Designing office shirt: an integrated approach

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Purpose ‐ Grounded theory, supported by leading designers, argues for an integrated approach covering end users and designers. However, no substantial work on apparel design has been done so far where a balance is maintained by combining the opinions of consumers and the designers. The purpose of this paper is to provide an analytical framework for designing apparel considering both consumers' opinions and fashion designers' views. Design/methodology/approach ‐ An algorithm is proposed for reducing attributes and their levels to carry out conjoint analysis and assign utilities to different attributes and their levels. After selecting the best three design combinations based on their utilities, the authors have arrived at optimum design combinations. Through Delphi method, the opinions of a few fashion designers about these selected design combinations have been collected for matching with optimum design. Findings ‐ An optimum design is suggested for a formal office shirt, for North Indian women, by integrating opinions of designers and consumers. Originality/value ‐ Attribute and level reduction technique is an original contribution to the literature. Further, the authors' approach to apparel design may provide a guideline to apparel manufacturers when designing their products. Knowledge of optimum design combinations gained through this approach may help apparel manufacturers and retailers in bringing efficiency in stock keeping unit management by keeping more stocks of apparel with optimum design combinations and thus ensuring a better return on investment made on their stocks.
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