Fashion generates over a trillion dollars in sales annually and has the priceless ability to beguile its customers around the world. Fashion Entrepreneurship: The Creation of the Global Fashion Business provides the first authoritative history of the global fashion industry, from its emergence to the present day, with a focus on the entrepreneurs at the nucleus of many of the world’s influential brands. It shows how successive generations of entrepreneurs built and developed their brands, democratizing access to fashion brands throughout the world.
This book analyzes the careers of the greatest fashion entrepreneurs from the nineteenth century onward, including such legendary names as Charles Worth, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Giorgio Armani. It shows how this distinct form of entrepreneurship has arisen and what lessons new entrepreneurs can learn from the past to create thriving fashion businesses in today’s rapidly changing modern world.
Filled with fascinating stories from the world of fashion, as well as detailed business analysis and practical advice for people looking to create successful brands, Fashion Entrepreneurship is an essential read for students of fashion and entrepreneurship, and anyone looking to understand, and succeed in, this most glamorous of industries.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Business of Fashion
Part I Fashion Rising
- The Birth of Fashion Entrepreneurship (1845-1895)
- Fashion, Art, and Beauty (1895-1914)
- Fashion Amid War and Depression (1914-1945)
- The Golden Age of Haute Couture (1945-1959)
- The Changing Face of the Fashion Business (1960s onward)
- Building the Fashion Firm: Entrepreneurial Capabilities for Fashion Business Success
- The Fashion Entrepreneurship Model: Dynamics Creating Sustainable Competitive Advantage
- Fashion Business Models: Entrepreneurial Drivers, Opportunities, and Challenges
Part II Fashion Diffusion
Part III Fashion Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice
Conclusion: The Dream Makers
Dr. Neri Karra is a fashion business consultant, speaker, and author. As a Professor of Practice in Strategy and an Entrepreneurship Expert at the University of Oxford, she consults for both emerging and established fashion designers and entrepreneurs, including the British Fashion Council and its designers. She has been a keynote speaker for companies including Apple and Credit Suisse and has lectured at prominent institutions such as Imperial College London, London School of Economics, the Royal College of Art, the London College of Fashion, and the Conde Nast College of Fashion. A fashion entrepreneur herself, Dr. Karra is the founder of a global multimillion dollar luxury leather goods brand,which also manufactures products for leading Italian luxury labels. She holds a PhD in Management Science from the University of Cambridge and her latest book is Fashion Entrepreneurship: The Creation of the Global Fashion Business (Routledge, 2021).
“Neri Karra brings the history of global fashion as a business alive in her enlightening book, and delivers important lessons on how to succeed for aspiring fashion designers and managers in the industry.”
Geoffrey Jones, Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Harvard Business School
“I commend Neri’s effort to explore the origins of the fashion industry through the key figures who shaped its history. Her effort is comprehensive and covers a lot of ground.”
Luca Solca, Head of Luxury Research at Bernstein
“I found the book on Fashion Entrepreneurship beautifully structured, illustrated longitudinally through time to bring out the essence of the paradoxical nature of the fashion business. On one side it is niche, for the lucky few, while on the other hand it is a global business with companies having the largest market cap in Europe and the richest person of the world deriving wealth from an industry. Neri’s analysis on this historical path dependency is very important to understand for fashion entrepreneurs as they desire for global dominance following in the footsteps of the stalwarts of the industry.”
Ashok Som, Professor of Global Strategy, ESSEC Business School
“Author Neri Karra provides an authoritative and comprehensive analysis of the emergence of global fashion entrepeneurship. The book incorporates essential information on how creative aesthetics are combined with brand strategy to produce commercial success in the context of fashion, art, and culture.”
Marnie Fogg, Author of Fashion: The Whole History