Even poor De Beers seems flummoxed. (Twitchell, 2002, p. xv)
Some consider this trend, of luxury for the every day buyer a negative trend as non-luxury brands claim luxury status and luxury brands like Prada are pressured to provide their products for a lower scale market, yet the trend is essential to international and national creative industries development.
In fact one trend in international creative industries is a system nicknamed "grey marketing" where goods and services are sold outside the traditional contracts and supply systems but are not sold illegally, such as is the caser of black marketed items. In other words industries, such as the fashion industry are populated by organizations that are willing to make alternative contractual agreements with companies that might sell their "labels" for lesser prices, such as in the case of overstock or in some cases even exclusive sales of products that might require less cost to produce, but are designed to mirror the products that are more top shelf in nature. One example of this type of system can be seen in nearly every American mall, stores like ROSS Dress for Less and Marshall's sell products that are overstock label goods, where labels have limited sales on certain items that have traditionally been made to order but no longer can be due to manufacturing cost, time and skill and do not sell in traditional marketplaces at the rate expected. Another example in the fashion industry is the Target (department store) marketing agreement that has done a great deal to bring luxury designs to the people, by providing limited time label sales of luxury fashion items that are primary, rather than second run designs. Designer Patricia Robinson had this to say about an exclusive contract she developed with Target in 2006;
When Target called and asked if I'd be interested in doing a collection, it took me about 30 seconds to say yes," recalls Robinson, 40, from the company's New York showroom, where racks and racks of samples from his Target collection hang. "Working with them has given me the opportunity to make brilliant clothes that a greater number of people can afford and wear. Target's really focused on making beautiful products, and they dig design." (Chance, 2007, p. 192)
Though not all designers and brands in Fashion and other areas of creative industries are as excited about matriculated luxury goods the trend is one that answers many concerns about the staying power of fashion labels as well as legitimizing the development of luxury like goods for everyday buyers.
As we enter a new millennium, fashion journalist Teri Agins proclaims the End of Fashion. Of course, fashion has not ceased to exist. We are not all identically dressed in a unisex uniform of tee-shirts and chinos. Nor are we likely to be. Many people still care passionately about the way they look. Yet fashion, as we have known it, is definitely disappearing. Certainly, over the past fifty years, fashion has been completely transformed. (Steele, 2000, p. 7)
Prada might not be selling items at high yield department stores, they are the proud owners of the new trend store front, called "outlet" store where overstocks are sold to consumers at significantly lower process than they are in first run stores.
Miuccia Prada started using nylon fabric around the time she took over her grandfather's business in the late 1970s. But it wasn't until she came out with this minimalist bag in 1985 that her career really took off. Made from parachute fabric and designed for urban living, the backpack that matched everything developed a cult following." (Kowitt, 2009, NP) One convincingly interesting representation of the difference between traditional industry and creative industry structures offers an image map of how they differ and are similar in the business world.
Figure 1 / Figure 2 (below)
Though it is not fair to say that all creative industries have the kind of structure associated with these two divergent cluster maps the reality is that Figure 2 demonstrates an idea of how creative industries work in the real world, gleaning sources of ideas and products from all over the place, both small and large designers and producers to create a cohesive system of distribution and possibly even a larger market base than industry economies. The creative industries have the freedom to seek out alternative sources and ideas and support new and innovative designers and producers and even to some degree focus on so called cottage industry production and standards. Cottage industry is the term given to small scale production that can or does occur within the confines of a home (hence cottage) that was once the traditional means of employment and economy for skilled crafts and trades. Even larger companies during the industrial revolution took raw goods and pieced them out to home workers (often women) to produce finish products with. This was often a large source of income for a single family as other industries, such as farming provided very little actual cash.
2007) a return to this type of work has been seen within the last few years as more and more people develop small and very small businesses and/or work from home for larger organizations, in much the same way that they did at the beginning of the industrial revolution.
Transition is the common word, associated with fashion and the creative industries in general as most are under complete scrutiny with regard to how they fit into the international creative arts move toward globalization and intellectual/knowledge transfer emphasis. This has created a system that is creating a resurgence of old style marketing, with a new and vocal twist toward modern means of market display and transportation.
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