Emotional Engagement in Fashion Design

Mal Burkinshaw, Linda Shearer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The fashion industry has a very narrow approach to diversity of image and there is clear evidence that the industry continues to promote an unhealthy and generic view of body shape, beauty, race and age. We are entering an era where emotion and experience are increasingly important in both personal and professional development. People are looking for diversity, meaning and integrity in what they do and what they buy and are embracing individualism after a prolonged period of mass-market consumption.

The Emotional Engagement project aims to explore how specific design elements such as colour, size and style affect consumer behaviour and whether psychological issues related to identity and wellbeing can be fused into fashion to satisfy and comfort the consumer. It also aims to transform current thinking about fashion education and consumption and add a new dimension to the way in which businesses engage with their products, markets and consumers. This project is unique in placing emotional consideration at its core in seeking to examine and question the methods currently adopted throughout the fashion supply chain, particularly those that involve image, such as design and marketing. It takes an inter-disciplinary approach by bringing together areas of science, design, technology, psychology and business. Further, it aims to disseminate best practice by engaging with relevant stakeholders and the wider community and takes an inclusive approach.

It is the responsibility of fashion educators to develop in our future fashion designers and influencers, the importance of developing emotional consideration to consumers. The research will ultimately underpin and inform how we educate students to become more aware of the emotional impact of their design messaging and will develop, through creative and exciting educational methods, a sustainable approach to emotional engagement in fashion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring the Critical Issues of Beauty
EditorsGabrielle Simpson
Place of Publicationebook
PublisherThe Inter-Disciplinary Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-84888-110-5
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Emotional engagement
  • diversity
  • considerate design
  • beauty
  • identity
  • fashion size

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