Fashion is one of the essential arts of civilization. It reflects the great cultures of the past, illustrating the characteristics of individual societies over the centuries, similar to paintings and sculptures. Furthermore, it is claimed to be a more accurate barometer than the other visual arts since it affects everyone and not solely a specific section of the population: it represents a personal expression of life at a given point in time and place (Yarwood, 1992). Basically, fashion in today's modern world is everywhere, with the help of globalization nonetheless. However, the problem with this is that world of fashion has witnessed a dramatic shift in the way in which fashion styles are determined away from an intrinsic interaction between fashion and the regional environmental factors towards the dominance by global fashion capitalism. Fashion is now being considered more of a retail material rather than a medium on which artists can express their artistic ideas to the fullest. According to Azuma and Fernie (2003), classic authoritarianism in the closed society of high fashion, coupled with its psychological and physical distance from its general audience, has decreased its impact on mass fashion in society as a whole. Furthermore, the high fashion community has been institutionalized into global fashion capitalism, which makes it difficult for designers to express their inspirations free from the eyes of the investors and shareholders of the fashion houses. It is claimed that fashion has lost its intrinsic side and has become more of a crafting thing, than an art. Because of the decline of fashion sales over the year (Fiore et al, 2004), fashion industries have resorted to new possibilities to satisfy the demand of consumers. A new industry that has originated from this is online fashion customization. However, it is said that while online fashion customization may offer a unique kind of service to customers, it may have several traits that may affect the industry in the long run.
Mass customization is a hybrid of mass production and customization and is defined as "the mass production of individually customized goods and services (Pine, 1993, p. 48)" Mass customization may increase value for the customer through the development of differentiated, unique products and services. Some customers may be satisfied by the value offered by the customized fit or aesthetic design of the fashion product. Other customers may welcome the added value provided by the stimulating mass customization experience (Fiore et al, 2004). However, this type of fashion retailing may also some disadvantages. For instance, the fashion customization service of Levi's before and the footwear customization of Custom Foot Corporation all have failed to produce any progressive results (Fiore et al, 2004). Furthermore, the impact that it may bring to customer behavior towards fashion is still unexplored. This study will specifically explore this issue.
The study will explore the following research questions:
Ø How do customers perceive online fashion customization?
Ø Do customers who have experienced online fashion customization prefer it over buying pre-made products?
Ø Do customers have positive view on online customization of fashion products?
The main aim of the study is to explore the impact of mass customization of fashion to consumer behavior towards fashion shopping. The following will be the objectives of the study:
Ø To conduct a survey on online fashion customization customers and identify what they like about the services.
Ø To conduct a survey on typical fashion shoppers and ask about their view on online fashion customization.
Ø To analyze the results of the survey.
Ø To provide insightful conclusions and recommendations.
The research will be descriptive. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing. (Best, 1970) In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994). Survey will be conducted on online fashion shoppers through the internet. Data will be analyzed with the use of the latest SPSS software.
Azuma, N. and Fernie, J. (2003). Fashion in the Globalized World and the Role of Virtual Networks in Intrinsic Fashion Design. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management Vol. 7 No. 4; pp. 413-427
Creswell, J.W. 1994. Research design. Qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Fiore, M.N., Lee, S. and Kunz, G. (2004). Individual differences,
motivations, and willingness to use a mass customization option for fashion products. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 7, pp. 835-849
Pine, J. II (1993), Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition,
Yarwood,D. (1992), Fashion in the Western World, B.T. Batsford,
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