Towards a conceptual model for the apparel industry in Thailand focused on domestic fashion origination
This thesis has several strands relating to the future prospects of the Thai fashion industry, which has undergone recent instability in the context of the global fashion system. They presuppose a reorientation and/or development of the domestic economy and culture of consumption of Thailand to favour innovation, originality and personal identity. The thesis will present an argument based upon the creation of conceptual models derived in part from existing models and theories, from literature surveys and empirical studies. A new framework to conceptualise the fashion process in Thailand called, the Thai Fashion Process Model is presented. Through the process of the comparative studies, the fashion process in the West is set against that which exists in Thailand. The Western fashion process model integrates much previous research about the fashion process, fills important gaps that the symbolic interactionist theory of fashion omits, and makes a number of new predictions about the translation of social trends into specific lifestyles and individual differences within the commodification process. The model purposes two important fashion forces: the differentiating force and the socialising force. These operate at different levels (macro and micro) and through different fashion practitioners. The empirical studies gathered data tor analysis through interview and questionnaire surveys at the micro-level in both the UK and Thailand within the context of the conceptual framework. Additional data tor analysis was also gathered relative to the macro-level. The studies provide excellent support for the reconceptualisation and, in particular, suggest that individual psychological factors might be given a new prominence in the overall fashion process and the way in which new fashions emerge. The new Thai Fashion Process Model presents a different direction in the fashion change sequence, which implies a reorientation of the industry towards a high priority in domestic fashion origination and innovation. The socio-cultural economic changes require a refocusing towards individual or segmented consumers' motivation, needs, and desires as opposed to the conformity that exists in contemporary Thai society in its domestic consumption.