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Wenting, Rik
Frenken, Koen
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Papers on Economics and Evolution No. 0714
Few industries are more concentrated than the global fashion industry. We analyse the geography and evolution of the ready-to-wear fashion design industry by looking at the yearly entry rates following an organizational ecology approach. In contrast to earlier studies on manufacturing industries, we find that legitimation effects are local and competition effects are global. This result points to the rapid turnover of ideas in fashion on the one hand and the global demand for fashion apparel on the other hand. We attribute the decline of Paris in the post-war period to 'institutional lock-in', which prevented a ready-to-wear cluster to emerge as vested interested of haute couture designers were threatened. An extended organizational ecology model provides empirical support for this claim.
Organizational ecology
fashion industry
creative industries
institutional lock-in
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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