Skip to main content

About this book

This book adopts a case study based research approach to examine the contemporary issues in the fashion industry. It documents real-world practices in fashion business from production, marketing to operations. Founded on an extensive review of literature, these case studies discuss the challenges that are pertinent to the current business environment in this important industry, provide benchmarks and generate insights to practitioners as well as suggest future directions to researchers. The book serves as a nexus of the theories and the industrial practices that advances knowledge for both the academia and the private sector in fashion business.

Table of Contents


Cases on Fashion Production


Chapter 1. USA Apparel Manufacturing and Domestic Sourcing

This chapter presents a study on domestic manufacturing and how domestic manufacturers are surviving in the global marketplace. The study identified garment categories using OTEXA (Office of Textile and Apparel) information that had low percentage change in imports. Five case studies highlighted that the uses of balanced manufacturing and niche market were some of the main reasons why the companies were able to produce garments domestically. The models used as a framework for the analysis did not explain fully why some companies were able to remain competitive and use domestic production. A new model, the ‘Domestic and Balanced Sourcing Model’ was created to help explain the reasons why some garments are maintaining a domestic presence more than others and how certain companies are able to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace.
Carol Elizabeth Harris

Chapter 2. Product Development Process of an International Luxury Fashion Brand: Implications to Hong Kong Fashion Trading and Manufacturing Companies

In fashion supply chains , product development is a crucial and sophisticated process. This is especially true for the luxury fashion brands as they aim to achieve the best quality , in both choices of materials and management of the production process. In this paper, we report a case study on the product development process of a luxury fashion brand (Brand A). Based on the real case’s scenario, we explore the whole product development process, from material sourcing, sample development, to materials inspection, and management. We compare Brand A’s product development process with the commonly seen product development process in fashion trading companies in Hong Kong . Implications on how Hong Kong fashion trading and manufacturing companies can enhance their operations are also discussed.
Yi-Ning Fung, Tsan-Ming Choi

Chapter 3. Application of Laser Technology in Fashion Industry

With the integration of design, technology, and material, some new technologies were applied in fashion industry during manufacturing process. As a contactless processing, laser technology is being applied to in diverse areas for garment production and surface treatment due to its advantages such as no physical contact, no water, dyestuff, and solvents applied, high degree of automation, and fast and precise treatment. In this chapter, the application of laser technology in fashion industry were explored including laser cutting , laser engraving , fabric fault detection, objective evaluation of seam pucker , body scanning , welded garment production, bar code scanning, metal detection , garment counting, and antimicrobial finishes . The application of laser processing opens up new possibilities for apparel manufacture and surface embellishment for fashion design without involving water, dyestuff, and solvents. It is believed that this noncontact technology and environmentally friendly treatment process could appeal to the demands fashion industry sustainably as well as to facilitate the quick responses to market.
Guoxiang Yuan, Zhuoming Chen, Domenico Luzzi

Cases on Fashion Branding and Marketing


Chapter 4. Vintage Fashion Retailing: Building the Store Brand

Over the past few decades, vintage fashion has become an enduring trend and vintage fashion retailers have become an integral part of the fashion retailing landscape. This chapter explores vintage fashion retailing from the perspective of brand image and the brand story and examines the positioning elements that operationalise the vintage fashion retailer brand . Vintage fashion retailers have evolved into sophisticated entities capable of competing in today’s fast paced omni-channel environment. They can benefit from the creation of a strong brand image that tells the story of an era or theme through the creation of a store/brand whose appearance and display elements bring that theme to life.
Julie McColl, Catherine Canning, Linda Shearer, Louise McBride

Chapter 5. The Internationalization of Italian Luxury Brands. The Missoni Case

This chapter is about the international development of Italian luxury companies. It focuses on small–medium-sized family businesses, which characterize the Italian fashion industry . These businesses more than before have to manage internationalization processes by making stronger the relation between brand reputation and brand performance. Through the findings emerging from the literature and the analysis of the emblematic case of Missoni, the chapter aims to explain how a family luxury company develops a strong international brand in terms both of brand definition and of marketing strategies . The case investigated is built through a case analysis process that included the analysis of secondary data on Missoni and an in-depth interview with the General Manager.
Andrea Runfola, Silvia Ranfagni, Simone Guercini

Chapter 6. Luxury Branding and Digitalisation: The Case of European Brands in China

The main purpose of this research is to investigate how a luxury brand may be affected by the variables associated with the entry to a new market as in the Chinese one and how those new variables are integrated into the branding in the new geographical context. In doing so, this study reviews the main existing literature in the field—despite the limited literature in luxury digitalisation in China —and following three derived propositions through a qualitative approach, it analyses the examples of the brand strategy of three European luxury brands after entering China. The luxury brands considered in our investigation are three international ones, each with a specific consolidated brand heritage and with a sectorial positioning. This research explores and analyses the specific luxury brand building and rebranding process adopted by these three luxury brands to enter the new market and specifically through the digitalisation of the brand. The empirical research evidences the critical impact of digitalisation for successful luxury branding in the entry market strategy and has justified its adoption in the exclusive luxury sector by the socio-cultural context-related factors of the new market . It provides specific orientations and recommendations as well as best practices for luxury corporations on the specificities of branding and digitalisation of luxury in China . The research shows that a successful model path for luxury branding when entering the Chinese market and the key impact of the ‘luxury digitalisation’ strategy is usually associated with high accessibility, when compared with the traditional ‘luxury retailing’ strategy which is usually associated to the exclusivity of the luxury sector.
Serena Rovai

Chapter 7. Good Practices and Considerations in Conducting Email Survey for Fashion Retail Industry

Correct and up-to-date market information is key to marketing strategy formulation and campaign planning. Email survey is often used by fashion retailers as a tool to capture the market information. It is particularly important for the email survey to capture the market information from a mass market in a short period of time. However, there are many cases that fashion retailers get poor quality result from survey rather than high-quality and reliable results with actionable findings. This paper intends to discuss good practices in conducting email survey for the fashion industry . It refers to a consultancy project administered by the authors to discuss issues and considerations on conducting email survey. A mixed-mode approach, of which email survey with telephone follow-up, incentives , and onsite face-to-face interview , was adopted to achieve a cost-effective survey with adequate response rate and high representativeness. The details about conducting email survey, which includes incentive, design, database, and follow-up action and facilitated the email survey are discussed.
Chi Wai Wu, Kwok Fai Geoffrey Tso

Cases on Fashion Retailing and Operations


Chapter 8. The Key Role of Retail Stores in Fast Fashion Companies: The H&M Case Study

The chapter investigates the key role played by a system of directly operated stores in the fast fashion business model . For this purpose, a descriptive case study has been carried out on Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M), one of the leading companies in the fast fashion sector with a wide network of retail stores across the global market. The case study has shown that the store represents the heart of H&M’s business model, since, through direct control over the retail network the company is able to develop a profound level of market knowledge , advantageous for launching onto the market, continuous and successful ranges of fashion apparel.
Elisa Arrigo

Chapter 9. Fashion Business Case Study on the German Click & Collect Situation

A case study with four German fashion retail brands was conducted in order to measure the performance of their Omnichannel services. In detail, their Click & Collect service was analyzed. Click & Collect is one of the first introduced Omnichannel services in fashion retailing. Omnichannel services integrate different sales and communication channels providing a seamless customer journey experience. Offline, online, and mobile app customer experiences should provide a seamless customer experience. Omnichannel performance of the four retailers Decathlon , Hunkemöller, Massimo Dutti and Galeria Kaufhof was measured via mystery shopping . A seamless customer journey experience is not yet a standard in German fashion retailing . The four companies differ in many process details. The biggest market potential and the recommendation for further research emerges in deficits of the offline store Omnichannel customer experience. Here, all four case companies have room to improve. Best overall results regarding the integration of offline, online, and mobile shops were found with Hunkemöller, followed by Decathlon, Massimo Dutti , and Galeria Kaufhof .
Peter Bug, Natalie Gordon, Ann-Sophie Staudenmaier

Chapter 10. Supply Chain Strategic Fit: Two Fashion-Renting Cases

Choosing the right supply chain outsourcing strategy is crucial to the success of a business. This chapter presents two cases from the newly emerging online fashion-renting business: Rent-The-Runway (RTR) in the United States and Meilizu in China . At the early stage of their development, both companies embrace similar supply chain outsourcing strategies , and both alter their strategies to match their corporate objectives with the market environment. RTR brings its outsourced laundry and delivery services in-house to fit its expanding scale. Meilizu outsources part of its product supply to VIP customers to fit its customer culture. The two cases show that a tailor-made supply chain strategy is essential to each company, even though they are in the same industry.
Xiangyu Lai, Shiting Song, Yaqing Xu, Chun-Hung Chiu

Cases on Sustainability and Fashion Industry


Chapter 11. Sustainable Innovation in the Apparel Supply Chain: Case Study on TAL Apparel Limited

Sustainability has become a critical trend for US and European fashion industry, it led the retail brands to pressure manufacturers to operate in a more sustainable and socially responsible manner. However, TAL is a manufacturer that proactively embraced the concept of sustainable production without the pressure of their clients and remains one of the world leaders in sustainable manufacturing movement. TAL established its own detailed internal standards of environmental and social governance, that make sustainability an integral part of all aspects of its business; from environmentally sustainable manufacturing facilities, safe working environment, active employee engagement to supplier management. They further engage in industry wide collaborations that include participation in Sustainable Apparel Coalition and production of recycled cotton clothing collection with Patagonia . In this case study , we attempt to add to the current knowledge of sustainable supply chain management by providing an example of sustainable manufacturing model using the Sustainable Supply Chain Network Innovation Model. Data was collected through the use of secondary data and semi-structured interviews with the executive officers, Dr. Delman Lee, President and CTO and Christelle Esquirol, Vice President of Sustainability of TAL Apparel Group.
Jiyoung Kim, Marissa Zorola

Chapter 12. Sustainable Development in the Supplier Chain: Analysis of a Brazilian Fashion Retailer’s Social Responsibility Program

With a responsible attitude, a company can identify risks and develop programs that aim at improving processes and products, differentiating itself in the market and earning higher profits in advance. This paper seeks to explore and describe the model of corporate social responsibility employed by a Brazilian fashion retailer in its supply chain. For this, a literature review was initiated for greater involvement with the subject, followed by a documentary research to verify the information together with semi-structured interview, resulting in the case study. It is concluded that the company adopted a social responsibility policy from the senior management level so that its supply chain is established and followed by both senior management and other employees. The process of conformity verification with the standards stipulated by the company and the Brazilian legislation is carried out through an internal audit in an unannounced manner.
Rita de Cássia Lopes Moro, Francisca Dantas Mendes, João Amato Neto

Chapter 13. Towards Closed-Loop Fashion Supply Chains—Reflections from Retailer-Facilitated Used Apparel Collection Programs

The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the business sector. Apart from the pollutions incurred during the production process, clothing disposal and landfill problem also impose a great problem to the environment and the situation has become increasingly adverse with the tremendous number of clothing being disposed every year. Many disposed garments are in fact in good condition that can be reused or they can be recycled into useful raw materials. The idea of closed-loop fashion supply chains has started to draw the attention in the industry. To achieve this, nevertheless, effective collection of post-consumer products is critical. In recent years, a number of fashion companies have been launching programs to collect used clothing from customers. The collected items are resold or donated as second-hand clothing, or are recycled into fibers or fuels, depending on their conditions. Based on secondary data, this study examines the used apparel collection (UAC) programs of four fashion retailers, namely: Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. (Uniqlo), Patagonia , Inc., Eileen Fisher Inc., and Hennes & Mauritz (H&M). It discusses the features and the advantages of these retailer-facilitated UAC programs .
Pui-Sze Chow, Cinty K. Y. Li


Additional information