Fashion designers are actually not 'dictators of taste,' study finds

Most of the literature on innovation develops in the context of technology, where the degree of radical or incremental change in terms of functionality of the product can be evaluated according to objective and predictable models. In creative industries, a valuable source of competitive advantage lies in aesthetic innovation. In the world of fashion in particular, innovation is reflected in the way and the intensity with which styles change, so it is much more difficult to determine what is truly new. Consequently, over time, fashion critics have taken a key role in evaluating the quantity and quality of innovation introduced into the fashion market, since their experience allows them to evaluate the contribution of a specific designer in the context of what preceded him/her and what other stylists do. Each season, fashion critics examine the new collections that leading fashion designers present, evaluating what is authentically original versus what is simply reworked, thus playing a fundamental role as gatekeepers of taste within the market.

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