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From Fashion to Design: Creative Networks in Industrial Districts

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  • Tine Aage
  • Fiorenza Belussi

Abstract

Creative industries enjoy a great deal of attention in Western economies these days. Creative industries can be identified in sectors producing new artistic artefacts, such as those occurring in the film industry, or in the performing arts, etc., or in the manufacturing and service sectors, where the implementation of novelties is at the heart of the productive capabilities of firms. Post-modern consumption is strongly characterized by fashion, because it assists the fragmentation and an “aestheticization” of daily life. Fashion goods become symbolic relational goods, status symbols, means of communication of identity and aesthetic satisfaction. Our research topics concern: firstly, a theoretical discussion on the evolution of fashion, which has moved from a top-down model (as envisaged by the class-conscious approach of Simmel) to a bottom-up model, as described in the post-modernist approach by Lipovetsky; secondly, a theoretical reflection on the business model adopted by firms to deal with the issue of designing new products, which is often related to the building of external-to-the-firm creative networks; thirdly, a theoretical discussion on the model of an industrial district, seen here as an efficient organizational tool very efficient to deal with the circulation and external absorption of knowledge and fashion trend information. District firms, using a multiplicity of fashion sources, are able to increase their probability of selecting the winning fashion trends, and to reduce their probability of “not-knowing” the winning fashion trends. We present some empirical evidence showing that a complex governance of several fashion sources is required to intercept fashion trends. Fashion emerges in a chaotic environment, as a bottom-up recursive process, partially controlled by fashion firms that scan external information sources and build some interpretative/creative capability developed together with external-to-the-firm agents. Our work uses some empirical data collected through a survey based in the industrial district of Montebelluna, localized in northern Italy, in Treviso. In Montebelluna, several important international producers of sport shoes and sport items are located. Qualitative interviews were conducted during 2004-2005 involving 13 final firms (some of them are leading firms) and 11 designers.

Suggested Citation

  • Tine Aage & Fiorenza Belussi, 2008. "From Fashion to Design: Creative Networks in Industrial Districts," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(5), pages 475-491.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:15:y:2008:i:5:p:475-491
    DOI: 10.1080/13662710802373791
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alessandro Malipiero & Federico Munari & Maurizio Sobrero, 2005. "Focal Firms as Technological Gatakeepers within Industrial Districts Knowledge Creation and Dissemination in the Italian Packaging Machinery Industry," DRUID Working Papers 05-05, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Scott, Allen J., 2010. "Cultural economy and the creative field of the city," MPRA Paper 32108, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Cristiano Antonelli & Federico Barbiellini Amidei, 2011. "The Dynamics of Knowledge Externalities," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13292.
    3. Brigitte Charles-Pauvers & Nathalie Schieb-Bienfait & Caroline Urbain, 2010. "Unité de lieu / Unité de temps : unité d'action(s) ? De la dynamique de clusterisation : le cas d'une halle regroupant des industries créatives," Post-Print hal-01524294, HAL.
    4. Mauro Capestro & Elisabetta Tarantino & Fabrizio Morgangni & Eleonora Tricarico & Gianluigi Guido, 2014. "Distretti calzaturieri in crisi: cause del declino e strategie di rinnovamento," ECONOMIA E SOCIETÀ REGIONALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1), pages 187-212.
    5. Glückler Johannes & Panitz Robert, 2015. "Beobachtung, Begegnung und Beziehung," Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, De Gruyter, vol. 59(1), pages 20-33, October.
    6. Fiorenza Belussi & Silvia R Sedita & Tine Aage & Daniele Porcellato, 2011. "Inward Flows of Information and Knowledge in Low-tech Industrial Districts: Contrasting the ‘Few Firms Gatekeeper’ and ‘Direct Peer’ Models," Chapters,in: Knowledge Transfer and Technology Diffusion, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. repec:eee:jbrese:v:85:y:2018:i:c:p:348-357 is not listed on IDEAS

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