My initial inductive research into co-design, customisation and democratic fashion during the concept development phase of 7003, led me to several articles and journals debating the level of consumer power in the design and customisation process. Whilst there was a clear argument running through these sources, that in the postmodern we live in ‘it is absolutely necessary for customers to have some power in their shopping choices’, it has been argued that discounting fashion experts all together will ultimately result in a loss of creativity, innovation and integrity in the field, watering down this incredibly powerful vehicle of expression. Ultimately to achieve the best from this democratic fashion landscape, brans need to find ‘a manageable balance between the customer and the designer, where the power is not weighed down by either side’. This was something proven to me during my 7003 research into the existing democratic fashion landscape, where I researched current co-design retail brands, as highlighted in my 7003 research output. The style bank concepts with no foundational creative identity, such as BOW and DRAPE, felt bland, uncreative and unprogressive in relation to TINKER TAILOR where all customisation options existed on top of products with a distinct creative identity.
My co-design brand concept is about specifically engaging the Innovative Youth Consumer; a market motivated by self expression who would be most receptive to co-design, yet do not have the economic resources to engage with existing co-design brands. Graduate designers, readily available due to the saturated nature of the industry, would provide an accessible yet highly-skilled creative and boundary-pushing co-design team, perfectly suited to fulfilling the wants and needs of the consumer market, which the majority would consider themselves located within.
7003 Research Output: Graduate Designers ‘Identities, Prospects, Opinions’.
This research output assimilates,, synthesises and reflects on my research into graduate designers this term. It consists of Visual Research on the diverse innovative creative identities this cohort offers, alongside a Primary Research Infographic questioning under/ Graduate and employed designers on their future prospects and experience of the industry as well as their opinions on my FMP co-design brand concept.