An exploratory study on establishing an Irish luxury fashion brand
Ireland is not taken seriously for its fashion and there is no internationally recognised fashion designer. (MacCabe, 2012) states ‘all the things the “Irish” are known for, fashion is not high on the list. There are a number of premium Irish fashion brands from Irish fashion designerssuch as Orla Kiely however these are not perceived as luxury. This research is with particular emphasis on the how an Irish fashion designer can establish a luxury Irish fashion brand and the ways by which International success can be realized. It is clear that a problem lies somewhere in relation to the Irish fashion industry and its lack of success and this will be investigated in this study. In solving the research problem it was necessary to determine the characteristics of luxury fashion brands while also examining consumers and designers perceptions of luxury fashion brands and the Irish fashion industry. Furthermore it was important to determine the methods which can be used by an Irish fashion designer to create a luxury fashion brand This is an exploratory study and so qualitative research methods were deemed best suitable. Five telephone interviews were conducted with Irish fashion designers throughout Ireland to uncover trends, attitudes and motivations in the Irish fashion industry. Six focus groups were conducted with female consumers of luxury fashion brands who were aged between twenty eight and sixty five years. Purposive sampling was used for both qualitative methods. The main findings reflected that there are many problems within the Irish fashion industry which makes it very difficult for an Irish designer to develop a successful fashion brand. Funding is a major problem and the findings showed that there is no support for designers from the Irish government. The UK have the British council of fashion designers which supports up and coming designers, a support group like this is needed in Ireland to help the talented designers shine. Designers feel they do not have the business skills needed to establish their own business and there is a lack of business subjects taught in fashion schools. There are no manufacturing facilities in Ireland so from these problems it can now be understood why there is no Irish luxury fashion brand. The characteristics of luxury fashion brands have been determined and some new ones have been discussed. Finally a model which will aid designers to build a luxury fashion brand was developed from the research findings.
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