Fashion Inspired Model. Advanced organizational model and new knowledge-based goods

Modelo de inspiração de moda. Modelo organizacional avançado e novos bens baseados no conhecimento

Sbordone, M. Ranzo, P.

Unicampania - Università degli Studi della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli"
Unicampania - Università degli Studi della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli"

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ABSTRACT: The design process in the creation of goods in the fashion sector is born in environments in which the relational dynamic has been created for developing in terms of networks among the different  stakeholders of the production, training and distribution system. The social and cultural impact of the commodity-goods, at the center of a system of relationships promoted by ICT, introduces new organizational models in all phases of value creation processes.

The fashion system acts on the new design oriented processes aiming at the realization of experiences that can be continuously updated with reference to knowledge-based goods. The model to be adopted starts from the need to share expectations and desires and corresponds to a system of relationships that results in a "decentralized model of production, distribution and consumption".

The goods are the expression of the commitment of the individual, it needs to develop 'profitable' local production conditions; capabilities are identified, opportunities are made to transform into new forms of commitment and thanks to the creation and availability of new methods of production systems, they deploy their value through the "cognitive chain" (Rullani 2004) in multifunctional networks.

The manufacturing, training and research structure in the fashion productive territories of southern Italy, particularly in the Campania region, is configured as a hypothetical 'area-system' where an aggregative logic is established that favors dialogue and cooperation among the actors. The local advanced organizational model focuses on the availability of specific and distinguishable resources, aware of the fact that it facilitates the creation of innovative activities that, if integrated into production systems, would avoid cost competition.

The centrality of the interaction among the production, training and research systems are essential to introduce knowledge-based innovation, through investigation, analysis and listening the goal is to relaunch local production or imagine new productions increasingly performing, the interaction is translated into a clear process of identification of capabilities.

KEYWORDS: decentralized model, capabilities, cognitive supply chain, knowledge-based goods.

RESUMO: O processo de design na criação de bens no setor de moda nasce em ambientes em que a dinâmica relacional foi criada para o desenvolvimento em termos de redes entre os diferentes stakeholders do sistema de produção, treinamento e distribuição. O impacto social e cultural das mercadorias-mercadorias, no centro de um sistema de relacionamentos promovido pelas TIC, introduz novos modelos organizacionais em todas as fases dos processos de criação de valor.
O sistema de moda atua nos novos processos orientados ao design visando a realização de experiências que possam ser atualizadas continuamente com referência a bens baseados no conhecimento. O modelo a ser adotado parte da necessidade de compartilhar expectativas e desejos e corresponde a um sistema de relacionamentos que resulta em um "modelo descentralizado de produção, distribuição e consumo".

Os bens são a expressão do compromisso do indivíduo, ele precisa desenvolver condições de produção locais 'rentáveis'; capacidades são identificadas, oportunidades são feitas para se transformar em novas formas de comprometimento e graças à criação e disponibilidade de novos métodos de sistemas de produção, eles empregam seu valor através da "cadeia cognitiva" (Rullani 2004) em redes multifuncionais.

A estrutura de manufatura, treinamento e pesquisa nos territórios produtivos da moda do sul da Itália, particularmente na região da Campânia, configura-se como um hipotético 'sistema de áreas' onde se estabelece uma lógica agregativa que favorece o diálogo e a cooperação entre os atores. O modelo organizacional avançado local foca na disponibilidade de recursos específicos e distinguíveis, ciente do fato de que facilita a criação de atividades inovadoras que, se integradas aos sistemas de produção, evitariam a competição de custos.

A centralidade da interação entre os sistemas de produção, treinamento e pesquisa é essencial para introduzir inovação baseada no conhecimento, através da investigação, análise e escuta. O objetivo é relançar a produção local ou imaginar novas produções cada vez mais atuando, a interação é traduzida em um processo claro de identificação de capacidades.
PALAVRAS-CHAVE: modelo descentralizado, capacidades, cadeia de suprimentos cognitiva, bens baseados no conhecimento.

1. Introduction

The present contribution intends to develop the reflection on the capacity of the Fashion system to configure an evolved organizational model in terms of production and consumption, in relation to the new processes of creation-values ​​through the configuration of goods, services and experiences. The guideline of design driven innovation, referring to the ability to intercept and integrate new knowledge, transforms contextual and peripheral knowledge into intangible resources with a high degree of accessibility and intensity of propagation, thanks to the mechanisms of sharing and in line with the "Knowledge economy" (Rullani, 2008).

The productive field of Fashion and Design is defined in the various European, national and regional development programs (for example the RIS3 Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialization), with “high growth potential”, with characteristics of economic diversification that can be implemented in an Emerging Markets perspective, which forsees new market positioning thanks to the enhancement of local production, where the content in terms of knowledge prevails in goods. This assumption is based on the idea that fashion represents a relevant sector, with real opportunities for economic development at the international level, especially if it is fueled with goods that interact directly with the constumers.

The perspective encouraged by design-driven innovation that requires differentiated specialized skills, generates and offers new highly qualified employment, addressing to economic and social challenges. Furthermore, the Fashion sector plays the role of theoretical and practical cornerstone for the development of knowledge-based industries; it stimulates innovation processes that affect the traditional activities of the value creation process, offering new contents and new production models.

The challenge to be taken up concerns the growing interdependence between the productive specificities of the territories and the global dimension that requires a strengthening of the productive sector. The approach to be adopted favours the integration of the knowledge and applied research in productions, in opposition to the traditionally followed sectorial practice which tends to isolation with consequent system stagnation.


1.1. Evidence of Tacit knowledge and capabilities

New forms of society and solidarity are favored and spread by and through the network, the metaphor of the 'social body', in vogue among sociologists, expands through the networking that constitutes the real engine for social innovation. The social economy or well-being is the result of "social change", which aims at the enhancement of human capital, through the satisfaction of the "human beings".

In the logic of the welfare economy, born from the social construction of change, the development that comes from below produces resources that are not pre-constituted and predetermined, but derive from dynamics that are produced locally. Local communities regain strength by recovering their own values ​​to guide the transformation, consolidating themselves in communities of "sense" by favoring the rise of "capabilities". The latter are the result of individual commitment reinforced by the knowledge in turn supported by training, by continuous experimentation within collective learning in territorial laboratories and digital networks.

The introduced capabilities in the productive sector guarantee the realization of the so-called "dynamic competitive advantages”; in fact, they are the core around which local actors experiment innovative formulas for the continuous transformation of the contexts. Through the availability of knowledge and skills, accompanied by a perspective view, we learn and develop projects; the aim is to produce solutions to relevant common problems with achievable results, because they are recognized as such and adapted to the level of local action skills and strengthened in the development process. We highlight the need to organize an integrated public-private supply chain in a perspective of complementarity and subsidiarity, in which public levels accompany (integrating local competences and capabilities) local development projects.

The development of local integrated supply chains marks the watershed with the previous economic model and is grafted onto the current model of "hyper-complexity" (Rullani 2003): human needs represent "agents, beneficiaries and contractors of progress, but it also happens that they are directly or indirectly the main means of each production ". The evolution of the concept of resource in 'capability' substantiates the development of social economic thought centered on the vision of human life in terms of "functionings" and refers to the level of quality of life for the purpose of assessing the ability of the individual to express the own insight. The "functionings" are defined as the combiation of states of mind determined by the satisfaction of basic needs, which are joined by the wish to reach latent needs levels (latent needs) that transcend on desires (wants).

Increasing, creating profit from the availability of goods, services and experiences, requires a process of gradual satisfaction of needs, recognition of expectations and desires. Conversely, the awareness of limits and possibilities, the assumption of the unpredictable, the continuous adaptation, the facilitated access to the creation of value, is based on processes oriented to the principle of reciprocity that is established between local productive networks and in parallel. expansion into intangible networks.


1.2. Innovation processes

The processes of innovation in the fashion sector have a strong accent of immateriality, in fact, the new developments are not only of a technological nature, but those concerning intangible contents play a fundamental role: the enrichment of the narrative, the meaning and the value that is implemented through design, the reorganization of processes and work commitment, marketing and branding. The configuration of a system of relationships involves the presence of production, training and research players, gathered according to an aggregative logic that follows the rules of networking. The Italian University has long been investing in research and training in the typical exellence sectors of Made in Italy: degree courses at various levels dedicated to design and fashion, in synergy with research centers and companies, help to create the conditions for what Richard Florida defines as the "creative ecosystem".

Florida confirms the central role that Stanford University and MIT have played in the development of Silicon Valley and in the wider production area of ​​Boston: universities, companies and youth creativity are fundamental for any type of major innovation. The key to the economic development of the new industrial systems lies, in fact, in the design of ever more effective mechanisms for transferring University production in terms of applied research and human capital to the territories in which it settles.

Richard Florida has always stressed the importanceof the presence of the University and the close links between development and intellectual capital in productive territories, to measure, through the brain, gain/brain relationship, the capacity of a given territory to retain researchers and talents who are educated there. The relationship between this capacity and the competitiveness of these contexts is direct; It is clear, in fact, that one of the most important capitals to implement is human capital, at the base of the contemporary knowledge-based economy. The aims is to aggregate universities, businesses and institutions, in a sort of "productive ecosystem driven by research and innovation".

The aggregative logic provides specific skills for the realization of multidisciplinary interactions and comparisons in terms of operational development strategies that dialogue with specific clusters. In the perspective of the "productive ecosystem driven by research and innovation", a type of aggregation is required that works according to the rules of the Network, in which the training and scientific skills and the network of national and international relations converge.


2. Advanced territorial organization model

The "advanced organizational model", a consequence of the "productive ecosystem driven by research and innovation", foresees a task of public-private subjects that jointly assume the role of drivers of innovation in their own sectors, both at the level of training and research, both production and technology.

The general objective reflects the need to give form and structure to an ecosystem of qualified human resources, research centers, universities, companies, in order to create a "cooperative model". This Model, conceived as an intangible factory dedicated to high education, interdisciplinary research and the transfer of know-how in the heart of the productive system, represents a network of the specialised area in Fashion.

The economic intelligence of the system manifests itself through the ability to make profitable information to social, cultural and economic actors, through the set of actions put in place to coordinate research, processing and distribution. Moreover, the Technology Transfer (TT) process takes on a key role within local networks, in fact, its implementation allows to concentrate and use resources effectively supporting the match between generators of innovative ideas and possible beneficiaries.


Fig. 1 – Graph of the advanced territorial system with the visualization of the connections among the areas of the various systems; training, research, production and consumption.


Fig. 2-3-4-5 – The graphs respectively represent the intensity of the relational dynamics among the systems in the different phases of value creation; in the 1st the knowledge, in the 2nd the fashion oriented project, in the third the production, in the 4th the role of the consumer.


2.1 2.1 Case Study. The systemic perspective of the production of Fashion in Campania

The productive, educational and research structure for fashion in Campania region (south of Italy) is configured as a hypothetical 'area-system', within which an integrated territorial network among companies, training and research could be created.

The network would guarantee the conditions to implement advanced forms of collaboration for productions with a high content of knowledge, with characteristics of multisectoral diversification.

The main features of this network are determined by the combined presence of specialized supplier companies and or client companies or businesses; in Campania there are supplier companies and they continuously develop, infew cases the brandowner companies integrate specialized suppliers and customers (Cesare Attolini, Kiton, Barba, etc.). The accompaniment towards the organizational formula of the territorial “area-system” would allow to structure extended forms of partnership among companies, institutions, universities and training; in this case the evolutionary process of the economy and society towards a system called "novateur" (Garofoli, 2006) of territorial strategic alliance would be stimulated.

In a schematic way the territorial productive structure of Campania is as follows:

1. Clusters of specialized SMEs competing with static competitive advantages risking to allocate in the so-called “low road to development” (Pyke, Sengerberger, 1992), due to the low propensity to establish inclusive dynamics.

Accompanying measures need to be put in place to make the system move towards its natural evolution;

2. Configuration of the System-Area and training and technological poles, the challenge is to accompany the system so that there are dynamic competitive advantages. Thanks to the continuous introduction of specific resources and new skills that would derive from high education and research, the so-called “high road to development” is pursued (Pyke, Sengerberger, 1992), since it is aimed at orienting the areas towards technological, social and cultural innovation.

The advanced local organizational model focuses on the availability of specific and distinguishable resources, aware of the fact that it facilitates the realization of innovative and quality activities which, if integrated into production systems, would avoid competition on costs with all the implications of the case. The centrality of the interaction among production, training and research is essential to introduce knowledge-based innovation.


Fig. 6 – Area-System graph with visualization of the relational tissue created thanks to interactions between ecosystems. 


2.2. General objectives analysis and development of strategic guidelines

The above description shows the reality of the Campania fashion system in its quality but also in its numerous fragilities. A system that has withstood the crisis by increasing its specialization, focusing on the cultural and creative nature of fashion, but which requires an articulated policy for the enhancement of the pre-existing structures and cultural “deposits”, in favor of the existing qualified human resources in the region, and for greater competitiveness linked to technology and environmental and social sustainability.

Industry 4.0 must represent the horizon, in a sustainable key, of the fashion industry: a creative ecosystem, advanced production made of territories, values, highly integrated and conscious know-how in the framework of the global economy. Therefore the general objective is to improve the capacity of public and private operators and stakeholders, in the understanding and enhancement of the fashion-oriented supply chain, strengthening its innovative elements and developing its creative and scientific ecosystem also at international level.

The general objective includes the following specific objectives which can be summarized as follows:

1. Enhancement of cultural deposits in the regional fashion supply chain.

The aim is to allow an adequate investigation of the existing productive realities on the territory, aimed at the correct identification of strategic actions for their valorisation, through the construction of a territorial mapping.

For this purpose, Brands, companies and historical sites, archival and documentary heritage will be surveyed, with a view to enhancing existing realities and identifying strategic lines of action to improve regional governance in this area.

2. Definition and implementation of the territorial map of the fashion supply chains.

As part of this activity, the aim is to create a territorial map relating to the existing productive realities, which can support the operators responsible for promoting the creation of interconnected production networks with a view to internationalization. To do this, it will be necessary to map and categorize companies operating in the regional fashion supply chain based on specific company characteristics (eg.: size, age, legal form, etc.), ownership structures and governance models. The research also intends to reach a distinction between family and non-family businesses in order to detect the incidence of the family nature and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of this category of business. Central is also reinterpreting the Campania territory as a local system, in which to define a value proposition for the qualification of an umbrella brand, supporting and stimulating innovation in a culture of fashion in Campania with a high creative tradition.

The competitiveness of local luxury brands and fast fashion is closely linked to the attractiveness of the territory itself. This assumption leads to a new way of thinking about local systems: the territory not simply as a "space" but as a "system" to be valued according to a dynamic vision.

3. Promotion of regional research and innovation chains in the fashion sector (sustainable product and process innovation).

For this activity we intend to provide useful elements to the public operators to strengthen the awareness of the need for innovation both in the institutional support network for SMEs and in the fashion-oriented production chain. The goal is to create a strong osmosis among the world of research (universities, public research institutes, research organizations), the business world, and the homogeneous areas of fashion-oriented supply chain, through specific actions to promote innovation by sector.

It will be possible to give rise to, mainly in SMEs, the awareness of the opportunity of a distinctive identity of the product made in Campania and then the need for investments in innovative technologies both of product, aimed at raising the material quality of production, and process , in order to improve operational efficiency, and in organizational structure, to contribute to the reduction of time-to-market.

4. Promotion and enhancement of human capital trained in the region (ecosystem innovation).

The objective is to strengthen the ability to identify and implement appropriate strategies for the permanence of excellent human capital in our region; through the identification of strategies for the enhancement and implementation of the creative and scientific ecosystem of the fashion chain (high specialized training; promotion of innovative start-ups; enhancement of young scientific and creative talents).

5. Internationalization of fashion supply chains (strategic innovation and logistics).

The goal is to foster international exchanges between public and private operators involved in the fashion supply chain, through the identification of innovative marketing, distribution and last-generation communication strategies that focus on the mix of historical-cultural-environmental and productive components.


3. Fashion Design

One of the typical sectors that draws value from the generation of "innovative knowledge", transforming them into "new utilities", is the fashion system that sets up a veritable cognitive supply chain, based on heterodox ways of creating value. In fact, in the production of goods related to the person, the symbolic-relational component is at the top of the scale of values; the value of the commodity is incorporated in a hybrid system of relations among almost completely "de-differentiated", productive-economic, symbolic-aesthetic, creative-communicative systems. Fashion proposes relational goods, in advance of other productive realities, having, for a long time, abandoned the traditional approach at the basis of the paradigm of modernity that founds external relations to companies exclusively on the exchange of material goods.

Extending its own perspective, for having incorporated symbolic values ​​into its productive activities, Fashion is at the center of the configuration of complex cognitive and productive networks. The ecosystemic self-organization overturns the interpretative logic of the guiding processes according to the consultative dynamics of dialogue and listening among the different stakeholders. It is a question of decoding the "new utilities" that emerge from the review of the contents and values ​​assumed by mass production. If, any object whether it is tangible or intangible, has its own process of value creation, the risk of many companies is not to enhance some crucial elements in the process of attributing meanings and when they do not emerge, they do not define them (Verganti, 2009).

The new meanings are possible by combining operational practices, ideas and cutting-edge technologies in a relational network; mirror of the ecosystem of self-organized processes that are not integrated into the tools, but rather managed and developed by the people present in the various systems, thanks to the transition from the 'resource-based view' economies to the 'capability-based approach'. It is a form of relational knowledge, not codified but designed and promoted by specialists, spread and shared by the entire system of stakeholders. The necessary condition for innovation is in the relational model; it is decentralized due to the configuration of production units, the spread of services, the distribution over several territories according to the availability of operational groups of activities.


Fig. 7 – Phases of the design driven process and the value creation process in the fashion system supply chain.

The operating practices activate heterodirect projects linked to the scenario in which there are forecasts, "innovative knowledge", "peripheral knowledge" (sensitivity, affection, etc.) that close the circle by combining and recombining according to the purposes. The decentralized model of fashion is characterized by the constant acquisition of "innovative knowledge" (Rullani 2010) that multiply creative connections, accelerating on the "new utilities" that fully enter the new value creation processes. Training, industry, craftsmanship are at the center of a debate that strategically examines the configuration of relational activities; sharing, cooperation, peer-to-peer interactions, networking, as an indispensable process to satisfy the demand for productions where the 'innovative knowledge' (Rullani 2010) is the requirement that is reflected on the whole creative, productive and distribution and recycling process.


4. Conclusion

In this way, a decentralized collaborative network is generated in implementation of the full reciprocity of the units where value is produced. The Decentralized Fashion Model also defines the strategic scenario in which the intensity and quality of the interactions among the different production systems, the cultural orientation, the forecast of future scenarios and the market and communication strategies, as well as it expresses local values in an expanded system of economic and social relations.

Moreover, thanks to the mechanisms of design driven, the role of the consumer and his behavior at the center of activities to raise awareness of the market offer, will be incorporated in the co-design process. This implies a real re-definition of the meanings, therefore of the new "utilities" and will promote orientations of the market and of the consumer in harmony, having to dialogue through the product-commodity.



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Reference According to APA Style, 5th edition:
Sbordone, M. Ranzo, P. ; (2019) Fashion Inspired Model. Advanced organizational model and new knowledge-based goods. Convergências - Revista de Investigação e Ensino das Artes , VOL XII (23) Retrieved from journal URL: