IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

From Fashion to Design: Creative Networks in Industrial Districts


  • Tine Aage
  • Fiorenza Belussi


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:15:y:2008:i:5:p:475-491. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.