The knock-on from the knock-off : recent shifts within Australian mass market fashion design practice

Payne, Alice (2011) The knock-on from the knock-off : recent shifts within Australian mass market fashion design practice. In 3rd Global Conference Fashion Exploring Critical Issues, 22-25 September 2011, Mansfield College, Oxford. (Unpublished)

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Australia’s mass market fashion labels have traditionally benefitted from their peripheral location to the world’s fashion centres. Operating a season behind, Australian mass market designers and buyers were well-placed to watch trends play out overseas before testing them in the Australian marketplace. For this reason, often a designer’s role was to source and oversee the manufacture of ‘knock-offs’, or close copies of Northern hemisphere mass market garments. Both Weller (2007) and Walsh (2009) have commented on this practice. The knock-on effect from this continues to be a cautious, derivative fashion sensibility within Australian mass market fashion design, where any new trend or product is first tested and proved overseas months earlier. However, there is evidence that this is changing. The rapid online dissemination of global fashion trends, coupled with the Australian consumer’s willingness to shop online, has meant that the ‘knock-off’ is less viable. For this reason, a number of mass market companies are moving away from the practice of direct sourcing and are developing product in-house under a Northern hemisphere model. This shift is also witnessed in the trend for mass market companies to develop collections in partnership with independent Australian designers. This paper explores the current and potential effects of these shifts within Australian mass market design practice, and discusses how they may impact on designers, consumers and on the wider culture of Australian fashion.

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ID Code: 47610
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: fashion design, Australian fashion industry, design process
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Textile and Fashion Design (120306)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Alice Payne
Deposited On: 12 Dec 2011 01:50
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2011 06:50

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