Call for Contributions: Special Issue on ‘Independents’

The Independents

Can thousands of independent ateliers across Europe make an impact on the fashion industry?

Guest editors

  • Maria Adele Cipolla
  • Frédérique Thureau
  • Wouter de Roy van Zuidewijn

Editorial Board (to be confirmed):

  • Advisory Board: Rita Britton, Veerle Luiting
  • TCBL Advisors: Rosalba Romano (Sartoria Sociale), Daniela Zavec Pavlinic (Titera), Antoniou Sotiris (Athens Traders’ Association), Corrado de Castro (Cleviria), Evridiki Papachristou (TUCrete), Maurizio Catalano, Eugenie Naber (PatternMade4You), Lorenzo Guarducci (Fondo Santo Stefano)
  • TCBL Enterprises: Caterina Ailiesei (Katty Fashion), Simona La Torre, David Morrish (Kinglfy), Sakina M’sa, Annabel Keyweg, Paul Delaporte (La Touch Française), Tatjana Kalamar
  • TCBL Labs: Luca Leonardi, Arianna Moroder (Lottozero), Ruth Farrell, Paolo Paoletti
  • TCBL Partners: Kerstin Junge (Tavistock), Enrico Ferro (ISMB)

Independent designers and producers are opening shop in increasing numbers across Europe. Their small ateliers, run by young graduates from fashion schools, alone or in small groups, often struggle to survive in a fashion world that seems to ignore them: design tools aspire to be bought by big brands, fabrics are only available at a decent price in large lots, price competition is fierce, and the market seems to not take them seriously.

On the other hand, they tend to be more in tune with emerging social trends that are looking for personalised, sustainable and ethical clothing. As a collective force, they thus represent a huge potential to leverage a radical transformation of the world of fashion.

This special issue of the TCBL_zine aims to highlight some exemplary cases as well as identify ways to empower independent designers to have a greater impact. Topics can thus include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cases of successful independent designers following sustainable and ethical business models
  • Frugal tools for digital fashion – especially body scanning and pattern management – and their potential for new working methods
  • New business processes suitable for independents, with a special emphasis on innovations in the organisation of the laboratory workflow
  • Accessible e-commerce platforms that can give visibility to independents, as well as logistics platforms made for micro firms
  • Networks, associations, and groups of independent designers offering support and innovation services

Contributions can be of three types (we particularly welcome articles from TCBL Associates of all types):

  • journalistic work (blog posts, opinion pieces, trend updates, etc.)
  • case studies (profiles or stories of exemplary businesses)
  • academic or theoretical work (8-10 page research articles, 3-5 page reports on work in progress)

Preliminary submissions will need to be received by 12 May, 2017. Peer reviews and feedback will be provided by 26 May in order for final submissions for publication to be submitted by 9 June, 2017.

This special issue of the TCBL_zine will be presented at the #TCBL_2017 event in Athens, Greece on 20-21 June, 2017.

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