A conceptual model of the fashion process- part 2 : an empirical investigation of the micro-subjective level
This paper presents two separate empirical investigations of a new conceptual model of fashion – the “fashion transformation process model” presented in part 1 (this issue). One important strand of that model is the role played by individual wearers in the transformation of fashion. This level is defined as the micro-subjective level. There are two important forces that operate at this level – known as the “differentiating” and “socialising” forces. In the first study, 300 people were given questionnaires that considered a whole variety of fashion aspects, and also included a tool to distinguish between four types of consumers: fashion innovators, early fashion adopters, fashion followers and laggards. The results clearly confirmed these classifications and, importantly, confirmed the dominance of the differentiating force on fashion choices for “innovators”, and the socialising force for “followers” and “laggards”.The second study, involving interviewing 40 females, was concerned to investigate how new fashions might be adopted. The innovators were, again, shown to be motivated by quite different forces to fashion followers, in the choices they made. The study confirms an important aspect of the new conceptual model – the micro-subjective level forces. The dynamic role played by the individual also shows why fashion has to be continuously innovative and what forces operate to ensure primary markets respond to the majority of wearers.