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Fashion IP: From start-up to catwalk: A Four City Investigation

About this project
Angela McRobbie

Carolina Bandinelli

Daniel Strutt

Tania Phipps-Rufus

Bettina Springer

Lead investigator(s):
Prof Angela McRobbie
– Ms Carolina Bandinelli
– Dr Daniel Strutt
Ms Tania Phipps-Rufus
– Dr Bettina Springer

Start Date: 1st October 2013
End Date: 31st October 2015


This project sought to understand how questions of Intellectual Property impacts on the professional practices of designers and design teams across the spectrum from small graduate led start-ups, to medium-sized designer outlets and also to a handful of retailers in four cities, London, Berlin, Paris and Milan.

Project outputs include:

The related New Funds project ‘Career pathways and IP issues (London, Berlin and Milan)’ looked at young people’s working lives and experience of ‘creative labour’ in fashion. There were two inter-related research questions. First, what impact has the growth of digital commerce and online sales in the fashion sector had for developing new forms of ‘fashion-technology’ job creation,especially for young people, in the context of European-wide economic recession? And second, how does this new e-commercial sphere impact on the design rights and protection of copyright and IP for both the large companies and for small ‘independents’ or micro-fashion designers? The project team looked at working conditions, social relations, and the protection of originality, and IP as an embedded aspect of fashion and fashion-related design practice and attempted to establish how digital and online fashion impacts on questions of copyright and IP. 

Project outputs include: