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An investigation into product development processes for UK fashion retailers: A multiple case study

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to investigate contemporary practice in product development for clothing sold by UK fashion retailers, focusing on three essential types of participant: textile designers, fashion designers, and fashion buyers. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Interviews were conducted with practitioners working in textile design, fashion design and fashion buying in clothing suppliers, a design agency and fashion retailers, from which case studies were compiled. Findings ‐ The case studies provide evidence that communication skills have become particularly significant to enable effective collaboration during fashion product development. The three roles discussed in the paper have a high degree of congruence in their responsibilities, particularly in terms of awareness of fashion trends and market. Originality/value ‐ There is an overlap between textile design, fashion design, fashion buying and other roles in the fashion business, evidenced by the case studies in the paper. Therefore the congruence between various roles and processes within the fashion business could potentially be analysed. The paper has concentrated on the mass market fashion business in the UK and the same roles mentioned here could be investigated in other countries or at different market levels.

Keywords: Fashion design; Fashion industry; Retailers

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-09-20

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