Challenge and Change
The Big Four: Paris, Milan, NYC and London
Tokyo added to this list
Becomes the Big Five
Paris: The Fashion Capital
Home of haute couture
Highest quality oneoff garment for individual, specific clients
Iconic Houses: Chanel, Dior, YSL
Paris Haute Couture
Created the fashion system we know
Showing fashion to buyers – specific dressmakers to buyers.
Designers are known as dressmakers and tailors
Haute couture is what made them famous
Charles Worth: Father of Haute Couture – House of Worth
He was British – haute couture is not innately French
Worth innovated fashion:
2. Role of the designer
3. The Fashion Business Model
Innovation 1: Design
Combining historic costume and new design elements
Careful attention to fit, craftsmanship and tailoring. Tailor made for specific clients.
Luxurious and exotic textiles and trimming.
Innovation 2: The Role of the Designer
- Women’s clothing design was female dominated in mid 19 century
- Established women’s wear design as a career for men
- Client’s voice in design was diminished
- Dressmaker went from servant to master (director of fashion design)
Innovation 3: The Fashion Business Model
Distinct lines for distinct markets
- elite line – custom
- Secondtier line for a wider, less wealthy clientele (diffusion line)
First marketing/promotion - Salons instead of home visits
- Presented design on models
- Fashion shows
- PR Models attended events (horse races); precursor to red carpet.
Parisian Federation of High Fashion
Trade Union – established in 1868 by Worth
1. Protect designers from being copied
2. Create distinction between couture and readytowear
3. Promote French designs overseas
Only the best designers part of this group.
- 1930 – organized calendar of fashion shows fro foreign buyers and journalists
- Established a haute couture school
“Haute Couture” is protected by law.
Union coordinates shows, runs the Paris couture school and regulates eligibility for
1. Must design madetoorder with more than one fitting
2. Present a collection twice a year in Paris
3. 35 looks per collection
Is Haute Couture still Viable?
- New Fashion Business Strategy
- Declining Customer Base
- Increased competition
- Efficient Financial Managmeent
New Fashion Business Strategy
- Development of diffusion lines and licensing brand for global products
(fragrances, sunglasses, etc.)
- 1997 – Couture accounted for 6% of total fashion sales
- Number of houses dropping
o 1946: 106 couture hosues
o 2004: 10 couture houses
- High profile houses leaving
Declining customer base
- 2000 customers and only 200 are regular customers
- Client not located in Europe
o in US, Middle East and Asia
- Clients are no longer buying but borrowing outfits for Oscars, etc.
- Creates brand awareness value
- Mass brands copy couture designs, so how do we justify couture prices? - Current focus on the brand more than the design
- The hyper visible logo is the status symbol.
- But is this a good strategy for luxury brands?
- Is couture needed for this “logosplash” branding?
Efficient Financial Management
- Independent fashion houses now managed by powerful corporations
- Bernard Arnault, Chairman/CEO of LVMH (Pucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi,
Celine, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan)
- 15 richest man in the world
- Indie houses need manufacturing, marketing and distribution of a conglomerate
Shift from design to business
In this new business order, fashion houses have to balance…
- Profit margins
- Iconic or musthave items
- Critical acclaim from media
- Profile of designer as celebrity
With this new focus on business, couture is being written off.
Do we need to get back to design?
Design thinking – new idea
Design thinking: is a way of understanding human needs and creating new solutions
using the tools and mind sets of designers
Origins in the mid20 century
- Herbert A. Simons The Scieneces of the Artificial (1969)
- Robert McKim’s Experiences
Design thinking of Stanford university
- The ideas of design thinking were expanded by Stanford’s Rolf Faste and David
- Design thinking is now an integral to Standard design Program’s curriculum
- In 1991, David Kelley adapted the idea for business ith IDEO, a design and
Resistance, fear and the evil’s advocate
- Unleash urgent optimism – the epic win is possible and worth trying now!
- Embrace your failures – own your failure t learn from it and disempower the
- Let go of comparison and fear – if you are concerned about how you measure
up, you won’t perform the risk taking and trailblazing
Mindsets of design thinking Focus on human values
- Empathy for the people you are designing for and feedback from these users in
fundamental to good design
Show Don’t Tell
- Communicate your vision in an impactful and meaningful way by creating
experiences, using illustrative visual and telling good stories.
- Produce a coherent vision out of messy problems (wicked problems). Frame it in
a way to inspire others and to fuel ideation
- Prototyping is not simply a way to validate your idea; it is an integral part of your
innovation process. We build to think and learn
Be Mindful of Process
- Know where you are in the design process, what methods ato u