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ISSN 1392 0758 SOCIALINIAI MOKSLAI. 2011. Nr.

2 (72)

Interaction between Consumers and Business Agents in the Fashion Industry


Imante Markeviciute and Aukse Blazenaite
Kaunas University of Technology Donelaicio 73, LT-44239 Kaunas, Lithuania
http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ss.71.2.537

Abstract
The article discusses the fashion industry, as one of the creative industries, and investigates the consumer and business agents linkages. Numerous authors, on whose research the current study has been based, have analyzed creative industries, fashion industry and its dimensions, processes, transformation, as well as fashion consumption, fashion consumers with their behaviour, needs and values, among other objects. However, in the related research, processes in the fashion industry have not yet been approached as involving both consumers and fashion industry business agents, who implement the manufacturing, design, marketing, and retailing functions. To bridge this gap, the problem of the current research has been raised: how consumers interplay with business agents in the fashion industry? Thus, the present article aims to reveal the interaction between consumers and business agents in the fashion industry. Keywords: creative industries, fashion industry, consumers, consumer needs, business agents.

Introduction
In the context of globalization, industrialization, and new economics, the old economics increasingly tends to become an insufficient niche. Therefore, the changing society has created new attitudes not only towards life values, but also towards new challenges for companies. This has inspired the formation of new ideas related to the development of creative industries. Creative ideas have become the most important factors of success and the competitive advantage of the companies. Thus, in order to build successful businesses and to reach positive results, the development of creative industries has become a necessary success indicator. Creative Industries (CIs) can be defined as the economic activities focused around the creation and exploitation of creative ideas (Cornford, et al., 2001). Those activities have their origin in individual creativity, skill, and talent and they have an opportunity for wealth and job creation through the generation of intellectual property (DCMS, 1998; Potts, 2011). Fashion industry, as one of the creative industries (Reimer, 2006; Reuvid, 2006; Cornford and Charles, 2001), is adept at forecasting trends that will be popular two years in advance (Han, 2003; Rocha, Hammond and Hawkins, 2005), thus creates the image of a fashionable production in a consumer mind.

Researchers in the fashion industry highlight the importance of apparel in society. According to Tungate (2008), clothes are the expression of how we feel, how we see ourselves and how we wish to be treated by others. Social psychologists Chandler, Freeman and Kaiser (1993) suggest that people attribute to their favourite clothes the capacity to influence the ways they express themselves and interact with others, informing about ones socio-political orientation (Crane, 2000; Jones, 2005). The overview of the previously carried out research clearly reveals the lack of a deep and overall perspective upon the processes in the fashion industry, as a specific field, along with its participants. Certain models have been earlier proposed (Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker, 2002), which appear to be inconsistent; the relations between fashion consumers and business agents have been perfunctorily investigated either in terms of production, retailing, or marketing only. Therefore, the novelty of this article lies in proposing a complementary and aggregate view upon the interaction between consumers and business agents in this specific kind of industry, specifying the crucial characteristics, necessary for this holistic approach, expanding the comprehension of these linkages in the fashion industry. The problem of this article has been defined as follows: how consumers interplay with business agents in the fashion industry? Specifically, the presented investigation explores the linkages between fashion business agents and fashion consumers, extending the existing dimensions of a scientific fashion transformation process model. The article consists of three parts. The first part introduces fashion industry, the second one focuses on consumer needs in the fashion industry, and the third part points out the role of business agents in this context. The investigation employs the method of research literature analysis.

Fashion industry: an overview


Fashion is understood as the prevailing style (as in dress) during a particular time, its social standing or prominence, especially by dress or conduct. Fashion is the most general term and it applies to any way of dressing, behaving, writing or performing that is favoured at any one time or place (Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary, 2004). Blaszczyk (2008) proposes that fashion can be expressed as mode the way we dress; manners the way we express ourselves; mores the way we live; and markets the way we are defined geographically and

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psychologically. The last definition describes fashion under a systemic approach, which has been applied in this paper. Fashion affects different areas of our social life, influences person and social groups consciousness and behaviour. Therefore, it is evident, that sociology and social psychology dominates in the fashion research. From this point of view, fashion is described as a mechanism of social regulation and a form of self-regulation, due to the human behaviour (individual, group, or mass) context. Fashion is understood as a part of a human world, not a material world. The objects themselves are not influenced by fashion they do not change when fashion changes. On the contrary, people tend to apply fashionable meanings to objects (Sviciuliene, 2009). Stone (2004) mentions four levels of the fashion industry: Primary level: production of raw materials, principally fibers and textiles, but also leather and fur, and tool producers; Secondary level: production of fashion goods by designers, manufacturers, contractors, sellers, and others; Retail level: including all the distribution channels and retail types; Subsidiary level: integrating all the levels through advertising and promotion, research agencies, consultants and fashion forecasters. This leads to the interpretation that the fashion industry is a sector in which constantly changing products are produced, advertised, and sold (Han, 2003) by business agents. As fashion industry involves a vast range of subindustries, in this article only the fashion apparel industry is being analyzed. Scholars agree that variability and competitiveness in the fashion market are the crucial factors (Breward, 2003; Crane, 2000; Entwistle, 2006), In addition, Chinas economic growth, which forces high fashion houses to communicate about the value of its brands, has to be taken into consideration (Tungate, 2008). Jones (2005), Breward (2003), Han (2003) and Skov (2006) find fashion market highly fragmented, diversified, competitive, and simultaneous where fashion companies occupy small, but specific niches. According to Han (2003), Jones (2005), Bruce and Daly (2006) and Sviciuliene (2009), fashion markets can be classified into: Haute couture market, often considered as fashion art, the pinnacle of design clothing; involves craftsmanship, the skill of the dressmakers who create the finery of the exceptional. Designers of haute couture influence all the levels of the fashion industry (Chanel, Christian Dior). Designer market (or Pret-a-portet, Ready-to-wear), which follows haute couture tendencies. While not as exorbitantly priced as couture, designer apparel is still expensive and sold in specialty stores (Dolce & Gabbana, Chloe). Bridgewear market apparel is generally much more affordable and available at better department stores. Top designers, such as Donna Karan, Calvin Klein

knock themselves off to produce very popular bridgewear lines (DKNY, CK). Better market are nationally recognized brand names (Ann Taylor, Nordstrom). Customers usually expect a particular image, quality and price from a better brand. Moderate market describes many nationally known sportswear brands or lower priced better national brands (GAP, ZARA). Budget market falls into the least expensive category; many brands include private labels for discount merchants (Old Navy). The classification of fashion markets, proposed as different scholars classifications synthesis, begins with the haute couture and ends with the budget lowest price category fashion market. The markets, mentioned above, can be described also by using other criteria, for example, productive capacity, which can be characterized, as Hulthen and Gadde (2007), Pan and Holland (2006) note, by different levels of mass customization. Mass customization, being a model for the ever finer differentiation of market segmentation, creates individual segments in the fashion market. Understanding the factors that affect consumer acceptance of mass customization helps ensure the fashion business success: some fashion customers may be satisfied with the value, offered by the customized fit, or design of the fashion product, meanwhile others may welcome the added value provided by the stimulating mass customization experience (Fiore, Lee and Kunz, 2004). In an attempt to link fashion markets with the levels of mass customization, it can be stated that, in the case of haute couture, a single piece is made for the runway only, and, on the contrary, in the other markets, fashion products are created for a broader customer segment. Scholars agree that the newest trends in high fashion make the most visible impact upon other fashion industry companies, especially in designing apparel. Therefore, this particular fashion market requires deeper exploration. In the fashion literature, only the most famous fashion house names, such as Chanel, Christian Dior or Balenciaga are researched. Those names are well recognized by fashion consumers, therefore, it is important for them to ensure the continuity of the creative and ongoing work of the house. For example, Prada stays ahead of the pack every year, because the designer knows exactly what she is doing and she keeps doing it well. The designers are lead to follow a particular fashion house philosophy as much as introduce some interpretations in the new collection (Repcyte, 2010; From Prada to Zara, 2009). By saying a designer, fashion researchers highlight that it is no more just a simple definition. This person has to know numerous activities, among which an engineer, an inventor, a scientist, a designer, a creator who experiments with the identity and appearances through dress, can be mentioned. These functions show that a designer is responsible for the whole process, beginning with material purchasing and ending with the creation of a garment (Goworek, 2010; Jones, 2005). The most famous fashion designers, creating models for the podium, undertake an ambiguous role: having a 36

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vast creative freedom they have to ensure the profit in this competitive and risky business sector. Despite designers struggle to be profitable, an eventual fashion consumer does not know the creator of a garment, because the label carries only the fashion house name. For financial reasons, lots of fashion houses externalize their production units, keeping only the design and sales functions. For instance, Hermes and Louis Vuitton are already in India, and other high-end brands are seriously considering the fact that the number of millionaires in India has been growing faster than anywhere else in the world (From Prada to Zara, 2009). On the one hand, only a few fashion industry companies still keep all their business in the country; on the other hand, the prices of these products, made in a particular country, may not be appropriate in the market, due to cheaper items imported (Goworek, 2010).

Consumer needs in the fashion industry


In order to answer the research question in this paper, surveying consumer needs is relevant further. As a matter of fact, marketing researchers propose various classifications of consumer needs. Lambin (2008) points out natural and acquired, relative and absolute, expressed and latent, true or false needs. Kim et al. (2002), citing Park et al. (1986) and Keller (1993) group them into functional, social, and experiential. Gentile (n.d.) classifies the needs into functional, subjective, and objective, related to the environment and behaviour. According to Kim et al. (2002), Moody, Kinderman and Sinha (2010), Gentile (n.d.) and TNS (www.tns.lt), three levels of consumer needs can be identified: functional level to satisfy consumers need to eat, to rest, etc.;

identity (subjective, social) level consumer needs to buy specific products: having rest in an environment to match ones own personal status, driving a car, adequate to ones lifestyle, etc.; emotional (objective, related to the environment and behaviour; experiential) level needs to buy products only in clean environment; to stay in hotels of a particular level or to drive a car, reflecting ones social status, etc. Market researchers agree that emotional consumer needs make the biggest and deepest impact on choosing items (www.tns.lt). The following argumentation supports the above idea. As a matter of fact, fashion consumers needs have been analyzed by Rocha, Hammond and Hawkins (2005). Scientists have proposed a new conceptual framework, the physical, identity, and lifestyle (PIL) model, defined as a business conceptual tool that provides better-targeted fashion and clothing consumption preferences. The model has been developed in order to propose a holistic set of dimensions which need to be considered when producing stylish products (Figure 1). Three core variables have been used to evaluate consumer needs (Rocha, Hammond and Hawkins, 2005): physical variables indicate the primary role of ergonomics and body shapes as an important factor in developing products for consumers, especially for the older ones. The physical change and deterioration of the body shape has to be addressed to ensure that the garments have appropriate fit and features to improve the quality of the products; identity variable is an important factor when developing products for consumers, sometimes older, who have strong fashionability. The identity variable has been used because of the need for fashion products to be stylish, as identity does not seem to change with age;

PIL model

PHYSICAL
Health Comfort Fabric Body shape Balance/ Fit Body exposure Climate Functionality Image judgement Seasonality

IDENTITY
Mood Colour Boldness Taste Sensuality Beauty Attraction to particular clothes Detachment Personal style Elegance Celebrity influence

LIFESTYLE
Exclusivity Fashion Easy of care Profession Durability Opposite gender Same gender Moral conventions Welfare Quality Versatility Brand Price Age appearance Ethnicity Religion Ideology

Figure 1. PIL model (Rocha, Hammond and Hawkins, 2005)

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I. Markeviciute, A. Blazenaite. Interaction between Consumers and Business Agents in the Fashion Industry

lifestyle as a variable provides new insights into the complexities of the new consumer that addresses the body/mind relationship. The variables identified under this category simplify consumer needs indicators. The lifestyle variable relates to the social environment that affects older consumers, as lifestyle does seem have an impact with age. The PIL model has been defined as a business conceptual tool that provides better-targeted fashion and clothing consumption preferences. The model serves to explore both young and older consumers preferences towards wearing fashion products. It leads to the conclusion that the PIL model has been developed to provide a holistic set of dimensions that need to be considered when producing stylish products fashion consumers. It attempts to provide insights into consumer preferences and helps a cross-functional team analyze their choices made in the fashion industry (Rocha, Hammond and Hawkins, 2005).

including social (culture, sub-culture, social class, reference groups, family), technological, political, economic, and personal factors (motivation, personality, self-image, perception, learning, beliefs, and attitudes), shown at the fashion transformation process model, proposed by Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker (2002). Researchers have also highlighted other five factors that the post-modern society encounters, namely, feminine power, high tech power, crisis, ultra liberalism, and a multi-cultural world. The issues emerging on micro and macro levels of the model, influencing trends and lifestyles, lead to a variety of different fashion trends at the same time. The model has been divided into four sub-levels: macro-subjective level, macro-objective level, microsubjective level, and micro-objective level (Figure 2).

Macro-subjective level
A macro social environment is related to indirect interaction between large groups of people. Peter and Olson (2002) name three macro social environments: culture, subculture, and social class. The environments, mentioned above, impact the formation of values, emotions, beliefs, and behaviour on the individual level. Cultural environment, in the scientific literature also called as macroculture, represents the values and symbols of society, or of its major part. Subculture, or microculture, represents the values and symbols of the specific group of people (e.g., an ethnic or religious group). A social class, as being an important component in the construction of consumer needs, shows the relations between individuals in the group, thus limiting their behaviour in the cultural context. Social classes are formed considering economic and behavioural criteria. Different social classes give preferences to different products and brands, which is especially obvious in the fashion industry (Urbanskiene, Clottey and Jakstys, 2000). Scholars agree that fashion change is the most intensive on the macro-subjective level. Fashion change reflects social needs, consequently, social needs emerge in an ambiguous form, called the spirit of the time. There are certain forces, such as socio-political, economic forces, and innovation, which can be seen of major importance to the emerging social needs. All these factors influence society and its change. These are reflected in what society calls social trends. Since society consists of a number of sub-society or sub-culture groups, the patterns of behaviour, attitudes, and practices are called lifestyles (Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker, 2002). Lifestyle is considered to be a generic descriptor of individual values and tastes, existing also in the consumption models. Individuals, even belonging to the same subculture or social class, having the same occupation, can have different roles in life (e.g., woman a mother, a housekeeper, a businesswoman, etc.) (Urbanskiene, Clottey and Jakstys, 2000). Thus, for the fashion business agents, it is essential to evaluate fashion consumers attitudes towards certain fashion products or brands.

The role of business agents in the fashion industry: consumers perspective


Simmel (1904), King (1963), Blumer (1969), Sproles (1979), and many other scholars have tried to find out and validate why fashion changes from time to time and why a fashion trend becomes popular in a particular segment. In the trickle down theory, proposed by Simmel (1904), the upper class in society was considered to be the leader of new fashion. In Kings (1963) mass market theory, the mass media caused new fashion to be transmitted to all walks of life in society and each consumer group had fashion innovators and fashion followers. In the collective selection theory, created by Blumer (1969), fashion was formerly used as a socializing agent and served as a social standard. The change in fashion and subsequent adoption by consumers aims at conforming to the newly formed society taste. In Sproles (1979) subculture leadership theory, fashion originates from different society subcultures and the fashion process trickles up and changes according to popular culture, reflected in the fashions worn on the street (Law, Zhang and Leung, 2004). Based on the comparative review of the theoretical literature, an assumption that there is a relationship between individuals and society has been made. Thus, the fashion transformation process model, proposed by Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker (2002), applied in the current research, explains the linkages between fashion business agents and fashion consumers and reveals the process of consumer need construction in the fashion industry. Common tastes and lifestyles of members of society form and represent the taste and lifestyle of that society, and this common lifestyle symbolizes the spirit of the times. Thus, the existing relationship between individuals (members of society) and society in terms of fashion changes indicates the interaction between the micro (individual) and macro-level (socio-dynamic) forces (Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker, 2002). According to Grant and Stephen (2005), there are many factors, influencing consumer needs construction,

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I. Markeviciute, A. Blazenaite. Interaction between Consumers and Business Agents in the Fashion Industry

Figure 2. The Fashion Transformation Process Model (Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker, 2002)

Macro-objective level
Constructing a need for a product is something that marketers do all the time. Movie theatres have been promoting popcorn and sodas with the movie for decades, home shopping channels that sell their products 24 hours a day construct a need for their products and satisfy a consumer need for human interaction by talking. Once marketers figure out why people buy their products, they can be very successful (Agadoni, n.d.). Thus, a macro-objective level is the stage at which the investors, through suppliers, grasp social needs and interpret the four clusters of lifestyle trends into tangible concepts of fashion. In this process, business agents designers, manufacturers, marketers, and other specialists participate to provide fashion trend-based ideas to the consumers (Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker, 2002). When considering the consumer point of view, the approaches traditionally used by designers seem to be most effective in customer needs creation and satisfaction. It has been stated that designers have user-based knowledge and attitudes. This approach also highlights the relation between business agents and fashion consumers (Rocha, Hammond and Hawkins, 2005). Therefore, designercreated fashion consumer needs commonly force a consumer to be fashionable. As one of the most important objective process in the analyzed model, the development of a fashion product is understood as a process, passing certain stages from a designer, manufacturer, marketer, retailer to a consumer, 39

and in some cases returning again to the designer. The main stages in the fashion product development process are presented in Figure 3, based on the approximate chronological sequence in which they usually occur, though several elements can overlap temporally (Goworek, 2010). To be more specific, the actions performed by fashion business agents are described in Table 1.

Micro-objective level
A micro-objective realm is the stage at which individuals interact with fashion objects in the marketplace. On this level, fashion objects are selected by individuals to create their looks and to conform to the social concepts of time. Hamilton (1997) defines this stage as negotiation with others. The retailing system influences this level of change in terms of offering various categories of looks. But the role of fashion product merchandisers is not only to provide assorted collections, but also to differentiate them from other ranges of styles. Individuals choose particular fashion shops in the same way as they make other decisions in society, depending on their social class or subculture (Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker, 2002). After implementing particular fashion trends by designers, these fashion products create a need for a consumer to dress up according to these new tendencies. Accordingly, in Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker (

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Figure 3. Key stages in fashion product development (Goworek, 2010) Table 1 Stages of fashion product development process (adapted by Goworek, 2010) Stage (A) Research (B) Directional shopping and comparative shopping (C) Fabric sourcing and fabric development (D) Garment design development (E) Garment design presentation (F) Range planning and selection (G) Range development and finalisation Processes Fashion forecasting; conducting research with consumers before (during) the product development process, enabling them to respond more effectively to customer needs. Trips to gain design inspiration for a new season; visiting the stores of the most influential designers and retailers, returning equipped with notes, sketches, and garments for inspiration; observing ranges in competing stores. Selection of fabrics for sampling and bulk production of garments. Fashion designers reinterpret and apply elements of the trends they have researched to products suitable for the target market. Fashion designers present ranges of drawings or prototype garments to buyers; fashion buyers have the authority to select which products will be offered for sale to consumers. Compiling a commercially acceptable collection of garments within financial, design, and market parameters. Meeting the necessary quality and fit standards in bulk production. The fashion designer hands over the development of the range to a pattern-cutter, garment technologist or product developer. having the appropriate cultural capital, in the form of knowledge of fashion trends, brands and names in the business (Entwistle and Rocamora, 2006). Apparently, fashion brands become very important, since they act as the signifiers of symbolic values, encompassing certain identities in creating community. 40

2002) models micro-objective level, the importance of fashion branding is mentioned. Fashion brands have certain values and meanings for fashion consumers (Entwistle, 2006). Brands make a part of fashion capital; there is, therefore, a requirement on the part of consumers to look the part, which depends upon

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The interactions between the self and other members of society are the virtual negotiation in shopping time. Basically, brands provide fashion products ranging from the most fashionable to the least fashionable. If one plays a fashion leader, the most fashionable garments will be chosen (Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker, 2002). Thus, for marketers and retailers it is important to show the advantages of certain fashion brands. Kim (2005) has stated that fashion consumers tend to attach to specific products and brands. For example, the importance consumers put on function and practicality (e.g. comfort, care, and cost) may have a different effect on how one evaluates an apparel product compared to consumers who are more attuned to brand image and fashion. Thus, for marketers and retailers it is important to know not only the dynamics of the product, but also the characteristics of fashion consumers.

agents takes place on the macro-objective and microobjective levels, where a fashion product is designed and manufactured. Since the previously accomplished analysis concerning the fashion consumer and business agent interaction has not been able to propose a holistic attitude towards this relationship, the article has specified the crucial characteristics, expanding the comprehension of these linkages in the fashion industry.

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Micro-subjective level
This is the level where individuals interpret the results of looks by negotiating with the self in order to satisfy their needs. Meaning emerges in this stage to make a sense of symbolic ambiguity and the results of negotiation are expressed through the fashion objects at the microobjective level (Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker, 2002). As seen in the model, proposed by Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker (2002), there are two forces: a differentiating force, and a socializing force that create a force between the competitive desires to display oneself and to retain a sense of modesty. Thus, basically it is a negotiation between the need for exhibiting and the need to conform to the social norms.

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Conclusions
Fashion industry, placed among creative industries, is a dynamic and creativity-intense sector, constructing the image of fashion in consumers mind by designing, manufacturing, retailing, and promoting fashionable products. A fashion consumer, expressing his or her needs is being influenced by social, economic, political changes in the environment which determine the processes and participants in this specific industry. The investigation of fashion consumer needs development reveals its reliance upon the relevant social tendencies. The analysis of the relationship between fashion consumers and fashion business agents allows to conclude that fashion business agents create, manufacture, select, and sell new items; consequently, this allows fashion companies to create consumer needs-oriented fashion products. As shown in research, the fashion transformation process, previously investigated by Cholachatpinyo, Padgett and Crocker, runs on macro-subjective, macro-objective, micro-subjective, and microobjective levels. The present article expands this established view and argues that the most visible interaction between fashion consumers and business

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I. Markeviciute, A. Blazenaite. Interaction between Consumers and Business Agents in the Fashion Industry
atstov, pasilant platesn poir egzistuojant mados transformacijos model. straipsn sudaro trys dalys: pirmoje dalyje pristatomi mados sektoriaus ypatumai; antroje dalyje atskleidiami vartotoj poreikiai mados industrijoje; treiojoje straipsnio dalyje analizuojamas verslo atstov ir vartotoj ryys mados industrijos kontekste. Rengiant straipsn taikytas mokslins literatros analizs metodas. Apranga yra viena geriausiai ireikiam ir matom vartojimo form. Pasak Tungate (2008), drabuiai tai iraika to, kas mes esame, kaip mes jauiams ir kaip norime, kad kiti mus matyt. Psichologai Chandler, Freeman ir Kaiser (1993) teigia, jog mons renkasi mgiamiausius drabuius pagal tai, kaip jie ireikia (ar nori ireikti) save ir sveikauja su kitais monmis (Crane, 2000; Jones, 2005), dl to svarbu atskleisti ryius tarp mados verslo atstov ir mados vartotoj. Mada tai tam tikru laiku visuomenje vyraujantis stilius, periodikai pasikartojantis su tam tikrais pasikeitimais ir patobulinimais (Blaszczyk, 2008). Mada reikiasi vairiose socialinio gyvenimo srityse, veikia mogaus bei socialini grupi smon ir elgsen, todl sociologija ir socialin psichologija uima dominuojani viet mados tyrinjimuose. iuo poiriu mada apibriama kaip socialins reguliacijos mechanizmas ir mogaus elgesio (individualaus ar grupinio) savireguliacijos forma. Ji priklauso ne daikt pasauliui, bet moni pasauliui. Daiktai patys savaime nepatiria mados takos, t.y. jie nesikeiia, keiiantis madai; juos keiia mons, suteikdami daiktams madingas reikmes (Sviiulien, 2009). Mokslinje literatroje yra iskiriami keturi mados industrijos lygmenys (Stone, 2004): (1) pagrindinis - tekstils gamybos lygmuo, apimantis audimo stakli ir verpal gamintojus; (2) alutinis projektuotoj, gamintoj, didmeninink ir pardavj lygmuo; (3) mameninis lygmuo, apimantis visus preki paskirstymo kanalus ir parduotuvi tipus; (4) pagalbinis - lygmuo, jungiantis visus lygmenis tarpusavyje per spaud, reklam, tyrim agentras, konsultantus ir mados prognozuotojus, kurie pateikia prek galutiniam vartotojui. Mokslinje literatroje paymima, jog aprangos mados rinka yra labai fragmentuota, konkurencinga, vienalaik. Mados kompanijos daniausiai uima maas, bet specifines rinkos dalis (Breward, 2003; Han, 2003; Skov, 2006). Mados profesionalai iskiria ias skirtingas mados rinkas (Han, 2003; Jones, 2005; Bruce, Daly, 2006; Sviiulien, 2009): (1) auktoji mada (pranc. Haute couture); (2) neiojam (pranc. Pret-a-portet; angl. Ready-to-wear) arba dizaineri kuriam drabui rinka; (3) masins gamybos dizaineri rinka (angl. Bridgewear); (4) auktesns klass (angl. Better) mados rinka; (5) vidutins klass (angl. Moderate); (6) ekonomins klass (angl. Budget) rinka. Apibendrinus Kim et al. (2002), Moody, Kinderman, Sinha (2010), Gentile (n.d.) ir TNS (www.tns.lt) klasifikacijas, iskiriami ie trys vartotoj poreiki lygmenys: (1) funkciniai - poreikiai valgyti, ilstis ir pan.; (2) tapatumo (subjektyvs, socialiniai) - poreikiai pirkti tam tikros kokybs produktus; ilstis tik asmens statusui adekvaioje aplinkoje; vairuoti savo gyvenimo stili atitinkant automobil ir pan.; (3) emociniai (objektyvs, priklausantys nuo aplinkos ir elgsenos; patirtiniai) poreikiai pirkti produktus tik varioje aplinkoje; ilstis tik tam tikro lygio viebutyje; vairuoti socialin status atitinkant automobil ir pan. Remiantis PIL modelio klasifikacija, iskiriami trys kertiniai fiziniai, identiteto ir gyvenimo bdo poreikiai (Rocha, Hammond, Hawkins, 2005). Remiantis prielaida, jog egzistuoja sveika tarp visuomens ir jos nari, Cholachatpinyo, Padgett ir Crocker (2002) sukr mados transformacijos proceso model, kuris detalizuojamas ir analizuojamas iame straipsnyje kaip esminis, atskleidiantis sveik tarp vartotoj ir mados verslo atstov. Mokslininkai model suskirst keturis sublygius: makrosubjektyvij srit (lyg), makroobjektyvij srit (lyg), mikroobjektyvij srit (lyg) bei mikrosubjektyvij srit (lyg). Makrosubjektyvioji aplinka susijusi su netiesiogine sveika tarp dideli moni grupi. Tyrjai vardija tris tokias makro- socialines aplinkas: kultrin, subkultrin ir socialins klass. ios aplinkos turi didel tak vertybi, sitikinim, elgesio norm, emocij ir elgsenos formavimuisi individ lygmenyje (Peter, Olson, 2002). Mokslininkai paymi, jog bene labiausiai mados kaita, formuojantis socialiniams poreikiams, atsispindi makrokultroje; tai pasireikia visuomenje vadinamosiomis socialinmis tendencijomis. Makroobjektyviojoje srityje investuotojai per tiekjus bando suvokti socialinius poreikius ir juos interpretuoja, suskirstydami gyvenimo bdo tendencijas keturis klasterius, kuriuose atsispindi apiuopiamos mados koncepcijos. iame procese dalyvauja dizaineriai, prekybininkai, marketingo ir kiti specialistai, naujas mados koncepcijas pritaikydami vartotojams (Cholachatpinyo, Padgett, Crocker, 2002). Mikroobjektyvioji sritis yra ta sritis, kurioje individas sveikauja su mados produktais rinkoje. Tai lygis, kuriame individas renkasi mados

25. 26.

27.

28.

29.

30. 31. 32. 33.

34.

35.

36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

I. Markeviit, A. Blanait Vartotoj ir verslo atstov sveika mados industrijoje Santrauka Kintanios idjos, tobuljanios technologijos, daro visuomen aktyvia, skatina jos verlum bei nor iekoti nauj galimybi. Globalizacijos ir industrializacijos kontekste senajai ekonomikai tampant nepakankama nia, besikeiianti visuomen pradjo iekoti nauj verslumo apraik. Taip pradeda formuotis idjos, skatinanios krybini industrij atsiradim bei j pltr. Kadangi verslumas ir nauj krybik idj paiekos tampa konkurenciniu pranaumu rinkoje, norint skmingai pltoti veikl bei siekti ger rezultat, krybini industrij vystymas tampa neatsiejamu skms garantu. Krybins industrijos (KI) apibdinamos kaip ekonomins veiklos, fokusuotos kryb ir krybik idj naudojim veikloje (Cornford, Charles, et al., 2001). Visoms ioms veiklos sritims bdingas komercinis, visuomeninis paklausumas, individualus krybingumas, intelektin nuosavyb (DCMS, 1998; Potts, 2011). Mados industrija, kaip viena i krybini industrij (Reimer, 2006; Reuvid, 2006; Cornford, Charles, 2001), numato bsimas mados tendencijas (Han, 2003; Rocha, Hammond, Hawkins, 2005), taip konstruodama madingos produkcijos vaizd vartotojo smonje. Mokslininkai anksiau atliktuose tyrimuose nra pakankamai giliai ityr sveikos tarp vartotoj ir verslo atstov mados sektoriuje, arba tokios analizs atliktos konkreioms mados krimo proceso gaminio dizaino, gamybos, marketingo stadijoms atskleisti. Taigi iuolaikinje literatroje pasigendama holistinio, o kartu ir gilesnio poirio i sveik, atskleidiant esminius proceso komponentus ir dalyvius. io straipsnio tikslas yra atskleisti ryius tarp mados vartotoj ir mados verslo

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produktus, kad sukurt ir atitikt socialin to laikmeio ivaizd. Dizaineriams mados produkte realizavus tam tikras mados tendencijas, jos vartotojo smonje sukuria poreik rengtis btent pagal mados krj sukurtas tendencijas. Todl Cholachatpinyo, Padgett ir Crocker (2002) mados transformacijos proceso modelio makroobjektyviojoje srityje pabr enklodaros svarb mados sektoriuje. Mikrosubjektyvioji sritis - tai lygis, kuriame individai interpretuoja, vertina savo ivaizd, tardamiesi su savimi, kad patenkint savo poreikius pasirodyti, arba atitikt socialines normas. Apibendrinant galima teigti, jog prapleiant egzistuojant mados transformacijos model, straipsnyje pasilomas platesnis poiris vartotoj ir verslo atstov mados industrijoje sveik. Raktiniai odiai: krybins industrijos, mados industrija, vartotojai, vartotoj poreikiai, verslo atstovai.

I. Markeviciute, A. Blazenaite. Interaction between Consumers and Business Agents in the Fashion Industry

First received: May, 2011 Accepted for publication: June, 2011

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