We study if and how fashion values, such as beautification, desirability through symbolic interaction, and high variation, are increasingly visible in mobile phone design. We unpack such possible inter-linkages by interviewing eight representatives of both industries. Their comments allow us to discuss whether a process of fashionalization is underway and, if so, how it is taking place. Our findings indicate that fashion values are visible in the design of mobile phones and are accounted for in design. Fashionalization can thus be seen as emanating from institutions related to clothing that extend to and become shared with the mobile industry, such as a shared dependency on trend agencies for color selection and joint events. This interaction, ad hoc and heterogeneous, resists being modeled as a “system,” which has been suggested as a way to explain institutional work within clothing fashion. Drawing on Barbara Czarniawska’s institutional theory, we propose conceptualizing the emerging institutional work in terms of “action nets.” This concept makes visible flexible, situated, and ad hoc activities rather than stable and fixed organizational entities.
Zhang, Y., and Juhlin, O.
Published in: 
Fashion Practice: The Journal of Design, Creative Process & the Fashion Industry, Vol. 8, Issue 1, 2016, pp.63-84.
Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 14:15