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Communicating identities: New Zealand fashion designers and creative exports

This thesis investigates how New Zealand fashion designers construct and communicate a unique and fluid identity. There are two main focuses of the research. The first is how New Zealand fashion designers build and maintain a unique brand identity in the New Zealand market. This includes an in-depth analysis of the public relations and communication strategies both emerging and established fashion designers use. The second focus is how New Zealand designers communicate their brand identity to export markets. This includes an examination of how the New Zealand national identity has an effect on the communication of their identity in international markets. This research is important as there is little scholarly research on the creative industries in New Zealand, and none on the New Zealand designer fashion industry. Therefore, this research study has been developed to advance literature in this area and provide a basis for further research. While this research study will focus on the New Zealand designer fashion industry, it is hoped that the research will be applicable to other creative industries in New Zealand. A key element of this research is to use the in-depth analysis of the designer fashion industry to provide recommendations on identity management for the New Zealand designer fashion industry and creative industries. Ultimately, this research provides these industries with a practical guide to create and communicate a unique identity in both domestic and export markets. A collective case study method is used to collate the data and is analysed through an interpretive framework. The New Zealand fashion designers that comprise the case studies are Annah Stretton, Robyn Brooks, Jo Robertson, and Cyb le Wiren. Key conclusions are that organisations in the creative industries need to put together an in-depth communications plan as early as possible in their business. This should focus on the creation and communication of a unique and fluid identity in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors and allow them to actively respond to their environment. Industry bodies and New Zealand Trade Enterprise play a key role in the development and export of creative organisations. These organisations need to develop better resources and support systems for the creative industries in order for them to reach their maximum potential.
Type of thesis
Beattie, O. L. E. (2009). Communicating identities: New Zealand fashion designers and creative exports (Thesis). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2786
The University of Waikato
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