Unfortunately, that statement is much more obvious to those working within the fashion industry than those outside of it. Remember that steely calm reprimand that Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly character gave to Anne Hathaway’s Andy Sachs’ character in The Devil Wears Prada belt scene? Never before had someone undressed a person’s underestimation of fashion’s complexity and infrastructure so succinctly by explaining the origins of a cerulean- not blue- sweater.
Fashion has an innovation agenda and can positively influence product development, organizational design and service delivery. I along with two colleaguesJohanna Blakley (Managing Director at the Norman Lear Center), and Valerie Jacobs(Vice President of Trends at LPK) have dug into this phenomenon and developed a framework where we consult non-fashion firms to think, behave and strategize much more like fashion firms. We call it Fashion Thinking. Fashion Thinking is a lens and a framework using technology, story, experimentation and open-sourcing to add meaning and value to the functional and experiential aspects of products and services.