Contemporary Fashion Supply Chains - Under the Control of Style Agencies?

  •  Laetitia Dari    
  •  Gilles Paché    


The contemporary approach to market driven strategy considers that the supply chains, now, must be analysed from the “customer backwards” rather than the “company outwards”. If the improvement of the degree of responsiveness to demand changes is a incontestable source of competitive advantage, it would be reductive not to underline that the companies also try to guide the demand to facilitate the planning activities along the supply chain. Studies led in social psychology insist on the capacity of manipulating individuals to make them act in a certain direction, here in terms of purchasing behaviour. The case of fashion supply chains, though considered as an archetype of demand chain management, show that style agencies’ mission is to impulse the trend that allow to create the consumer’s demand rather than to put up with erratic changes. They are only five style agencies in the world and their work is to offer a framework that will give value to the information, to analyse the consequences of change that emerge rapidly and to offer creative solutions. By spreading the trend books to the whole of the fashion industry, they provide a work base common to all supply chain actors for implementing a collective strategy of consumer demand manipulation. In this case, in a provocative way, could we not talk about offer driven view?

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