Abstract: Business Fashion and Change of Business Fashion in the Danish Fashion Industry

Kristoffer Jensen


As in other highly industrialized countries, employment within the Danish clothing industry has been massively reduced since the mid-1960s. This paper focuses on two of the larger businesses within the industry: Tage Vanggaard's dressmaking factory and the slacks manufacturer Brandtex, which in each of their times had success despite this general trend. The paper analyzes the development of the two firms, having as its point of departure an evaluation of their strategies and the difficulties they encountered when the need arose for strategic change. The theoretical inspiration for the treatment of strategy and barriers to change comes particularly from Per H. Hansen and Michael E. Porter, while the special conditions pertaining to family business are treated mainly on the basis of the work of Andrea Colli and Mary B. Rose. The paper concludes that both companies got caught in what we might call a strategic paradox: Their success was the result of a willingness to maintain the same strategy for about twenty years, but the problems they encountered following these years (an inability to see the world differently) were the result of the same willingness. It is argued that a key to the understanding of the lock-in that happened should be found in the narratives that evolved inside and around the companies.