Digital technologies and the future of the Australian fashion industry

Cooper, T 2014, Digital technologies and the future of the Australian fashion industry, International Specialised Skills Institute, Melbourne, Australia


Document type: Commissioned Reports
Collection: Commissioned Reports

Title of report Digital technologies and the future of the Australian fashion industry
Author(s) Cooper, T
Year of publication 2014
Publisher International Specialised Skills Institute
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Subjects Economics, Business and Management Curriculum and Pedagogy
Abstract/Summary The key findings are summarised below. The fundamental orientation of fashion programs is heavily influenced by the culture of the country in which the program is delivered. In the UK, with a population three times that of Australia, scale allows educators in this sector to offer specialisation as a competitive point of difference, resulting in a broad array of courses often aimed at narrowly defined niches. Being largely a service economy, however, and with an abundance of high profile brands headquartered within close proximity, the eFashion programs offered in the UK are designed for use in the retail application of digital technology. In contrast, Italy's retail sector is less commercially developed and its fashion industry is design driven, guided by the artisan heritage from which it originated. The industry ethos is culturally entrenched and at odds with the concept of fast fashion. The high end luxury focus places greater emphasis on product (quality, design, branding) and one-to-one customer service. Hence, ecommerce as an emerging construct is downplayed in both a business and educational sense. The focus of content in educational programs needs to be heavily strategic in emphasis - rather than information technology (IT) based. This assumption is predicated on the inherent base level of knowledge that graduates possess in relation to technical aptitude and that other operational skills can be learned on the job. In addition, the highly dynamic nature of the technology and its application means that graduates must be adaptable. A strong strategic base and knowing how to apply these skills in rapidly changing contexts will ensure that the industry remains globally competitive. Finally, with the occupations in demand in the creative and cultural industries overwhelmingly in the digital areas and emerging opportunities in retail fashion permitting global entry for regional players, coordination of industry resources is paramount.
Commissioning body International Specialised Skills Institute, Higher Education and Skills Group, Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (Victorian Government)
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