explore [ik-splawr] : TO look into closely; TO examine, to scrutinize

How Karinna thinks, investigates and solve things:

Published academic Research Projects

Fashion Social Media

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Social media has radically altered marketing’s ecology of influence. Moreover, through the rise of visual social media platforms in recent years, marketers are facing new challenges. Adopting an exploratory approach, this study combines interviews and content analysis to explore the managerial perspectives to brand storytelling through the visual content site Pinterest and to assess its potential as a strategic marketing communications tool.


Fashion Buying and Merchandising

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Fashion buyers and merchandisers play a vital role in the development and commercial success of a fashion organisation (Omar 1999, Jackson and Shaw 2001, Goworek, 2007, Berman and Evans 2012). They influence the majority of the marketing mix elements and are essential profit generators for retail businesses (Varley, 2014).  Yet despite this acknowledgement of value, there is a dearth of empirical research which explores this value creating aspect of a business. In-depth qualitative interviews with both buyers and merchandisers identified six key drivers of change which have had an impact on the product management function.  The results highlight that the main critical success factor is a partnership/collaborative approach to the buying and merchandising process. 


Third Space

The concept of third space (or place) has become evident within the retail sector and particularly within the luxury fashion market.  Third Space is this context is considered as space within a store whose function is not for selling the core product of the brand i.e. a cafe or gallery.  This is linked to the trend of experiential retail where engineering the customer experience is of prime importance.  The research adopted a qualitative exploratory approach with industry interviews and consumer focus groups undertaken in a selection of key fashion capitals.  This paper concludes by identifying four main types of third space and two characteristics which typify it.  Three functions of third space are considered and areas for future research are identified.


Third space elements can also be found at the high street and mid market level.  Urban Outfitters are a fashion brand who have experimented with this notion consistently as a key part of their brand strategy.  Using  the Space 98 concept which they opened in Williamsburg in 2014 as a case study and applying  Foucaut's  (1967) notion of Heterotopia.  For this research, multiple  store observations, interviews with staff,  the architect and exit interviews with consumers were utilised to explore how effective or useful the notion of third space was. 


Retail Format Evolution

Since the concept of the flagship store format was first introduced to retailing in the 1970s, both its form and function have evolved considerably. This paper defines the concept in terms of its key characteristics, and outlines its evolution within a luxury context. Research was undertaken qualitatively due to the theory building nature of the subject area. This took the form of non participant store observations and in‐depth interviews with brand representatives within seven major fashion capitals. The research identifies six essential elements of the luxury flagship store format.


Another retail format which has evolved considerably since its inception in 2004 is the pop up store. Although recently  criticized for being ubiquitous, in a difficult economic climate, pop ups can regenerate falling occupancy levels. The most recent incarnation of the fashion pop up store has been online, and digital pop up stores have been trialled with mixed success. This  qualitative study looks at the application of offline characteristics to online pop ups and provides context and examples on the phenomenon.


Vintage Fashion

This is an exploratory study which defines vintage fashion, considers the vintage fashion consumer and evaluates the positioning of the vintage retail store from the perspective of the store proprietor/manager.  The research involved 15 in-depth interviews with vintage fashion retailers. It is proposed that vintage fashion retailers position and differentiate themselves by their uniqueness; a competitive advantage gained through the knowledge and skills of the owner/manager.  The results of this study provide the basis for future research development in terms of the vintage consumer and consumer behaviour. The development of the vintage concept reveals a paucity of theoretical and empirical research studies.