Designing success: describing a collaborative clothing design process between apprentice designers and expert design entrepreneurs
This paper describes a collaborative clothing design process applied at an incubation hub that supports and develops apprentice clothing designers who aspire to launch their own entrepreneurial ventures. A specific range, which was designed during a design process, had to be showcased at an international fashion week and then sold to consumers in a local specialty store. A case study research design was implemented to describe the collaborative design process between apprentice and expert designers. Qualitative research methods were used in this study, namely observation and semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that collective creativity resulted from the collaboration between the designers and apprentice designers who worked in teams. Collective creativity proved to be beneficial to the apprentice designers as well as the expert designers. The particular benefits of collaboration and collective creativity for apprentice designers during the specific clothing design process pertain to fluency and flexibility, whereas the benefits for expert designers were in the novelty of ideas presented by apprentice designers. Other benefits from a business perspective relate to the expectations of apprentice designers about the design process for a specific target market and the stimulation of creativity during problem-solving, which are important in a business or entrepreneurial context. Recommendations regarding the application of the design process at a creative incubation hub are provided.