Background Note | HBS Case Collection | July 2014 (Revised November 2014)

The Structure and Functioning of the Fashion Industry

by Mukti Khaire and Hannah Catzen


Fashion is the quintessential social-consumption good; all consumers comply with or react to fashion. Although very few consumers actually control trends, virtually every consumer is affected by fashion and contributes to it by adopting or rejecting popular styles. A number of market players are involved in the process of fashion creation and consumer engagement. The objective of this note is to describe the process by which clothing becomes fashion and illustrate the roles and functions of the relevant actors in the process. This note provides background information for "Moda Operandi: A New Style of Fashion Retail", HBP# 812-040.

Keywords: fashion and creative industries; fashion; retail; Fashion Industry; Creativity; Supply and Industry; Fashion Industry; Retail Industry;


Khaire, Mukti, and Hannah Catzen. "The Structure and Functioning of the Fashion Industry." Harvard Business School Background Note 815-028, July 2014. (Revised November 2014.)