In creative industries such as fashion, availability and accessibility of required resources have huge positive influence on new product development success. By starting with the question on what makes a designer fashion SME successful, this research then grounded its focus on the area of new product development and design-driven innovation. This study employed a qualitative approach and used semi-structured interviews as a method of collecting data from the field. A two-staged research design were planned and executed. This study has suggested that patristic-symbiotic relationships between designer fashion SMEs and large high street retailers can be more complicated than the literature has stated when adopting a broader view to investigate sources of creativity from an industrial perspective.


This study aims to investigate the sources of creativity in the fashion industry with the research emphasis on the relationship between high-end designers and highs street retailers. Existing research outlines two key sources of product innovation: internally developed within the organisation or outsourced to third-party companies on either ad-hoc or an ongoing basis. In the fashion industry this is even complex which has included the development of fashion ranges in-house or the use of designers and even celebrities on ad-hoc basis. The research proposed to explore the relationship between the large fashion houses and the small independent companies and designers. This allows this study to explore whether a trade-off occurred between high-creativity versus commercial skill and viability.

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