ISSN: 20517106
First published in 2014
2 issues per volume
Volume 4 Issue 1
Cover Date: April 2017
Fashion watches: The emergence of accessory makers as intermediaries in the fashion system
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Authors:  Pierre-Yves Donzé 
DOI: 10.1386/infs.4.1.69_1

fashion accessory,fashion watch,global value chains,Fossil Inc.

The objective of this article is to analyse the historical conditions of the emergence of accessory makers as intermediaries in the fashion system, with the example of the watch company Fossil Inc. More specifically, it sheds light on the twofold evolution of watchmaking (towards global value chains centred on Hong Kong) and of the fashion industries (towards the need to enlarge profits through accessorization), which has led to an increase of newcomers to these industries. This article approaches its investigation from the perspective of business history. The analysis of Fossil since 1984 is based on corporate annual reports and offers a survey of the organizational evolution of the watch and fashion industries, in order to shed light on the strategy and decision-making of this company. In the context of the discussion about the role of intermediaries in creating and legitimizing fashion, this contribution offers new evidence about understudied actors in the industry, i.e. accessory makers. It shows that firms like Fossil are not only passive suppliers of branded accessories, but also contribute to the growth of accessory sales – and consequently, to the strengthening of fashion brands.
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