and what it is going to be used for. It is essential to gain their consent before the survey is taken any further. Bell 2005:45) All participents of the research should understand that they are gauranteed a right to privacy as well as having both theyre physical and psychological independence respected. Potential Limitations: When conducting a questionnaire there are a various number of limitations that must be carefully looked at. For starters the location and distribution. Although it is easy to say when and where it will be carried out, consumer shopper habits change daily and may be affected by external factors such as the weather, something that could alter the gatheriing accuracy of the data. A questionnaire is a timing consuming method of collecting data. Many people will not want to be stoppped in the street whilst with their family of friends, and if a survey is sent on via email they are not neccessirily going to read it.

With the collection of a face to face survey, some people may feel uneasy viocing their feelings in front of someone they do not know. A questionnaire provides an easy and simply way of obtaining market information first hand from the consumer. However in some situations it may not nesseccerily be the best form of obtaining data. The use of a focus group or smaller more personal interviews could be used in conjunction to this in order to provide a wider knowledge on consumers thoughts as suggested by Webb et al (1966. ) in his Trianulation Model. (Bryman and Bel, 2007:413) Word Count: 3229 Bibliography Arsham, H. (1994) ‘Questionnaire Design and Survey Sampling’ [Online] Available at: http://home. ubalt. edu/ntsbarsh/stat-data/surveys. htm#rssm (Accessed: 19th March 2011)

Bel, J. (2005) Doing your research project: a guide for first time researchers in education, health and social science. 4th ed. Maidenhead : Open University Press Brown, J. (2009) ‘House of Fraser reports solid xmas’ [Online] Available at: http://www. drapersonline. com/news/house-of-fraser-reports-solid-xmas/1960772. article (Accessed: 23rd March) Bryman & Bel, (2007) Business Research Methods. 2nd ed. Oxford: OUP Oxford Easterby –Smith et al. (2002) Management Research. 3rd ed. London: Sage Fashion Trak (2010) Kantar published October 2010 Harrison, I. (2009) A-Z Handbook: Accounting. 3rd ed. Oxfordshire: Philip Allan Hunt, N & Tyrrell, S. 2004) ‘ Cluster Sampling’ [Online] Available at: http://www. coventry. ac. uk/ec/~nhunt/meths/cluster. html (Accessed : 19th March) ‘Mens Fashion Lifestyles’ (2009) Mintel Published April 2010 Thomas, R. (2010) ‘Marks & Spencer online sales grow 49%’ [Online] Available at: http://www. computerweekly. com/Articles/2010/07/07/241882/Marks-amp-Spencer-online-sales-grow-49. htm (Accessed: 22nd March) Wood, Z. (2007) ‘ House of Fraser’s Debts Halve’. [Online] Available at: http://www. guardian. co. uk/business/2007/jul/22/retail. theobserver1 (Accessed: 23rd March 2011) http://www. marksandspencer. com/ (2011) Accessed: 19th March 2011 Appendix Appendix 1 – Fashion Trak Menswear aged 24-35 |12 m/e Oct 2010 Share | |Next/Dir |9. 6 | |Marks and Spencer |7. 1 | |Debenhams |5. 8 | |Burtons |3. 8 | |Sports Direct |3. 5 | |Primark |3. 4 | |House of Fraser |3. | |Total Asda |2. 9 | |River Island |2. 9 | |Matalan |2. 8 | |TK Maxx |2. 8 | |Tesco |2. 8 | |Topshop/Man |2. 4 | |Sports Direct Group |1. 9 | |JJB Sport |1. | |Total Moss Bros |1. 4 | |Ebay. com |1. 3 | |John Lewis |1. 2 | |H&M |1. 2 | |The Gap |1. 2 | Appendix 2 – Likert Scale Example I find the clothing in M&S suitable for my age range: a) Strongly Agree b) Agree c) Undecided d) Disagree e) Strongly disagree Appendix 4 – Questionnaire Prototype

A Survey to gather information on the opinions of Males ages 24-35 about Department and General Stores especially House of Fraser, M&S and Debenhams 1. Do you fall with in the age bracket 24-35 ? 2. How often do you visit your local high street? – Once a month – Occasionally on the weekend – Every weekend – More than once a week 3. Is this usually for shopping purposes? Yes No 4. Using the scale 1-5, 1 being most popular 5 being least, rank these stores in preference for apparel shopping. House of Fraser John Lewis Marks and Spencer’s Debenhams Next 5. For your chosen top retailer from Q4. Why have you chosen this one? 6. Discounting Debenhams and John Lewis, what are your perceptions of the remaining stores? House of Fraser – Debenhams – Marks and Spencer’s – 7.

For what product would you go to each store to buy? | |Casual Day Wear |Work Wear I,e Suits |Home wear and lifestyle |Formal Wear |Underwear | |M&S | | | | | | |DEBENHAMS | | | | | | |HOUSE OF FRASER | | | | | |

Free Essays

1960’s Fashion

Choose any decade in recent history and describe how ‘Style’ defined the period- 1960’s Emergence from the devastation that hit Britain during the Second World War, Britain in the 60’s was one that broke many fashion traditions, generated new social movements and defined the period with its style. “There was to be an end to the age of shoddy, to the post-war period of ‘making do’… swinging London was confident enough now to wage a war of independence. ” (Jackson, 1998 p35)

The post war industrial boom was affecting lifestyles and in particular, it was the the Youth culture that benefitted mostly from this shift in movement. There was emphasis on the youth and ‘The Look’ that began to displace the ‘New look’ of the post war period. Becoming more open minded, independent and culturally aware were all things that the youth began to adopt, along with disposable income. Benefits from the post war industrial boom encouraged this new attitude towards money and the way it could be spent. …commercial success stories, many related to retailing of one sort of another, with fashion and home furnishings being at the fore front of the consumer revolution. Because this was a time of virtually full employment and economic prosperity, consumers had more money to spend than ever before. ” (Jackson, 1998, p35) The style and attitude towards fashion had changed, and it became a passion rather then a necessity. Music in the 60’s had a strong influential bond with fashion and style that had never been so closely linked.

This unison created distinctive style of dress, developing from Beatnik, Teddy Boys and Mods. The attitude towards style had become very open and people began to gain confidence in their own development of sense of style. “… music and attitudes that could be understood at a glance. And the freedom that fashion allowed in the sixties meant that everyone could dress up. ” (Connikie, 1990, p7) The Beatles were the band that represented the forefront of men’s fashion. They developed styles for each new record release and in 1963 they had portrayed the distinctive collarless Cardin Suits and collar-length hair.

This recognisable hair cut became instantly noticeable in the youth culture. “…became a universal sign of rebellious youth. ” (Connikie, 1990, p36) The Beatles also adopted a similarity to the “mod’ style, however denied connections with the culture as they wanted to appeal to all, the music and the culture both interrupted Britain at the similar time. Before the Mods culture emerged in Britain, former sub cultures such as Teddy Boys built the bridges to allow people to challenge style and create a culture.

Teddy boys also lead the way for a growing male interest in fashion, making it socially acceptable. “…male interest in fashion in Britain was mostly associated with the underground homosexual subculture’s flamboyant dressing styles” (Mod subculture, website, 2010) These cultures would have developed from the New Romantics as they became more out spoken and familiar. As the subcultures faded in the early 1960’s, the Mod style, short for ‘Moderns’ were prime examples of what the Swinging Sixties were classed as: youth, mobility, fashion and a strong interest in music.

The majority of people who adopted this culture were young adults. The styles included; the Harrington jacket, Fishtail green parka, polo shirts, turtle necks, roll necks, slim fitting, high collared shirts, loafers, dessert boots, tailored 60’s jacket and straight leg trouser or jeans. They would drive scooters as it was an easy accessible mode of transport, it became a distinctive part of the culture, all based around style and the overall look. The attitudes around this culture was desirable to the youth but could be described as troublesome for others.

Rifts between the Mods and Rockers caused public display of violence in Brighton 1964, the riot scene was recreated in the film ‘Quadrophenia’, produced by the classic cult band of the period, The Who, who were popular with the Mods. Mods were seen as usually city dwellers with well paid office jobs and looked presentable, whereas Rockers tended to be rural, and classed as out of touch, oafish and grubby. This style clash shows the importance of the cults and how important being united together was.

It also shows how influential style could become. Styles changed slightly throughout the Mod culture and it adopted a new Italian/ French style, introduced a smooth, sophisticated look that enhanced the tailor made feel. Crew necks, pointed toe leather shoes were a few additions to the culture. Due to this style, a period of pushing boundaries and experimentation was nigh. The use of recreational drugs was something that the culture influenced. Nicknamed ‘purple hearts’ Mods would use the drug when out at night to get a buzz and stimulation. Mods used amphetamines to extend their leisure time into the early hours of the morning and as a way of bridging the wide gap between their hostile and daunting everyday work lives and the ‘inner world’ of dancing and dressing up in their off-hours. ” (Mod subculture, website, 2011) Some male Mods experimented with challenging the social gender norms by wearing makeup to enhance their appearance and women began to substitute an androgynous style of wearing clothes. Hair was being cut short, the wear of men’s garments and little make up worn.

This obsession Mods had with clothes and styles allowed acceptance to the idea of experimentation and added a sense of rebellion to social norms. Attitudes towards women in the Mod culture were also influential, young mod men accepted the idea that women did not have to be attached to a man and that they can become independent and have a source of income etc. This presentable image was said to make non-subculture aspects of life easier and more equal to that of the male Mods.

Miniskirts defined the period of change in the attitude towards the length of women’s clothing and how much reveal is accepted. This initial style pushed the boundaries and as a result has changed the attitude ever since. “Female Mods pushed the boundaries if parental tolerance with their miniskirts, which got progressively shorter between the early and mid 1960’s” (Mods subculture, website, 2011) Models such as Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton were pinnacle to the fashion industry during the 1960’s.

They promoted and exposed the new changing styles across the world, and in tern became a face of the period. Their style defined the period and Twiggy’s famous face is one that we automatically link to that of the 60’s. “With her waif like figure, boyish hair cut and striking eye lashes she created an image that would epitomise an era. Twiggy became the idol for millions of teenage girls of the sixties revolution. ” (Twiggy Lawson, website, 2008) She was one of the first supermodels and was/is an icon of the period.

Mary Quant, a quintessential designer in the 60’s, made keeping up with trends inexpensive and accessible to all young girls in the period. She popularised the mini skirt and became essential for developing the Mod-girl image. She also became a defining person of the 1960’s and changed shopping experiences and attitudes to style by opening up a divergent store offering new cutting edge and orginal designs. These hand tailored designs had became desirable as each one was unique and became very popular with the youth culture. Design alone could not have brought about the revolution in taste and lifestyle that happened during the 1960’s’ the key figure of the decade were the popularisers, those who actively and directly promoted ‘the look’ and made it available to a mass audience. ” (Jackson, 1998, p36) The British youth fashion was a lucrative market and Quant along with partner Alexander Plunket Greene opened a retail store in the Kings road called Bazaar. She designed and edited garments that became very desirable to the youth culture as it was accessible and new, in creating this idea Quant became a brand in herself.

Mods were very conscious about clothing and buying the classic items. Gaining inspiration from the cults, Quant enhanced the promotion of them. In 1965 she wrote “It is the Mods… who gave the dress trade the impetus to break through the fast-moving, breathtaking, uprooting revolution in which we have been a part since the opening of Bazaar. ” (Jackson, 1998, p43) This shows that style generated by cults, were particularly a large influence to help define the period and possible retail future. ’The Look’ which she created was part of a wider movement encompassing photography, graphics and pop music along with domestic design, she was keenly aware of the significance of fashion in particular in pioneering change, and in leading and defining a shift in social attitudes. “ (Jackson, 1998, p43) the attitudes had become more relaxed and people wanted this to be shown through what they wear. Their attitude towards the clothes themselves and the idea of spending money had also changed. Because this was a time of virtually full employment and economic prosperity, consumers had more money to spend then ever before. ” (Jackson, 1998, p35) Along with this designer, the male revolution and attitude towards style had also changed and shopping as an experience was one that in particular men enjoyed to. John Stephen owned 10 stores down Carnaby Street by 1966. Each store had a different feel and different name. These stores became a busy, exciting place to go and shopping became a leisurely past time, where as before it was a necessity-based experience.

This encouraged the Mods, and people became to buy into the lifestyle they lead. These stores were the first to play music, allowing dancing, trying on, alterations and became a desired social experience. ‘Swinging London in 1966, what people were most interested in was shopping… Shopping became a primary leisure activity for young people, along with watching television and listening to pop music. Shopping was also an avenue for the expression of popular culture, both in terms of what was now being sold, and through the way shops were designed. ’ (Jackson, 1998, p36) “That the fashion for shopping was perceived as being central to the revitalization of design in Britain…’Carnaby street’ was widely used as a generic term for a particular type of design: brash, brightly coloured, with highly decorated surfaces, including the ubiquitous union jack. ” (Jackson, 1998, p37) Carnaby street developed into a ‘virtual fashion parade’ (1960’s in Fashion, website, 2011) and said to sell not only clothes but also an attitude and was a key characteristic of innovation, iconoclasm and fun. They echoed the prevailing spirit of sexual and political revolution…. Carnaby Street became synonymous with the idea of Swinging London. Using the skills of established Soho ‘rag trade’, it sold relatively inexpensive, trend-driven merchandise that mirrored contemporary changes in society and culture. ” (V&A, Fashion in 1960’s, website, N. D) And was said to have ‘pulled the rug from under contemporary or modern” (Hillier, 1998, p188) This generated look and concept about shopping was seen as an enjoyable past time was a desirable experience from other countries outside Britain.

The consumer revolution had given Britain a new look, Post war “Britain shed it fusty, olde-worlde image, and ‘swinging London’, with it Beatlemania and Rolling Stones, its Carnaby Street and mini-skirts and Chelsea boutiques, became a world influence in lifestyle and fashion. ” (Hillier, 1998, p162) This defines the power Britain had to influence style in other countries, it was gaining a name in fashion and beginning to become a culture associated with Britain. The term ‘Youthquake’ was used to describe the shift in attitudes towards style and shopping.

It had defined the prosperity of future Britain and therefore defined this period as a statement that is very eminent. There was a consumer revolution as shopping experiences changed. “The restrictive conventions and judgemental attitude of earlier decades were challenged… shopping had a major impact on peoples lifestyles: by making available goods that people had never seen before. ” (Jackson, 1998, p36) Lifestyle shops such as Habitat were introuced, they were pinnacle to defining the period and the consumer revolution.

They had created a place where people would desire the lifestyle and living accommodations that they created visually instore. Mary Quant had influenced Terrence Conran, the founder of Habitat, as he admired young fashion designers that had challenged the norms and had drawn attention to the new market. Habitat was said to be “probably the single most important domestic design phenomenon in Britain during the 1960s. ” (Jackson, 1998, p49). Habitat was recognised across seas that had inspired particularly Americans and Scandinavians to change the way of retail and style. …in 1966 that the international media suddenly discovered the London ‘scene’ and decided that Britain has got ‘the look’ which the rest of the world wanted. ” (Jackson, 1998, p40) Pivital to this revolution was originally the Cult styles founded by the youth culture. Cult styles changed rapidly in the 1960’s, but had almost defined the period due to the influence they had caused. Due to constant shifts in style the Mods in particular had drifted away due to the changing styles, such as the Hippys. The ‘harder’ moderns were rougher and became the first ‘skinheads’, another style interpreting the period.

The consumer boom was very important in defining the period and this was lead on from the styles, the ever-changing youth Cults had created throughout the 1960’s. These styles had influenced many revolutions such as breaking social norms, effecting shopping styles among other things. Style has definitely defined the period as Britain was out of the war and ready for a new social boom, style has become instantly recognizable to the period. The cults are still guiding design now, and we recognise the period due to the style and design movements there were.

Retail and designers both use influences from periods in time and the Cult styles are reborn. Designers such as Fred Perry have adopted influences from the Mod culture with their polo shirts and jackets; this look is very widespread and has almost re created the culture in the sense that the style becomes very popular. This is available to see throughout fashion and retail and the period is still defined by the style created by the youth culture. Vintage fashion has become very apparent and people are beginning to mock different eras to show individuality. This shows the style defining periods are very much important today.

Free Essays

Fashion 1890-1900

FEMALE EVENING WEAR COSTUME IN 1890- 1900 GAY/ NAUGTY NINTEIS REASERCH SEMINAR IN THE HISTORY OF COSTUME Table of contents Introduction………………………. …1 History and Events………………….. 1 Art and Architecture…………………4 Fashion in the 1890s…………………6 Conclusion…………………………… 11 Appendix………………………………12 Bibliography…………………………22 “Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different. ” Oscar Wilde Introduction: 1890s-1900 England was under the reign of Queen Victoria and the industrial revolution was at its prime.

There was a wealthy middle class emerging, and new artistic movements began developing. The 1890s was referred to by a number of names for example in America it was known as the ‘Gay nineties’ as opposed to Britain where it was known as the ‘Naughty nineties’ or the ‘Gilded age’. At this time Britain was the strongest, most stable empire in the world and these years were quiet and peaceful as there was hardly any conflict. This scenario encouraged the speed of the industrial revolution, which encouraged economic growth.

The Bourgeoisie were accumulating wealth, which enabled them to have more spare time for social and recreational interests. In this paper I will be reviewing the events, culture and clothing from the 90s, which was under Queen Victoria’s reign within the context of world history, art, politics, economics and social change. Social, political and the industrial changes influenced the clothing of the decade, and brought forth a dramatic explosion in design of women’s clothing which eventually influenced the future fashion. Historical background of 1890-1900 The Victorian age was drawing to a close.

Queen Victoria had reigned since 1837, and during that period Britain had become the most important global force based on her supreme naval power. Since the death of her beloved husband Albert, Victoria had become a virtual recluse, dressing totally in black for the rest of her life. When Victoria died she left behind an industrial country with a developed network. (a. 1) Conquering colonies During the Victorian period, Britain’s ambition was to extend its control of areas beyond the seas, mainly in establishing colonies and taking over areas in Africa, Asia and the Far East.

The British Empire took control of East Africa, intending to create unity and territorial contiguity between the colonies in Southern Africa. (a. 2) Queen Victoria put an emphasis on ethics and values, which reflected both on society and Government. She had a lack of tolerance for crime, which filtered to other countries outside of the UK due to the influence of the British Empire abroad. Britain in the 1890’s was the most powerful force in the world. Although Britain had been at war for much of the Victorian era, industry and economy had continued to grow, and the 90’s was considerably quieter which only accentuated the growth.

It was a decade of reconciliation and peace in Europe. Meanwhile over ‘the pond’, the USA was beginning to step forward in the international arena as a new powerful leader. Despite a severe economic crisis (1893- 1897), and with a new Republican President, McKinley, the US went to war against Spain concerning the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico in 1898. Industrial Advancement The last decade of the 19th century marked one of the most rapid developments of human history. This industrial revolution dramatically changed the way of life.

At the beginning of the 19th century people depended on their own physical strength, and the use of animal power, which helped them with transport and farming and communication. However with the development of industrial machinery, mass production became the accepted mode. Mass production also resulted in the improvement of the quality of food people ate. Food was distributed quicker thanks to improvements in transportation, and therefore arrived fresh, which in turn improved the health of the people.

Thanks to both advancements in industry and medicine, general health improved, meaning people were fit and well to achieve greater goals inducing a huge advance in economic development, social life, the arts and science. Since the development of industry there were more jobs available, and a newly formed middle class began to emerge, which bridged the existing gap between the rich and the poor. This, in turn, made the members of the higher bourgeoisie feel uneasy about their position in society, and they were constantly searching for new ways to uphold and improve their status.

A major way that they achieved this was by the changes that were made in the world of fashion at these times. (Phillippe, P. 1981. P8) People started to look for a different life other than plowing fields and working in agriculture. They started to move to the cities to work in factories and shops, giving them high hopes for something better than they had previously. Railroads, telephones, bicycles and the beginning of the development of the car encouraged people to enjoy life and mingle and socialize, something that was previously only reserved for the higher class.

They found entertainment outside the home by going to picnics, fairs, parks and restaurants. Thanks to electricity, meaning light in the evenings, nightlife also became popular. Although life seemed brighter for most of the 90s it was far from easy. Salaries were low, hours were long and work was hard. Nevertheless, people enjoyed living beyond their basic needs and were willing to find the time and the money to enjoy the richer things in life. As a result fashion, once only affordable to the wealthy, also became an interest to the middle classes and in turn more affordable.

Women’s Rights ¬¬The Victorian period had seen a rise in the number of gender equality laws being passed and the advancement of the rights of women was in the air. It would not be long before they would win the right to vote, however even without suffrage, the rights of women in the 90’s were advancing. More and more women were entering into the workforce than before. In turn, women were also becoming active in areas once primarily only the territory of men. They started to play sports, ride bikes which can explain how their fashion started to change so dramatically.

It is during this time that the trouser, known as “bloomers”, arose. Prior to this time trousers were not acceptable. Many women had adopted the tailored suit, which was a reflection of the change of the status of woman. (We will go further into this point later in the essay. ) Technology and Science: The Industrial Revolution brought many new inventions. The change in basic fundamentals led to a tremendous amount of development and speed of work, Iron, chemicals and recently available electricity helped production enterprises grow, providing raw materials which were used, by the brand new car and aviation industries.

Communication across the nation was increased by the use of the telegraph and telephone, while railways expanded hugely. There was also a science revolution occurring at the same time, which complimented the advancement in industry with regards to “new science” including, chemicals and electricity. In addition there was a huge advancement in medicine, including the production of X-Rays by Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (a. 3) in 1895 and the development of aspirin by the German chemist Felix Hoffmann. Art and Arcitecture:

The end of the 19th century was a period of great prosperity and even complacency. In England in particular, critics and artists were unhappy about the general decline in the craftsmanship caused by the industrial revolution, and hated the very sight of cheap and tardy machine-made imitations of ornaments. Artists dreamed to reform the arts and crafts, and “they longed for a new art” (E. H. GOMBRICH) based on a new feeling for design and possibilities inherent in each material. Art Nouveau was created. It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection. ” Oscar wilde. Impressionism The Impressionist movement, which appeared in Paris in 1867, and continued till the late 19th century, was created by Edouard Manet, and other various artists. The artistic movement looked for a way to discover and represent nature as we see it. They decided that if they would trust their eyes and not their set ideas of what things ought to look like according to academic rules, they would make the most stimulating discoveries.

The well-known painting, Sunrise, painted by Claude Monet was displayed at a Paris art show, and because of the irregular texture, it caused one critic to call the whole exhibition impressionist, which gave the movement its name. The technique that was used was quick, broken brushstrokes, light, vibrant colours and bright, contrasting colours. (E. H. Gombrich p. 392) (a4) fashion was extremely influenced by this movement, bright and vibrant colours and the contrasted colours were used in many different garments. Art nouveau

In the early 90s, a new mass artistic point of view developed in Europe. Based on mood, feeling and abstract form, it was the first European artistic movement since the rococo. Art nouveau was based on abstract and swerving curve shapes. The movement had a very visual language, which reflected in all different areas of design for example furniture, architecture, books, illustration, painting and clothing. The artists of this movement took inspiration from nature with its flowing symmetric and organic elements. They studied the roots, branches and other different forms of nature.

Primarily using nature and harmonization of the environment, they also were inspired by Japanese design and other past inspirations styles such as gothic, rococo and arts and craft style which also incorporated floral elements. We can see a lot of these elements in the fashion of the time for example, Floral embroidery, curvy lines and shapes. Aubrey Beardsley rose to immediate fame all over Europe with his sophisticated black and white illustrations. In France it was the flowers of Degas and Toulouse Lautrec which applied a similar economy of means to the new art of the poster.

Toulouse Lautrec had learned from Japanese prints just how much more striking a picture could become if modeling and other details were sacrificed (E. H. Gombrich p 406) (a. 5). The success of art nouvea¬u had taken hold of architects and designers who were tired of the traditional routines they had been taught, Architects now were experimenting with new types of materials and new types of ornaments. Art nouveau style buildings first appeared in Brussels, however construction sites were relatively small and the laws of the city were harsh with building regulations.

For example construction of balconies and rooms were monitored, and architects had to work within these regulations. One of the first houses designed from nouveau design was the Maison Tassel in Brussels. Its highly innovative plan and its ground breaking use of materials and decoration show the characteristics of Art Nouveau. (a. 6) Other artists that belonged to this movement were Gustav Klemt, and Alphonse Mucha. ¬¬ Symbolism In the late 19th-century there was another movement called symbolism, which expressed mystical or abstract ideas through the symbolic use of images.

It mainly developed in Europe and was a reaction to impressionism (1867-1886 one of the major and most significant arts based on experience of colour, sunlight, shadows and with visible brush strokes). ¬Based on the artistic movement romanticism, this style art was made of shapes and images. Symbolist painters believed that art should reflect an emotion or idea rather than represent the natural world. They felt that the symbolic value or meaning of a work of art stemmed from the recreation of emotional experiences in the viewer through colour, line, and composition.

In painting, Symbolism represents a synthesis of form and feeling, of reality and the artist’s inner subjectivity. Artists from the symbolism movement are Paul Gauguin, Gustav klimt, Edvard Munch and Gustave Moreau. (a. 7) Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) In the late 19th century Britain finally found the time to embrace literature and poetry. Oscar Wilde became the most popular play writer of his day writing many short stories, plays and poems that had a lot to do with society, fashion, and art at the time. He was a major influence in society and some people even said he was born before his time. (Holland, v. p9) (a. ) “ I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly. ” Oscar Wilde. Costumes of 1890 – 1900’s Introduction The fashions of the 19th century can explain a lot about the era of the time with regards to society and the situation it was in. With the introduction of new inventions such as machinery and most importantly the sewing machine, fashions were able to evolve and progress. This century shows many reforms in fashions for women some more successful than others. These clothing types did not purely change with regards to the shape of the silhouette, but also the fabrics and colours being used were evolving too.

The clothing and designs for women took priority at these times over men’s fashions. Although men’s fashions were not involved in great change, Europe saw clothing for men designed to suit their ‘passion for riding’. (Brooke, I. ) Materials in the 1890’s went through a change, because of the availability of new machinery it was possible to experiment and use different materials for different garments. Suits were made of either tweed or stiff cloth whereas dresses were made from silk and satin type materials. Decoration such as bows, lace, jabot and frilling became a major theme for this period of time. (Waugh, N. 1968. 231) Another benefit of the new machinery was the introduction of Haute Couture which was made by a number of fashion houses such as, Charles Fredrick Worth and Jacques Doucet. (DeMarly, D. 1980. ) (a. 9) Change in costume The 1890’s saw a major change in the silhouette of women. The hourglass shape was introduced in the late 19th century. The most dramatic feature of the change in costume in this period of time was the exaggerated waistline, which was made so tiny that it is seen as the most minute waist in history. It became so small that it gave the impression that the woman’s figure was split into two parts that met in the middle.

The term given to the figure of this time was the “Wasp Waist” (a. 10). The shape consisted of a ballooning sleeve(a. 11), slim waist and widened skirt with the main aim to accentuate the womanly figure (Laver, J. 1929. P82). The sharp contrast in shapes was a deliberate ploy to make the waist seem smaller than it actually was. Previous to the 1890’s, gowns were seen as much simpler in design and instead of using the idea of a fuller skirt the emphasis was put on the sleeves. The bigger sleeves came into place in the middle of the decade. This idea of voluminous sleeves led to a further change in clothing, more specifically the outerwear.

Coats were of great difficulty when it came to putting them on over the exaggerated sleeves therefore capes and shawls came in place of the typical coat style (a. 12). They were made in a variety of lengths, shapes and collars (Boucher, F. ). Towards the end of the century the silhouette reverted back to a more natural shape and the “Wasp Waist” gradually changed into the “S Shape”. Sleeves became tight with a slight puff at the shoulder. Eveningwear tended to include “small bouffant sleeves” (Boucher, F. ), whereas daywear portrayed “semi gigot sleeves” (Boucher, F).

The era of the 1890’s was known in the United States as the era of the ‘Gibson Girl’ (a. 13). The Gibson Girl was a modern portrayal of the ideal women of the time, created by the artist Charles Dana Gibson. This girl was known as the ‘new woman’ of the time. This ideal woman was not purely based on her looks, but for the first time on her personality and abilities too. The Gibson Girl was seen as a symbol of thousands of American women. She was tall and petite, with a heavier bosom and fuller hips and bottom. This figure was achieved by the use of a ‘Swan Bill Corset’.

This was the first time the idea of a corset was used to give a woman an ‘S Curve’ figure, which was not generally seen until the 1900’s. However, this perfect figure was not all the ideal woman in America had to have. The Gibson Girl not only portrayed beauty, but also a strong personality where education was just as important as the way she looked. Having said that, although education was becoming increasingly more common for the new woman, the idea of women being as equal to men when it came to decisions being made in society had not yet been accepted (Gordon, L.

D. 1987. P211). Fashions of the time Costumes in the nineteenth century, as in most eras inevitably changed and evolved. Garments came in and out of fashion and were constantly being evolved and adapted. Different layers of clothing increased the number of changes to the ideal woman’s silhouette. In addition to this, society was adapting its attire to the increase in extra and new activities. For every occasion an expected costume was worn. For each event or occasion at the different times of the day and season there were various acceptable outfits.

With the explosion of bourgeoisie throughout Europe more and more women of different social classes were wanting to feel accepted into different societies by having a number of alternative costumes for each individual occasion. The creation of dresses such as, ‘tea dresses’ which were worn predominantly for afternoon teas with a group of women, were extremely common, as well as ‘house dresses’ which also became a staple part of a higher class woman’s wardrobe. (Phillippe. P. 1981. P8) Skirts This era saw the rise of the fuller and more extravagant skirts.

This rise was due to the crinolines and the bustles from the previous decade, which had gradually been reduced by the time this decade arrived. The skirt was fairly straight at the front whereas generally in evening wear, the back consisted of a more exaggerated train with a larger amount of material being used to make it. This shape created an almost ‘flower shape’ skirt and because of the style and shape of the skirt it was custom for women to hold the train with one hand as they walked which revealed the petticoats frills that was made out of taffeta or lace.

In the middle of the decade the sleeves widened this can be reflected to the skirt that also went through this adaptation. Due to this change it aided the portrayal of a smaller waist. Compared to the last decade these skirts were less decorative than the previous ones as well as being easier to wear in order for women to be able to partake in the newer activities of the time. This ease of skirts enabled women to follow the changes of women of the period of time. Towards the end of the decade the skirts became tighter around the thigh and narrow along the legs. (a. 4) Tailored Suits The tailored suit had been introduced to men many years prior to the 1890’s however by the time the Industrial Revolution had begun more and more women had become increasingly more in need of alternate costumes for the different and newly available jobs to them. In addition, with the introduction of new machinery for the first time ready-made shirts, blouses, skirts and tailored jackets were easily available from a shop shelf, unlike previously where every garment was tailor made. This modernized idea made it available to almost all classes of women (Renrolds, C. 989. p45) The suit was seen as a suitable and appropriate outfit for any daytime activity and any time of year. The three pieced tailored suit, which included a skirt, jacket and shirt-blouse was first introduced and worn by women in England (a. 15). The shirt-blouse influenced the bodice of the dresses. The suit was created by a “very tight jacket – bodice, with small basques forming a postilion at the back, and a double skirt, the upper part of which was slightly caught up. ” (Boucher, F. 1987. P401). The Blouse

Previous to these times shirts were seen as a very masculine piece of clothing, however with the changes of the women’s role in society it had become more acceptable and common for women to wear their own version of the male shirt, known as the ‘blouse’ (a. 16). The blouse was fully feminine with excessive decoration made from lace, high collars, sleeves and if the blouse was a more simple style it would often be worn with a male-styled necktie. It was seen as an extremely important fashion statement of the time, and was mostly made from light coloured fabric in contrast to the darker coloured skirts and jackets.

Bloomers The first bloomers were introduced in 1849 by the renowned feminist Mrs. Amelia Jenks Bloomer. She created them as a solution to the problem for the unladylike issues with women riding on penny-farthings (bicycles) however the idea did not catch on. Although a year after Amelia Bloomer’s death in 1894 her ideas began to become increasingly more popular. (Gersheim, A. 1963. p80) Bicycling had become one of the most popular activities for women to take part in. This in turn resulted in yet another important costume for which women needed.

The costume included the newly divided skirt or knickerbockers (baggy trousers), which came down to just over the heel. This enabled the women to have more freedom in partaking of their new sport (a. 17) (a. 18). The undergarments Although clothing was becoming more masculine, undergarments were becoming increasing more popular for women. Undergarments were starting to resemble more of today’s underclothing with the introduction of new materials such as lace, taffeta, silk and lavish colourful ribbons. Even though these undergarments were invisible they were seen as a luxury to women, and they were considered particularly erotic.

The corset as in previous decades was an important factor of women’s costume, however it was now worn over the petticoat and was made into a more shortened form with tighter lacing. The corset was boned and aimed to create the desired ‘Wasp Waist’(a. 19). The petticoat also took an evolutionary change in these times, as they were made from coloured silk and pleated or trimmed with lace. In 1891, the standard petticoat was made with ‘drawing strings’ behind and trimmed with one or two frills of scalloped embroidery (a. 20). Drawers were a type of under trouser that was as wide as the petticoat (a. 1). They were made with frills and were and often in different colours. In addition an alternative style was produced in the style of an overall. However it was only worn occasionally depending on the over-garments being worn. (Cunnington, C. W. 1992. p196) Accessories A huge emphasis of this era was accessories, more specifically, the hat which was known for its excessive decoration. Fur, velvet, ribbons and flowers were just a few of the different decorations that could be seen on hats at this time. It was a sign of the new independent woman of the time.

Hats came in all shapes and sizes, and as with clothing there were different styles for different occasions (a. 22). Gloves were also vital accessory at this time too. It was especially seen as proper etiquette to wear long gloves to the elbow in the evenings (a. 23) as well as a fur muff (a. 24), whereas during the day more casual gloves were worn made of materials such as leather. Other accessories seen at these times were fur or feather scarves as well as sun umbrellas made from lace. Handbags were also seen at these times however they were not used for the same purposes as we use them today.

They were extremely small and either knitted or embroidered. Shoes were often seen in a number of styles 9(a. 25). Leather ankle boots, with a small round heel, were worn during the day and were accessorized with buttons, laces or elastic Evening shoes were in the form of ballerina pumps, and were embroidered or with ribbons around the ankle. Eveningwear A big part of costumes in the 19th century was the eveningwear. Eveningwear was extravagant from the dress to the accessories. The dresses consisted of a lower bodice than the daytime wear, They were cut in a square V shape, rounded V or a round shape neck(a. 6). Dresses also could be seen with shoulder straps, and over exaggerated sleeves could be seen during the middle of this decade. However towards the end of the decade sleeves became tighter fitting. Trains were not so common in ball gown dresses however, but for other evening dress styles they were commonly seen(a. 27). evening gowns were genaraly made from velvet, muslin, satin. They were also embroidered. (a28) Accessories that could be seen in the evenings were jewels, diamonds, tiaras, hair ornaments, broaches, necklaces and fans (a. 29. 30). This added o the effect of luxury to any outfit. Hairstyles in the evening were usually pinned up into a bun shape; waves and curs were also common. (Waugh, N. 1968. P229) Conclusion This era can be seen as a major influence to the history of clothing and accessories. The changes of this decade can be seen to be an influence not only on these times but also today’s fashions too (a. 31,32). Pieces of clothing such as puff sleeves and high waited skirts have slowly crept back into our wardrobes along with muffs and smaller evening bags, which have become one of the 21st century’s staple items for women.

The influence of the industrial revolution brought about many changes to styles and materials. It aided the creation of ‘off the shelf’ clothing and was a symbol for diversity between different classes of people. For the first time the middle class society were able to keep up to date with the latest trends not just in the evening but also whilst they worked. “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. ” Oscar Wilde Appendix 1. Queen Victoria, c. 1890. 2. Map of british Empire in 1890. 3. Mrs.

Rontgen’s hand, the first X-ray picture of the human body ever taken. photos courtesy of NASA 4. claude monet Impression, soleil levant 1872 5. Alphonse Mucha-F. Champenois Imprimeur-Editeur, lithograph, 1897. 6. Stairway of Tassel House, Brussels 7. Edvard Munch The Scream 1893 8. Napoleon Sarony Oscar Wilde 1882 9. Jaque Doucete, womans suit costume, 1894 10. Standart Desugner 1897 April. 11. Mora-83 Rundle street Adelaide at Port Adelaide 1895 12. Delineator, November 1897 13. circa, Gibson Girl, 1900 14. Delineator, Afternoon Dress, October 1896 15.

Charlles Frederick Worth, walking suit, 1895 16 Illistration of the Gibson Girl wearing The Blouse 17. Harper’s Bazar, April 1894 18. T. de Thulatrup, New York 1890s 19. 20. Matropoline museum, New York 1890’s 21. Harper’s Bazar, November 1892 22. Standart Designer, April 1898 23 Delineator, 1898 24. Harper’s Bazar November 1893 25. Metropoline Museum New York 1989 26. harper’s Bezar Febuary 1894 27. Harper’s Bazar, 1894 28. Mertopolin Museum, Fabrics from the 1890s 29. Harper’s Bazar January1897 30. John Singer Sargent, Ada Rehan, 1894 31. Dolce & Gabbana w/f , 09 32. Alexander McQueen, s/s 2007

Bibliography · Brook, Iris. English Costume of the Nineteenth Century, London 1929 · Renolds, Caroline. New York Fashion. The Evolution of American Style. Milbank NY 1039 · Hansen, Henry Harold. Costume Cavalcade. London 1954 · Boucher, Francois. 20,000 Years of Fashion. The History of Costume and Personal Adornment. 1987 NY · Blum, Stella. Paris Fashion of the 1890’s. NY 1989 · Perrot, Phillippe. Fashion of the Bourgeoisie. Preston University Press 1981 · James Laver. English Costume of the Nineteenth Century (1929). A & C Black Ltd. · Gersheim, Alison. Victorian and Edwardian Fashion. 1963 NY ·Liltek C.

Cunnington Phyllis. The History of Underclothes. New York, Dover Publication Inc. 1992 ·Buck, Anne. Victorian Costume and Costume Accessories. Quite Specific Media Group 1997 · Waugh, Norah. The Cut of Women’s Clothes. 1600-1930 (1968) University of Michigan · DeMarly, Diana. The History of Haute Couture 1850-1950. London Bastford Ltd. 1980 ·Gordon, D. Lyne. The Gibson Girl Goes to College. University of Rochester, John Hopkins University Press Vol. 39, No2, 1987 · E. H. Gombrich. The Story of Art. The Phaldon Press, London 1980 ·Vyvyan Holland. The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. London and Glasgow 1984

Free Essays

Business Fashion Affects Consumer Behavior

Business fashion affects consumer behavior Position 1. 1 Current situation Fashion trend always affect how the majority wear. Recently, a series of casual wear fashion brands have arrived Hong Kong. It drives hundreds of thousands of youngsters or young adults crazy on western casual wear style. It is not hard to observe this in streets. This attributes to fashion brands usually push a mass promotion towards the targeted consumers together with an attractive and all round market offering. fashion brands not only provide a product, but also shopping experience with well created shopping environment, well trained salespersons and well organized after sales services) That’s why consumers are attracted to follow their trends by becoming so fence to the fashion brands. 1. 2 How it affects Consumer behaviors are affected by different stimuli, including marketing strategies. It influences the buyer’s black box, which are buyer characteristics and decision process.

For fashion brands, they usually utilize different marketing strategies in order to adapt or influence social, personal, cultural and psychological factors that affect buyer’s black box and therefore their purchase decision. 1. 3 Reasons behind If fashion brands successfully influence the buyer’s purchase decision, they can gain a huge business chance. That means if they can make up a fashion trend that consistent with their clothing style, it would bring such a million dollar sales.

As it becomes a fashion trend, consumer will not only buy it for once, but become loyal as long as it is still ‘fashionable’ to them. it would bring a continuous benefit but not all-for-once. Problems 2. 1 Consumer To some extent, it in fact creates an unnecessary consumption which means it is not purchasing for need. Many exact need recognition to purchase are implied by external stimuli which is not internally implied by consumers itself but made by marketers. Just try to think, how many clothes you bought for need only but not because you think it is good.

Why you feel good to the product, which might be it is chic, mostly for the teens and young adults. That implies a problem of overconsumption or even existence of shopaholics or any personal finance. 2. 2 Fashion Fashion brands would create fashion trends to match their clothing style. That might affect the independency of the art of fashion. Fashion is an art, is an expression, is an time mark. It represents many things that weigh. It is more than a business. If it has been used as a market strategies, that , to some extent, limit or even destroy fashion.

At least some fashion designers might sacrifice the art value of fashion and turn their design to business oriented, that the fashion design should suit their business marketing strategies. Like many renowned fashion brands, they would fine tune the product shown in the fashion catwalk show before it is sold. Like the high heels designed specially by YSL, which is a round shape like a quarter of a circle with heel when you look by side, the level of heels have been lowered and fine-tune their design before it is launched to the public.

Free Essays

Fashion Show

A fashion show is an event put on by a fashion designer to showcase his or her upcoming line of clothing during Fashion Week. Fashion shows debut every season, particularly the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter seasons. This is where the latest fashion trends are made. The two most influential fashion weeks are Paris Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, which are both semiannual events. Types of fashion The garments produced by clothing manufacturers fall into three main categories, although these may be split up into additional, more specific categories:

Haute couture Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis , with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, and is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make.

For Example Ready-to-wear (pret-a-porter) Ready-to-wear clothes are a cross between haute couture and mass market. They are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a city-wide basis and occurs twice a year.

Free Essays

Valentino’s Legacy

Upon walking in to the Gallery of Modern Art, tucked in around the corner from the State Library and well hidden from view, I was astounded by the sudden rush of sight and sound. Despite my sudden sense of claustraphobia, I forced myself inside. The queue to enter the Valentino Retrospective Art Exhibition was beyond massive; curving from the heart of the Gallery, along the back wall, up the side wall, and outside of the door for a good 800 metres. Satisfied with my pre-ordered tickets, I bustled along and entered the exhibition.

Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani is more than a well-known Italian Fashion Designer: to most fashion students he is a God. Born on May 11th, 1932, this simple Saint has developed several different fashion labels throughout his 5 decades of work; such as Valentino, Valentino Roma, R.E.D. Valentino and, most popularly, Valentino Garavani. Commonly reffered to as only Valentino, he was the founder of the Valentino Spa Brand.

The Valentino Retrospective: Past, Present and Future was developed by Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris; and celebrates the renowned and glamorous designs of Valentino himself. This exhibition houses items from Valentino’s first ever collection in 1959 up until his more recent ‘Autumn/Winter 2009-2010 collection’ (designs by Valentino’s appointed creative directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli as of 2008).

Upon entering, I discovered that this Exhibition was split into two major sections; each hosting different fragments of Valentino’s most successful collections throughtout his career.

The First section, entitled Part 1, was composed mainly of Valentino’s earlier designs, with the pieces ranging from 1960 up until 2006. The Second Section, entitled Part 2, housed garments from a much more modern era. With a majority of the pieces pulled from Valentino’s collections from 1992 through to 2010.

European Royalty, celebrites and many other high-status folk have been seen wearing designs by Valentino, including Nicole Kidman, Elizabeth Taylor, Cate Blanchett and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (all of the garments worn by these women can be seen at this exhibition). I was most astounded to come across a dress worn by Julia Roberts to the Academy Awards in 1992 for her hit movie Erin Brockovitch.

After viewing the best Valentino Garavani had to offer at this Brisbane Exhibition, I must admit I was fairly disappointed. All up, the exhibition housed approxiamately 100 garments, although it seemed many less to me, and 97 of which I disliked. The designs are timeless; sophisticated. The material used is of the highest quality. But still, I only found 3 dresses that I personally found mildly interesting.

Although, to sum up the entire experience, there is only two pieces that could possibly describe the amount of work and timeless culture that has been woven together – despite vintage pieces, the elegant formal attire, and wedding dresses.

Firstly; the commonly seen Evening Gown, Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2003, Model 130. Described at GoMA’s Exhibition as “Strapless evening gown with low-set draped pale crimson chiffon sleeves, a train with appliqué pleated crimson taffeta rosettes and red strass crystals in their centres, and pink and grey taffeta rosettes in its lining.” [Source 2] Made of Buche-Gillaud Fabric and Embroidered by Marabitti. This garment’s elegance, formality, timelessness and complexity sums up the entire exhibition in one. The soft Crimson colour supports the mystery; and the flowers seem to support the multi-cultural theme. This piece was rescued from the Valentio Archives to be included in this exhibition.

The second signature piece included at this Exhibition was from the Autumn/Winter 2009-2010, collection Although not designed by Valentino Garavani himself, Look 23 stays true to the Nature of Valentino. The extreme amounts of detail included in this piece definitely showcase one of Valentino most intricate pieces; a true piece of artwork.

The themes in The Valentino Retrospective have a “recurrence of geometric patterns and graphic prints, the skilful use of fabric to create dramatic silhouettes and, of course, the distinctive palette of black, white and ‘Valentino red’. The future direction of this most esteemed fashion label is showcased through five creations by the house of Valentino’s new creative directors.” [Source 2]

The Valentino Retrospective: Past, Present and Future is a collection of Valentino Garavani’s most successful and original designs; located at the Gallery of Modern Art in Southbank, this astonishing exhibition is open to the public from the 7th of August to the 14th of November 2010. Including a lounging area, a cafe, a gift shop and a bar: This is, truly, a fusion of art, fashion and culture that one should not miss.


Free Essays

European Women’s Fashion in the Eighteenth Century

Fashion has been always been a dominate part within every society throughout the years. Fashion is “a prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing, etc. ” and “conventional usage in dress, manners, etc. , especially of polite society, or conformity to it” (“fashion”). When it comes to fashion, Europe happens to be the most influential continent. For centuries, Europe has always been fashion-forward, influencing many other continents and countries with its style.

There has always been the misconception, as stated by fashion historian Aileen Ribeiro in Dress in Eighteenth-Century Europe, “[that] most think immediately of Paris and the French court when they ponder that time [of eighteenth century fashion], forgetting reverberations in England, Italy, and elsewhere worldwide” (Cullen). However, in the eighteenth century (around the 1750s), France was well-known for its rococo style, which was simply “wide skirts, fine fabrics, and an overdose of embroidery” (“Women’s Fashion of the 18th Century”).

Like most French fashion, it spread across Europe. The rococo style emphasized the love of shell-like curves and decorative arts (“Rococo Fashion Era”). During this time in the late eighteenth century, certain undergarments, gowns, shoes, and simple, refined hairdos and make-up were essential for the fashionable European woman. In the late eighteenth century, women only wore certain undergarments. For example, they wore chemises, stays, panniers, free-hanging pockets, and waistcoats, but they did not wear underwear during this time.

The chemises that the women often wore had very low necklines and elbow-length sleeves that flushed out fully. Over the chemise, they wore stays, or corsets, in hopes of attaining the correct, fashionable posture of a woman during this century, which consisted of standing with the shoulders back only slightly; stays generally kept women with cone-like torsos and accentuated large hips. Stays were also usually tied tight but comfortably and offered women back support. At the hips were panniers, or side hoops, which were important when it came to court fashion because they dilated the hips.

Free-hanging pockets were tied about the waist, and waistcoats or petticoats were worn over the corsets for warmth. These were the types of undergarments that most late eighteenth century women wore. (“1750–1795 in Fashion”; Cullen) Aside from the necessary undergarments, low-necked gowns were typical attire in the 1750s. Usually, the gowns had skirt attachments, and the skirts would have an opening in the front to expose the petticoat that the woman wore beneath it. If the gown’s bodice had an opening, then there was usually a stomacher pinned to the corset that was beneath the gown for decoration.

The sleeves of the gowns normally had tight elbow-length sleeves that flushed at the ends with frills or ruffles. During this period, gowns were very popular and versatile and could be worn extravagantly or plainly. Upper class women would often have the more expensive, extravagant gowns while the middle and lower class normally settled for the plain “shortgowns. ” (“1750–1795 in Fashion”) When it came to shoes during the late eighteenth century, women wore them like they wore their clothes.

Much like now, in most societies, people dress in terms of their wealth, i. . the rich dress fanciful and the poor dress in what they can afford. The same rules apply to women of the eighteenth century. Women wore shoes with high, curved heels made of colorful silk or delicate leather, sometimes decorated with gold and silver lace and braid. Even though most women of this time dressed in silk gowns that were heavily decorated (as is a requirement of the rococo style), it was rare that the women would have shoes of the same, matching material. The reason for this was that it would just be too expensive.

Some of the women’s shoes were laced, and some had decorative buckles. The toes of their shoes were either pointed or a bit rounded. However, further into the eighteenth century, the extravagance behind the fine shoes was simplified. (“Eighteenth – Century Footwear”). Lastly, women of the eighteenth century didn’t necessarily change their hairstyles much. Women rarely wore wigs, aside from special occasions. Normally, women kept their hair powdered and coiffed, decorated with a small bonnet or flowers, jewelry, and bows (“Rococo Fashion Era”).

Along with the hairstyles came make-up. These hairstyles were fairly simple, leaving more focus onto the woman’s face and her make-up. The point of make-up in the eighteenth century was to make women look “artificial,” hence why many women strived for pale skin (“Women’s Fashion of the 18th Century”). It wasn’t until later, after the rococo era, that high wigs became fashionable. Fashion has always been an important aspect in history. As mentioned earlier, Europe has always been the “fashion-forward” continent in the world, influencing many other countries around the world.

The rococo style, also known as the baroque style, was one of the influential fashion changes that occurred throughout Europe and was emphasized by the French. With a popular style that emphasized shell-like curves and elaborate decoration, the fashion-forward European woman of the eighteenth century embraced the new era – the rococo era – taking in the customs of only wearing certain undergarments, gowns, shoes, and simple, refined hairdos and make-up. This was fashion in the eighteenth century.

Free Essays

The Real Harajuku: Japanese Youth’s Unique Self-Expression

Years ago, a group of Japanese young people started hanging out at the Harajuku district. These trendsetting youth go there with their unexplainable fashion sense (Bartlett). The Harajuku fashion is just really so different because anything can be possible (Craft 26) and it is all about “creativity, theatricality, style, confidence, looking cute, and mixing and matching” (Knight). This was all made possible due to the fact that the youth still stayed at their parents’ home and their fathers provided them with the money they use up, meaning they can shop for whatever they wanted.

Although it may seem that girls are the only ones fond of these kinds of things, young men in Japan also like shopping and dressing up at Harajuku (Mead). The trendsetting youth had changed a normal neighborhood into a fashion capital (Johnson 14) and it has been said to be in the same class as the 1920s of Paris. Loic Bizel said, “The French are very poor in terms of fashion, in terms of creativity, compared to Japan” (Craft 26). “Visitors come to Harajuku to see and be seen” (Joerger).

A lot of people can get ideas and be influenced by the trends the youth set there (McCaughan 28). It has been well known that even though the district changed its name into Jingu-Mae, it is still known as Harajuku (Kubo 38). Harajuku has truly been recognized worldwide and outsiders tend to draw their own conclusions about it. Some people think badly of Harajuku, while others simply do not fully grasp the real concept of it. People who do not really understand the concept tend to make up their own explanations or tend to do things that they think are good but are actually not.

Taking a deeper look into their culture can lead us to better decipher that it is all about the youth expressing themselves and somewhat escaping from reality. The youth go to Harajuku during the weekends wearing their own unique ensembles. They might seem like they just randomly put things on but they actually follow certain rules and guidelines. They have a sense of order (Kubo 39). “Japan is a place where everyone is individual – but in groups” (Knight). Their outfits greatly vary from all the kinds of getups that they have created.

Included in these are “cyber-punk, Lolita fashion [inspired by the Victorian era], kawaii [cute], punk, ganguro [symbolizes a California girl with bleached hair, dark skin, fake eyelashes, and nails], cosplay [most common name for “costume players” or those who dress up like Japanes animated characters], hiphop, skater and visual-kei [style of bands]” (Rockers). Their clothing can vary from shades of black to shades of bright colors and from plain fabrics to all kinds of different prints. They also change their hairstyles and hair color and they also put on makeup.

They truly aimed to look different from the rest in their attempt to fit in with the others (Mah). Because of how some of the youth dress up, outsiders think of the Harajuku youth as rebellious delinquents (Kubo 41). Since some of their outfits tend to be out of this world, some people are inclined to compare them to the London punks who loafed around at Trafalgar Square. The thing is that these London punks are these young people who act the way they dress. They can be aloof, disrespectful, irresponsible and such, which does not really give justice to the Harajuku youth (Knight).

Also, the way the singer, Gwen Stefani, introduced the Harajuku Girls in Hollywood led others to think of the original ones as “rebellious, underground, subversive, and rule-breaking” kinds of youth (Kubo 41). It has also been said that the youth are “devoid of perseverance, dependent upon others, and self-centered” (Cho). “Everyone imposes their own interpretation on the Harajuku girls – sees them through their tinted lenses” (Kubo 41). In contrary to what outsiders may think, the Harajuku youth are kind, respectful and accommodating towards other people (Kubo). They undergo complete transformations when they go there.

However, their looks do not dictate the way they act. They are actually nice and considerate, even though they are wearing their somewhat unconventional getups (Harden). The Japanese youth are clean and responsible. Their clothes do not define their attitudes as they can simply take off these getups that they put on (Knight). They might also seem antisocial, but they are actually easy to approach (Kubo). The so-called Tokyo punks are well behaved, having their pictures taken with visitors and most of them, if not all, do not have vises like smoking or such that the London punks have (Mead).

Also, they are quite considerate towards other people. In Harden’s article, the youth that he mentioned there were careful so that they do not displease other people who ride the train with them or people they are with when they commute. Because of Harajuku’s popularity, others are starting to use its name in wrong ways. A very controversial and probably well-known example of this would be Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girls. “She’s taken Tokyo hipsters, sucked them [Harajuku grils] dry of all their street cred, and turned them into China dolls. she’s swallowed a subversive youth culture in Japan and barfed up another image of submissive giggling Asian women.

While aping a style that’s suppose to be about individuality and personal expression, Stefani ends up being the only one who stands out” (Ahn). A photographer, Van Meene, also produced photographs that showed a “sexualized image of schoolgirls,” which is contrary to the sweet, adorable or cute look that some of them portray (Ahn). In addition to the misuse of Harajuku, big brand stores are opening up in the district, which may cause it to lose its very identity.

Patrick Macias talks about Harajuku possibly getting “a major makeover via globalization. ” Some of its gained popularity might not turn out to be a good thing. Some foreign clothing companies are beginning to open up stores in the Harajuku district. This can very likely mar the identity of Harajuku. “The special atmosphere of this place might be lost. ” If people would just go here just to buy branded items like Prada, Gucci, or such, they could have might as well shopped in some other place. Also, nothing would set them apart from other societies anymore.

Despite their unbelievable taste in fashion and the popular stores opening in their area, the Harajuku youth are not “simply slaves to a label. ” They splurge a lot of money to look different from the rest. A lot of companies produce only small quantities of their products so that their merchandise would be seen as unique or some limited edition item that most people want. Some merchandise can become very expensive one day and cheaper a few days later. “These outfits are…an expression of an authentic Japanese experience” (Mead). What people like and dislike can change really quickly, which can cause stores to close down (Fulford).

Brands or labels do not dominate the market of the Japanese youth, but rather, the youth controls what stores should put out and sell (Knight). One thing that probably induced the youth to dress up so differently was the uniforms they wore – they needed an escape from it all. They acquired a tendency to want to step out of the box. “Parading after hours in Harajuku is an antidote to the straitjacket conventions of weekday life. ” This is like a way of showing that they can be distinct from all the others. The Japanese are more of traditionalists and they are quite strict about rules and order (Craft 26).

They break free from this by going out to Harajuku and dressing the way they wanted to. They can wear anything they want and it can be anything at all. This makes it a little difficult to quite say what exactly they do there (Bartlett). They can mix all kinds of different things and make it look good (Ahn). They can look however they want to and it can be different every time. “Harajuku is perhaps the one place on Earth where every day is like Halloween” (Craft 26). “Harajuku had become a place to be seen, not a place to live in” where mostly young people flock to during the weekends (Johnson).

During the weekends, they put on these getups that would seem absurd to some people, but they return to their normal lives when they leave (Johnson). They wear normal clothes and live normal lives throughout the weekdays. They can be set apart from the way they dress during the weekends and the way they dress during the rest of the week (Knight). They go to school and help around the house. This is a factor why the youth do not become irresponsible delinquents. Some parents allow them to dress up any way they wanted, but they were not allowed to wear it around the neighborhood (Kubo 40).

The Harajuku fashion is merely for looks and pleasure. “The Japanese are fanatical about fashion in the way that the Brazilians are about soccer or the Germans are about cleanliness” (Mead). They can mix all kinds of different things and make it look good (Ahn). They feel delighted when other people take pleasure in what they are wearing. The youth, who actively participate with the gathering in the Harajuku district every weekend, sometimes commute for really long hours just to get there. They do not even mind waking up and traveling so long just to go to Harajuku.

They feel a form of sensation from all the other people who look at them and admire their own styles (Harden). The real Harajuku girls were thought of as mere rebellious delinquents, while all they really want to do is make a difference. They simply like the feeling of dressing up and having other people admire them (Kubo). “This is what Japanese teenagers do for fun” (Mead). Sebastian Masuda said, “Harajuku style was created by the passion of a young generation of people who gathered here [Harajuku] and made their own culture. It’s more than just a look; it’s a spirit” (Macias). “For real inspiration, go to Harajuku” (McCaughan).

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Fashion Icon

Blake Lively, amazes everyone with her versatility in fashion. Day after day, week after week she just can’t go wrong! On Gossip Girl, she couldn’t get much credit because the whole cast has a fashion stylist. But, Lively manages to look fashionable off set as well. It’s all about taking risk in fashion and Lively definitely does the job especially with her choice of colors. On top of the most beautiful dresses she puts on, she manages to have the right makeup and hair for every outfit.

Confident, poised, stylish, glamorous. These are the kinds of words typically used to describe Blake Lively, who has become the self-proclaimed fashionista of her generation. Not only is she now the face of Chanel but also she is constantly in the spotlight for her fearless approach to fashion as well as her obvious true passion and love for it. After attending countless designer shows and taking her views of the runway to the real world there is no doubt that she has become a fashion icon to those who follow her.

In fact, being chosen to be on the cover of Vogue twice in a single year is almost a right of passage to prove she is officially a top player in the fashion industry. She is a designer dream because she stays true to her vision. Teens are full of youthful energy, life and vitality, they have love and passion for fashion, drawing inspiration from celebrities. Blake Lively stands as a fashion icon for teens, as my target customer like being perceived older and like imitating the style of older people to feel more mature.

All American golden girl, blake lively is known to be pretty, sweet who doesn’t get into any scandals or controversies, whatever she wears is widely accepted by my target customer, Maddy. These days there is an increasing trend that teens want to dress older than their age and Blake lively serves a good model to copy. Unlike many other celebrities she doesn’t like to have a personal stylist. She isn’t afraid to take the runway to the red carpet, and no matter the look or designer, she always makes the outfit look effortless.

Her uniqueness and individualism inspired maddy to imitate her style. Blake lively’s enthusiasum in styling herself inspired maddy to take that up as a hobby and learn to be creative and talented. Blake lively always like to change her looks and be new each time she steps out, she had a more sweeter style when she was younger now she is more lady like and sophisticated. Maddy draws inspiration from her fast fashion style and trys to look new when she goes shopping with her friends.

Maddy’s preference to fast fashion products that are more in trend and are constantly changing is inspired by blake’s trendy way of changing her looks constantly and reinventing herself. Maddy follows blake’s style on tweete, facebook and keeps posters of her style trends in her room. Bold, confident and daring are the words used to describe blake, her personality is similar to who maddy wants to be. As blake never has a backgroung in show business and made it so big in the fashion industry, maddy plans to follow her foot steps and get in to show business when she grows up.

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Current Event Fashion Ysl

Paige Restivo Fashion Fundamentals Assignment #2 Current Event Yvan Mispelaere Out as DVF Creative Director September 12, 2012 “After two-and-a-half years as creative director at Diane von Furstenberg, Yvan Mispelaere is out the door. ” (Rosemary Feitelberg) The article I haven chosen was published during fashion week shortly after the DVF spring 2013 runway show. It grabbed my attention because the title claiming creative director Yvan was gone and I knew that the show had just went on. His departure was announced 48 hours after the show.

Mispelaere had worked with many designers before DVF, such as Yves Saint Laurent, Chloe, Valentino, Luis Feraud and Gucci just before DVF in march. He was very talented but never known for sticking to one project. Mispelaere was in for the challenge of it, he said earlier in the week, “I came to DVF to help further the brand’s mission and create a world-class design team. I am confident we have been able to achieve that during my time with the company. I can’t thank Diane enough for the opportunity to work with her and such talented people. The group is now well-positioned for even greater success, and I am eager to take on my next challenge. . I noticed a significant up bringing in Diane von Furstenberg’s line shortly after Yvan had joined the team, in past years DVF had been known but not the way it is now. Yvan Mispelaere felt his job was done and it was time for time next. I think the most propionate points of this article was when press had asked von Furstenberg to comment on behalf of his departure nothing but kind words were said. Von Furstenberg thinks he added “enormous value”, and is more than thankful to have had him join the team to help further them in each direction.

Even though Yvan Mispealere had left DVF without a creative director, they are not eager to replace him just yet. Thankfully shortly before Yvan leaving DVF, they had just signed on Joel Horowitz as co-chairman. Down one man, but still have another to help run things smoothly. They are determined to keep DVF growing and becoming more of a world class brand. I enjoyed reading this article because I think drama in the fashion world is interesting, but shortly after analyzing this article I realized there actually wasn’t any major drama.

Yvan would move on to his next big project, and Diane von Furstenberg was just happy to have had him to help. Closing this article was a comment by von Furstenberg – “I hope Yvan will immediately put his signature on the collection, I’m curious to see his slant. But it will still be DVF. ” Rosemary Feitelberg (2012). Yvan Mispelaere Out as DVF Creative Director. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www. wwd. com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/yvan-mispelaere-out-as-dvf-creative-director-6274810. [Last Accessed September 14, 2012].

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An Article on Latest Fashion Trend

Latest Fashion Trend in Bangladesh-A Perspective Study Fashion changes with the march of time in modern ages throughout the world. What is fashion today becomes past tomorrow and new and new fashions emerge. Evidently fashion becomes modern and ultra modern day by day. Bangladesh is no exception of that change of fashion. Obviously we have to study fashion changes in Bangladesh. We know fashion is a combination of styles right from the hair down to the everyday wears including shoes. Modern changes of wears and dresses have remarkably been observed throughout Bangladesh.

Women of all ages choose a fashionable and trendy wear now-a-days. They look for loose wears which is colorful but comfortable. Now is the trend for fashionable wears with variety of piping. As ceremonial dress women prefer gorgeous dresses and sarees of chiffon and muslin with blouses of various cuts and designs befitting to saree-wears. Along with three quarter salwar, women are also wearing dividers and salwar with piping. These fashions are growing popular day by day. Short kameez is out and long kameez has again revived their early place. With long kameez are added long or three quartered sleeves.

In university campus, offices and parties, long kameez and leggings are preferred by women of all ages. Floral prints, yokes, laces and embroidery on long kameez are also very popular now. In the same contrast color there is variety in dresses and wears. Of the casual dresses women prefer kurta and tops along with jeans and leggings. Kaaftan is now growing famous in ladies wears. Cap sleeve, bell sleeve, kimono sleeve, mutton lake sleeve cuts are given to dress sleeves. In case of neck designs various changes and cuts are also observed. Kameez, kurta, skirt or even bags of tie die and boutique are back in modern fashions.

Young girls like shoes with jeepers at the heel. They are also wearing flat shoes with churidaars. Ballerina is now on top fashion. It is old fashion to wear heavy ornaments of gold and silver. Time has changed and women prefer pendent with small colorful stones. Earrings are also small and a matching bangle or bracelet in hand. Men are now fashionable and casual in t-shirts and jeans. Shoe styles have also changed. Long pointed shoes are now preferred. Sun glasses of different cuts and styles with colorful glasses are liked by both young men and women.

Strap sandals are also a fashion item for the casual wear of men. But for formal wears they like full sleeve shirts with normal pants of different brands and formal shoes. Finally they are out for any occasion with light gel in hair and lot of confidence with a trendy look. We know a thing of beauty is a joy forever. What looks you beautiful, what makes you comfortable and what gives you delights and joy is the fashion. Today’s fashion will be left aside for tomorrow’s incoming styles and fittings. Such is the trend of fashion in Bangladesh which has to walk a long journey ahead.

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Music and Fashion

Subculture is a word which implies liberty of creativeness, liberty of appearance, ease and liberty of a selected model for getting pleasure. In addition, to resolve the contradictions of forefathers and parents culture, where forefathers and parents culture fails to provide a workable ideology for the next generation it usually takes the form of rituals, fashion and music. However, there is an important connection between fashion and subculture, and it is clothes that the young generations wear in the street, the new ideas of the rock bands, the glittering clothes in the clubs   have influenced a lot fashion design industry.

According to Brian “The transformation rave culture from underground, and frequently illegal, dance parties organized by electronic music lovers to highly publicized popular concerts sponsored by local radio stations and major music labels was predictable, if not wholly inevitable. After all, part of capitalism’s appeal lies in its ideological flexibility–its capacity to embrace transgressive subculture, repackage it, and sell it as the latest stylistic innovation.

Though predictable, rave culture’s evolution was and continues to be anything but simple and straightforward. It entails a set of complex negotiations surrounding the meanings of artist, authorship, and authenticity. It reflects deeply fought rhetorical/ideological battles around communalism and commercialism, performance and product, and sharing and spectacle”. (Brian, pg, 249+)

Mainly, Raves attract people who belong to the middle-class and are in their mid-teens to late-twenties. Normally, the average age of people at most of the rave events is 18 to 25 years. More interestingly, the average age of the Ravers increased due to its popularity among all age group people.

Rave scene has its own culture instead of just a party term. Vivacious group of like-minded young individuals gather in one platform and dance in order to join rave communities. The rave tradition has become popular among New York youth.In this regard, one community has developed a Ravers website and named it ( The primary motive behind the creation of this website was to urge youth to adopt rave culture. With the advent of this website, music and fashion in New York have gone out of their track. For example, the outfits and style of music were completely changed. Rockers have begun to perform electronic hip-hop music which amused ravers in dance parties.

In rave parties, teenagers dance to electronic music from dusk to dawn. Old scholars treat the rave as a hypertext of delight and disappearance. In the period of 1989 to 1992, rave culture began to flourish into a global phenomenon on grassroots basis. In 1980 Rave people were first traveled to attend the rave parties, usually at that time the parties were arranged in home basis. However, by the mid of 1990 major companies were started to sponsor rave parties on commercial basis.

In subculture trends, fashion dressing of teenagers are very interesting and unluckily very little studied. In this regard, if we look imaginative and psychological nature of fashion dressing we will find it very interesting, For instance, style of haircuts, clothes and accessories, and make up etc.

According to Nayak, “the excessive style of Charver spilled over from fabrics to music. Many Charver Kids favored Rave and Jungle music, sounds that were historically tied to the mutating patterns of cultural syncretism formed in British inner cities. Interestingly, some of the young people who had spoke disparagingly about Charver style in one context were willing to admit that they were ‘a bit Charver’ in their tastes towards music and certain elements of fashion. Thus, James admitted liking ‘Rave, Coliseum kinda thing’ and was willing to take on a Charver identity at certain moments”. (Nayak, pg, 16)

More interestingly, among the rave community, characteristics of life such as gender, age, sexual orientation, race, dress and many other things do not matter. Ravers are the people who come out at night, for fun. Nonetheless with regard of subculture context, every one in the rave community wants himself or herself to mark some distinct point in his or her individual personal characteristics by doing something different from others. With respect of this, before joining the rave party, raver eyes aglow with anticipation, body curious for foreign rhythms, glittering shoes encompass feet hungry for dancing these are some fantasies which always are the primary context of a Raver.

Youth culture denotes to a homogenous belief of teenagers as doing similar things and being dealt in a similar fashion and plays down aspects of distinctions. Generally, this idea was popular with United States sociologists in the period of 50s and 60s mainly those of the social functionalism persuasion. For instance, in 1964 Talcott debated that although youth culture, disconcerting for young generation, but in reality it performed certain useful functions for society. It was a security valve, a way of letting off steam for young generation caught up in the period of doubt and indistinct social roles.

In this regard, we have been noticed so many times that in some communities families tend to have closer interaction with teenagers and they seem so intent on being different to their forefathers and parents. On the other hand, in some communities young age children may intentionally choose a specific subculture group in order to reinforce their independence and even opposition to their family culture. It has been observed that, children who belong to upper class communities have more disposable income resources to spend in entertainment, sport and some other related activities. Consequently, while they indulge themselves in these activities they face a diverse society and adopt certain things from other which is sometimes considered a primary root of subculture society.

According to Wilson “The rave issue is contextualized through a thorough examination of the history of rave scenes. Not surprisingly, Wilson discovers that rave culture has its roots in disco, pre-disco, warehouse parties and gay clubs in New York City, Chicago, Detroit and Britain. More interestingly, however, is Wilson’s scrupulous documentation of previous scholarship of the heyday of rave. He reveals that while some scholars were claiming the libidinal space of the rave dance floor as an anti-patriarchal realm of resistance, others were decrying its elitism and upper-middle class tendency toward exclusion and clique formation. So the question becomes, does rave culture alter and question reality, or does it confirm it.” (Wilson, pg, 224)

The most controversial issue of rave subculture is excessive use of drugs and from the very outset of the rave parties it has been closely associated with it. Ravers in dance parties usually take dugs as to get more amusement. More interestingly, in some communities beside alcohol drinks drugs are the primary motive of joy and happiness in rave parties.

Often Ravers have embraced deviation and exoticism with respect of people, music, and everything. In addition, different cultures have established because of rave offers a lack of hierarchy and the pure sense of progression that are significant for the social and emotional development of a particular group.

As discussed above, drugs and violence have been known as an element of the rave subculture but it is very difficult to judge the degree of their impact on young generation. However, curious youth have already embraced and hence encouraged many of the aesthetic hallmarks of rave culture.


“According to Huq Rave could be seen as the last subculture, signifying either most recent or even as those pronouncing the end of youth culture contend, and the final one. In many ways it is cause and effect of youth culture coming of age. For the dance music generation computer technology, foreign travel and drugs have largely been normalized as they have grown up with all three”.   (Huq, 2006, pg, 108)

Ravers say that Rave culture express respect, peace and love, nevertheless, some people who do not wish to join this upstream subculture, can mark numerous negative stereotypes of raves. In this context, one must recognize the diversities and differences as well as similarities between the today’s and past generation youth. However, in order to find out the concept of subculture is valid or not this area needs more study. In this regard, one can say that awkward fashion and dance in mainstream youth which bring them together in one platform may be a good idea to share their own life beliefs culture, social customs and so forth.

On the other hand, as we have discussed earlier that in ravers gathering Ravers frequently take drugs to boost their stamina and to mark some distinct cultural values among others a clash of individualism may occur in respond to other behavior and personal nature. In the end, one can say that not every thing in today’s upstream youth is bad and the birth of subculture fashion and music presenting a modern image of the world.

Works Cited

Brian L. Ott, Mixed Messages, Resistance and Reappropriation in Rave Culture, Western Journal of Communication. Volume: 67. Issue: 3. Publication Year: 2003. Page Number: 249+.

Huq Rupa, Pop Arts / Pop Culture, (2006),

Nayak Anoop, Race, Place and Globalization, Youth Cultures in a Changing World. New York. Publication, Year: 2003 page nuber (16)

Wilson Brian, Fight, Flight Or Chill: Subcultures, Youth, And Rave In The Twenty-first Century, McGill-Queen’s University Press 0-7735-3061-4, Paper 224 pp. (n.d.)

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Holly Fashion

cASE 6 HOLLY FASHIONS RAT I O A N A LYSI S Billion-dollal a pparel c ompanies s uch a s C alvin K lein a nd L iz C laiborne a re unusual i n t he g arment i ndustry, w hich c onsists p rimarily o f m uch s malier apparel m akers. O ne s uch f irm i s H olly F ashions ( HF), l ocated i n C herry F lill, New J eriey. H F w as s tarted 1 4 y ears a go b y W illiam H amilton a nd J ohn W hite, who b etween t hem h ad o ver 2 5:yearso f e xperiencew ith a m ajor g arment m anufacturer.

A nd t he p artnership i nitially b lended v ery w ell. H amilton, r eserved and i ntrospective, i s e xtremely c reative w ith a r eal f lair f or m erchandising a nd trend s potting. M ainly a s a r esult o f h is g enius, t he H F l abel i s s ynonymous with q uality a nd ” tn” f ashions. ‘ h ite, o Utgoing a nd f orceful, h as c ontributed important m erchandising a nd m arketing i deas, b ut h as m ainly a ssumed t he duties o f t he f irm’s c hief o perating o fficer.

Hamilton h as h ad l ittle i nterest i n t he f inancial a spectso f t he c ompany, m uch preferring t o w ork o n d esigning n ew f ashions a nd t he d evelopment o f m arketing s trategies. A f ew m onths a go, h owever’, h e d ecided t hat h e h ad b etter’ become m ore i nvolved w ith t hd c ompany’s f inancials. His m otivation i s t wofold. F irst, h e i s c onsidering t he s ale o f h is 5 0 p ercent interest i n H F. T hough h e m joys t he c reative s ide o f t he b usiness,h e i s t ired o f the c ash c runches t hat t he f irm h as e xperiencedi n r ecent y ears.

P eriodically, t he retailers H F d eals w ith h ave e ncountered f inancial p loblems a nd h ave s tlung out t heir p ayments, w hich o ften c aused a m ad s cramble f or c ash a t H F A nd i f Hamilton d ecides t o s ell, h e k nows t hat h e i s l ikely t o b e i nvolved i n s ome stressful n egotiations s urrounding t he c ompany’s v a1ue. T hough h e w ould h ire a c onsultant t o a id h im i n a ny,negotiations,h e d ecides i t i s a g ood i dea t o e ducate h imself a bout H F’s f inancials.

Another r eason t hat H amilton i s i nterested i n t he f irm’s f inancials i s s o h e can b etter j udge t he m anagerial c ompetence o f l Alhite. Ahen I IF w as s mall Hamilton t hought W hite d id a f ine j ob, b ut n ow h e w onders w hether / hite i s capable o f r unning a f irm a s l arge a s H F. A ctually, i f H amilton w ere c onvinced that W hite i s a c ompetent m anager, h e w ould n ot c onsider s elling o ut s ince h e 36 PARTI I F INANCIALA NALYSIS genuinely e ntoys b eing a n o wner o f a n a pparel f irm.

B ut h e t hinks t he a pparel industry w ill f ace e ven t ougher t imes i n t he n ext f ew y ears, a nd w onders i f ltrhite i s t alented e nough t o s uccessfullym eet t hese c hallenges. BORROWING CONCEB. NS A4rite’s p ersonality i s s uch t hat h e m akes v irtually a ll m ajor o perating a nd financial d ecisions. A n i mportant e xample o f t his w as h is d ecision t hree y ears ago t o r etire a ll l ong-term d ebt/ a m ove t riggered b y W hite’s f ear t hat H F’s b usiness r isk w as i ncreasing.

H e c ited t he d ifficulties o f s eemingly r ock-solid r etailers l ike B loomingdale’s a nd C ampeau t o s upport h is c laim. I M-Lite i s a lso concerned t hat f irms t he s ize o f H F h ave h ad d ifficulty m aintaining s table b ank relationships. D ue t o i ncreasingly s trict f ederal r egulations, s ome b anks h ave called i n l oans a t t he s lightest t echnicality, a nd m ost a re s crutinizing n ew b usiness l oans v ery c arefully. C onsequently W hite v iews b ank d ebt f inancing a s “unreliable” a nd t hinks t hat l oan o fficers a re c apable o f ” chewing u p m y t ime. Harnilton isn’t sure what to make of these arguments, but he is concerned that this debt avoidance has significantly reduced FIF’s financial flexibility because it means that all protects will have to be equity financed. In fact, over the past five years t here h ave b een n o d ividends b ecausea ll e arnings h ave b een r einvested. And two years ago each of the partners had to contribute $15,000of capital in order to m eet t he c ompany’s c ashn eeds. A nother i nfusion o f c apital m ay b e n ecessary sincet he f irm’s p resentc ashp osition i s l ow b y h istorical s tandards. ( See xhibit 2 . E More j mportantly, h owever, H amilton f eels t hat t he c ompany i s n ot b enefiting f rom t he l everage e ffect o f d ebt f inancing, a nd t hat t his h urts t he p rofitabiiity o f t he f lrm t o t he t wo o whers. WORKING CAPITAL CONCERNS Hamilton s uspectst hat F {F’si nventory i s ” excessive” a nd t hat ” capital i s u nnecessarily t ied u p i n i nventory. ” n/hite’s p osition i s t hat a l arge i nventory i s n ecessary t o p rovide s peedy d elivery t o c ustomers. H e a rgues t hat ” our c ustomers expect q uick s ervice a nd a l arge i nventory h elps u s t o p rovide i t. Hamilton is skeptical of this argument and wonders if there isn’t a mole efficient w ay o f p roviding q uicker s ewice. H e k nows t hat a c onsultant r ecommended t hat H I ” very s eriously” c onsiderb uilding a s tate-of-the-artd istribution center. T he p roposed f acility w ould a liow F {F t o r educe i nventory a ld a lso handle big orders from retailers such as Kmart and Wal-Mart. VVhite rejected the suggestion a rguing t hat t he e sttnated $ S-million t o $ 8-mi11ion ost i s e xcessive. c Hamiiton a lso q uestions / hite’s c redit s tandards a nd c ollection p rocedures.

Hamilton t hinks t hat / hite h as b een q uite g enerous i n g ranting p ayment extensions t o c ustomers, a nd a t o ne p oint n early 4 0 p ercent o f t he c ompany’s receivablesw ere m ore t han 9 0’davs o verdue. F urther. / hite w ould c ontinue t o . C ASE6 H OLLYF ASHIONS 37 accept and ship orders to these qetailers eyen when it was clear that their ability t o p ay w as m arginal. l hite’s p osition i s t hat. he d oesn’t w ant t o l ose s ales and that the rough times these retailers face are only temporary. Hamilton also wonders about the wisdom of passing up trade discounts. HF is frequently offered terms ol 1. 1. 0, net 30. That is, the company receives a l-percent discount if a bill is paid in ten days and in any event full payment is expected within 30 days. ffiite rarely takes these discounts because he “wants t o h old o nto o ur c ash a s l ong a s p ossible. ” H e a lso n otes t hat ” the d iscount isn’t especially generous emd 99 percent of the bill must still be paid. ” FINAL THOUGHTS Despite ill of Hamilton’s concems, however, the retationship between the two partners has been relatively smooth over the years. And Hamilton admits that he may be unduly critical of y’hite’s management decisions. After al1,”he concedes, ” the m an s eems t o h ave r easonsf or w hat h e d oes, a rd w e h ave b een i n the black every year since we started, which is an impressive record, really, for a f um i n o ur b usiness. ” Further, Hamilton has discussed with two condultants the possibility of selling his half of the firm. Since FIF is not publicly traded, the market value of the company’s s tock m ust b e e stimated. T hesec onsultants b elieve t hat H F i s w orth between $55 and $55 per share, figures that “seem quite good” to Hamilton. QUESTIONS 1 Calculate the firm’s 1995ratios listed in Exhibit 3. . P art o f H amilton’s e valuationw ill c onsisto f c omparingt he f irm’s r atios t o . the industry numbers shown in Exhibit 3. (a) Discuss the limitations of such a comparative financial analysis. (b) In view of these limitations, why are such industry comparisons so frequentlym ade? 3, Hamilton thinks thai the profitability of the firm to the owners hasbeenhurt by White’s reluctanceto use ftuch inteiest-bearing debt. Is this a reasonable position? E xplain. 4. The case mentions that {hite rarely takes trade discounts, which are typically 1 /10, n et 3 0.

D oest his s eeml ike a w ise f inancialm ove? E xplain. 5. C alculatet he c ompany’sm arket-to-book dV/BV) r atio. ( Therea re 5 ,000 O shares f c ommons tock. ) o 6. Hamilton’s position is that White has not competently managed the firm. Defend this position using your previous an. swers nd other information in a the c ase. 38 PARTII FINANCIAL ANALYSIS 7. Vy’hite’s position is that he has effectively managed the firm. Defend this position using your previous answers and other information in the case. 8. Play the role of an arbitratoi.

Is it possible based on an examination of the firm’s r atios a nd o ther i nformation i n t he c aset o a ssessW hite’s m anagerial competmce? Defend your position. 9. ( a) A re t he r atios y ou c alcul:ited b ased o n m arket o r b ook v alues? E xplain. (b) W ould y ou p refer r atios b ased o n m arket c ir b ook v alues? E xplain. EXHIBIT 1 Holly F ashions’I ncome S tatements:1 993-1996 ( 000s) 1993 Sales Costo f g oods Grossmargin Adrrinistrative Dq)reciation EBIT lnterest EBT Taxes Net income 1994 1995 1996 $985. 0 748. 6 236. 4 169. 4 10. 8 56. 1 7. O 49. 1 19. 7 $1,040. 0 n4. $1,236. 0 $1,305. 0 978. 8 202. 8 1 14 51. 0 4t. 0 18. 0 $27. 0 a7a’, 307. 8 236,I 13. 6 58. 1 53. 1 21. 7 _-$3L9 249. 3 ’14 4 62. 6 58. 5 23. 5 ___$99! EXHIBIT 2 BalanceS heetso { t he H olly F ashionsC ompany: f 993-1996 ( 000s) 1993 ASSETS Cash $40. 4 Receivables r53. 2 Inventory 117. 0 5. 9 Other cwrent Current assets ‘u. 8 Grossf ixed Accumulaied depreciation (12. 0) 32. 8 Net fixed Totala ssets $349. 3 1994 1995 1996 $s1. 9 158. 9 121. 1 6. 2 338. 0 58. 9 (23. 4) __35t $38. 6 ‘t75. 1 $10. 6 224. 8 19L. 9 7. 8 435. 1 96. 4’ (s1. 4) 45. 0 $480. 1 193. 4 7. 4 414. 5 78. 1. _a;l continued) C ASE6 H OLLYF ASHIONS 39 EXHIBIT 2 (Contirwed) t993 LIAB]LITIES & NET WORTH Accounts payable Debt due Accruals Current liabilities Long-term debt Common s tock Retained e arnings Total L &NW $53. 8 10. 0 | 1 9. 7 , 8 3. 5 60. 0 150_0 1994 1995 r996 $v. f $85. 2 10. 0 24. 7 120. 9 40. 0 180. 0 114. 6 $u. 2 10. 0 26. L 120. 3 30. 0 180. 0 149. 8 $48q. 1 10. 0 26. 0 90. 7 50. 0 150. 0 82. 8 $349. 3 $455t EXHIBIT 3 Financial R atios { ot t hb H olly F ashionsC ompany: 1 993-1996 Ind*r11 (Presen] r993 r994 1995. 3. 7 3. 4 2. 6 ‘L7 1. 8 1. 3 1. 6 .8 r996 1993-19961. Liquidity Ratios

Curlent Quick Leverage atios R Deb(%) 41.. 1 37. 7 35. 3 8. 0 8. 5 11. 6 6. 4 6. 4 4. 8 FixedA sset Turnover 30. 0 29. 3 30. 1 TotalA sset Turnovet 2. 8 2. 8 2. 7 Timesinterest eamed Activity Ratios lnventory Tulnover (CGS) 47 57 71 3. 9 1. 3 8. 1 6. 0 40 25 72 3. 5 2. 8 2. 0 (continued) P ARTI I F INANCIALA NALYSIS DGIIBIT 3 (Conrinued) Ifld – r) 1993 1994 1995 AverageCollection Period Days Pulchases Outstanding** (Present) 1996 1993-1996+ 50 68 18 31 25 32 ProfitabilityR atios M Gross argin ( %) 24. 0 25. 5 24. 9 Net Profit Margin (%) 3. 0 2. 6 2. 6 Return on Equity (%) 14. 3 11. 6 0. 8 8. 4 7. 2 7. 0 5. 8 6. 0 6. L Retum on Total ( Assets %) Operating Margin*** (%) 26 3. 1 ‘1. 2 27. 3 19. 5 7. 8 11. 8 8. 7 9. 9 7. 2 3. 1 iThe thr€e numbers for each ratio arc comPuted in the following wsy. Ratios for all firms in dre indushy are arranged in what is consider€d a strontest-to-weakest order’ The middle number rePl€senis the median ratioj that is, half the firms in the industry had mtios better than the median ratio and half had ratios that wer€ worse The top nunlber represents the uPPer qua4ile figure; meaning 25 Pelcent of the firms had ratios befter tlran this.

The lower number represents the lowest quaftile, that is, 25 Percent of the firms had ratios worse than this. *”This shows the average lentth of time that trade debt is ouhtandint. AIso caled the averate Paymeni Period. Calculated ; is A /P – ( CGS/360). 1**Calculateda s ( EBIT + D ep)/Sales.

Free Essays

Clothing and Fashion

Every person nurtures an innate desire of looking good and feel ‘accepted’ in the socio-economic circle. The word fashion instantaneously brings to mind a flash of colour with a dash of glamour. Women are taking to fashion in a big way, and are experimenting with different looks, styles, and textures. Fashion plays an increasingly important role in an indivi­dual’s life because it is considered as a means of self-expression. The garments and accessories that man or women wear, help them to identify with a group of others-whether it is a lifestyle, profession, a religion, or an attitude.

Thus, the term ‘fashion’ has become synonymous with the overall growth of the country as well. Several factors contribute to the evolution of fashion as a whole. It is a widely accepted fact that the rich and the famous, and the political figures and royalty have always moved the seasonal trends of fashion. The advertising media also contributes equally to update us about the daily style checks. Fashion in India, a land rich in culture and tradition, has evolved through the centuries. This country, rich in culture represents a kaleidoscope of changing trends and traditions.

Here, clothes perform different functions depending on the occasion. Be it festivals, parties, profession, or just a matter of reflecting attitude … fashion is simply ‘in’. Right from women who sport a dash of vermilion in the parting of their hair, to professionals on the go who wield the ladle and the laptop with equal ease, fashion forms an integral 92 Top School Essays part of their lives. Today, fashion does not necessarily mean glamour, or the urge to follow the current trends. It is more a way of life, a reflection of inner beauty, where the intellect shines through, complete with comfort quotient.

Fashion not only highlights the social history and the needs of person but also the overall cultural aesthetic of the various periods. The evolution of fashion dates back to several hundred years and as our attitude and culture change, fashion comes along with it. In India, the fashion scenario was different in different political periods. During the British rule in India, the fashion trend within high society was strongly influenced by the British fashion style and western clothes became a status symbol in India.

Again during 1930s, emergence of different ideologies like communism, socialism and fascism imparted a more feminine and conservative touch to the women’s fashion. However, the period also witnessed the predominance of body hugging dresses with dark shades. The foundation of the Indian cinema also proved to be the strongest influence on revolutionising the fashion scene in those days. 1940s was a decade marked by the second World War and the ensuing independence of India. Hence, the period portrayed relatively simple yet functional women’s clothing.

During 1950s, the advent of art colleges and schools led to popularity of narrow waist and balloon skirts with bouncing patterns. Also, the adoption of khadi by Mahatma Gandhi made khadi garments a rage among women. In the 1960s, the sweeping changes in fashion and lifestyle resulted in highly versatile fashion trends. In 1970s, the traditional materials were exported in bulk to other nations. Thus, excess of export materials were sold within the country itself, which resulted in popularity of international fashion in India. During 1980s and 90s, the advent of television and other advertising means gave a new edge to the Indian fashion scene.

Influenced by ideas of several foreign designers, new design and pattern were introduced into garments. During these periods, power dressing and corporate look were the style statement. The revival of ethnicity was also witnessed in these decades. Fashion trends keep changing and most fashion divas and models are the one to make them. The youth is a major follower of fashion trends. Fashion trends also get influenced from Bollywood as well as Hollywood. Metros like Mumbai and Delhi witness the quick changes in fashion especially in college going crowds.

India has a rich and varied textile heritage, where each region of India has its own unique native costume and traditional attire. While traditional clothes are still worn in most of rural India, urban India is changing rapidly, with international fashion trends reflected by the young and glamorous, in the cosmopolitan metros of India. Fashion in India is a vibrant scene, a nascent industry and a colourful and glamorous world where designers and models start new trends every day. While previously a master weaver was recognised for his skill, today a fashion designer is celebrated for his or her creativity.

Young urban Indians can choose from the best of East and West as Indian fashion designers are inspired by both Indian and western styles. This fusion of fashion can be seen Fashion in India is also beginning to make its mark on the international scene, as accessories such as bindis (red dots worn on the forehead), mehendi (designs made by applying henna to the palms of the hands and other parts of the body) and bangles, have gained international popularity, after being worn by fashion icons, like the pop singers Madonna and Gwen Stefani.

In India, fashion has become a growing industry with international events such as the India Fashion Week and annual shows by fashion designers in the major cities of India. The victories of a number of Indian beauty queens in International events such as the Miss World and Miss Universe contests have also made Indian models recognised worldwide. Fashion designers such as Ritu Kumar, Ritu Beri, Rohit Bal, Rina Dhaka, Muzaffar Ah, Satya Paul, Abraham and Thakore, Tarun Tahiliani, JJ Valaya and Manish Malhotra are some of the well- known fashion designers in India.

In India, fashion covers a whole range of clothing from ornate clothes designed for wedding ceremonies to pret lines, sports wear and casual wear. Traditional Indian techniques of embroidery such as chikhan, crewel and zardosi, and traditional weaves and fabrics have been used by Indian designers to create Indo-western clothing in a fusion of the best of East and West. Traditional costumes in India vary widely depending on the climate and natural fibres grown in a region.

In the cold northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, people wear a thick loose shirt called a phiran to keep them warm. In the tropical warmth of south India, men wear a sarong like garment called the mundu, while women drape 5 metres of cloth around their bodies in the graceful folds of the saree. Sarees are woven in silk, cotton and artificial fibres. Kanjivaram, Mysore, Paithani, Pochampalli, Jamdani, Balucheri, Benarasi, Sambalpuri, Bandhini are some varieties of beautiful sarees from different regions of India.

In the dry regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat men wrap and twist a length of cloth in the form of a dhoti around their lower limbs and a shirt-like kurta above. Colourful turbans complete the picture. In the northeastern regions the tribal communities such as Khasis, Nagas, Mizos, Manipuris and Arunachalis wear colourful woven sarong-like clothing and woven shawls that represent the identity of each tribal group. In urban India the salwar kameez and the churidar kameez, are commonly work by women and the saree is worn on formal occasions.

Men wear kurtas and pajamas, or a sherwani for formal wear. Men commonly wear western wear such as shirts and trousers across India. The young and the young at heart wear Jeans, T-shirts, capris, Bermudas and various kinds of casual clothing, which are the trendsetters of fashion in India. Comparing the past and the present, fashion for people in India has changed over the decades. Not only India, but also the whole world has witnessed changes in fashion statements for both men and women

Free Essays

A Brazilian Fashion Model’s Death Due to Eating Disorder

For Ana Carolina Reston Marcan was from kleinsaf been her dream to be supermodel, this dream became reality. At 21, in 2006, she made the headlines around the world. Not for her modeling career, but for her painful death, attributed to “complications due to anorexia. Jundiai town, Sao Paulo, Brazil. A brown-haired teenage girl walks on to the stage at the local beauty contest. Below, her parents, wedged at the front of a cheering audience, clap enthusiastically as a judge slips a green and white sash over their daughter’s head and pronounces her the Queen of Jundiai, 1999.

Her mother wasn’t surprised: ‘The other girls were podgy and had bottoms,’ she said later. ‘She won because she was slim and elegant. ‘ It doesn’t seem an earth-shattering achievement. But for 13-year-old Ana Carolina Reston Marcan it was one step nearer her dream of becoming a supermodel. It would take Reston (who dropped Marcan from her professional name) seven years to ‘arrive’, by which time she would be working as far afield as Hong Kong and Japan, for designers as well known as Giorgio Armani and Dior.

But it was on 14 November last year that she finally crossed over from being a successful catwalk model to appearing on the cover of every magazine and newspaper in Brazil, and making headlines around the globe. Not for her modelling, but for her agonising death, attributed to ‘complications arising from anorexia’. In a year in which both ‘skinny chic’ (wearing oversized clothes on tiny body frames) and the American size 00 (an emaciated UK size two, or a waist the same as a typical seven-year-old’s) was the height of fashion in celebrity-land, Reston’s demise seems all the more poignant.

She was also the second model to die from an eating disorder during 2006. In August, at a fashion show in Uruguay, 22-year-old Luisel Ramos suffered a heart attack thought to be the result of anorexia. Although anorexia isn’t the preserve of the fashion industry, it’s hardly surprising that Reston’s death has shone a spotlight on the way the business treats its models, and more significantly, on how destructive our current perception of female beauty can be. Reston’s short life began in Pitangueiras private hospital in Jundiai on 29 May 1985.

She was born into a comfortable, middle-class family; her father, Narciso Marcan, worked for a German multinational while her mother, Miriam Reston, sold jewellery. They were neither desperately poor nor offensively rich and lived in a small but elegant bungalow on the outskirts of town. From an early age Reston wanted to be a model, partly in order to provide her family with a better life. It’s not clear why she felt such responsibility, but in the early Nineties her father was diagnosed with both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and was later made redundant.

Even before then, though, her mother remembers the young Reston spiriting bras and high heels from her closet and pirouetting around the house in them, asking people to take her photograph. Then one day in 1999, on the school bus home, she spotted a sign announcing a beauty contest for the Queen of Jundiai. She leapt off and signed herself up. A few weeks later she took her mother on an all expenses-paid luxury trip to Rio – her prize for winning the competition. When they returned, a fashion agent offered to introduce her to Ford, one of Brazil’s top modelling agencies, for a fee of ? 100. The family accepted.

Reston’s career took off almost immediately and it soon became apparent that she had her eye on the big prize – becoming a supermodel, like fellow Brazilian Gisele. Reston’s friends thought that for the more glamorous catwalk and editorial modelling she was, at just over 5ft 6in, too short. But she wouldn’t be put off; she altered her height on her publicity shots and claimed she was just over 5ft 7in. And she seemed to get away with it. In July 2003, after four successful years at Ford, she signed to Elite, one of the biggest agencies in Brazil, a move which catapulted her from teenage wannabe to serious model.

Still Reston wanted to work abroad, and in January 2004 she finally made her first trip overseas. She was sent to Guangzhou, a Chinese city not far from Hong Kong, for three months. But although no one can pin an exact date on when she began to suffer from anorexia, one former booker, who refuses to be named, believes that it was here things started to unravel for the then 18-year-old. Reston, like so many other teenage models, travelled unaccompanied by either a personal friend or family member, someone who could help her negotiate a way through the lonely castings, where personal criticism came as standard. She arrived in China,’ explains a booker, ‘and the guys looked at her and said, “You’re fat. ” She took this very personally. ‘ Her unhappiness was evident in the letters she sent home. In one to her mother, Reston describes arriving in ‘that big place’. She goes on: ‘I [felt] so small, the city so big. I didn’t understand anything… It didn’t go right. I failed. ‘ Her confidence was being destroyed. Back in Brazil, Reston’s descent into anorexia (which ultimately resulted in her shrinking from 8st to 6st) became all too obvious.

When Laura Ancona, a journalist at the Brazilian fashion magazine Quem, befriended Reston towards the end of 2004, she sensed immediately that something was wrong. Reston, she says, only ever drank fruit juice, and after her death was found to have survived on a diet of apples and tomatoes. As Ancona recalls: ‘She said, “I can’t eat any more. ” She told me she tried to eat but felt like vomiting. She knew she had a problem, but didn’t know what she was suffering from. I think I was the first person to explain it to her – I knew she was anorexic, because someone in my family had suffered in the same way. According to Ancona, Reston’s condition was common knowledge. ‘Everyone knew she was ill,’ she says. ‘The other girls, the agencies, everyone. Don’t believe it when they say they didn’t. ‘ Reston’s aunt, Mirtes Reston, who plans to present a petition to the government demanding steps to monitor the modelling industry, is more direct. ‘These girls are white slaves,’ she says. ‘We want models to have rights. At the moment they are given no pension, no support… They just take the person away from their family and abandon them far away. ‘

In his private clinic in Jardins, a leafy, upmarket neighbourhood of Sao Paulo, psychologist Dr Marco Antonio De Tommaso, who voluntarily runs a fortnightly drop-in clinic at two of the city’s largest modelling agencies, Elite and L’Equipe, is preparing some notes on eating disorders. Tommaso has spent 11 years working with models and given consultations to nearly 2,000 of them, including some of the country’s most famous faces. He also treated Reston. Tommaso’s take on the fashion industry, and what he calls the ‘dictatorship of beauty’, is bleak.

He regards Reston’s experience as typical, citing in particular the way in which ‘new faces’ are parachuted into the most demanding and adult of worlds when they are unable to cope. ‘They experience lots of changes all at the same time,’ says Tommaso. ‘They move city, they move state, they start living alone, and the work is very demanding. Everything happens very quickly, and it is all so unpredictable. ‘ There are no official studies to prove the link between the fashion industry and eating disorders, but many experts point to a clear correlation between the two.

In a letter from 40 doctors at the Eating Disorders Service and Research Unit at King’s College London to the British Fashion Council last October, Professor Janet Treasure wrote: ‘There is no doubt there is cause and effect here. The fashion industry showcases models with extreme body shapes, and this is undoubtedly one of the factors leading to young girls developing disorders. ‘ This is borne out by Tommaso’s experience. ‘If someone is just a tiny bit bigger than the industry demands,’ he says, ‘they are treated as if they were morbidly obese.

This encourages a pattern of beauty that is absolutely unreal. ‘ Such pressures, he continues, lead many such women to build up what he calls ‘an arsenal of anorexia’: special diets, prescription and illegal drugs, starving themselves. He remembers one young model even using pills for fighting intestinal worms in order to lose weight. Journalist Laura Ancona is not surprised: ‘I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen models vomiting in the toilets [at fashion events], or sniffing cocaine, or 13-year-old girls fainting because they’re not eating properly. Anorexia is obviously not an illness exclusive to the fashion industry, or Brazil. According to the Norwich-based Eating Disorders Association, between one and two per cent of young adult women worldwide suffer from the eating disorder and most, like Reston, are 15-25 years old. It kills somewhere between 13 and 20 per cent of its victims. It’s not known exactly what causes anorexia, but Tommaso asserts that, for young models at least, professional demands can be a ‘very strong factor’. There are other pressures, too.

As Tommaso points out: ‘Often, low-income families begin to see their offspring as the chicken that lays gold eggs and expect them to support the entire household. The models, in turn, begin to push themselves harder and harder, placing greater demands on their bodies in the hope they will earn more money. ‘ Certainly Reston faced problems at home. The family’s life savings had been stolen in 2002 and because they only had her sick father’s pension of around ? 250 a month to live on, Miriam Reston looked increasingly to her daughter’s income. She was my crutch,’ she explains, sitting in the breakfast room of her sister’s pousada, or guesthouse. By 2004, the 18-year-old Reston was supporting her entire family. And despite her experiences in China, she continued to dream of travelling the world modelling, in order to earn more money to help her mother build a new house. In August 2005 Reston called her employers at the Elite fashion agency and told them she was leaving – she had received an offer from an agent to work in Mexico.

They urged her to stay, arguing that the Mexican modelling market required voluptuous girls, whereas Reston was now an increasingly skinny model. ‘She wasn’t listening to anyone any more,’ says her former booker. In Mexico things went from bad to worse. On her second day there Reston emailed home that she was sharing an apartment with 17 other models and was very unhappy. Other Brazilian models who bumped into an increasingly miserable-looking Reston at castings began to worry about her emotional state. One of them, Cynthia, left a note for her: ‘Girlie, we’re very worried about you.

Please come out with us or stay at home and eat something – eat whatever you want, OK? ‘ Eventually, Reston became so unhappy that Lica Kohlrausch, the owner of L’Equipe, was persuaded by some of Reston’s concerned friends and colleagues to pay for her to fly back to Brazil. ‘We brought Ana back after she did some work for Giorgio Armani and a representative rang me to say she was too thin,’ Kohlrausch told the press after Reston’s death. ‘It worried me and I acted immediately, but I didn’t see any physical signs of anorexia when she came back. On her return, Reston went to work in Japan for three months. When she came home again, in late 2005, she was barely recognisable – gaunt and colourless. As Miriam Reston recalls, ‘I looked at her and said, “My daughter, what have they done to you? ” I wish these people could see what they have done to her. She didn’t deserve this. ‘ Now seriously worried about her health, Reston’s family sent her to stay with an uncle on the Sao Paulo coast. He, too, knew that something was very wrong. On a note dated 19 January 2006, he set out a daily routine for Reston to follow as part of her recuperation.

It read: 1 Wake up, pray. 2 Strong, positive thoughts. 3 Pray. 4 Always feed yourself. 5 Pray. Despite the family’s intervention, Reston continued eating less and less, and work opportunities began to ebb away. By the middle of last year, her career as a model had virtually ground to a halt. Instead, to try and make ends meet, she was handing out fliers advertising nightclubs in Sao Paulo, earning just over ? 10 a night. But there was some comfort – she fell in love with a 19-year-old model from Sao Paulo, called Bruno Setti. I didn’t know what love was until you kissed me,’ she wrote to him, just over a month before her death. ‘Thank you for giving me the hugs that make me secure and the conversations that comfort me. ‘ On Friday 29 September, Dr Tommaso sat waiting in a room at L’Equipe, with a list of six models he was due to see that afternoon. Reston was booked in for her second appointment. But as the minutes ticked by, Tommaso got the feeling it would be another no-show. ‘I thought it was a shame,’ he sighs. ‘The agency contacted her and she said she’d forgotten.

Maybe it was true, maybe it was the anorexia. We can’t be sure. ‘ In Jundiai, meanwhile, Reston complained to her mother that members of the agency were pestering her to see a doctor. ‘She told me they were going mad [saying she was ill],’ recalls her mother. ‘Everyone was telling her she was ill… But, like all these girls, she denied it was a problem. ‘ But her mother was pretty sure by then that Reston’s health problems needed to be addressed sooner rather than later. And then suddenly, it was too late. At home on Sunday 22 October, Reston began to complain of a pain in her kidneys.

Miriam Reston didn’t know it, but for the last couple of months her daughter had been taking a cocktail of potent prescription drugs, for pain relief and slimming. Reston was admitted to the Samaritano Hospital in Sao Paulo and two days later, on 25 October, she was moved to the Hospital Municipal dos Servidores Publicos, where almost immediately she was admitted to the intensive care unit, where she spent her last 21 days. Her demise was agonising, a plastic tube inserted down her throat, unable to tell anyone how she felt, although the tears in her eyes must have made that pretty obvious.

Patches of her once long brown hair had fallen out, too. Her death certificate, for which relatives paid around 50p, cites her time of death as 7. 10am and lists the cause of death as ‘multiple organ failure, septicaemia, urinary infection’. Coldly it adds: ‘Leaves no children. Leaves no property. Leaves no will. ‘ Within hours of her death Ana Carolina Reston Marcan was famous across the world. Her death made her a martyr in Brazil – her image was splashed across the front pages of virtually every newspaper and magazine, and across the international media.

Jundiai’s teenage beauty queen had become the emaciated model who had starved herself to death. Debate raged. There was an outpouring of emotion from other anorexic girls who saw in Reston a piece of themselves; and, simultaneously, a bitter rebuke from pro-anorexia communities, whose members see anorexia as a lifestyle choice. Reston’s boyfriend requested her page on the popular Brazilian blog site Orkut be deleted after her death because it was targeted by anorexia supporters posting offensive comments.

Critics of the fashion industry, on the other hand, held her up as an example of how it was destroying the lives of young, would-be models, and in the weeks that followed, the deaths of two further Brazilian girls in similar circumstances, one a fashion student, brought further calls for the regulation of this notoriously mysterious business. Already, changes seem to be taking place. Following Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos’s death, models with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18 – classified as underweight by the World Health Organisation (between 18. and 25 is considered healthy) – were banned in September from Madrid Fashion Week. In the wake of Reston’s death, Brazilian models now require medical certificates in order to take part in catwalk events. The Italian fashion organisation Camera Della Moda Italiana is also considering introducing measures to prevent any catwalk models at risk appearing at Milan Fashion Week in February. More recently, the British Fashion Council, which organises London Fashion Week, has prepared similar guidelines that it will eventually send to all designers and modelling agencies.

It is late afternoon and in the cobbled centre of Pirapora do Bom Jesus, Miriam Reston Marcan pulls up the shutters of her new jewellery shop – recently named ‘Ana Carolina Metals’ – and goes inside. Weeping, she picks up a letter written by her daughter shortly before her death, but which was never sent. ‘”If I could, I’d like to go back to being four, clinging on to you as if I were still in your womb, so that nobody could harm me,”‘ it reads, in curly, teenage handwriting. “But God wanted my life to change. “‘ Reston sighs. ‘I didn’t know what my daughter had could kill, but I knew it had to be treated. But my daughter rejected me, she said she was OK. ‘ She stares up at a portrait of Ana hung at the back of the shop – part of an advertising campaign which has now become a sort of shrine to her deceased daughter. ‘Do you know what I think at night time? ‘ she asks. ‘I think that she’s in the ground and the ants are eating her. I don’t know how I’m

Free Essays

“Rodeo-Soho Fashion Spree” A Comparison Essay on Two Places


It is true for a fact that due to the immense rise of globalization and competition in the world of business today, the contemporary society continuously seeks for fresher, trendy and the rather “Gucci-fancy” commodities which will seemingly amaze anyone who happens to come across one’s way (Peters & Barletta, 2005).  As for me, I admirably belong to that certain group—the “fashionistaz,” as they say. I am a cloth addict.  Not only because I am actually exposed to such line of industry given the fact that my sister works for Marc Jacobs, a renowned fashion commerce, but also because I had the indulgence and delight of seeing myself galloping along shops and stalls filled with all the wondrous stuff any “trendy” lass could ever take to imagine.

Apparently, for a trendsetter like me, undeniably a fickle aided individual in the fashion arena, it is inevitable to easily “get enough” of what I already have.  Consequently, it boggles in my head that I cannot exactly reach all the glittering stars in shops—I need to wait for my time in life where I would be able to build my own Salvatore Ferragamo, Hermes and Ralph Lauren Black Label shops fit enough for my enthusiasm, and adequate for all the hungry “fashionistaz” living in this planet.  I know for a fact that trendsetters are fickle-minded beings—experience based.  I remember two shops which conceivably mean much to me, and my hobby—the gigantic Ta Ta Style in Rodeo Street, Seoul; and the Ralph Lauren Black Label shop at Soho Street, Manhattan.  The name of both stores will terribly ring a bell to my co-trendsetters.

Seoul’s Ta ta Style

In Rodeo Street, there are bunches of small but fancy boutique shops decorated with brand new fashion items, although one may not directly love the view in the exterior cascade—scary, spooky and definitely not that presentable. Many have, in point of fact, rated such store as “shabby” and completely disgusting.  But then there’s this line which says “don’t judge a book by its cover”—I guess it applies to this certain store. The Ta ta Style is the best place in the world for me—a place where one can find all the limited edition accessories and clothes with low prices, meet famous celebrities every day, hang out with a store owner who suggests brilliant items—and is admirably situated in the heart of the city.  The shop was cozy.

A small orange sofa, a shiny silver coffee maker, a high tech TV and computer and other modern decorations were facing toward the guests. On the other side, hundred photographs of famous celebrities with the shop owner are posted on the mirror. Colorful shirts, vintage jackets, dandy jeans and funky ties, caps and chains—everything can be found in there.  Not only that, the owner also offers a beverage for its customers and talk to them in the most casual sense—trying to get a glitch of what his customers want, like, or imagine of wearing.  In my own conviction, it is a “sales technique” which gradually draws mutual benefit.

Manhattan’s Ralph Lauren Black Label

Classics are forever and trends are unpredictable—both terms jive to one another, in a vicinity rated as a tourist spot and migration realm for international schemes, it is always a blockbuster hit to venture into a business which does not just settle for what is conventional, but rather on what is flexible.  Masterpiece, in line with trend, worth the price—three factors which best defines Ralph Lauren Black Label shop at Soho Street.  It was one of the biggest and fanciest shops I ever seen in my life. The store looked magnificently gorgeous, and its size was bigger than my high school assembly hall. Managers were dressed up with sharp suites, and they looked well educated for servicing their customers. However, somehow I couldn’t feel close to this store since everything was too much professional and organized. A gray cashmere muffler had a price tag on it which says two hundred and forty dollars—something my pockets could not tend to reach for the immediate moment.

Conclusions with further remarks

Perceivably, both stores have things in common and entities which differ from the other.  Both offer the “trendiest” inclination in human colony.  On the other hand, both disagree on the following: price, the “sense of formality, and the place. Geographical basis, both are on different continents, the culture is the different and the places where the stores are situated, are terribly contrasting.  Manhattan’s glowing paradise is “too formal” and decent, to be specific, while Seoul’s alley is “fancy” and casual.  Only that, in their specific regions and area of jurisdiction, they are ‘rulers’ of the industry which they are most renowned into.

For the reason that there are distinctive characteristics in every place, it is vague to extend a conviction based on biased opinions.  How a store may actually look like depends on the rationality of a person.  A lot of factors must be taken into consideration—lifestyle, culture, laws, tribal entities and the pyramid of social structure—all of which are the fundamentals which make up a certain structure.  For some, the “fancy-shabby” shop may be the “worst” shop, but for those who live in there and for the people who loves their products, it is like a kingdom filled with jewels and happiness.  Everything falls on the lines of “enthusiasm” and “need” for something, and that is one to be respected.  Everyone is entitled for their own perceptions.  But then as for me, I settle for what I can afford—achieve, for that instance.  I love “Ta ta” and “Ralph Lauren”—that is my own conviction, my own life, my own fulfillment in life, my joy, my happiness, and so how I see both structures shows my standpoint as well.


Peters, T., & Barletta, M. (2005). Trends (Tom Peters Essentials). New York NY: DK ADULT.

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Rise and Rise of Indian Fashion Retail Industry

RISE AND RISE OF INDIAN FASHION RETAIL INDUSTRY The Indian Fashion retail industry has come a long way since its onset in the country. It is steadily taking the shape of economy booster and has grown many folds in last decade. There are a number of domestic brands like Numero Uno, Satya Paul, Pantaloons, and Provogue who have seen tremendous growth since the time they arrived in the market. The vast opportunity has also lured international players like Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Zara, WalMart to move into the Indian Fashion Retail Industry.

The potential in the sector is immense and it is just a matter of time before the Indian Fashion Retail Industry becomes internationally renowned. According to one estimate, more than 50% of the retail space in India used by Fashion industry. Apparel and textiles together is largest among the retail sectors. Combining other fashion segments like jewellery, cosmetics, accessories, watches and beauty product means that fashion makes up for more than 60% of retail sector.

In department stores, fashion products account for around 95% of the total sales. The share is 70% in the Hypermarkets. In the year 2009, the value of apparel industry in India was INR 32,70,000 million. It is estimated to grow at around 11 percent and should reach INR 1,03,20,000 million by 2020. The most important factor for this steep growth and popularity of Fashion products is the huge population of our country.

Also, with the rise of more and more industries there is a marked increase in the income level of people resulting in more spending power as well. People are buying fashion products more than ever before. Once the basic needs of food and shelter are met the focus shifts on trying to look and feel better. There is a noticeable growth in the number of fashion retail outlets. The Indian Fashion Retail sector consists of department stores, huge shopping malls, hypermarkets, etc.

In monetary terms, the industry has fashion brands which offers affordable fashion clothing and is within the purchasing power of a common man. It also has brands offering premium fashion products which are really expensive. Introduction of online retailing has added a new dimension to the fashion retail segment and will surely help to boost the sales further. The Indian Fashion has a great future ahead and is sure to become one the biggest Industry in the country in terms of monetary power involved. Watch out for the boom.

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Is Fashion Important ?

IS FASHION IMPORTANT ? Fashion is a lifestyle to maintain their appearance and enhance their self-confidence. Fashion is most commonly associated with clothing, but it even applies to anything from interior architecture, to models to toys. It is a spirit, where an individual is comfortable with his mod of clothing and converts this comfort into a personal style. It is a way of measuring a mood can be useful in many aspects, culturally, socially even psychologically. Perhaps the most distinctive quality about the fashion since the early times is that it is increasing in simplicity.

Fashion will make someone become more confident with herself. This causes them to abuse the existing fashion. Too many kinds of fashion has found nowadays especially among teenagers. They are fond of wearing clothes that do not cover themselves from the cover themselves. But they do that because they want to care of personal appearance. With style, we can see a person’s personality. Besides that, among girls and young women, ridiculing each other’s outfits and appearances can be a form of bullying. The appearances of the homeless can keep people from offering them jobs.

Fashion models tend to be skinny to the extent that it is extremely unhealthy. Fashion can consume money and resources that could be put to uses that help society more. Having a personal style that is unique, yet fashionable can give a person more confidence. Trendily dressed people tend to attract more positive attention. Dressing age appropriately causes people to respect you more. People who are not dressed age appropriately tend to attract scorn and ridicule. In conclusion, fashion is good because it can boost our confident level and makes people comfortable to hang out with us.

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Tv Series N Fashion

Television is a cultural reference point for most of us, a type of shorthand that makes it easy to carry on a conversation. Columnist Ellen Goodman wrote that to those born since the baby boom of the late ‘40s, “All history begins with television. ” We compare ourselves to those on TV; we change how we dress and cut our hair and talk based on the latest television trend. Viewers pick up catch phrases and turn them into side-splitting party parodies that in turn become part of our culture.

For decades, almost ever since the inception of the television, the two have seemed to influence each other. In the ’60s, Jacqueline Kennedy was seen as a fashion icon after bringing style to the White House. News reports focused almost as much on her wardrobe as on her husband’s dealings as president of the country. Diane Keaton brought thrift store couture to a whole new level with her now-famous “Annie Hall” look of menswear with a twist of femininity and Madonna changed the way the world viewed undergarments worn as clothing with her videos on MTV in the ’80s.

Today’s small-screen fashion icons range from the geek chic of the “Ugly Betty” characters to the vampire- and dark-influenced “True Blood” to the retro teachers and students on the ever-popular “Glee” to the chic girls on “Gossip Girl. ” “TV and fashion are inseparable,” said MeeAe Oh-Ranck, a fashion designer and professor at Philadelphia University and Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster city. “Some of the shows have had such a huge impact on sharing fashion with the world. “

Shows like “Sex and the City,” “Ugly Betty” and “Glee” are at the top of Oh-Ranck’s fashion-influencing list. They illustrate how fashion and television help each other by making looks popular that may have been questioned in the past, she said. “Geek chic has become an acceptable form of fashion because of shows like ‘Ugly Betty,’ ” said Oh-Ranck said. “It shows that being a geek is acceptable,” Oh-Ranck said. “It shows that there is fashion everywhere, and it’s up to each person to create her own style. The breakdown for the geek chic look is heavy glasses, braces, slim pants and mismatching colors and prints. (pic: famous tv sitcom – Ugly Betty) Another popular look stolen from the small screen is the “Gossip Girl” glam of a layered casual look with funky accessories and cocktail dresses. Park City Center store Charlotte Russe carries the Eric Daman for Charlotte Russe collection, which is actually designed by “Gossip Girl” stylist Eric Daman. The line features party dresses, shoes and accessories, according to a CW Network press release. The line was launched Oct. 4 and everything in it is priced under $50. According to David Hacker, vice president of trend and color for Kohl’s, “popular television shows like ‘Gossip Girl’ typically feature the most up-to-date looks and accessories which help viewers translate fashion forward, runway ensembles into hip, everyday looks. ” For teens and 20-somethings, the jury is out on whether some of the TV characters’ fashions are acceptable or not. Recently, “Glee” and “Gossip Girl” stylists came under fire for the not-so-modest dresses and attire worn by many of the characters on the shows.

Some of MTV’s shows have escaped the critical radar, even though the fashions are very similar and show just as much skin. “Feminine details, lace and embellishment rule the screen this holiday season,” Hacker said. “Take cues from Addison on ‘Private Practice’ or Rachel on ‘Glee’ and layer your lace and ruffle-trimmed top under a LC Lauren Conrad motorcycle jacket or cardigan to create a lingerie-inspired look. ” However, the main fashion characters on “Glee” — Rachel and teacher Emma — are found on the conservative side of the spectrum with their classic, almost retro look.

Rachel sports a prep-school inspired look during school scenes with girlie skirts, ruffles and fun, quirky accessories. Emma, the doe-eyed, red-head teacher, wears layers, pencil skirts, cropped cardigans and Mary Jane-inspired chunky heels. It’s during the musical acts that the tight, and sometimes revealing, clothes are worn by the characters and critics have questioned the appropriateness given the show airs at 8 p. m. , when the younger generations can still be exposed to the not-so-conservative clothes. Left is Rachel from the famous TV sitcom Glee, Right is Emma from Glee) Although many teens and 20-somethings look to TV and movies for fashion inspiration, Oh-Ranck encourages them to develop their own fashion sense and says it’s OK to use these characters as influence and inspiration, but that they should try to find a fashion voice of their own. “It’s great to borrow some of the pieces of these looks,” Oh-Ranck said. “But adapt it into your own personal style and have fun with fashion. ” Top 10 most influential Style and Fashion TV shows

Pop culture in general has greatly influenced the styles and fashion of today. Popular TV shows in particular have helped mould the way fads and trends have evolved to what they are today. Below are some of the most influential shows that have set the tone for what’s in and what’s out in the fashion world. The Fashion Show This show offers viewers a chance to look into what will soon be hitting the runways from the hottest new designers. It incorporates the most popular up-and-coming designers and some friendly competition. Trends are born on every episode. Project Runway

One of the pioneers in reality fashion is Project Runway with its iconic Tim Gunn and the ever-popular Heidi Klum. This show takes designers for a whorl wind adventure through the trials and tribulations of making it in the fashion industry. The audience gets to see first-hand where style comes from. What Not To Wear This series is a raw, in your face tour through what not to wear. Participant’s closets are stripped down to bare hangers and empty shelves and are forced to start with the basics with fashion experts coaching them the entire way. Informative and entertaining, this show gives you your ashion medicine for the day. Gossip Girl This hot and steamy series takes a look at the life and styles of affluent young people in New York City. Aside from the drama and betrayal, this show exhibits the lattest styles directly from Fifth Ave. Keeping Up With The Kardashians The Kardashian clan has made a spectacle of themselves in many ways but fashion is a subject where they have excelled. The women of this show are decked out in the hottest trends from noon to night and spare no expense at parading around with their immaculate taste for fashion on permanent display.

The Real Housewives Series Through the many series, the styles were as outlandish as the cat fights. Straight from the styles of the rich and wanna-be famous, the woman of all the seasons of The Real Housewives franchise showed viewers how to dress in style yet act like a bull in a china shop. America’s Next Top Model Although this series’ main focus is the journey of aspiring models, the fashion trends shown come in a close second. As they worked with the hottest designers on the market, these young woman flaunt fashions unlike anything you see window-shopping. Sex and The City

Perhaps the most iconic fashion show of its time, Sex and The City paved the way for all trendy shows to come. With its varying styles amongst the women, this show presented New York trends in a way that felt as if we could all reach them one day. Fashion Star With a new spin on the traditional reality fashion show; this series gives designers the opportunity to showcase their lines for actual buyers from some of the biggest retails in the market. Fashion star gives viewers the ability to view what will be hot and what stores they can find their favourite styles at.

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Fashion Industry China: Csr Case

Fashion Industry China: CSR Case Subject Submission Date Class Team Members CSR cross-analyses on fashion Industry Tuesday 15, 2012 MBA Pudong – Corporate Social Responsibility Christiane Pagsisihan Damien Dandelot Jose Antonio Mallen Tendai Chitapi Vera Boisa Harbhajan Khalsa Executive Summary The research paper trough four main Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) issues (Children Labor, Working condition, Environmental impact and Environmental Sustainability) indicates several glaring trends within the fashion industry.

First of all, there appears to be an overall evolution in the CSR practice and actives during the last decade in the fashion industry. Moreover, it seems evident that CSR is more and more considered as important issues in the fashion industries whatever the specification and the market are. Finally, after having make a close comparison between six fashion companies, it seems that if companies continue to develop its CSR actions in activities such as eco-friendly ingredient sourcing, fair pricing, eco-manufacturing, and efficient non-wasteful distribution, as well as corporate sponsorship, they will result competitive advantage.

Indeed, with the implementation of CSR initiatives brands build a positive image and then are more able to counter criticism for other issues that may affect the company. Introduction Over the last decade, corporate social responsibility has moved to the forefront of consumers’ minds and has elicited numerous responses on the part of the fashion industry.

It should not come as a surprise given that it encompasses the design, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, retailing, advertising, and promotion of all types of apparel (men’s, women’s, and children’s) from the most rarefied and expensive haute couture (literally, “high sewing”) and designer fashions to ordinary everyday clothing (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012). Within the industry there are different kinds of activities, such as model agencies, creative agencies, media specialized in fashion (i. e. Fashion TV) and textiles etc.

According to Market Line Report, Global Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods (2012), the global textiles, apparel and luxury goods market (men, women and children clothing, textiles, footwear and luxury goods) had total revenues of about $3 trillion in 2011, representing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3. 7% for the period 2007-2011. The performance of the market is forecast to accelerate, with an anticipated CAGR of 4. 2% for the five-year period 2011-2016, which is expected to drive the market to a value of more $3. trillion by the end of 2016. Put simply, the fashion industry is a huge sector and thus deserves a closer examination as to the human rights and environmental impacts. Due to the fact that the industry encompasses a myriad of companies, we have selected six companies established in China (Table 1 and Exhibits 1 to 6). Indeed, in China, the textile and clothing industry is the largest 1|Page Fashion Industry China: CSR Case – Team 7 MBA Pudong manufacturing industry. There are about 24,000 enterprises that employ 8 million workers.

In addition, China is the largest clothing producer in the world, and has the largest production capacity for textile mill products consisting of cotton and silk (Qiu, 2005). Table 1 – General description of the six companies selected (data from 2011) Company Inditex SA H&M Gap Inc. Levi’s Hermes LVMH HQ Spain Sweden USA USA France France Market Mid to low income Mid to low income Mid to upper income Mid to upper income Higher income Higher income Total revenue (billion) $ 17. 53 $ 15. 1 $ 14. 55 $ 4. 8 $ 4. 8 $ 30. 08 Net Profit (billion) $ 2. 45 $ 2. 76 $ . 83 $ 0. 14 $ 1. 2 $ 3. 81 Number of Stores 5,527 2,325 3250 470 283 3095 Number of Markets 82 43 44 110 57 60 Number of Employees worldwide 109,512 59,440 132,000 17,000 8370 98,000 CSR issues relevant to the fashion industry Then, before moving on, the major CSR issues in the fashion industry are outlined below (Table 2). Indeed, this table aims to highlight the major issues that fashion industry must consider into practices. These table has been made according some information coming from diverse councils and web site, but with a primarily focus on the Nordic Fashion Association, Code of

Conduct and Manual (2012). Table 2 – List and describe the CSR –related issues relevant to the industry CSR issues relevant to the fashion industry Description of the issue Human Rights Exploiting people for profit. This concern is widespread throughout the fashion industry worldwide. Freedom of association and the effective Ensure that workers participating in unions are not subject to discrimination recognition of the right to collective bargaining or punitive disciplinary actions. Forced Labor Trafficking and exploiting human beings for the purpose of monetary gain.

Issues Child Labor Discrimination Working Conditions Wages, payroll records and deductions Labor contracts Environment Corruption and Bribery Ethical Animal Ethics Models Employing children under the legal age to work in factories, sweatshops or even in their own homes. Unfair treatment in favor or against a person based on their religious affiliation, skin color, nationality, gender, race, economic class etc. Forced labor. Extended work hours with little or no compensation. Occupational health and safety. Withholding pay and legal documentation. Refusing to negotiate with unions. Abuse of power and authority. Toxic waste.

Heavy chemicals and dyes. Abuse of power by officials, corporate or otherwise, for illegitimate gain. Use of real animal fur or exotic animals. Animal abuse and testing. Refraining from the promotion of unattainable body ideals and unhealthy lifestyles. Note that due to the fact that the fashion industry requires extensive manual labor and the use of raw material and chemicals, the two most critical global issues according to the classification to the United Nations Global Compact (UNCG) are Human Rights and the Environment. However, these categories are still very broad; therefore, the analysis will be split into four sub-categories: ? Human Right: Child Labor, Working Conditions, Environmental: Impact and Sustainability. 2|Page Fashion Industry China: CSR Case – Team 7 MBA Pudong The six companies are combined according to the filter: UN: Human Rights – Child Labor Company LVMH Inditex SA Gap Inc. Levi’s H Hermes Main Action Supplier Code of Conduct Staff Sponsorship Supplier Protocol Based on Best Practices California Transparency in Supply Chains Act Terms of Engagement Supplier Protocol Control Supplier Code of Conduct Impact Effective abolition of child labor. Provide financing & education material.

Develop projects for children End forced Child Labor/Human trafficking Sponsoring children to go to school Improvement of child labor conditions. Effective abolition of child labor. Provide financing and education material. Impact Train managers in “best practices”. Training and improvement of suppliers (safety protocols). 50 CSR specialists – End forced labor. Improve building and fire safety standards. Train suppliers in their own language – they know what to look for during factory audits. Reduction in Chemicals Train managers in “best practices”.

Impact Reduction of CO2 emissions Reduction of CO2 emissions Guidelines for sustainable garment production Reduction of CO2 emissions Direct impact on the environment Control illegal activities of hunting. Genuine / Greenwashing On the way to be Genuine but still Greenwashing. Genuine Greenwashing Genuine Greenwashing On the way to be Genuine but still application of the policy is still Greenwashing. Genuine/ Greenwashing Elimination of forced labor. Freedom of association. Genuine Greenwashing Genuine Genuine Elimination of forced labor. Freedom of association.

Genuine/ Greenwashing Genuine Genuine Genuine Genuine Genuine Genuine Company Risk Reputation HIGH Reputation HIGH Reputation HIGH Reputation – HIGH Reputation HIGH Reputation HIGH UN: Human Rights – Work Conditions Company LVMH Inditex SA Gap Inc. Levi’s H Hermes Main Action Human Resources Development Develop science and technology Code of Vendor Conduct Term of Engagement Improve working conditions. Human Resources Development Main Action Environmental Task Force Criteria of eco-efficiency Sustainable Apparel Coalition Forest Products Purchasing Policy Reduction of chemical use.

Socially responsible supply channel. Company Risk Quality of product – HIGH Reputation HIGH Reputation HIGH Reputation MEDIUM/ HIGH Reputation HIGH Quality of product – HIGH Company Risk Coherent reputation & image – HIGH Reputation HIGH Reputation HIGH Reputation HIGH Reputation HIGH Coherent reputation & image – HIGH Company Risk Coherent reputation & image – HIGH Reputation & Cost – HIGH Reputation – MEDIUM UN: Environment – Impact Company LVMH Inditex SA Gap Inc. Levi’s H Hermes UN: Environment – Sustainability Company LVMH Inditex SA Gap Inc.

Main Action Encourage biodiversity Staff Sponsorship Green initiatives. High EPA ranking. Impact Reforestation and social program Product lines that use 100% organic cotton Reduction of water use. Improve operational efficiencies in Chinese fabric mills. Genuine/ Greenwashing Genuine Genuine Genuine 3|Page Fashion Industry China: CSR Case – Team 7 MBA Pudong Levi’s H Hermes Robust vetting system for suppliers Transparent chemical policy Technological Development Ensures suppliers are in compliance with TOE Reduce water and energy in supply chains.

Reduce environmental resources Genuine Genuine Genuine Reputation HIGH Reputation HIGH Reputation HIGH Ranking The following graphs illustrate how each company ranks in comparison with one another based on. But, before reading them, it should be taken into consideration that each company has different external environments and stakeholders which directly affect the CSR activities and strategies. Indeed, even though each of these companies is in the fashion industry, each has a distinctive market and set of requirements, such as boutique vs. massive distribution.

Therefore, the rankings cannot be interpreted a prime facie. UNGC : Human Right – Children Labor High Impact of the CSR issue UNGC : Environment – Impact High Impact of the CSR issue Low Low Genuine/ Greenwashing High Low Low Genuine/ Greenwashing High UNGC : Human Right – Working Conditions High Impact of the CSR issue UNGC : Environment – Sustainability High Impact of the CSR issue Low Low Genuine/ Greenwashing High Low Low Genuine/ Greenwashing High 4|Page Fashion Industry China: CSR Case – Team 7 MBA Pudong From that it is possible to rank the six companies (Table 3).

Indeed, according to the four graphics above, there are evidences that some companies are working better in terms of CSR. For instance, it is possible to point out that the luxury brands are more involved in the CSR than the others. However, that make sense, because the margins are greater; therefore it easier to spend money on responsible business practices, but also because the reputation (quality and image) is a big issues (Bendell & Kleanthouse, 2007). In addition, it comes to the mind the fact that the mass-production companies, such as H and INDITEX, have to manage other problems that luxury brands do not have to deal with.

However, Levi’s is historically founded on very strong ethical values and this is reflected in the daily practices. Indeed, Levi’s is consistently a leader in CSR and responsible business practices. Thus, as it was said above it is difficult to compare companies which deal everyday with different issues and market and public. Table 3 – Ranking of companies studied by Team 7 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 Company Levi’s Hermes LVMH Inditex SA H Gap Inc. Conclusion The research indicates several glaring trends within the fashion industry.

First and foremost, there appears to be an overall CSR evolution that started with crisis management, moved into brand insurance and finally ended with the implementation of initiatives that build a positive brand. In many cases, scandals involving child labor, poor working conditions and/or crimes against the environment caused them to develop policies and guidelines that tell employees how to act and make decisions. A prima facie, the companies attempt to institutionalize CSR. In other words, the organization, employees and board of directions will align company goals and business strategies in accordance to higher CSR standards.

In order to obtain external recognition for these efforts, many of the companies obtained accreditation with socially responsible authorizes, such as ISO 14001, EPA certification, FTSE and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. The companies put forward the idea that they are socially responsible and tend to publicize high numbers or percentages to tout their accomplishments. Yet, rarely do they provide information of the methodologies or absolute values that would place clearer, understandable quantitative values to the effects of their efforts.

As a result, these numbers cannot be taken at face value. Thus, they are making a tremendous effort to be responsible mainly for marketing purposes as opposed to divine intention. Finally, without question, these fashion retailers hold a disproportionate amount of power and influence over the entire industry and therefore are put in a higher level of responsibility 5|Page Fashion Industry China: CSR Case – Team 7 MBA Pudong Exhibit 1 – H Company Christiane R. Pagsisihan H (Hennes ad Mauritz), a Swedish multinational clothes retailer, offers modern basics to high fashion apparel.

Its objective is to deliver a never-ending stream of must-have pieces at affordable prices, comparable to other major retailers such as Uniqlo, Forever21, Topshop and Zara. The company works with a multitude of buyers, designers and suppliers to produce collections that are both up-to-date and with quality. Its recent expansion brought about opening 2700 stores worldwide in over 48 markets and employing over 94,000 people from all over the world. Its largest market is Germany, followed by the US, France and the UK. As of 2011, the company reached $15. billion worth of revenue, and 2. 50% revenue growth. (Yahoo Finance, 2012) In terms of H vision, its focus is “to be run in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. By sustainable, we mean that the needs of both present and future generations must be fulfilled. ” (H, 2012) Its CSR work is grounded on their desire for continuous improvement. As mentioned in their website, “We have a responsibility towards everyone who contributes to our success, including those who are not employees of H.

That is why we work closely with our suppliers to develop sustainable social and environmental standards in the factories that manufacture H products. We have to ensure that our employees’ human rights are not violated, and the same applies to employees of our suppliers and other co-operation partners, and to our customers. ” (H, 2012) Accordingly, H is also an active member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and is committed to align its strategies with the 10 universally accepted principles that the initiative stands for.

Apart from UNGC, H is also a member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), and Fair Wage Network among many others. (H, 2012) With regard to how it addresses various industry issues, H is proactive in their approach in setting new standards to ensure that it’s aligned with its company’s vision. H came up with a 7 Sustainable Strategy framework, an approach to managing its business. The framework is composed of the following commitments: 1 – Provide fashion for conscious customers – Make products with an added sustainability value. – Choose and reward responsible partners – Work with partners who share our values 3 – Be ethical – Always act with integrity and respect 4 – Be climate smart – Be energy-efficient and inspire others to reduce total CO2 emissions. 5 – Reduce, reuse, and recycle – Aim for zero waste to landfill. 6 – Use natural resources responsibly – Conserve water, soil, air and species. 7 – Strengthen communities – Contribute to the development of the communities where we operate. *Taken from H website: (http://about. hm. com/content/hm/AboutSection/en/About/Sustainability/HMConscious/Strategy. tml) The framework the company came up with is not uncommon, however, the commitments it chose to value are the fundamental principles that any fashion retail company should consider. Despite H CSR efforts, it still encountered mishaps in the past, publicized by several articles by the media. Its main challenges consist of human rights and environmental issues. The company’s sustainability report mentioned that, “producing raw materials like cotton requires a lot of water and goes with concerns about chemical use and working conditions. ” (H, 2011) 6|Page

Fashion Industry China: CSR Case – Team 7 MBA Pudong Back in 2010, it was reported that H knowingly passed of genetically modified (GM) cotton – grown with synthetically agricultural chemicals- as organic cotton. (Vijayaraghavan, 2011) Another challenge that the company is aware of is its fabric processing issues. “Fabric production can require intensive use of chemicals, again raising concerns for the environment and for the health of the workers. ” (H, 2012) In 2011, Greenpeace released a report claiming that clothing from top brands including H were tainted with hazardous chemicals.

H has also been attacked for sourcing its production in developing countries with poor labor standards. As mentioned in an article from Triodos, “Reports are published that include accusations of child labor, unhealthy working environments, and low wages at the factories supplying H. ” (Triodos Bank, 2011) In spite these issues, H has been transparent about their sustainability strategy and as mentioned in an article, “is committed to working with its Chinese suppliers to reduce water, energy, and toxic-chemical use in its supply chains. (Vijayaraghavan, 2011) As highlighted in H Sustainability strategy, it continues to implement actions that help diminish the challenges that they’re currently facing. Listed below are some of the action plans the company implemented: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Make 100% of paper carrier bags from FSC Certified Paper. Reduce environmental impacts in cotton cultivation by using more sustainable cotton Help to lead the industry to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals Continue constantly to review and update chemical restrictions.

Ban Fluorocarbons, Toluene from production Replace Solvent- Based Polyurethane with water based alternative. Promote the development of Harmonized Corporate water accounting and reporting Standards Promote reduced water consumption in garment production Monitor waste water quality at supplier factories Develop and implement environmental guidelines for the purchase of non-commercial goods. *Taken from H Sustainability Report – (H, 2011) Ultimately, H CSR efforts seem genuine; however, bad PR attacks its credibility.

Although H had a couple of mishaps, staying true to their commitments, being conscious of where it sources its materials, and monitoring their production process would make a big difference. When faced with CSR challenges, the company should always go back to its extensive sustainability strategy framework, and ensure that whatever it does as a company, that it should always stick to its commitments and vision. 7|Page Fashion Industry China: CSR Case – Team 7 MBA Pudong Exhibit 2 – LVMH: About Corporate Social Responsibility in China Introduction Damien Dandelot

Recent financial crisis and economic troubles do not affect sales of luxury brands. According to the Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study (Bain & Company’s, 2012), luxury spending rose 8% to $US274 billion in 2011, with growth in the US, Europe and China (Holmes 2011). However, luxury brands, such as LVMH, have recently been a target for public criticism (Kapferer, 2012). Indeed, luxury goods are ‘criticized for being extravagant, overpriced, exploiting third world suppliers, and wasteful when many people are struggling financially’ (Waller & Hingorani, 2011, p. 1).

Moreover, recently luxury sector has been in the middle of a under enormous scrutiny: reports have deeply criticized this industry for lagging behind (Bendell & Kleanthouse, 2007). Indeed, just by looking on the web, it easy to find idea such as: ‘sustainable and luxury are incompatible terms’. Thus, this exhibit will focus on the issues related to luxury brands and social responsibility, with a particular focus on LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) -the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate- in China and its practices in domain of Human Right (Children Labor and Safe working conditions) and Environment (Impact and Sustainability).

China is for LVMH a target! According to Ma (2010), the number of Chinese’s luxury customers will rise to 250 million around 2015. In addition, between others, China is in the middle of the criticism about luxury development. Indeed, China constitutes a menace for the planet; critics point out the behavior of the richest whose consumption per capita is disproportionate (Kapferer, 2012). The company This study will examine the CSR activities run by LVMH, via, between other things, the analysis of its mid-2012 Financial Report and 2011 Annual Report.

But first of all, let point out some information (Table 1). Table 1 – An overview of LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton Company) Industry Founded Headquarters Products Brands Luxury goods, retail 1987 Paris, France Clothing, cosmetics, fashion accessories, jewelry, perfumes, spirits, watches and wines Wines and Spirits: The Glenmorangie Company Limited, Hennessy, Moet Hennessy UK, Moet Hennessy Asia Pacific, Moet Hennessy Diageo France, Veuve Clicquot, Moet & Chandon. Fashion and Leather Goods: Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Celine, Givenchy, Kenzo, Loewe.

Perfumes and Cosmetics: LVMH Fragrance Brands, Guerlain, Perfumes Christian Dior. Watches and Jewellery: Chaumet, De Beers, Hublot, Tag Heuer. Selective Distribution: Le Bon Marche, Sephora, DFS. €23. 659 billion +16% from 2010 (29% of the revenue is from Asia, without Japan) €3. 465 billion Nearly 98,000 employees worldwide (about 64 % outside France) 3095 stores in total (641 in Asia, without Japan) in in over 60 countries Revenue 2011 Net Profit 2011 Employees Geography Company’s vision

LVMH is quite clear on what is its risk according to its vision and then its value, goal or mission: ‘Like any human activity, the businesses of the LVMH Group have an impact on the environment. […] The challenges faced by each business have been clearly identified’ (LVMH, 2011 p. 125). Indeed, in LVMH’s Annual Report (op. cit. ) we can find commitments such as: – Corporate mission: ‘A global vision dedicated to serving the needs of every customer. The successful marriage of cultures grounded in tradition and elegance with the most advanced marketing, industrial’ (op. cit, p. ). – Managing risk and non-compliance: ‘Some Maisons are bringing their sites into regulatory compliance, particularly those classified for environmental protection […] LVMH requires its partners to subscribe to its Supplier Code of Conduct by virtue of which it reserves the right to conduct compliance audits at any time and without notice’ (op. cit, p. 125). – Organization and management techniques: ‘The main goal of the internal organization is to harness the commitment of all Group personnel and train them by offering resources best suited to their particular situation’ (op. it, p. 125). – Economic impact: ‘Since 2010 [LVMH] has lent its support to the ‘Conservation Cotton Initiative’ whose goal is to promote the cultivation of organic cotton in Africa and thus benefit the local clothing industry’ (op. cit, p. 129). – Environment: ‘46% of Group sites (excluding stores) were ISO 14001-certified and 27% of industrial, logistical or administrative sites (excluding stores) had been audited. […] Particular focus was placed on environmental risk management. …] building construction, renovation and operation, the Maisons implement a number of different standards and certifications, such as HQE, BBC, BREEAM and LEED. […] Following the completion of the Carbon Footprints and energy audits, the Maisons have implemented a number of initiatives’ (op. cit, p. 126-127). – A commitment to citizenship: ‘The first component of the LVMH corporate sponsorship program focuses on preserving artistic heritage. …] Children in elementary and high schools as well as art students benefit from educational programs designed and initiated by the Group to give them greater access to the best of culture, particularly in the areas of music and the visual arts […]’ (op. cit. , p. 133). A prima facie, LVMH try to let converged its entire conglomerate together, by encourage its brands to follow the corporate’s goal and vision. Indeed, by promoting some values such as ecology, education, good practice labor, Human Right, medicine, etc. 8|Page Fashion Industry China: CSR Case – Team 7 MBA Pudong round the world, and by signing some certification and others accreditations, such as the United Nations Global Compact (LVMH, 2006), LVMH impose at its brands some behaviors and conducts rules. LVMH a discrete proactive company Although there was a lot of descriptive information on the web and in different articles and in LVMH Annual Report (2011), there were very few specifics in terms of the financial figures pertaining to the implementation of CSR various initiatives. Indeed, for China only seven intra-/ extra-organizational activities have been found on Environmental and Human Right (Table 2).

Table 2 – LVMH CSR Sustainable Development UNGC Children Labor and Safe working conditions Impact and Sustainability Children Labor and Safe working conditions Children Labor and Safe working conditions Impact and Sustainability Children Labor Sustainability Children Labor and Safe working conditions Medicine Activity Human Resources Staff Sponsorship Corporate inhouse initiative Encourage biodiversity Suppliers Code of Conduct Research Activity To improve the performance and the ‘Sustainable development’ consciousness of their leaders, LVMH organized 16 forums, for 400 managers representing more than 30 brands and 30 countries.

The subject of these forums covers all CSR spectrums. LVMH has been sponsoring a group of middle school students from Sichuan since the 2008 earthquake through academic support provided by the employees and by financing educational materials, in order to fight against Children labor. LVMH discuss with its brands about matters concerning human rights, nondiscrimination and equality with their employees by means of posters, Intranet sites, inhouse media and in new employee guide booklets. LVMH is a partner in the Tianzi natural reserve (China) under a 10-year sponsorship agreement comprising eforestation, orchid planting and a social program. LVMH defends the principles of the Global Compact: elimination of professional discrimination; freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; elimination of any form of forced labor; effective abolition of child labor. Pasteur Institute in China Thus, according to the table above, there are evidences of CSR framework on the top. For instance, the motto of the top management includes some CSR idea: renew, recycle, reduce, and review.

And like many others, LVMH is auditing regularly in its carbon imprint (since 2004). In fact, according to Kapferer (2012) all luxury groups have already imply some structure (Environmental Task Forces, Charters, etc. ) that make CSR an inherent criterion in all top decisions. However, still according to Kapferer (2012), even if CSR is already, for all luxury groups (LVMH, PPR, etc. ), on the top of their agenda (since 2001), they have not publicized it: ‘Luxury has moved forward but does not talk much about it’ (op. cit. , n. d. ). LVMH between genuine and ‘green washing’ policy

According to Bendell & Kleanthous (2007) when we measure company’s performance in social issues, the brands did not fare well. To link that to LVMH, Bendell & Kleanthouse (op. cit. ) measured 10 luxury brands on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance. The results are not very convincing. Indeed, by giving a score out of 100, and graded from A (the best) to F (the worst), out of the 10 companies, no one were graded more than a C+: L’Oreal topping the ranking, followed by Hermes and LVMH (followed by the same grade, but not the same score).

In terms of practical issues there is an understandable paradox. Indeed, a 100% move to ethical trade (Children Labor and Safe working conditions and green concerns (Impact and Sustainability) today in the luxury sector would hurt the quality of their products (Bendell & Kleanthouse, 2007). However, all luxury groups have adopted some high CSR goal of becoming sustainable luxury models (op. cit. ). In this sense, LVMH policy does not go in the direction of ‘green washing’, but rather of a genuine incorporation of the CSR concerns into the whole value chain (sourcing, creating, manufacturing, logistics, istribution, marketing, servicing, waste and recycling). Nonetheless, even its effort and its strategy of integrate CSR on the top; LVMH is still between two lines; indeed, because the company must provide a self-expression which reflects class, status, and quality, the company cannot turn in green or ethic concerns tomorrow, but must to be ready to take the turn when this one will appear. Conclusion and Recommendations Because it seems clear that as luxury brands LVMH promotes itself to the worldwide audience, LVMH is increasing the extent to which CSR and sustainability issues feature in its business practices.

Then by being more proactive in their civic responsibilities and keeping within government regulations in its business operation, LVMH can build a reputation as a good corporate citizen. If LVMH can continue to develop its actions in activities such as eco-friendly ingredient sourcing, fair pricing, eco-manufacturing, and efficient non-wasteful distribution, as well as corporate sponsorship, the company will finally has a competitive advantage.

Indeed, some CSR actions deeply thoughtful can, on one hand, help to promote a specific image that management would like to portray to its various stakeholders, and on the other hand, can also counter criticism for other issues that may affect the company. Thus, if LVMH will bear upon its providers and distributors to accelerate behavioral changes and align faster with CSR standards, it will play a leading role in the redefinition of the ‘modern hero’ (Kapferer, 2012). Indeed, the rich of tomorrow by its conspicuous choice of luxury brands will demonstrate not only their taste and wealth but their sense of discernment and altruism.

In other words, because luxury brands can lead the way by redefining the notion of quality and the luxury dream, more than individual, LVMH can differentiate itself from its competitors, but moreover, be sustainable in social, economic and ecological in term. 9|Page Fashion Industry China: CSR Case – Team 7 MBA Pudong Exhibit 3 – Inditex Company Jose Antonio Mallen Inditex is the largest fashion retailer in Spain and one of the world’s largest fashion retailers. Over 100 textile design, manufacturing and distribution companies form the group.

The products are shown in eight different concept stores (Zara, Pull, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterque). Inditex has opened until this moment 5. 963 stores in 85 different markets. FISCAL YEAR Net Sale (million of euros) Net Profit (million of euros) N? of stores N? of markets Number of employees 2011 13,793 1,932 5,527 82 109,512 2010 12,527 1,732 5,044 77 100,138 11/10 10% 12% 483 5 9. 4% The Inditex financial year is from 1st February to 31st January of the following year Source: Inditex annual report 2011

Inditex was the first Spanish company to sign on the United Nations Global Compact in 2001, and since 2010 is a member of the UN Global Compact Advisory Group on Supply Chain Sustainability. Besides sign on the United Nations Global Compact, Inditex works with two other institutions in order to develop its corporate social responsibility: The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and The International Textile Garments & Leather Workers Federation (INDITEX, 2012). Inditex is listed as well in the FTSE ranking the second within the retail supersector leaders (FTSE, 2012) and is included in the Dow Jones sustainability Index since 2002.

As mention in its press dossier “Inditex views social and environmental variables as a strategic vector for its management system. Sustainable growth, which customers and society in general increasingly demand, is a value we at the company share and apply to our supplier relationships”. The CSR strategy is apply and integrated in the business through the Internal Code of Conduct and the Code of Conduct for External Manufacturers and Suppliers, in the social area, and through the Environmental Strategic Plan in the environmental area.

The open and honest relationship that Inditex maintain with its stakeholders is based in transparency management and its efforts in this area have received international recognition. (INDITEX, 2012) Labor and Human Rights (100% in Communication on Progress) Through the Code of Conduct, which is non-negotiable for all Inditex suppliers and manufacturers, is how the company guarantee acceptable working conditions for each one of the employees of Inditex manufacturers and suppliers. The company is visionary in this aspect and develops new programs in Brazil, India, Cambodia or Turkey, even when India only represents the 5% of its production.

Child Labour: Inditex has a specific protocol for the prevention of child labour in its supply chain. This protocol is based on the best practices of the industry, but Inditex goes more deeply into other aspects that let it for example develop de Vidya project for the Indian children. Safety Conditions: In collaboration with scientific and technological institutions and companies, it has started up a programme of training support for its suppliers on specific and relevant aspects of the Inditex health and safety 10 | P a g e Fashion Industry China: CSR Case – Team 7 MBA Pudong protocols.

It works directly with the suppliers to avoid the use of risky methods in the clothes manufacturing and providing them alternative methods. (INDITEX, 2012) Environment (94% in Communication on Progress) Inditex is always aware of the possible impact of its activities (design, manufacturing, distribution, retail) on biodiversity and the environment, encouraging compliance with environmental regulations and looking for increase efficiency in resources consumption and reduction of environmental impact. Inditex implements these issues in the form of an environmental management system.

The company is totally proactive in this aspect, leading the industry and signing on different organizations and projects that support environmental issues. Proof of this, is that in 2011 Inditex supports two of the international organizations that are most representative in boosting policies of environmental and natural resource management: Better Cotton Initiative and The CEO Water Mandate (included in the global compact initiative) Impact: The major impact that Inditex create in the environment is through its activities of distribution and retail.

They addressed this topics through concrete actions like open all its new stores with a criteria of eco-efficiency (483 stores with this concepts in 2011) or setting the objective of reduce the emissions from logistical activity by 20% by 2020. Usually, almost all the CSR actions have an immediate or future economic benefit for the company. In this particular case, although looks like a genuine action, the opening of new eco-efficiency stores involves a decrease in the costs of power and water in these stores. For this reason is difficult to know the final reasons (CSR or profit) of the company.

Sustainability: The natural resources and water spend to manufacture Inditex’s products is one of its main concerns. Several chains of the group have developed specific 100% organic cotton collections. In the same direction, Inditex is using tencel, a fibre which is manufactured from eucalyptus wood and which is totally biodegradable. What the company communicates through different sources (annual report, press release, etc. ) about its CSR efforts in sustainability is quite close respect to what external sources show.

I have not found any issue related with a CSR wrong management. Moreover, the company is usually listed in the top of sustainability rankings. In my opinion their efforts in CSR are genuine, because not only was one of the first Spanish companies adopting social and environmental responsibility into their strategy but also because as they say in their annual report: “Inditex maintains a continuous dialogue with its stakeholders in order to identify the issues that most interest or concern them” (INDITEX, 2012).

It is difficult to improve the company’s CSR performance. They were developing a CSR strategy for a long time; they have tools and resources to manage the different CSR issues that affect them, in a positive or negative way, and a very proactive way approaching CSR. These are the main reasons because I think that Inditex is a leader and should be an example to others companies within the industry. Probably this could be the next step in its CSR strategy, showing to their competitors the best way to approach CSR strategy in their companies. 11 | P a g e

Free Essays

The Negative Effects of the Fashion Industry on Eating Disorders

ENG 150 18 October 2012 The Negative Effects of the Fashion Industry on Eating Disorders While it’s fashion week in London, the size “zero” models start to prepare for the big show by purging to be as thin as possible. Most models starve themselves in order to achieve the “waif”, stick-thin figure; it becomes so addictive, almost like second nature that it further leads to serious eating disorders. From recent studies, today’s model weighs about 23% less than the normal woman. Clearly, most models do not depict the average woman. Men and women all over the world follow the influences that the fashion industry provides.

They believe that the fashion industry depicts on what society should be acknowledged as, picture-perfect thin. Most models look like they had descended from heaven, but in reality they live in a sad world where body image is what is considered beautiful and they would do just about anything to achieve it. Society is also taking a nose dive into this self-deprecating environment, where it is definitely not healthy for a person to develop and thrive. As Naomi Hooke, anorexia survivor, acknowledges, “Anorexia has often been perceived as a quest for model-like beauty . . many anorexics detest their bodies,” she then further goes into detail how this industry became her downfall (3). These waifish models on the runway cause major damage in the well-being of many, as well as their own; they create body image complexes that haunt women forever. Yes, the fashion industry is well known for the classic thin models, although in the 1950’s models symbolized the beauty of the average woman, full figured and all, but today’s models should not depict to an individual on what they should be perceived to look like, yet it happens every day.

When a victim of eating disorders views a model, they think, “Why am I so fat? Why don’t I look like her? What do I need to do to look like that? ” The confidence and the self-worth of these victims start to fall short, although some begin to find solutions to their problems. According to Paul Casciato, of Reuters. com, almost 9 out of 10 teenage girls said they feel pressured to be skinny by the fashion industry and media. A large contributing factor to this problem is that many people in the fashion world encourage the use of overly thin models in editorials and fashion shows.

For example, as Kathryn Shattuck, What’s On Today: [The Arts/Cultural Desk], mentions that Kelly Cutrone, world renowned fashion publicist, encourages, “Clothes look better on thin people. The fabric hangs better” (1). The fashion industry’s emphasis on being thin and its use of extremely underweight models in unacceptable. Many people would agree that the fashion industry plays the majority role in eating disorders, but Lisa Hilton, British Vogue writer, disagrees. Hilton argues, “Its objective is selling clothes, and the consensus remains that in order to achieve this, models need to be thin . . Fashion is about fantasy, about impossibility, about, dare we say it, art. Most women can’t tell the difference” (1). Hilton condescendingly continues to refute the criticisms that models are too thin and the fashion industry encourages eating disorders. More recently, Sports Illustrated model, Kate Upton whom is a size 4, is now considered a plus size model and deemed to be “too curvy”. In the United States the “normal” sized woman is between the size of 6 and 10. Most of us do not understand why some put themselves through so much anguish to satisfy these body image complexes.

Back in the 1950’s, models were absolutely glamorous, they were healthy and had meat on their bones. The average height of a model is 5’10” and weighs approximately 120 pounds whereas the average women with a height of 5’10” weigh about 145 pounds. This is a significant and disturbing difference. As Hooke emphasizes, “Sufferers are often presumed to pore over the pages of glossy magazines and starve themselves in their aspirations to become glamorous, thinner-than-thin sex goddesses,” she then concludes how the industry destroyed her life.

Women give in and fall into temptation, but why? These “normal” women are beautiful they way they are, but in fashion terms, they are considered morbidly obese in comparison. As Holly Brubach, New York Times Magazine journalist, argues, Models starve themselves the way football players take steroids, jeopardizing their health and longevity for celebrity and wealth. More surprising, perhaps, and certainly no less alarming, is it the realization that dieting as become so commonplace that the skeletons on the catwalk simply strike us as more expert than the rest of us (1). As Brucach further describes how the fashion industry and their models compel everyday women to give up meals, she also observes that the Internet provides sufferers starvation tips. Commonly called promote anorexia, or “pro anas”. There are many blogs and forums that pro anas flock to for tips. One teenage girl professed, “Splurged and had 7 grapes, I can’t believe it. I cannot eat tomorrow.

Please send skinny thoughts my way! ” Another pro ana, calls herself MelancholyMiss states in forum Lard Ass Rant Time, “Starting to feel that swimmy feeling in my head again . . . I’m trying to tell myself I need to eat a little something so I can have some energy. No, my hard work won’t go to waste. I’m spinning, spinning down into the depths of self loathing, misery, isolation. ” What these women go through on a day to day basis is just horrendous. It’s truly sickening. What drives these sufferers is beyond most.

Isabelle Caro, a French model and actress who became the international face of anorexia when she allowed her ravaged body to be photographed nude for an Italian advertising campaign to raise awareness about the disease. Italian fashion label, Nolita, had photographed Caro at 26 years old weighing only 59 pounds. When Caro was featured on an episode of Taboo on the National Geographic channel, she claimed that she tried getting help but in her line of work, it was not possible and that if she gained weight she would lose her job.

Neil Katz of CBS News, describes the billboard as, “[Her] face was emaciated, her arms and legs mere sticks, her teeth seemingly too large for her mouth” (2). In Katz’ article, Caro confirms, “I decided to do it to warn girls about the danger of diets and of fashion commandments” (1). In 2006, she reached the weight of 52 pounds. She sank into a coma and after months of extensive care she reached weight of 93 pounds. Although the major effort put into changing her life around, she was still remained in crucial health.

Her body could not handle the major back and forth transformation that her body failed and died. She died at only 28. In her memoir, The Little Girl Who Didn’t Want to Get Fat, her dying wish was to raise attention and eliminate anorexia and other eating disorders. There are numerous ways to change the fashion industry’s negative reputation. The Council of Fashion Designers of America has created the CDFA initiative, which is implementing certain designers and magazines to fix said problem.

The CFDA’s ideas include offering models that have been identified as having an eating disorder to seek professional help and not be able to work without a medical consent. Other ideal solutions include supplying healthy foods during photo shoots and shows; also educate models about eating disorders. Although, these solutions seem ideal, but won’t become obsolete. There must be harsher regulations where healthy women, of certain weight requirements, can become models. This industry must defend its reputation and end the horrible habit of girls starving themselves to look like unrealistic and photo-shopped