Fashion Design Entrepreneurship: Skills and Solutions to Create a Fashion Business
Received Date: June 21, 2019; Published Date: June 28, 2019
Purpose: This study proposes a vision of entrepreneurship in fashion design. Higher-education courses have adapted, and fashion design courses have evolved and moved to a more entrepreneurial concept, as a generation of fashion designers has transformed past experiences and professional vision to become entrepreneurs. Authors and reports linked to entrepreneurship observe more than ever the importance and necessity to bring entrepreneurship very early to classrooms. Studies are more divided on that opinion and show that the introduction of such concepts in early stages of education can be prejudicial for the future of entrepreneurship if those concepts are poorly taught to students.
Methodology: This study employed a mixed-methods approach, as it considered the use of questionnaires to collect data from students and recently graduated students from fashion design schools, in Portugal and abroad; and semi-structured interviews to collect opinions of three main groups of industry professionals: fashion design entrepreneurs, solvers, and specialists. Linear regression & multivariate linear regression was used to analyse the quantitative data obtained, using SPSS. For the qualitative data obtained through interviews, QSR NVivo was used to analyse and encode answers. Finally, a project methodology was used to create a digital platform, proposed as a solution in this study.
Findings: Findings obtained in this study show a lack of support from entities for fashion-related ventures, as well as an evident lack of entrepreneurial thinking in fashion design courses, translated by enormous difficulties for young fashion designers willing to create their own business. Therefore, the need for a solution helping fashion design entrepreneurs was also clearly highlighted by the results obtained. Considering the results obtained through this study, a model for the creation of an entrepreneurship platform will be proposed to create value in the fashion industry.
Research limitations: The main limitation of this study is related to the definition of entrepreneurship itself, as many authors still diverge on this subject. Adding fashion to this topic is also controversial, as the definition of a fashion entrepreneur as yet to be made. Although highereducation courses have made transparency efforts in order to clarify their curricula, this study shows that the specificities presented on the courses and institutions official pages are not very easy to dissect, as many courses present business creation as a potential outcome, without referencing any specific topic on this subject in their curriculum.
Originality/value: This study inserts itself in a multidisciplinary field, mainly composed of two great areas: fashion design and entrepreneurship. The creation of this new subject and the parallelism created between design thinking and entrepreneurial thinking is also crucial. Moreover, the creation of value in the fashion design industry is the main goal here, as it is believed that fashion design SMEs can change the very controversial fashion and textile industry by adding new solutions and value to this billion-dollar market.