Exposure to the Fashion Industry: A Design Student Perspective

Hunt, Carole orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2702-6003 and Brewer, Gayle orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0690-4548 (2017) Exposure to the Fashion Industry: A Design Student Perspective. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education . ISSN 1754-3266

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17543266.2017.1298159


It has been argued that the fashion industry represents a ‘toxic’ environment, which increases the incidence of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders amongst both fashion models and consumers [Treasure, J. L., Wack, E. R., & Roberts, M. R. (2008). Models as a high-risk group: The health implications of a size zero culture. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 192, 243–244]. There is,however, a paucity of information investigating the experiences of designers working in the fashion industry. The present study addresses this limitation and considers the experiences of female fashion design students. Interviews were conducted with eight students and subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis. Three master themes emerged from the analysis. These were: Personal Style; Body Dissatisfaction; and Design. Two sub-themes formed the Personal Style theme: Casual and Comfortable and Covered and Protected. The Body Dissatisfaction theme contained two sub-themes: Personal Experience and Industry Exposure. The Design theme contained three sub-themes: Strength and Confidence; Differences Between Personal Style and Design; and Gender. Findings have important implications for the
recruitment, retention, and well-being of female fashion design students.

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