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MASTER THESIS Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory

Tilburg University Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences Master Leisure Studies Manon Klaver (967614) Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Ir. J.T. Mommaas, N. van Boom MSc MA Second assessor: Drs. P. Horsten August 2010

Preface Ever since I studied Leisure Management at INHolland University and subsequently worked at a modelling agency in the city of Amsterdam, I started to get involved in and fascinated by the fashion industry. Furthermore I started to get interested in issues like the strategic positioning of cities, city marketing and the internal dynamics within these processes. Because I wanted to learn more about these subjects, I decided to apply for the pre-Master’s programme Leisure Studies. Now, almost two years later, I am finishing my Master’s thesis. Because we were able to choose a subject for ourselves, this research strongly evolved as a ‘merger’ between my personal and scientific interests. As a result, it combines the urban regime theory as a new understanding on contemporary urban policy, to the evolvement of fashion cities and the different ways in which these cities use fashion within their strategic positioning. Special attention within this research goes to the city of Amsterdam, the city I love, which is currently struggling with the issue on how to successfully incorporate fashion within its strategic positioning. By comparing this city to the city of Antwerp, a city which already positioned itself as an international fashion city, it was possible to reveal valuable insights and provide recommendations to those involved in the strategic positioning of the cities of Antwerp and especially Amsterdam. Working on this thesis resulted in a very interesting and exciting journey ‘behind the scenes’ of the fashion industry in the cities of Amsterdam and Antwerp. Currid (2007, p. ix) correctly stated that this industry: “*...+ is far more meaningful than parties and shopping. To wrap it up in such a way is trite and dismissive of a larger phenomenon. Underneath the glamour and frivolity of art and culture are real social and economic mechanisms [...], that are responsible for thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in revenue and the very identity of a lot of places.” Although being interesting and exciting, this journey has often also been hard, complex and sometimes even frustrating. Therefore I would like to thank the people who have stimulated and supported me, while working on this thesis. First of all I would like to thank my supervisors Hans Mommaas and Nienke van Boom for the inspiration, directives, constructive feedback and accurate comments. In this context I would also like to thank Peter Horsten, my second assessor, for his constructive feedback, especially related to his specific knowledge of the cultural industries and the Amsterdam fashion industry in particular and Luc van Baest, for his comments on the methodological part of this report. Of course I also would like to thank all the respondents for the interesting and valuable interviews, without them this report would not have existed. Finally I would like to thank my friends, especially Jessey, Marijke and Tahnee for their interest and involvement and my classmate Jeanette, for the inspiring phone calls and technical support ; ). Special thanks goes to my family, my parents, brother and sister and my boyfriend, for their continuous stimulation, involvement and believe in me. Since writing this thesis has not always been easy, I would also like to thank them for their patience and understanding. Finally I would like to end this chapter by stating that I really enjoyed working on thesis in the context of fashion cities. Hopefully this will not be the end but the beginning of a successful career in the fashion industry.

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Summary Background In the contemporary complex urban environment, with the transformation from a Fordist into postFordist or ‘informational’ society and the accelerating process of globalization, cities increasingly experience competition. In this highly competitive environment, cities had to readjust themselves to the global flows of information, capital and power (Castells, 1996). In this context (Mommaas, 2009) identifies the cultural industries on the one hand as vehicles of globalization and on the other hand as local ‘place-makers’. As a result, more and more cities identify these industries as a potential driver for economic prosperity (Larner, Molly and Goodrum, 2007). One very interesting part of these industries is the fashion industry. Larner et al. (2007) identify that in the ideal situation, this industry can produce double benefit. On the one hand it can create a new basis for economic development in the context of a globalizing economy and on the other hand it enables the revaluation of local identity. Larner et al. (2007) underpin the importance of city policy in this context. However, in the contemporary society, local policymakers face a lot of complexities which ask for a more hybrid, dynamic, flexible and inclusive type of policy (Mommaas, 2009). Next to the previously described complex urban environment, local governments face additional complexities like the decentralization of responsibilities, increasing financial cutbacks from a national level and privatization of services (Stoker and Mossberger, 1994). In order to be able to deal with challenges, local governments increasingly experience the need to cooperate with other parties. This resulted in a shift towards flexible governing coalitions of public and private parties, which together are able to create a capacity to govern (Mommaas, 2009). This tendency towards purposively created governing coalitions can be coupled to the changing role of the cultural industries. Although more and more cities recognize the potential of the cultural industries, and the fashion industry being parties of these, there are differences in the way these cities use fashion in their strategic positioning. How can differences within these processes be explained? Mommaas (2009) states that in our contemporary world there are no clear-cut models. However, according to Mossberger and Stoker (2001) the American urban regime theory introduced by Stone (1989) can be identified as a new understanding about the way power works in a complex urban environment. By focussing on governing coalitions and their characteristics, it is an attempt to understand the different ways in which local governments handle the aforementioned transformations. From this perspective, the urban regime theory has been selected as an attempt to understand the differences in the ways cities use fashion in their strategic positioning and the role of local coalitions within this context. Related to this, the following research question has been formulated: To what extend is there a fit between a fashion coalition and the way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning and how can this (mis)fit be understood? Theory As already introduced in the previous section, in this research, the urban regime theory (Stone, 1989) has been used in order to provide an answer to the research question. Originally, the pluralist actorcentric paradigm and the Marxists structure-centric paradigm dominated the field of urban policy, dealing with the question: “Who governs?” (Stone, 1989, p. 6). By focussing on the strengths and eliminating the weaknesses of both approaches, the urban regime theory is called the third paradigm in urban politics, bridging the gap between the classical paradigms. Related to this, the theoretical question of “Who governs?” has been replaced by the practical questions of “Who decides urban policy?” “How do they do that?” and “What are the consequences of that?” (Stone, 1989, p.6). The urban regime theory views power as fragmented and regimes as collaborative arrangements of local Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 3

public and private actors. Although regimes represent the way in which local actors mediate external pressures, the focus of the urban regime theory is on the internal dynamics of collaboration and coalition building (Mossberger and Stoker, 2001). Not all types of public-private collaboration can simply be labelled as regimes. According to Stone (1989, p.4) a regime can be defined by the following characteristics which account for a capacity to act: composition (balance between public and private parties), their specific input and pooling of (public and private) resources, the existence of a shared agenda as agreed and acted upon by the participants, the (im)material stimuli/incentives for collaboration, the informal arrangement of the collaborations and finally the stability and sustainability of the collaborations. For this research, the concept fashion coalition has been operationalized by these regime characteristics. By placing the analysis beyond the formal question of whether a regime exists or not and focussing on the internal dynamics within fashion coalitions, it is possible to explain differences in the way cities use fashion in their strategic positioning. In this context, the positioning of cities as fashion cities can be defined as a process of collaborations between different parties and the pooling of the corresponding interests and resources, in order to employ fashion as a strategic issue. For this research the use of fashion within a city’s strategic positioning is operationalized by the following concepts: strategic agenda, organization, activities and budget. More important than the issue of causality in this research, is the extent to which a (mis)fit can be identified between fashion coalitions and the way in which cities use fashion within their strategic positioning. For the identification of a fit, it is important that the fashion coalition (regime) is represented and involved in the program concerning the use of fashion in the strategic positioning of a city and also contributes to this program. In this case the fashion regime has a capacity to act and can influence the program concerning the strategic use of fashion in a city. As a result the approach becomes more integrated and inclusive and therefore the program is more likely to succeed. This (mis)fit has been studied on the levels of the agenda, organization, activities and budget. A final point of attention is the fact that the urban regime theory has been restricted to the North-American context. Because this research focuses on European fashion cities, differences between the North-American and the European context should be taken into account. Related to this, Ward (1996) states that the European urban context could be typified as being more vertical and multi-leveled compared to the North-American situation. Tops (2004) furthermore emphasizes that in the context of urban policy, the interaction between the nation sate, the municipality and council organizations is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, it is important to take the multilevel compositions of public parties into account, when analyzing European fashion cities. As a result, the national context (national cultural policy in particular), has been included in the conceptual framework as an intervening variable. Methods The design applied to this research is a comparative, cross-sectional case study or focused comparison with N=2. This design allows for a deeper understanding of concepts and processes, in this research the role of fashion coalitions in the use of fashion in the strategic positioning of cities. For this research, the cases of Amsterdam and Antwerp have been selected as units of analysis. First the city of Amsterdam has been selected. Although being the fashion capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam cannot compete on an international level. At the moment, the city of Amsterdam is struggling with the issue on how to successfully incorporate fashion in its strategic positioning. In order to be able to provide value insights and recommendations to the city of Amsterdam, this city has been compared to a city which already positioned itself as an international fashion city. Finally the city of Antwerp has been selected as the second case for this research, because of all European fashion cities, this city is most comparable to the city of Amsterdam. However, the selection of these cases added a cross-national perspective to this research. Therefore the national context of both Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 4

cities, which has already been included as an intervening variable, needs extra attention. Finally faceto-face interviews have been conducted, as an attempt to unfold the fashion coalitions of respectively the cities of Antwerp and Amsterdam. The results of these interviews will be summarized in the next section. Results: case Antwerp Until recently Antwerp did hardly have any tradition concerning fashion. Up until the eighties Belgium was renowned for its high quality production of clothing and textile (De Voldere, Maenhout and Debruyne, 2007). However, when this industry got in crisis in the year 1970-1980, the Belgian government initiated the Textile Plan. The aim of this plan was to generate a shift from the rough textile industry, towards the more creative and innovative fashion industry. This program not only included financial support, but also initiatives which would enhance the image of Belgian fashion. Finally, this plan established a firm basis for Antwerp to become a fashion city. At the same time, the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy became famous with the breakthrough of six students in the year 1986. Supported by the Textile Plan, these six students (better known as the six of Antwerp) put Antwerp on the international map of fashion. From that moment on, Antwerp became closely identified with fashion and in particular its fashion designers. During the nineties Antwerp underwent a branding process as a fashion city. Of special important in this context was the event Mode2001, an event organized in order to strengthen and consolidate the image of Antwerp as a fashion city. For this event, touristic and creative (fashion) parties worked together and created a jointed vision or claim about Antwerp fashion. Since that time, Antwerp fashion became known for its two perspectives: the creative perspective related to fashion designers (with an avantgardistic and intellectual focus) and the touristic perspective related to branding and shopping experience. After the success of Mode2001, the collaboration was continued in the creation of a structural (tourism) policy program related to the fashion industry and the realization of the ModeNatie. The ModeNatie, a building that houses the most important representatives of the Antwerp fashion cluster, has been identified as the physical proof of the fact that Antwerp is fashion. From this point of view, Mode2001 could be identified as the starting point interrelationships and collaborations related to positioning Antwerp as a fashion city. Since these collaborations between public and private parties, based on a shared agenda, with corresponding stimuli and the pooling of resources can be characterized as being informal, stable and sustainable, it can be concluded that there is a fashion regime present in the city of Antwerp. One very important partner within this fashion regime is the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp. This actor, which also represents the strategic agenda of the city, identifies these representatives of the Antwerp fashion cluster as the experts of the Antwerp fashion industry and as a result, very important partners concerning the city´s strategic positioning in this context. Even today, these representatives are strongly involved with the strategic positioning in this context. As a result of this inclusive approach, fashion became strongly represented in the strategic agenda of Antwerp. That is why it can be concluded that there is a fit between the Antwerp fashion regime and the way in which the city of Antwerp uses fashion in its strategic positioning. Finally it should be noted that the strategic agenda of Antwerp is mainly focused on branding from a touristic point of view, but with respect for the creative perspective (especially the fashion designers). Without these designers, Antwerp would not have become an international fashion city. In this context it is striking that ever since the Textile Plan, the Antwerp designers have never been financially supported by the government. However, these circumstances have forced these designers to become more pro-active, entrepreneurial and commercially oriented. As a result, Belgian or Antwerp fashion designers are better able to compete on an international level. From this perspective, the lack of access to external financial resources can also be identified as one of the success factors behind Antwerp fashion. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 5

Results: case Amsterdam Unlike Antwerp, the city of Amsterdam lacks a rich history and tradition in the context of fashion. From the year 2002 onwards, the Netherlands started to position itself as a creative knowledge economy. The Dutch Innovation Platform for instance selected the creative industries as one of its key areas and the national government published the memorandum 'Ons Creatieve Vermogen'. These national policy measures stimulated the city of Amsterdam, being one of three heterogeneous creative super clusters of Europe, to increasingly focus on the creative industries within its strategic positioning. As a result, the city of Amsterdam decided not to focus on one specific part of these industries. However, in the year 2007-2008 a fierce discussion started in the Amsterdam fashion scene. The industry felt underrated by the Amsterdam government and expressed these feelings towards the press and politicians. After this discussion the city of Amsterdam asked the research organization TNO to investigate whether, next to the policy program for the creative industries, a specific policy program for the fashion industry was needed. Based on this report, the city of Amsterdam concluded that only a sober form of governmental intervention was needed, that would focus on the organization of the Amsterdam fashion industry in general and the support of young creative talent specifically. In this context, the city of Amsterdam installed a fashion coordinator, which would function as a coordinator, mediator and liaison within the Amsterdam fashion cluster. Related to the positioning of Amsterdam as a fashion city, the city of Amsterdam first wants to be convinced about the added value and potential of its fashion industry. In this context, the city of Amsterdam wants the representatives of its fashion cluster to internally organize and develop a claim about Amsterdam fashion. However, this will not become easy as the Amsterdam fashion cluster includes a lot of parties and initiatives, many different agenda’s and sometimes even conflicting interests. Next to the unequal division of public and private parties, the lack a shared agenda or common vision about Amsterdam fashion and the existence of conflicting interests, the pooling of resources mostly takes place on the level of projects, which results in unstable and unsustainable collaborations. Although the contacts within the Amsterdam fashion cluster are mostly informal and there is an increasing willingness to work to getter, it has to be concluded that there is no fashion regime or even coalition present in the city of Amsterdam. As a result, in the strategic positioning of the city of Amsterdam, fashion is not represented as an industry in its own right, but as a part of the creative industries. As a result, the concept of a fit might go beyond the current situation of this case. However, it has been analyzed to what extend a (mis)fit could be identified. Since the fragmented Amsterdam fashion cluster can be characterized by the representation of many different parties and initiatives, divergent agenda’s and a lack of involvement or a passive attitude of the Amsterdam City Council, the representatives of this cluster have no capacity to act. Furthermore they have minimal contribution to and are not represented in the program concerning the strategic positioning of the city of Amsterdam. As a result of this isolated approach, fashion is still marginally represented within the strategic positioning of Amsterdam, mainly as a part of the creative industries. That is why it can be concluded that there is no fit between the Amsterdam fashion cluster and the use of fashion within Amsterdam´s strategic positioning. Finally it should be noted that, unlike the passive attitude of the city of Amsterdam, Dutch fashion designers do get supported from a national level. In contrast to their Belgian colleagues, Dutch fashion designers do have access to external financial resources. The Dutch fashion landscape is known for its generous contribution of grants, especially by the Fonds BKVB. Whereas Belgian fashion designers have to position themselves as entrepreneurs in order to be able to survive, Dutch fashion designers need to position themselves as artist, in order to gain access to grants. As a result, Dutch fashion designers are not forced to become commercially oriented, self-supportive and professionalize or expand their business. From this perspective, the access to additional financial resources can also be identified as one of the constraining factors related to Amsterdam fashion. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 6

Conclusion In the previous sections, the results have been described for each case individually. In these sections, it has already been stated that in the case of Antwerp a fashion regime and a fit between this regime and the way in which Antwerp uses fashion in its strategic positioning could be identified. On the other hand, the section about Amsterdam showed that there is no fashion regime present in this city. In this case, a misfit between the fashion cluster and the way in which Amsterdam uses fashion in its strategic positioning has been identified. However, when reflecting on the concept of a (mis)fit, it can also be argued that a (negative) fit could be identified in the city of Amsterdam, based on the absence of a fashion regime and the subordinate role of fashion in its policy program. However, more important than to what extend a (mis)fit can be identified, is the question how this (mis)fit could be understood. As the previous sections illustrated, this (mis)fit could partly be understood in terms of regime characteristics. However, the national context (national cultural policy in particular) might also have an influence. Important in this context is the history of both countries related to textile and fashion industry. The Belgian government for instance created a firm basis for Antwerp to become a fashion city with the initiation of the national Textile Plan (Arnoldus, Van den Eijnden, De Groot and Nauta, 2009). Unlike the Belgian government, the Dutch government never initiated a national plan in order to save or regenerate its textile industry. From the year 2002 onwards, the Netherlands started to position itself as a creative knowledge economy. From this point of view, the difference in the position and meaning of fashion within the strategic positioning of Antwerp and Amsterdam can be understood in terms of national cultural policy. This might explain why the strategic agenda of the city of Antwerp has a strong focus on fashion, while the city of Amsterdam focuses on the creative industries in general. Another point of attention in the context of national cultural policy is the access to external financial resources, which has already been mentioned in the previous sections. From this perspective, the differences in the position and meaning of fashion within the strategic positioning of Antwerp and Amsterdam can also be understood in terms of national cultural policy; the financial support of fashion designers to be precise. This might explain why the city of Antwerp became closely identified with fashion and its successful fashion designers, whereas in the city of Amsterdam this is not (yet) the case. In this research, the urban regime theory proved to be a valuable theoretical device in understanding differences in the way in which cities use fashion within their strategic positioning. Academic research on the fashion industry in post-Fordist cities and especially the use of the urban regime theory within this context is relatively new. The cases of this research illustrated that with the presence of a fashion regime, the program concerning the use of fashion within a city´s strategic positioning becomes more inclusive, integrated and is more likely to succeed. Because this research focused on the fashion industry in post-Fordist cities, it also contributes to a better understanding about the changing role of leisure and culture in these cities. Furthermore the cross-national context of this research stressed the importance and influence of the national context, in this case national cultural policy in particular. Finally, the urban regime theory has mainly been used as an attempt to analyze the influence of governing coalitions on for instance economic (re)development of cities. However, this research showed that more important than the issue of causality, is to focus on the internal dynamics within fashion coalitions, in order to be able to provide recommendations. Based on these theoretical reflections, several recommendations have been provided in order to improve or optimize collaborations related to the use of fashion within the cities of Antwerp and especially Amsterdam, since this city is currently struggling with the issue on how to incorporate fashion within its strategic positioning.

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Table of contents Preface……………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………….. 2 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3 1. 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………….………………………. 10 Problem definition…………………………………………………….…………………..………….……………..…… 10 Central research question.................................................................................................. 12 Aim of the research........................................................................................................... 12 Relevance of the research................................................................................................. 12 For whom.......................................................................................................................... 12 Outline of the report......................................................................................................... 12

2. 2.1.

Theoretical background…………………………………………………………………………………………… The urban regime theory................................................................................................... 2.1.1 Policy paradigms.................................................................................................. 2.1.2 Regime characteristics......................................................................................... 2.1.3 European context................................................................................................. Conceptual framework..................................................................................................... 2.2.1 Schematic representation.................................................................................... 2.2.2 Explaining the conceptual framework…………………………..………………………………… Specific research questions...............................................................................................

2.2

2.3 3. 3.1 3.2 3.3

3.4 4. 4.1 4.2 4.3

13 13 13 13 14 15 15 15 17

Methodological approach……………………………………………………………….…………………….... 18 Research design…………………………..……………….………………………………….…………………….…..… 18 Selected cases……………………………………………………………………………………..………………………... 18 Methods of data gathering…………………………………………………………………………………………… 19 3.3.1 Desk research………………………………………………………………………………………………...… 19 3.3.2 Field research……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19 Analytical techniques…………………………………………………………………………….……………………... 19 Results: case Antwerp………………………………………………………………….…………………………… 20 Facts……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………... 20 History…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………... 21 The fashion coalition…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23 4.3.1 Composition………………………………………………………………………………………………….….. 23 4.3.2 (Shared) agenda of the fashion coalition………………………………….……………………... 27 4.3.3 Resources……………………………………………………..……………………………………………….…. 29 4.3.4 Stimuli/incentives……………………………………………………………………………………………... 32 4.3.5 (In)formal arrangement of the collaborations……………….………………………………... 34 4.3.6 Stable/sustainable collaborations………………………………………………………………….…. 36 4.3.7 A fashion regime in Antwerp?.............................................................................. 37

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4.4

4.5 5. 5.1 5.2 5.3

The way in which Antwerp uses fashion in its strategic positioning……………………..……….. 39 4.4.1 Strategic agenda……………………………………………………………………………………….…….. 39 4.4.2 Organization……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 42 4.4.3 Activities…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 43 4.4.4 Budget……………………………………………….…………………………………………………………….. 45 Antwerp: fit or misfit?........................................................................................................ 46

5.5

Results: case Amsterdam……………….……………….……………………………………..………………… 48 Facts……………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………….. 48 History………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………….. 49 The fashion coalition………………………………………………………………………………………….…………. 51 5.3.1 Composition…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 51 5.3.2 (Shared) agenda of the fashion coalition…….………………..…….…………………….…… 58 5.3.3 Resources…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… 60 5.3.4 Stimuli/incentives…………………………………………………………….………………………………. 63 5.3.5 (In)formal arrangement of the collaborations….…….……….………………………………. 65 5.3.6 Stable/sustainable collaborations…………………………………….……………………………... 66 5.3.7 A fashion regime in Amsterdam?......................................................................... 68 The way in which Amsterdam uses fashion in its strategic positioning…..…………...…….… 70 5.4.1 Strategic agenda…………….……………………………………………………………………………..… 70 5.4.2 Organization…………………….…………………………………………………………………………..…. 72 5.4.3 Activities………………………….……………………………………………………….………………………. 73 5.4.4 Budget…………………………………………………………………………………………….……………….. 75 Amsterdam: fit or misfit?................................................................................................... 76

6. 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4

Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………….………………………………… Recapitulation of the results in relation to the research questions and expectations.….. Methodological remarks………………………………….………………………………………….………………. Reflection on the relevance…………………………….……………………………………………..…………….. Recommendations………………………………………….…………………………………………….……………..

5.4

78 78 81 82 83

Bibliography…………………………………………………….……………………………………………………………….… 85 Appendix 1: Operationalization of central variables.………………………………………………..………... 89 Appendix 2: List of respondents……………….………………………………………………………………..…….… 91 Appendix 3: Item list………..……………………………………………………………………………………………….… 92 Appendix 4: Format of a data matrix…………………………………………………………………………………… 93 Appendix 5: Time planning………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 94

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1.

Introduction

Fundamental changes in the economy, technology and politics are reshaping the environment for cities in the contemporary society (Berg and Braun, 1999). Important developments related to this are the economic crisis which started in 1970, the adoption of neo-liberalism as a political model the stimulation of the free market perspective, the accelerating process of globalization, a shift from a demand- to a supply-led perspective and the transformation from a Fordist into a post-Fordist, or ‘informational’ society (Hesmondhalgh, 2007). This resulted in a complex and dynamic environment which can be characterized by a greater time-space compression, a more international orientation and as a consequence, increased competition between cities. In this global and highly competitive environment cities, as being places, had to readjust themselves to the global flows of information, capital and power (Castells, 1996). The cultural industries are said to be at the core of these developments. Mommaas (2009) identifies these industries on the one hand as vehicles of globalization and on the other hand as local ‘place-makers’. Since the cultural industries matched the idea of the informational society, we are observing the rise of a new, post-Fordist cultural economy (Lash and Urry, 1994). This does not mean that mass production has no place in advanced industrial countries, it rather stresses the increasing importance of the cultural industries which are related to symbolic and information-intensive outputs (Scott, 1996; 1997). In this context, more and more cities recognize the cultural industries as a potential driver for economic prosperity (Larner et al., 2007). One very interesting part of these industries is the fashion industry. Currid (2007) argues that underneath the glamour and frivolity of fashion are real social and economic mechanisms, which are responsible for billions of dollars in revenue, thousands of jobs and the identity of a lot of places. 1.1 Problem definition Although policymakers have identified the fashion industry as a potential driver for economic (re)development, they have been largely ignored the complexity of the way in which this industry is organized (Caves, 2000). A great deal of this complexity can be related to the tension between the global and the local. Larner et al. (2007, p. 1) argue that the fashion industry can be identified as an opportunity for cities to: “*…+ secure a new place in the global imaginary and thus in global markets.” In this context Owen-Smith and Powell (2002) use the term global pipelines to refer to the fact that access to new knowledge is often acquired through partnerships of international reach. Related to this, Currid (2007) adds that producers in these industries gain significant competitive advantages from their co-presence in the dense transactional networks that come into being as they buy and sell from each other, hire workers and so on. On the other hand, next to the increasing importance of the global marketplace, the fashion industry is also narrowly place-bound. In this context, Scott (2001) argues that, although the fashion economy is marked by long-distance supplier relationships and recruiting activities, these relationships also feed into highly localized networks. As a result, cultural production is still predominantly occurring in spatially concentrated and tightly linked clusters. Scott (2001) argues that being a part of these clusters stimulates efficiency, innovation and creativity. Furthermore Zukin (1991) highlights the importance of local symbols and products as a potential resource for place-making and competitive advantage. Related to this, Scott (1997) stresses the recursive relations between the cultural attributes of a place and the logic of the local production system. As an example he mentions the Parisian haute couture. So, whereas capital and labour are becoming increasingly global, cities are bound to the local. Next to this global-local tension, Currid (2007, p. 161) states that the fashion industry is very hard to predict. She mentions that: “In an economy increasingly dependent on human capital, knowledge, consumption and services, Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 10

policymakers and city governments have been both a blessing and a curse in how cultural economies form and operate successfully.” The aforementioned dynamics define the ambiguous character of the fashion industry. Larner et al. (2007) identify that in the ideal situation, this industry can produce double benefit. On the one hand it can produce a new basis for economic development in the context of a globalizing economy and on the other hand it enables the revaluation of local identity. In this context they underpin the importance of city policy in this context. However, in the contemporary post-Fordist global economy, local policymakers face a lot of complexities which ask for a more hybrid, dynamic, flexible and inclusive type of policy (Mommaas, 2009). Next to the previously described complex urban environment, local governments face additional complexities like the decentralization of responsibilities, increasing financial cutbacks from a national level and privatization of services (Stoker and Mossberger, 1994). As a consequence, local governments increasingly experience the necessity of cooperation with actors beyond the public realm, in order to be able to deal with challenges (Stoker, 1995). This resulted in a shift towards flexible governing coalitions of public and private parties, which together are able to create a capacity to govern (Mommaas, 2009). So as the tasks of local governments became more complex, the word enabling emerged to describe the shift from a vertical, top-down towards a more horizontal approach. This process can be identified as a movement from government to governance, in which local governments are increasingly depending on private parties and their resources (Stoker and Mossberger, 1994). This tendency towards purposively created governing coalitions can be coupled to the changing role of the cultural industries. Although more and more cities recognize the potential of the cultural industries, and the fashion industry being parties of these, there are differences in the way these cities use fashion in their strategic positioning. The positioning of cities as fashion cities can be defined as a process of collaborations between different parties and the pooling of the corresponding interests and resources, in order to employ fashion as a strategic issue. How can differences within these processes be explained? Mommaas (2009) states that in our contemporary world which can be characterized by change, tenshions and complexity, there are no clear-cut models. However, according to Mossberger and Stoker (2001) the American urban regime theory introduced by Stone (1989) can be identified as a new understanding about the way power works in a complex urban environment. By focussing on public-private coalitions and their characteristics as the driving forces of urban politics, it is an attempt to analyze and explain the different ways in which local governments handle the transformations in the contemporary society. Stone (1989) used the word ‘coalition’ to emphasize that a regime involves bringing together various elements of the community and the different resources the control, in order to create a capacity to act and deal with external pressures. Although Stone’s urban regime theory has mainly been used to analyse economic (re)development policies of cities, the framework has proven to be valuable in other areas of urban policy as well (Mossberger and Stoker, 2001). It has for example been useful in analyzing the way in which local coalitions are dealing with the changing role of leisure and culture and the incorporation of these elements within the strategic positioning of cities (Mommaas, 2004). From this perspective, the urban regime theory could be an important theoretical device, in understanding the differences in the ways cities use fashion in their strategic positioning and the role of local coalitions within this context.

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1.2 Central research question In the context of the problem definition, the following research question has been formulated: To what extend is there a fit between a fashion coalition and the way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning and how can this (mis)fit be understood? 1.3 Aim of the research The aim of this research is to create a better understanding about the relation between fashion coalitions and the ways in which cities use fashion in their strategic positioning. 1.4 Relevance of the research From a scientific perspective, this research could enlarge the existing knowledge regarding the urban regime theory and the role of governing coalitions in post-Fordist cities. Because this research focuses on the fashion industry, it also contributes to a better understanding about the changing role of leisure and culture in these cities. In this context Roso (2005) states that the fashion industry is often not included in contemporary research on the creative industries. She states that only Scott (2000) included the fashion industry in his analyses on the cultural industries in the United States. Related to this, the use of the urban regime theory as an attempt to understand differences in the ways cities use fashion in their strategic positioning is relatively new. From a social perspective, this research could suggest recommendations to the parties involved with the use of fashion in the strategic positioning of cities. In this way, collaborations could be improved or optimized in order to resolve problems or exploit potential chances. As a result, cities should become more successful in using fashion in their strategic positioning. 1.5 For whom This thesis has been written in the context of the master Leisure Studies at the University of Tilburg. Because I have chosen a research question of my own interest, this thesis is not commissioned by a specific organization. However, the report could be a valuable resource for those involved with and committed to the strategic positioning of cities as fashion cities. Because of my personal interest in and involvement with the city of Amsterdam and its fashion industry, special attention will be paid to this city, which is currently struggling with the issue on how to successfully incorporate fashion in its strategic positioning. 1.6 Outline of the report In the following chapter, the theoretical framework of this research, including an outline of the urban regime theory, the conceptual framework and the sub-questions, will be presented. Subsequently chapter three will pay attention to the methodological approach selected in order to generate an answer to the central research question. In chapter four and five, the obtained results of the cases of respectively Antwerp and Amsterdam will be portrayed, focussing on the relation between the case's fashion coalitions (in terms of regime characteristics), the ways in which these city´s use fashion in their strategic positioning and the existence of a (mis)fit between these variables. In the final chapter of this report, a concluding answer will be formulated concerning the central research question, focused on the understanding of the relationship between this research's central variables. Furthermore the conclusion chapter contains a recapitulation of the results, a discussion which includes several methodological remarks and a critical reflection on the research process, a reflection on the scientific and social relevance of this research and finally some recommendation related to the scientific and social relevance. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 12

2.

Theoretical background

2.1

The urban regime theory

2.1.1 Policy paradigms The theory used in this research is the urban regime theory. This theory was introduced by Stone (1989), based on his study of Atlanta. Originally, the pluralist actor-centric paradigm and the Marxists structure-centric paradigm dominated the field of urban policy, dealing with the question: “Who governs?” (Stone, 1989, p. 6). Pluralists focus on local agency, trough governmental action, as determining power in urban policy (Stone in Mossberger and Stoker, 2001). Structuralists on the other hand assume that global economic forces determine policy. From this perspective private parties are portrayed as all powerful (Stoker, 1995). Mossberger and Stoker (2001) mention that in the contemporary complex urban environment the label ‘pluralist’ cannot assumed to be adequate anymore, but at the same time urban politics equally cannot be reduced to the control of the few. The urban regime theory can be identified as a a valueable alternative for pluralist actor-centric and Marxists structure-centric theories. By focussing on the strengths and eliminating the weaknesses of both approaches, the urban regime theory is called the third paradigm in urban politics, bridging the gap between the classical paradigms. This new understanding has an emphasis on ‘power to’ and the ‘social production of’ urban policy making rather than looking at ‘power over’ (Stoker and Mossberger, 1994). 2.1.2 Regime characteristics The urban regime theory views power as fragmented and regimes as collaborative arrangements of local public and private actors. Although regimes represent the way in which local actors mediate external pressures, the focus of the urban regime theory is on the internal dynamics of collaboration and coalition building (Mossberger and Stoker, 2001). As a result, this theory is an attempt to explain how, within a more fragmented, decentralized and market-oriented urban environment, publicprivate coalitions can create a capacity to act (Stone, 1989), in order to be able to deal with challenges (Stoker and Mossberger, 1994). It has for example been useful in analyzing the way in which local coalitions are dealing with the changing role of culture and creativity, as sources for economic, social, and symbolic development (Mommaas, 2004). In this context Mommaas (2009) identifies a tendency towards more hybrid forms policy, in which public and private parties are intertwined. Related to this, Mommaas (ibid., p. 510) states that urban regimes are able to: “*...+ facilitate the attraction and (re)production of local cultural capital in the midst of an expanding global cultural economy.” From this perspective, Stone (in Mosserger and Stoker, 2001) refers to urban regimes as ‘organisms’ that can build bridges outward while at the same time fostering a sense of community (Stoker and Mossberger, 1994). In this way, the urban regime theory bridges the existing duality of theories on urban politics. As a result, the theory offers a valuable framework for analyzing the contemporary urban field, with the possibility for more practical, dynamic and refined analyses. Not all types of public-private collaboration can simply be labelled as regimes. Stone (1989) formulated specific regime characteristics that can account for a certain capacity to govern. According to Stone (1989, p.4) a regime can be defined as: “An informal yet relatively stable group with access to institutional resources that enable it to have a sustained role in making governing decisions.”

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From this perspective the urban regime theory analyses cross-institutional arrangements between public and private parties for achieving public goals (Stone, 1989). It is important to note that private interests could also comprise other interests than businesses’ only, such as NGO’s, foundations, association, civil servants and research or consultancy offices (Stoker and Mossberger, 1994). An important aspect of this type of collaboration is that both public and private parties depend on each other’s specific resources. Examples are legitimacy and policy-making authority in the case of public and capital and managerial expertise in the case of private parties (Mossberger and Stoker, 2001). In order to be able to achieve public goals, these resources must mingle. Even though cooperation is an important aspect of regimes, these coalitions cannot be taken for granted and have to be achieved. Stone (in Stoker and Mosserger, 1994) emphasizes on the use of selective incentives, such as facilities, jobs and contracts, as a way of developing a common sense of purpose within regimes. Compliance, in this way, is not only based on self-interest by the appealingness of material incentives, but also touches upon altruistic motives by more immaterial and purposive-related stimuli (Stoker, 1995). Furthermore urban regimes are characterized as informal groups which are unlikely to exist in formal settings. Stone (1989, p. 4) argues that: “What makes the group informal is not a lack of institutional connections [...], but the fact that the group, as a group, brings together institutional connections by an informal mode of cooperation.” In this context, there is no overarching command structure that guides behaviour. Next to the fact that urban regimes have to be maintained and that cooperation has to be achieved, this type of coalitions is relatively stable in nature. But what gives urban regimes stability, if there is no overarching command structure? A very important aspect related to this is the fact that regimes are purposive, created and maintained in a way which facilitates action. In this sense, a regime is empowering (Stone, 1989). Related to this context stability occurs because regimes structure resources and establish continuing patterns of interaction and trust (Stone in Mossberger and Stoker, 2001). This type of stability enables regimes to span a number of administrations and to achieve goals which otherwise might not have been realized (Stone, 1989). Finally urban regimes attempt to build alliances and develop limited but shared understanding (consensus) in a fragmented, complex environment (Stoker and Mossberger, 1994). In this context, consensus is formed on the basis of interaction and the pooling of resources (Mommaas, 2009). This process mirrors how different aims and interests of the regime partners were agreed upon in a shared agenda, which determines the strategic direction and shapes the activities of the urban regime (Stone, 2005). 2.1.3 European context Many scholars criticize the urban regime theory for being restricted to the North-American context (Ward, 1996). As a result, there have been various attempts to translate the theory to the European context. However, related to this reconceptualization there is a danger of concept stretching, which means that original concept will be broadened so that it can accommodate more cases. As a result the concept becomes too general and loses its explaining power (Mossberger and Stoker, 2001). Because of this and related to the fact that the European context increasingly resembles the NorthAmerican, the need for reconceptualization becomes less relevant. Furthermore Stone (2004) states that the analysis should be placed beyond the question whether an urban regime exists or not. More important is the question whether coalition partners are able to create a capacity to act. However, differences between the North-American and European context should be taken into account.

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2.2

Conceptual framework

2.2.1 Schematic representation After the theoretical exploration, the following conceptual framework can be constructed, as a schematic representation of the relationship between the central components of this research.

National cultural policy

Fashion coalition -

-

-

-

-

-

Composition  Mix of public and private parties Shared agenda of the coalition  Shared vision, set of goals and policy direction as agreed upon by the collaborating parties Resources  Input and pooling of a mix of public and private resources Stimuli/incentives  (Im)material stimuli for collaboration Informal collaborations  Informal arrangement of the collaborations Stable/sustainable collaborations  Stable and sustainable development of the collaborations

The way in a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning -

(Mis)fit -

-

Strategic agenda  The position and meaning of fashion in the strategic agenda of a city: branding, supporting or development Organization  Top-down or bottom-up/cocreation approach Activities  The initiating, organizing and/or supporting of activities in the context of the strategic agenda Budget  A specific budget available for the strengthening of a city’s position as a fashion city

Figure 1: Conceptual framework

2.2.2

Explaining the conceptual framework

The central variables The aim of this research is to create a better understanding about the relation between fashion coalitions and the ways in which cities use fashion in their strategic positioning. One crucial aspect in this context is that this aim does not imply a form of causality concerning this relation. In one way a fashion coalition can influence the way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning. However it is also possible that strategic (fashion) policy creates, stimulates or transforms the fashion coalition. This very much depends on the way things are organized locally. Depending on the occasion, the initiator, the involved parties and the development of the relation, the arrow in the conceptual model can point to either the right or the left.

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The fashion coalition More relevant than the issue of causality in this context is that, for a more inclusive approach, different parties should work together. One crucial aspect in order to achieve this type of approach is the presence of a strong fashion coalition. In the conceptual framework this ‘strong’ fashion coalition has been defined by the regime characteristics, as described in paragraph 2.1.2, which account for a capacity to act (collaborating public and private parties, their specific input and pooling of (public and of private) resources, the existence of a shared agenda as agreed and acted upon by the participants, thei (im)material stimuli/incentives for participation and the informality, stability and sustainability of the collaborations). By placing the analysis beyond the question of whether a regime exists or not and focussing on the internal dynamics within different types of fashion coalitions, it is possible to explain differences in the way cities use fashion in their strategic positioning. The way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning A fashion city is a city which presents and positions itself in such a way. The positioning of cities as fashion cities can be defined as a process of collaborations between different parties and the pooling of the corresponding interests and resources, in order to employ fashion as a strategic issue. According to Larner et al. (2007) this process is aimed at on the one hand stimulating the fashion industry as a capital generating industry in its own right (in terms of for instance output and employment) in the context of a globalizing economy and on the other hand as an industry which enables the (re)valuation of local identity and the city’s image. Important are, as said before, the different parties (and the resources they control) which are involved with the strategic positioning of a city. If a city wants to, for instance, position itself as an international fashion city, it is important to collaborate with parties which have access to international resources (Bathelt, Malmberg and Maskell, 2004). This inclusive approach can only be accomplished when the role of the government is focussed on enabling, facilitating and stimulating. Since the employment of fashion as a strategic issue involves collaboration between different parties and the pooling of the corresponding interests and resources, the urban regime theory, which focuses on the internal dynamics of collaboration and coalition building, provides a useful framework in analyzing differences in the ways in which cities implement this agenda. For this research the use of fashion within a city’s strategic positioning has been operationalized by the following concepts: strategic agenda, organization, activities and budget. A detailed operationalization of the central variables can be found in appendix one. Fit or misfit? The central question of this research is about to what extend there is a (mis)fit between fashion coalitions and the ways in which cities use fashion in their strategic positioning. If there is a fit, this means that the fashion coalition (regime) is represented in and involved with the program concerning the use of fashion in the strategic positioning of a city and also contributes to this program. In this case the fashion regime has a capacity to act and can influence the program. As a result the approach becomes more integrated and inclusive and therefore the program is more likely to succeed. A misfit on the other hand means that the fashion coalition is not represented in and involved with the program concerning the use of fashion in the strategic positioning of a city and has no (or minimal) contribution to this program. In this case the fashion coalition has little or no capacity to act and little or no influence on the program. As a result the approach becomes more isolated instead of integrated/inclusive and is therefore the program is less likely to succeed.

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In this research a (mis)fit can be identified on the following levels: Fit agenda: when the shared agenda of the fashion coalition and the way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning (represented in policy documents) are in line with each other. Fit organization: when the different parties of the fashion coalition are represented in the organization of the program concerning the use of fashion in the strategic positioning of a city and the City Council is involved with the fashion coalition. The co-creation or bottom-up approach is most suitable in this context. Fit activities: when the fashion coalition is involved with and contributes to the initiating, organizing and/or supporting of activities aimed at strengthening the city’s position as a fashion city. In this context the involvement of the City Council with the fashion coalition and the initiating of joint initiatives are very important. Fit budget: when the fashion coalition contributes to the budget available for strengthening a city’s position as a fashion city. It is important that this budget is also used to support and stimulate the fashion coalition and initiatives coming from this coalition. A good example in this context would be the existence of a public-private investment fund related to fashion. National context There are many different parties which could be included in the governing coalition of a fashion city. Important in this context is the role of governments, which more and more identify the fashion industry as a potential driver for economic prosperity. Related to this, Ward (1996) states that the European urban context could be typified as being more vertical and multi-leveled compared to the North-American situation. Tops (2004) emphasizes that in the context of urban policy, the interaction between the nation sate, the municipality and council organizations is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, it is important to take the multi-level compositions of public parties into account, when analyzing European fashion cities. For this research, the national context is of special importance, because the design is a cross-national comparative case study (this will be discussed in paragraph 3.1 and 3.2). This cross-national context can have an influence on the fashion coalition and the ways in which cities use fashion in their strategic positioning. Therefore the national context, national cultural policy in particular, has been included in the conceptual framework as an intervening variable. As this variable could provide alternative explanations for differences between the cases, a special sub-question related to this issue has been included, in order to be able to control for this effect. 2.3 Specific research questions Based on the conceptual framework, the following sub-questions have been formulated as an attempt to unfold the constituting elements of the central research question: How can the fashion coaltion of a city be characterized (is there a regime)? In what way does this city use fashion in its strategic positioning? To what extend is there a fit between the fashion coalition and the way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning? Related to the cross-national context of this research, the following sub-question has been formulated: To what extend can the eventual existence of differences the existence of a fit or misfit be understood in terms of national cultural policy? The next chapter will discuss the methodes which will be used to answer these questions. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 17

3.

Methodological approach

3.1 Research design The design applied to this research is a comparative, cross-sectional case study or focused comparison. This design is chosen because of its focus on an in-depth analysis of a limited number of cases within their context (Denters and Mossberger, 2006). This allows for a deeper understanding of concepts and processes, in this research the role of fashion coalitions in the use of fashion in the strategic positioning of cities. This qualitative type of design is less interested in issues of generalizability or representativity (Swanborn, 2004). More important is the lessening of variance between the cases, in order to enhance the internal validity, reliability and literal reproducibility (Gray, 2004). In this context, Lijphart (in Denters and Mossberger, 2006, p. 561) stresses the importance of comparable cases, “*…+ cases that are most similar with respect to factors that are not of crucial importance for the research problem.” In this way, differences in the ways cities use fashion in their strategic positioning, could better be understood in terms of fit or misfit with the fashion coalition. Because this research focuses on international (European) fashion cities, it was necessary to include at least two cases from two different countries. Consequently the design of this research can be typified as a cross-national comparative case study. As a consequence both cases differ on one crucial point: the national context. Therefore the international/cross-national perspective needs special attention. This issue will be further discussed in the next paragraph. 3.2 Selected cases Based on purposive sampling driven by the aforementioned theoretical considerations, the cities of Amsterdam and Antwerp have been selected as units of analysis. The starting point for this selection was my personal interest in and involvement with Amsterdam as a ‘fashion city’. At the moment, Amsterdam can be identified as the fashion capital of the Netherlands. However, on an international level it cannot compete with fashion cities like for instance Paris, Milan, London and Antwerp (Wenting, Atzema en Frenken, 2006). It is clear that the city of Amsterdam is currently struggling with the issue on how to successfully incorporate fashion in its strategic positioning. That is why in this research Amsterdam will be compared with a city which already positioned itself as an international fashion city. As a consequence, it should be possible to reveal valuable insights for those involved with and committed to the strategic positioning of Amsterdam as a fashion city. It should be noticed that, since Amsterdam is the fashion capital of the Netherlands, this would not have been possible by comparing Amsterdam with another Dutch city. Finally Antwerp, a city which is internationally known as a fashion city, has been selected as the second case. This selection was based on the fact that of all international (European) fashion cities, Antwerp was the most comparable to Amsterdam in terms of size, amount of residents and type of city (both cities are harbour and historical cities). Furthermore Antwerp was the most practical option related to issues like travel distance and language. However, the national context of both cities is a crucial difference which needs special attention in this research. This is especially important because of the fact that the national context, national cultural policy in particular, could provide alternative explanations for differences between the cases. Since national cultural policy has been included as an intervening variable in the conceptual model and a special sub-question related to this issue has been added, it is possible to control for this effect.

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3.3

Methods of data gathering

3.3.1 Desk research For this research, desk research has mainly been used as a supportive or complementing source of information. First of all this method has been used to gain more information about the theoretical concepts and corresponding insights. Furthermore, different policy reports and other official documents have been used to collect more knowledge about the cities of Amsterdam and Antwerp, in terms of background, developments and specific issues. Besides, desk research has also served as a preparation for the interviews with the relevant parties of the fashion coalitions. On the one hand as a way to identify the main parties and on the other hand in order to be able to take the interviews with these parties to a higher level. Finally, this method has been used to check de information given by the respondents. Bryman (2008, p. 700) identifies this strategy as ‘triangulation’: “The use of more than on method or source of data of a social phenomenon so that findings may be cross-checked.” This strategy has been used because it could strengthen the validity of this qualitative research. 3.3.2 Field research In the context of this research on informal collaborations, the conducting of face-to-face interviews is an important method of data gathering. Related to the informal nature of these collaborations, ‘snowball sampling’ (Bryman, 2008) has been used as a valuable technique in order to be able to get in touch with the relevant parties of the fashion coalitions. By using this technique, it became possible to (in an informal way) unfold the coalition, its participants and their relative importance, as respondents were able to refer to other relevant parties. Special attention has been paid to the danger of creating a (too) homogeneous group or leaving out crucial participants. This danger has been reduced by initiating several snowballs, starting with different purposively selected parties (keyactors). Relevant parties in this context were the local city councils, fashion academies and organizations which mediate between the city council and the representatives of the fashion industry (these will be introduced in paragraph 4.3). The aim was to collect as many interviews as needed in order to reach the point of saturation. In this context, 25 respondents have been interviewed in order to create a good representation of the collaborating parties, public as well as private. A final list of the interviewed respondents can be found in appendix two. The face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were based on an item list which is enclosed in appendix three. The use of an item list instead of fixed questions has provided more space for emerging topics related to the specific expertise and input of the respondents. 3.4 Analytical techniques The interviews have been registered by using a memo-recorder. Subsequently, the interviews have been transcripted in order to increase the controllability and to prevent the loss of results. After this the data has been analyzed by using the following steps. First of all the data has been simplified, abstracted and transformed into coded data (Boeije, 2005). In this research, because of the fact that the labels are already clear, the process of selective coding has been used. This process aims at selecting and naming parts of the interviews which represent the same theoretical concepts. The collected material has been summarized in clear representations by constructing semi-structered data matrices. These matrices made it possible to draw conclusions from the data in a more systematic and controllable way. One disadvantage of this method was the subjectivity of the coding related to the interpretation of the researcher (Boeije, 2005). This problem has been reduced by clearly presenting the taken steps in the analytical process, enhancing the reproducibility of the results (Miles and Hubermann, 1994). A format of a data matrix will be given in appendix four. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 19

4.

Results: case Antwerp

4.1 Facts The city of Antwerp is situated at a distance of only fifty kilometers from the Dutch border. This city has a surface of 204,51 km², about 465.000 inhabitants, 134 different nationalities, a historical inner city with a rich history of over 1000 years, the second largest harbour of Europe, 30 museums, 650 restaurants, 2500 cafes, a rich tradition with famous painters like Rubens and Van Dyck and the most important diamond trade centre in the world. Furthermore Antwerp has become one of the trendsetters of the European fashion scene. In ten years, the added value of the creative industry in Antwerp increased with 113% from 257 untill 547.8 million Euro in 2006. In the same period, the added value of the fashion industry increased from 8 untill 15.5 million Euro (Beck, Rotthier and Vandenbroele, 2008).

Added value fashion Added value fashion* Added value antique Added value antique*

Year

* Index correction

Figure 2: The added value in the fashion and antique (Beck et al., 2008, p. 145)

The heart of the fashion industry in Antwerp is represented by the designers. Unfortunately there are no official statistics about the number of fashion designers working in Antwerp. Only a minority of this group works on an independent basis, most designers are working for other companies. The main activities of these companies are production and distribution. As a result the designers are represented in the employment figures of the production and distribution part of the fashion industry (De Voldere et al., 2007). Nevertheless, Beck et al. (2008) investigated the amount of jobs in the creative industries of Antwerp. According to them, this number increased with 25% over the last ten years to 8.236 jobs in 2006. In 2006, the creative core of the Antwerp fashion industry comprised 211 jobs. However, when the retail and commercial labels are included as well, this number will rise up till 3000 jobs.

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Date Figure 3: Amount of jobs in the fashion sector (Beck et al., 2008, p. 148)

Until recently Antwerp did hardly have any tradition concerning fashion. However it did not take long before fashion became closely identified with the city of Antwerp. The story of Antwerp does not follow the pattern of contemporary fashion cities. Unlike other fashion capitals, Antwerp does not have its own fashion week. Some crucial elements of Antwerp as a fashion city are the success of the fashion department of The Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the famous Six of Antwerp and the branding process created within the logic of organized tourism and mega-cultural events. The intertwining of both public and private networks resulted in fashion becoming Antwerp’s most characteristic creative industry (Gimeno Martínez, 2007). In order to be able to really grasp the origin of Antwerp as a fashion city, it is important to go back into history. 4.2 History In this paragraph three elements, which created the foundation for Antwerp to become a fashion city, are outlined. It was the combination of these three elements which resulted in the connection between Antwerp and fashion. The Textile Plan As already mentioned in the previous paragraph international recognition of the Belgium designers has not always been self-evident. Up until the eighties Belgium was renowned for its high quality production of clothing and textile (De Voldere et al., 2007). In short one can conclude that this system collapsed because of the rise of the low-wage countries and the oil crisis of 1973. During the 1970-1980s the Belgium textile industry was in crisis. Therefore consulting agency McKinsey was asked to investigate this sector and give recommendations for the future. The most important conclusion of McKinsey was that in order to survive, the Belgium textile industry had to become more creative and innovative and needed a shift from standard clothing towards fashionable products and niche markets was needed. Based on McKinsey’s report, the Belgium government decided to launch a Textile Plan, which was approved in 1980 and cost 687 million Euro (Arnoldus et al., 2009). With this plan, the Belgium government finally lent its textile industry the image it would need to survive. Part of the plan was the creation of the Institute for Textile and Confection in Belgium (ITCB), which was responsible for the implementation of the plan. In order to enhance the Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 21

image of Belgian fashion, two initiatives were started. The campaign ‘Fashion, this is Belgian’ and the Golden Spindle Awards. The combination of fashion and Belgian in one sentence was a symbolic breakthrough. The Golden Spindle Awards were initiated to attract new creative talent and to stimulate production houses to collaborate with young designers (De Voldere et al., 2007). With the regionalization of Belgium in 1993, the campaign ‘Fashion, this is Belgian’ came to an end. From that moment on, both Flanders and Wallonia had their own political institutions, with a strong focus on administrative autonomy. Most of the textile, but also the creativity was localized in Flanders. That is why logically the textile and fashion industry became supported and promoted by the Flemish government. As a result, fashion became more and more linked to the Flemish, instead of the Belgian identity. However, the Textile Plan was a great success and established a firm basis for Antwerp to become a fashion city (Arnoldus et al., 2009). The fashion department of The Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts Without its designers, Antwerp would not have become a fashion city. The academy of Antwerp is, after Rome and Paris, the oldest academy in the world. The fashion department was founded in 1963. In the following years, the fashion department became known for its focus on tradition, craftsmanship and creativity, but also for its severe selection procedure (Arnoldus et al., 2009). Finally it was the breakthrough of six students graduated in the year 1980-1981, which has put the Antwerp Academy as well as the city of Antwerp on the map in the world of fashion. Driven by their ambition and supported by the Textile Plan, they (Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk van Saene, Dries van Noten, Marina Yee and Walter van Beirendonck) collectively participated in London fashion show in 1986. From that moment on they were called ‘the Six of Antwerp’ (De Voldere et al., 2007). Although the breakthrough of these students was an autonomous process, the support in the context of the Textile Plan definitely accelerated this process. Antwerp ’93: European Capital of Culture Another important development was the selection of Antwerp to become European Capital of Culture in the year 1993. From a branding point of view, the goal of Antwerp ’93 was to repositioning Antwerp as a European cultural centre and a fashionable destination for cultural tourists. The program of Antwerp ’93 showed that a decision had been made to align the city of Antwerp with a creative and innovative atmosphere of contemporary art. In this program, fashion was marginally represented. However, Antwerp ’93 can be identified as the starting point for the organization of other mega-cultural events in Antwerp (Gimeno Martínez, 2007). In the year 1997 Antwerpen Open VZW, an independent organization which would be responsible for the initiation, coordination, realization, communication and promotion of these events was founded. The mission of Antwerpen Open VZW is to stimulate the international cultural image of Antwerp and Flanders (www.antwerpenopen.be). In the year 1998 several public and private parties came up with the idea to organize an event around fashion. Finally, this idea was transformed into the realization of the event Mode2001 Landed-Geland, in short Mode2001 (Verbergt, 2001). According to the city councilor of Culture, the event was needed to consolidate and strengthen the image of Antwerp as an international fashion city. From the very beginning it was stressed that Antwerp fashion had been kept out of the commercial circuit since 1993 (Antwerp ’93) and needed an intellectual approach (Gimeno Martínez, 2007). Mode2001 was the first (prominent) collaboration of public and private parties in the context of fashion in Antwerp. Together these parties decided how fashion in Antwerp should be defined and promoted. This also determined the position and meaning of fashion in the city. These parties of this coalition will be outlined in the next paragraph. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 22

4.3 The fashion coalition In this paragraph, the Antwerp fashion coalition will be described by the regime characteristics defined by Stone (1989): composition, (shared) agenda, resources, stimuli/incentives, informal arrangement of the collaborations and stable/sustainable collaborations. The nest subparagraph will start with a description of the composition. 4.3.1 Composition The fashion coalition in Antwerp is relatively small and compact, especially compared to fashion capitals like Paris and Milan. When taking a closer look, there are only a few people who were the driving forces behind the concept ‘Antwerp fashion city’. The main public and private actors of the coalition will be described in this paragraph. The fashion department of The Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts The fashion department of the Antwerp Academy has a special position in the fashion coalition of Antwerp. It is in fact the beating heart of the coalition where all the talent comes from. Without the designers Antwerp would not have become a fashion city. Only a few years before the breakthrough of the Six of Antwerp, in the year 1982, Linda Loppa becomes head of the fashion department. Even today Linda Loppa is characterized as one of the most influential figures of the Antwerp fashion scene. She had the ambition to put the Academy and Antwerp fashion in general on a higher, international level. Especially with the breakthrough of the Six of Antwerp, the fashion department became famous all over the world. These creative talents became internationally known for their passion for quality, innovation and ingenuity. As a result, they paved the way for Antwerp designers towards the world stage of fashion. From then on, the fashion world and international media started to get interested in the Antwerp fashion designers. Because all six designers graduated from the Antwerp Academy, the fashion department of this Academy shared in this interest and got overloaded with international attention. However, the attention not only came from journalists who were very much interested in ‘the secret’ of the Antwerp Academy, also students from all over the world wanted to become part of this phenomenon. However, because the academy wants to keep its high reputation, the entrance exam is very severe. Every year there are over 400 candidates for this exam, but only 65 students are admitted of whom only about 15 actually graduate. The fashion department of the Antwerp Academy is also known for its Defilé, which is the annual graduation show of the department. Every year this show brings together about 6.000 spectators from all over the world. These include not only family and friends, but also buyers, press, styling agencies and fashion designers. Although the fashion designers are very important for Antwerp as a fashion city, they have an independent position outside the fashion cluster. Above all they are focusing on their own business and are not really involved with the exploitation of the concept ‘Antwerp fashion city’. An important party which is responsible for making the connection between the designers and the other actors in the fashion coalition is the Flanders Fashion Institute. Flanders Fashion Institute (FFI) In the year 1993, with the regionalization of Belgium, the ITCB came to an end. At the same time the fashion movement in Antwerp was growing in a fast pace. The academy was not able to handle all the attention on its own and apart from a few small initiatives, there was no party that could represent, coordinate, support and stimulate the sector anymore. Eventually, from the initiative of again Linda Loppa, the FFI was founded in 1997. This initiative was founded in order to provide answer to the questions rising from the Antwerp fashion scene. In the year 1997, the FFI was Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 23

selected to become Cultural Ambassador of Flanders and received a financial injection of 40 million Belgian Franc of the Flemish government. The FFI was not only founded to fill the gap after the ending of the ITCB, it also had some goals in its own right. The mission of the FFI was to (continue to) nationally and internationally promote Flemish fashion, to bridge the gap between the fashion cluster and the industry or economical sector and to support and stimulate designers with setting up their business. According to Linda Loppa it was very important for designers to be guided and supported after they graduated from the Academy. Linda Loppa was, together with four other prominents from the Antwerp fashion scene, the driving force behind the concept FFI. It all started with a personal ambition and idealism. However, in the year 2005 the first problems showed up. Because of the fact that the FFI has grown and expanded its business, it could no longer be managed by people with personal ambition and idealism only. As a result of mismanagement the Flemish government and main sponsor Fortis did no longer want to support the FFI. In order to save the FFI, a new board of directors was composed and a new manager was selected. Both the board of directors and the manager were represented by people with a background in business and economics. A new business plan was created and at the insistence of the Flemish government the focus of the FFI was more on Flanders instead of only Antwerp. The relation with the Flemish government got repaired, but the financial situation of the FFI stayed critical. That is why in 2009 a partnership with Flanders District of Creativity VZW (Flanders DC) was created. Flanders DC is a Flemish governmental organization that promotes entrepreneurial creativity. As a consequence of the partnership, the focus of the FFI is even more on the stimulation of entrepreneurship. Despite of all the changes, the FFI still is a very important actor for the Antwerp fashion scene. The FFI is not only an expert and knowledge centre in fashion, it also initiates projects to support Flemish designers and to promote Flemish fashion. Furthermore the FFI can be identified as a coordinating party which intermediates between the fashion cluster and the industry, but also between the government and actors from the fashion scene. Finally the FFI bundles initiatives and stimulates collaboration in the sector. Although the focus is more on Flanders, the FFI still has a very strong connection with Antwerp. Because of its independent position, the FFI has the function of liaison within the Antwerp fashion cluster. Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp: ModeNatie A very important landmark in the process of Antwerp becoming a fashion city is the concept of the ModeNatie. According to the director of the director of the Tourism department of the city of Antwerp, the year 1995-1996 was a turning point. The Antwerp Academy became famous because of its six extraordinary designers and experienced its international breakthrough. Nevertheless the building in which the Academy was housed was deplorable. There was a lot of attention for the international press and (potential) students but the location did not fit the reputation of the Antwerp Academy. The representatives of the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp wanted to do something about it. The Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp, an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce, was meant to stimulate economic development in the Antwerp region. Logically, the tourism manger of the Strategic Plan contacted Linda Loppa and together they came up with the idea for the ModeNatie. Thanks to the Alderman of Finance, Economy and Tourism, a building at the Nationalestraat was allocated to the project. The goal of the project was to create a landmark for fashion in Antwerp. The idea was that this building would not only house the Antwerp Academy, but also the FFI and a fashion museum. In this way the ModeNatie would represent education, research, the archiving and displaying of collections and finally it would serve as a bridge between education and reality. On the one hand this landmark would stimulate the synergy between the different actors and put the quality of the Antwerp fashion cluster on a higher level. On the other hand it would also Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 24

give an impulse to Antwerp as a touristic and fashion destination. The ModeNatie would be a physical proof of the fact that Antwerp is connected to fashion. In the year 1997 a new Strategic Plan Tourism Antwerp was launched, in which the plan for the ModeNatie was outlined. “There was something going on in Antwerp. We have never tried to invent something. We are only highlighting our strengths. It was in 1997 when we saw needs and opportunities coming together.” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp and at that time tourism manager of the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp) Finally the proposal for the ModeNatie was unanimously accepted by the College of Mayor and Aldermen, which is an indication for the position and meaning of fashion in Antwerp at that time. After this approval, financial resources for the renovation of the building needed to be found. This subject will be discussed in the paragraph about resources. Originally, the opening of the ModeNatie was planned in 2001, at the beginning of Mode2001. However, because of some problems with the renovation and a fire in de building of the ModeNatie, the official opening finally took place in September of the year 2002. After this opening, the ModeNatie was identified as the physical outcome of interrelationships between several public and private actors. Today the ModeNatie includes the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy, the FFI, the Copyright Bookshop and the fashion museum MoMu. This museum will be discussed in the next section. The fashion museum: MoMu In the year 2002, together with the opening of the ModeNatie, the opening of the new MoMu was celebrated. The MoMu can be identified as the successor of the former Provincial Costume and Textile Museum which was housed in a castle in Vrieselhof, Oelegem. During the second half of the nineties, the Province of Antwerp was searching for strategic direction for its museum. In the same year, the idea arose to start a new museum in the centre of Antwerp. This idea could easily be combined with the plans for the ModeNatie. Finally in the year 1998, Linda Loppa was chosen as the new intendant of this museum. In the same year, the museum closed its doors in order to be able to prepare for the new museum. After the arrival of Linda Loppa, the focus of the museum became more oriented towards the presentation and promotion of contemporary Flemish fashion, without neglecting the historical textile and costumes. The MoMu has a special position in the Antwerp fashion cluster. In one way the MoMu has its own function and vision and its final goal is to promote Flemish fashion. In order to be able to do this, the museum has three tasks: conserving, displaying and archiving. Especially with the displaying part, the MoMu plays an important role for Antwerp as a fashion city. In this way, the MoMu makes fashion accessible for not only insiders but also for the public; inhabitants and visitors of Antwerp. The MoMu opens up its collection by means of two themed exhibitions a year. Since the opening in 2002 the MoMu has gained a strong international reputation. In some months the amount of international visitors is over 51%. In the year 2003 the MoMu was labeled as a nationally recognized museum by the Flemish government. This label stands for quality of the operation of the museum, a great success in such a short period of time. The Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp The Tourism Department is a 100% public service of the city of Antwerp, led by the Alderman of Culture and Tourism. Nevertheless there are natural but most of all evident partnerships with the private sector. Private and non-profit organizations are very important in the context of tourism policy because they know what is happening in the sector. One of the main tasks of the Tourism Department is to keep positioning Antwerp as a touristic destination in an innovative way. Important Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 25

icons for the tourism sector in Antwerp are the harbour, diamonds and of course Rubens. From the end of the nineties Antwerp also became branded as a fashion city. Antwerp’s status as a fashion city was created within the logic of organized tourism and mega-cultural events. According to its director, the Tourism Department is instinctively connected to the Antwerp fashion scene. Next to a traditional icon as Rubens, fashion gives the city the opportunity to present itself in a more modern, creative and innovative way. The first involvement of the Tourism Department with a project around fashion was Mode2001. At the end of Mode2001, this collaboration has been continued in a specific policy program which is related to the Antwerp fashion scene. Antwerp has no international city marketing strategy but focuses on product development and contacts with the press. These products, for instance the Antwerp Fashion Walk, are developed in order to promote Antwerp as a fashion city. Furthermore the contacts with the press are mostly personal contacts which are used to put Antwerp in the spotlights of the world stage of fashion. Next to the world of designer fashion, the Tourism Department has a strong focus on shopping experience and retail. In the context of its activities, an important partner of the Tourism Department is the FFI. Together these two parties form the backbone of the Antwerp fashion cluster. Hierarchical governments Next to the city of Antwerp, also the Province of Antwerp and the Flemish Community are of importance for the fashion cluster in Antwerp. In the year 1993, Belgium officially became a federal state. With the regionalization in the same year, Flanders gradually gained institutional, political, financial, economical, social and cultural autonomy. That is why, on an administrative level, the most important partner of the city of Antwerp is not the federal government but the Flemish Community. Related to the tourism sector, it is very important that there is a fit between the agendas of the different entities. Especially the city of Antwerp and the Flemish Community are working closely together. Examples of joint activities are the development and support of marketing campaigns and the initiating, organizing and supporting of projects and events. Antwerpen Open: Mode2001 In the previous sections, the most important actors of the Antwerp fashion cluster have been described. It was in the year 1998 when the first collaboration of these parties was realized. The initiative came from Linda Loppa, leading lady of the Antwerp fashion scene and the events coordinator at Tourism Flanders. The next step for them was to involve other relevant parties with this project. As a result a coalition with the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp and Antwerpen Open VZW was created. Together they made a plan and discussed this plan with the Alderman of Tourism and Culture. The idea was to put fashion in the spotlights by organizing a mega-cultural event or festival. At that time, fashion was already identified as thé carrier of artistic, cultural and social expression and the engine of economic dynamism. The Antwerp fashion was responsible for a turnover of 10 billion Belgian Franc and was represented in almost all facets of Antwerp, it only needed to be crystallized and consolidated. That is why the local government increasingly became interested in an event which would capitalize on fashion design. Not only for the positive effect it could have on the city’s image and economy in terms of media attention and visitors, but also in terms of internal dynamics in terms of identity, partnerships and collaboration. In February 1999 the project plan was handed over to Antwerpen Open VZW which, together with the FFI, would be the coordinating party of the project. This project plan was translated into an event with manifestation like exhibitions, performances, presentations and publications and turned out to be a great success.

Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 26

Core Antwerp fashion coalition Flemish Community Antwerpen Open VZW Province of Antwerp

ModeNatie Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp Designer s

(Strategic Plan)

FFI MoMu

Fashion Department

Flanders DC

Antwerp Academy

Chamber of Commerce Figure 4: Schematic representation of the Antwerp fashion coalition

In this paragraph, the most important public and private actors of the Antwerp fashion coalition and the internal relationships within this coalition have been introduced. Figure 4 presents a schematic representation of this. The core of the Antwerp fashion coalition exists of the representatives of the ModeNatie, FFI, the MoMu and the fashion department and the Tourism Department as representative of the city of Antwerp. Next to this core coalition, figure 4 also includes parties which have a strong connection or link with this core coalition. These parties are the Flemish Community, Antwerpen Open VZW, the Province of Antwerp, the Chamber of Commerce, Flanders DC and the Antwerp Academy. The Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp is enclosed by brackets because this initiative does not exist anymore. However, because this initiative has been very important for Antwerp as a fashion city, this initiative still is included in the figure. Finally also the designers are included in the figure, since they are the beating heart of the Antwerp fashion coalition. Of course there are more actors which are involved in the coalition. Examples are the ModeNatie NV, a group of sponsors/shareholders which made the renovation of the ModeNatie possible and CultuurInvest, a public-private fund which has the goal to invest risk-capital in Flemish creative enterprises (for instance fashion designers) that cannot get support from the government. Because the contribution of actors like these is purely financial, these will be discussed in the paragraph about resources. 4.3.2 (Shared) agenda of the fashion coalition In the context of the agenda of the Antwerp fashion coalition, two perspectives can be identified. The first one is the creative perspective related to the fashion designers and the second is the touristic perspective which is related to the shopping experience of Antwerp. This paragraph will describe the two perspectives and to what extend these are interrelated. As already described in the previous paragraphs, the breakthrough of the Six of Antwerp was also crucial for Antwerp’s status as a fashion city. Their international success and fame also positively influenced the reputation of the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy and the city of Antwerp. In the second half of the nineties, a new generation designers was introduced. Again, the international fashion scene positively reacted on the creative talents from Antwerp. This was the proof that the success was not about six designers or one incident; Antwerp became known as an incubator for young talent with an innovative view. This was the beginning of Antwerp as a centre for avant-garde designer fashion. Since Antwerp fashion designers can be characterized as artists with an individual and intellectual approach to fashion. In the second half of the nineties, with the Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 27

foundation of the FFI, Linda Loppa together with four other prominent from the Antwerp fashion scene, started to provide a follow-up for young designers who just graduated from the Antwerp Academy. In this way they wanted to stimulate the second and third generation and at the same time they wanted to prevent that every new designer had to reinvent the wheel by itself. Their main tasks were helping the designers setting up their business and promoting them nationally and internationally. In order to ensure the high reputation of the Antwerp Academy and Antwerp fashion in general only the best was good enough. In order to create a clear profile with regards to quality, they concentrated on the top segment of young fashion designers. This perspective on Antwerp fashion was also stressed by the coalition of Mode2001. According to the collaborating parties the event was in the first place a contemporary statement about Antwerp fashion. In this statement fashion was defined as: “*…+ everything which the fashion professionals and experts characterize as fashion” (Verbergt, 2001, p. 4). Consequently the event would stress the artistic and side of fashion. With this decision, Mode2001 would distinguish itself from commercial initiatives like fashion weeks or other manifestations of individual designers. Accordingly, the primary objectives defined by the coalition of Mode2001 were: -

To illuminate the cultural dimension of fashion. Fashion specifies an identity; Mode2001 specifies the cultural identity of Antwerp and Flanders. To stress the international representation of Antwerp and Flanders as an innovative and creative city/region. To open up the touristic trump-card that fashion itself represents for Antwerp and Flanders (Verbergt, 2001, p.6).

In these objectives, one can see the cultural/creative and the touristic perspective coming together for the first time. In this case, the two perspectives are combined into one shared agenda by the different actors in the coalition. This was the starting point of a successful collaboration between public, private and non-profit actors within the fashion cluster of Antwerp. With the realization of the ModeNatie, three very important actors of the Antwerp fashion coalition were united in one building. With this initiative, again, the creative and the touristic perspective became connected. From a creative perspective this meant the coming together of education, research, the archiving and displaying of collections and the supporting and promoting of young designers in one professional institution. This would stimulate the quality of the individual actors, but also the collaboration and synergy among these actors. From a touristic perspective on the other hand, this landmark would give an impulse to Antwerp as a touristic and fashion destination. “ModeNatie actually is a concept, a notion. With the different points of view of the academy, the museum and the FFI a new, integral way of thinking can be developed. There is a nation, a cluster of activities with a certain degree of homogeneity. That is what we call a nation, a nation around fashion.. ModeNatie!” (Vice-chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and former chairman of the board of directors of the FFI) Next to the communalities there are also some differences. One relevant aspect is that the entities are not supported by the city of Antwerp but by respectively the Province of Antwerp and the Flemish Community. The MoMu is supported by the Province of Antwerp since it is the successor of the former Provincial Costume and Textile Museum. Furthermore the FFI and the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy are supported by the Flemish Community. Nevertheless all three parties have a special connection with and focus on the city of Antwerp. At the time of the Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 28

opening of the ModeNatie, Linda Loppa was the head of all three entities. Under her leadership, the ideology to identify Antwerp fashion with outstanding quality is continued. That is why, especially the FFI, focused on a select group of designers. After a few years, the first signs of criticism appeared. From that moment on, the ModeNatie is more and more associated with terms like elitism and even nepotism. At the same time the FFI got entangled in a financial crisis. This crisis was also related to the aforementioned criticism. In order to restore the relationship with the Flemish Community, the FFI needed to professionalize and cannot be managed by personal ambition and idealism only. During this first stage towards professionalization, the Flemish Community wanted the FFI to put its focus more on Flanders and a broader target group in general, instead of focusing on a small group of designers from Antwerp. This change could for instance be noticed in the organization of promotional projects. Before the reorganization these projects were mainly organized in Antwerp, but now these are also initiated in other Flemish cities like Ghent. After this process, the relation with the Flemish Community was saved, but the FFI still had financial problems. That is why, in the year 2009, the FFI agreed upon a partnership with Flanders DC, a Flemish governmental organization that promotes entrepreneurial creativity. Today, the FFI still has got its own name, function and establishment in the ModeNatie. The only difference is that the FFI, next to the general focus on Flanders, increasingly concentrates on stimulating entrepreneurship and to a lesser extend the promotion of designers. Although these changes were not very positive for the city of Antwerp, the FFI remains an important collaborating party. The FFI for instance is the link and communicating partner towards the designers and the Antwerp Academy. Furthermore the parties are working together on organizing promotional campaigns, events and developing touristic products. It can be said that the touristic agenda of the city, mainly focused on shopping and the creative or artistic agenda related to designer fashion do not hinder each other but actually complement each other. “It works in both ways. We are a valuable institute for the city to show its visitors that Antwerp is a fashion city. On the other hand, the Tourism Department of the city directs a lot of attention, for instance press and visitors, towards us.” (Press and pr manager of the MoMu) 4.3.3 Resources Although the ITCB contributed to the process of Antwerp becoming a fashion city, the contribution was indirectly and there did not really exist a fashion coalition in the city of Antwerp. This coalition was organically formed after the breakthrough of the Six of Antwerp and the formation of the FFI. As said before, the FFI was started based on a sense of urgency, personal ambition and idealism. “At the beginning there was a lot of volunteering. I cannot say that I became very rich of my involvement with the FFI. Every team member sacrificed lot of personal time and money. I think that it was very unique that we were contributing to our ideal without any self-interest, but that is what you need in order to get something off the ground.” (Fashion journalist and co-founder of the FFI) Mode2001 In the following years, the fashion coalition of Antwerp was formed. The first time a pooling of resources can be identified was with the organization of Mode2001. The coordination of the project was in the hands of Antwerpen Open VZW and the FFI. Antwerpen Open VZW mainly contributed organizational capacity. This organization, an initiative of the city of Antwerp, was founded in 1997 with the mission of promoting the international cultural reputation of Antwerp by organizing megacultural events. By the time Mode2001 was initiated, Antwerpen Open VZW already had experience organizing and producing events like Van Dyck 1999 and the annual festival de Zomer van Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 29

Antwerpen. That is why Antwerpen Open was responsible for the coordination of the communication, administration, production of the events. Bruno Verbergt, general coordinator of Antwerpen Open VZW, was appointed as executive producer of Mode2001. The FFI, the other coordinating party of the project, was especially important with respect to the content of the events. As an expert from the fashion industry, the FFI mainly contributed its expertise, know-how, network and personal contacts. The FFI for instance was responsible for the selection of the curator of the event: Walter van Beierendonck, one of the Six of Antwerp. This choice was very important for the artistic direction and the success of Mode2001. “Since it is not always easy to work with artistic people, it was very important that the communication with the curator was done by a party which could speak the same language. That is why the FFI was responsible for the communication with Walter van Beierendonck and the rest of the creative team, which was a great success.” (Director of the department Culture, Sports and Youth, at that time general coordinator of Antwerpen Open VZW and executive producer of Mode2001) Next to the two coordinating parties, also the touristic actors were of special importance. On the 30 th of March 2000, a cooperation agreement with Tourism Flanders and Tourism Antwerp (Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp) was signed. For Mode2001 these two parties were working closely together and became structural partners concerning international marketing and promotion. The event for instance got four stars in the marketing activities of both parties, which means that international tourism offices explicitly mentioned Mode2001 in their promotional campaigns and that the press was informed about and personally invited for the event. So the touristic partners were contributing their network, organizing capacity, expertise, know-how and financial resources in the form of marketing and promotional campaigns. Together they were financing one third of the communication/promotional budget of the event. An overview of these costs can be found in the following scheme: Communication costs – Mode2001

2000

2001

General communication Promotion national Promotion international Press relations Information management Public relations Publications Sponsorships Ticketing Catering Merchandising Total communication costs

Table 1: Communication costs Mode2001 (Verbergt, 2001, p. 25)

Next to the contribution of public parties, also private parties contributed financial resources. The main sponsors are KBC Bank & Verzekeringen, Chrysler, Virgin-Express and Gazet van Antwerpen. ModeNatie In order to continue the success of Mode2001, another project which needed the pooling of resources was initiated: the realization of the ModeNatie. When the project plan, initiated by the FFI and the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp, was accepted by the college of Mayor and Alderman Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 30

of Antwerp, financial resources for the realization of the project needed to be found. The building, a contribution of the city of Antwerp, was in very bad condition. Finally a ppp-construction with the name ModeNatie NV was created, in order to be able to cover the costs for the renovation of the building. Eventually, the concept ModeNatie turned out to become a very complex construction, of which the details are not of relevance in the context of this research. However, the most important features and contributions of the involved parties will be outlined. The ModeNatie NV consists of seven private shareholders (Agfa Gevaert, Electrabel, Gimv, KBC Bank & Verzekeringen, Creamoda, Mercator & Noodstar and Vooruitzicht) and one public shareholder (the Flemish Community, Textile Flanders). These shareholders were asked to guarantee for an amount of 10 million Belgian Franc each. At the beginning of the renovation they were asked to invest 3 million Belgian Franc. However, when the costs began to rise because of problems with the renovation, the shareholders were asked to invest 3 million Belgian Franc for the second time. Although this second request resulted in some conflicts, all the shareholders finally invested the total amount of 6 million Belgian Franc. Also the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp directed financial resources towards the ModeNatie. Converted, it contributed a total amount of 3 million Euro. On top of this, the city of Antwerp also offered the ModeNatie a loan. This loan has to be redeemed by the responsible parties. The city of Antwerp supports, but is not strategically involved with the ModeNatie. The main partners: the FFI, the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy, the MoMu but also the Copyright Bookshop have to pay their rents to the city of Antwerp. Besides, the ModeNatie has to generate its own income by for instance renting the empty spaces. As said before, the main residents of the ModeNatie are supported by different parties. The fashion department of the Antwerp Academy is part of the Artesis Hogeschool Antwerp and therefore supported by the Ministery of Education of the Flemish Community. The MoMu originally is a Provincial Museum and as a result supported by the Province of Antwerp. The contribution of the Province is about 200.000 Euro for personnel expenses. Furthermore the MoMu has got revenues from selling tickets and for a small part also sponsorships (AkzoNobel and schools). Finally the FFI had a budget of 425.000 Euro a year. Of this budget, 150.000 Euro was subsidized by the Ministry of Economy. On top of that, Fortis contributed 375.000 Euro a year, from which 87.000 Euro was for the MoMu and 12.500 Euro was for the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy. Because of the fact that this budget was not sufficient for the FFI, it started a partnership with Flanders DC. As a result of this partnership, today the FFI has a budget of 500.000 Euro. This budget is supported by the Ministry of Economy, today also known as the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation of the Flemisch community. Besides the ModeNatie being a landmark for fashion in Antwerp, its three main residents all have their specific contribution to the fashion coalition of Antwerp. The contribution of the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy is mainly the delivery of highly educated and qualitative outstanding fashion designers, which is reflected in the reputation of Antwerp as a fashion city. After their graduation, the FFI has created a follow-up for young fashion designers. In this context the FFI is helping the designers setting up their business and promoting them nationally and internationally. In general the FFI is identified as an expert and knowledge institute concerning fashion, so this party mainly contributes its know-how, expertise and network. Related to this, the FFI is identified as the pre-eminent partner for fashion in Flanders and Antwerp and as a mediator, coordinator and liaison between the different parties within the Antwerp fashion cluster. Finally the MoMu is responsible for the element research and the archiving and displaying of its collections. The displaying part in the form of exhibitions is the most important contribution for Antwerp as a fashion city. By doing this, the MoMu shows the visitors of Antwerp that the city indeed is a fashion city. Together, these three parties are responsible for the successful implementation of the concept ModeNatie. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 31

The Tourism Department: the touristic policy program related to fashion Next to the ModeNatie, the success of Mode2001 was also continued in a touristic policy program related to fashion. That is why the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp also is a very important actor for the fashion coalition of Antwerp. This department has a relatively small team and budget. For the marketing related to fashion the Tourism Department has a budget of 30.000 Euro. On top of this, there is an amount of 20.000 Euro available for product development. The budget available for projects is about 500.000 Euro, of which the most is invested in the Cool Capitals project. Finally it is important to note that most of the expenses concerning fashion are out of the pocket. A lot of initiatives of the Tourism Department like the organization of promotional campaigns, events and the development of products are initiated in collaboration with the FFI. On these occasions the Tourism Department mainly contributes organizing/promotional capacity and financial resources and the FFI on the other hand is responsible for the expertise, know-how, content and network related to fashion. In this context, again, the pooling of resources and the coming together of the touristic and the creative/artistic agenda can be identified. CultuurInvest The last party described in this paragraph is the public-private investment fund CultuurInvest. Although this party is not a part of the fashion coalition of Antwerp, it does have a special meaning in the context of the contribution of resources. In the year 2006, CultuurInvest was founded by the Flemish Ministery of Culture, the Ministry of Economics, Science and Innovation and the Ministry of Finances. The goal of CultuurInvest is to invest risk-capital in Flemish creative enterprises (for instance fashion designers) that cannot get support from the government. In this way CultuurInvest, a department of PMV Flanders, wants to build a bridge between culture and economy. An important aspect of CultuurInvest is that the fund does not subsidize but invests risk-capital in Flemish enterprises, with the goal of gaining financial returns. In order to be considered for an investment, the creative enterprise must offer quality products that are culture related and have clear economic or commercial potential. In this way, CultuurInvest stimulates creative entrepreneurs, for instance fashion designers, to become more entrepreneurial. In order to get off the ground, CultuurInvest initially got a sum of 20 million euro to invest. Half of this amount was provided by the Flemish Community, the other half was lent by banks and insurance companies. Since a well-balanced business plan is needed in order to be considered for an investment, CultuurInvest is identified as one of the success factors behind the Antwerp or Flemish fashion designers. 4.3.4 Stimuli/incentives In the year 1997, Linda Loppa and four other prominent from the Antwerp fashion scene started to create a follow-up for young fashion designers. Their goal wa to support and promote these designers and in this way also promote Antwerp fashion in general. Eventually this resulted in the foundation of the FFI. Despite this collaboration, there did not really exist a fashion coalition in Antwerp. During the development of the fashion coalition of Antwerp and the foundation of several initiatives related to fashion, different parties had different motives and reasons to collaborate. The three most important initiatives in this context of collaboration (related to a shared agenda and the pooling of resources) are presented in this paragraph. Mode2001 For Mode2001 the two coordinating parties, Antwerpen Open VZW and the FFI, had different reasons to collaborate. Antwerpen Open VZW has the mission to stimulate urban and cultural renewal. By organizing cultural events, the initiative wants to stimulate and promote parts of the Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 32

cultural industry which seem to have great potential. By doing this, Antwerpen Open VZW intends to create a basis for further development. "The way we work.. We are always trying to use our feelers in order to detect what is going on in Antwerp. We are always looking for new points of view and new ways to present our city." (Producer of Antwerpen Open VZW) In the second half of the nineties, when the fashion sector was an upcoming industry in Antwerp, the idea for a mega event related to fashion was launched. At that time, this idea fitted the mission of Antwerpen Open VZW extremely well. That was the main reason why this organization decided to participate. The main reason for the FFI to participate was to safeguard the artistic quality of the event, according to their principles about Antwerp and Flemish fashion. With this the FFI clearly wanted to stress the artistic, cultural and intellectual dimension of fashion. For them Mode2001 was a tool to consolidate and stimulate the profile, position and meaning of fashion in Antwerp. For the touristic partners, respectively the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp and Tourism Flanders, the main reason to participate was to open up the touristic trump-card that fashion itself represents for Antwerp and Flanders in general. Furthermore both partners wanted to stress the international reputation of Antwerp as an innovative, creative and trendy city/region. Finally an important reason for the sponsors to invest in the project was the international radiation of and attention for the event. Besides, according to the organization of Mode2001, fashion seemed to be something imaginative and sexy, which a lot of companies wanted to become associated with. ModeNatie With the realization of the ModeNatie, one of the structural results of Mode2001, there were other reasons and motivations to collaborate and participate in the project. For the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy this was obvious: their building in which the fashion department was housed at that time was deplorable. That is why the people of the fashion department, especially Linda Loppa, supported the idea of the new accommodation. At the same time, the former Provincial Costume and Textile Museum was also looking for a new location in the centre of Antwerp, because the representative of the Province of Antwerp thought that this could be a very welcome boost for the museum. When Linda Loppa, at that time also head of the FFI, was chosen as the intendant of the new museum, all pieces fell together. At that point it became clear that this new building would house these three main actors of Antwerp’s fashion cluster. This concept would stimulate the individual quality of the different actors but also the collaboration and synergy among them. This perspective was of course an extra stimulation for the parties to move to the ModeNatie. “An example of collaboration between the entities of the ModeNatie is the fact that we are exhibiting the work of the students of the fashion department in the forum of the building. In this way we are giving the students the opportunity to present their collections to a broader audience.” (Press and pr manager of the MoMu) The main reason for the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp to support the initiative was related to the touristic trump-card fashion represents. This party viewed the concept of the ModeNatie as the ultimate confirmation that the city was consecrated with fashion. As a result, this landmark would give an impulse to Antwerp as a touristic and fashion destination. The sponsors, especially the organizations of ModeNatie NV, are making up the last category of partners which contributed to the realization of the concept ModeNatie. Also for this project it can be said that the international Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 33

attention but also the sexy image of fashion were important stimuli to participate. However, for this project also the persuasiveness of the initiators and the involvement of politicians were mentioned as incentives. Besides, at that time, the financial contribution of a company to an initiative like the ModeNatie was seen as an act of good citizenship; by supporting this initiative, a company could really contribute something valuable to the community of Antwerp and Flanders. The touristic policy program related to fashion The touristic policy program related to fashion is another structural result of Mode2001. The most important collaborating parties in this context are the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp, the MoMu and the FFI. In general, the most important reason to initiate such a program was to keep on generating attention for Antwerp fashion and to keep on promoting and positioning Antwerp as a fashion city in a structural way. For the creative parties, the most important reason to collaborate is related to the international attention which is generated by joint activities like product development and the initiating of projects and promotional and marketing campaigns. The creative partners need the international attention of visitors and press which is generated by the touristic partners. For the touristic partners, again the touristic trump-card which fashion represents for the city of Antwerp is an important reason to collaborate. The most important reasoning behind the initiating of the policy program for the Tourism Department is to keep on profiting from this trump-card, in terms of international representation and visitors. In order to be able to do this in a stable and sustainable way, the Tourism Department needs the creative parties of its fashion industry. In the end, these parties are representing what Antwerp fashion is about. In order to be able to keep the creative and touristic perspective in balance, the aforementioned parties are working closely together. 4.3.5 (In)formal arrangement of the collaborations As said before, the Antwerp fashion coalition is relatively small and compact. From the beginning, only a few people were the driving force behind the concept Antwerp fashion city. As a result, the Antwerp fashion coalition is strongly based on personal and informal contacts. “The city of Antwerp is not that big. People just know each other and meet each other at different occasions. Those informal contacts are crucial in the context of these kinds of collaborations.” (Producer of Antwerpen Open VZW) The first contacts started after the breakthrough of the Six of Antwerp. After their graduation these six designers, also a group of close friends, made the step into the international fashion scene. At that time Linda Loppa was the head of the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy. Together with a few of her own contacts, she started the initiative FFI in 1997. One of the co-founders of the FFI was a promoter of the Belgian avant-garde fashion. In 1987 he was the one who went to London with the six young talents and presented them as the Six of Antwerp. In this same period he also coordinated the Golden Spindle shows and started the legendary fashion shop Louis, which would become known as a stage for young designers. Another co-founder of the FFI was fashion journalist and chef fashion of the Flair. She followed the Six of Antwerp since they were studying at the Antwerp Academy and after their graduation she also worked together with them on styling projects for Flair. The next co-founder of the FFI was fashion designer and teacher at the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy. Finally the husband of Linda Loppa was also one of the co-founders. The first chairman of the FFI at that time also was the chairman of the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp and also managing director of the Gevaert Holding. One of his employees responsible for tourism also became the director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp a few years later. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 34

This manager was involved with the FFI as a member of the board of directors as well. By these contacts, a very solid backbone for further collaboration was created. As mentioned before, two important projects on which the different actors worked together were Mode2001 and the realization of the ModeNatie. This can best be illustrated with an example. “After Mode2001 we wanted to create a physical proof of the fact that Antwerp is fashion. We did not want fashion to be only behind closed doors. With this plan I went to Linda Loppa after the show of the fashion department. At that time the fashion department had serious housing problems. Within a month the plan for the ModeNatie was created. It is very special to see how people find each other when needs and opportunities are coming together.” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp and at that time tourism manager of the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp) After the plan was accepted by the College of Mayor and Aldermen, it was the chairman of the Strategic Plan for the region Antwerp who took responsibility for the financial part of the renovation. The Gevaert Holding, of which he was managing director at that time, became one of the main shareholders of the project. When the realization of the ModeNatie was completed, this of course stimulated the communication among the different entities as a result of the short lines of communication. These short lines were also stimulated by the fact that Linda Loppa was the head of the three different entities. After a few years Linda Loppa handed her responsibilities over to the next generation. This selection of new people was again based on personal and informal contacts. In the present situation, the communication between the different actors still goes very well. Tourism Antwerp for instance created a permanent consultation structure, in order to stay informed about what is happening in the sector. In the context of these meetings, different parties related to different aspects of the tourism sector are invited. This includes for instance representatives from the catering industry, hotels, and representatives of the fashion industry. For the fashion industry, the FFI and the MoMu have been selected. In this way they are bridging between the city of Antwerp and the creative/artistic actors from the Antwerp fashion cluster. When the Tourism Department for instance has a question for a designer, it always communicates via the FFI. “We do not want to bother the designers too much. The FFI speaks their language and is therefore better able to communicate with them.” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp) Furthermore the general manager of the FFI is also a member of the board of directors of the touristic campaign Visit Antwerp. The members of this group come together once a month. Besides, as already mentioned, the tourism manager of the Strategic Plan was also member of the board of directors of the FFI. However, when she started to work at the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp she decided to quit this job. According to her it became too difficult to combine both functions, but the connection between the Tourism Department and the FFI is still very strong. “I can also see this in my team. My employees like to do things together with the team members of the FFI in their free time. Everything just matches in Antwerp, that is for sure and we are very thankful for that!” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp) As well as the FFI is a very important partner for the city of Antwerp, it is also a very important institute for the Flemish Community. In their communication related to fashion the Flemish Community always refers to the FFI. The Flemmish Community is only subsidizing the fashion industry of Flanders and has assigned the FFI as the expert in this context. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 35

4.3.6 Stable/sustainable collaborations Since the breakthrough of the Six of Antwerp in 1987 and approximately the foundation of the FFI in 1997, something like a fashion cluster developed in Antwerp. However, it was with the organization of Mode2001 that this cluster developed into a coalition. Based on personal contacts and with a sense of urgency, the people of this coalition were able to create a capacity to act. When Mode2001 ended in 2001, the success formula was continued with the realization of the ModeNatie. At that time Linda Loppa, head of the three residents of the ModeNatie, was pioneer of the Antwerp fashion scene and also leading lady of the fashion coalition. However, in the year 2005 the first problems arose. Linda Loppa was accused of elitism and even nepotism. Besides, because of the fact that the FFI had grown and expanded its business, it could no longer be managed by creative people with personal ambition and idealism only. As a result of mismanagement, the Flemish Community and main sponsor Fortis did no longer want to support the FFI. As a result the FFI had to be reorganized. “In the start-up phase, people were voluntarily working together on the basis of idealism. At a certain moment some people stopped because they had to sacrifice too much of their free time. As a result, the people who went on with the initiative began to think that they were ‘incontournable’ (indispensible). They became less open-minded and receptive for the influence of other parties. That is a process the FFI went through.” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp) Finally Linda Loppa left Antwerp and new, more business oriented parties got involved with the ModeNatie. The FFI got a board of directors with representatives from for example McKinsey and the Cambre of Commerce and also the new managing director had a business related background. “Creative people are per definition related to big egos. So when these creative people are working together, a special type of dynamism is created. This is exactly what happened during the start-up phase of the FFI. That why, at a given moment, business related parties became involved with the management of the FFI, in order to compensate weaknesses and neutralize these egos.” (Vicechairman of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the initiative Routeplan and former chairman of the board of directors of the FFI) In the same period, personal contacts of Linda Loppa became selected as the new head of the fashion department and the MoMu. Because of ongoing financial problems the FFI finally became part of the Flemish governmental organization Flanders DC. Despite the changes at the FFI and the initiators went their own way, they still feel emotionally attached to the institute. “When Linda Loppa, the core of our movement, left the ModeNatie, our team fell apart and we all went our own way. Despite this and although the focus of the FFI became more economically oriented, we still feel emotionally attached to the institute. Although none of us is still actively involved with the FFI anymore, we definitely support the current vision and activities of the FFI.” (Fashion journalist and co-founder of the FFI) After the start-up phase and a period of conflicts and changes, the fashion coalition of Antwerp seems to have reached a more mature phase. Even without Linda Loppa, by many people identified as the leading lady of the Antwerp fashion scene, and with the contribution of new people, the Antwerp fashion cluster seems to be restored. However, when taking a closer look, there are still a few aspects which need attention. The first point of attention is the above-mentioned mature phase, into which the Antwerp fashion coalition has evolved. In this mature phase, all parties have reached a Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 36

new, comfortable position which lacks a strong need to keep on working together. The FFI has got its new function and partnership with Flanders DC, the MoMu has got its expositions twice a year and the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy wants to concentrate on its education program and students. In this context, especially the Tourism Department is aware of the importance to maintain the sense of urgency and to keep the need to collaborate alive. It already has been ten years since Mode2001 was organized, the ModeNatie recently had is ten-year anniversary and the Six of Antwerp also passed the fifty. Antwerp’s status a fashion city cannot be build on the basis of historical facts only. That is why the fashion coalition of Antwerp needs a new spark. “We have to keep the fire burning, the only question is how. Several people have suggested a new mega-event related to fashion, something like Mode2011. I do not think that is a very good idea. Mode2001 was a great success and will be difficult to exceed. It is time for something new! (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp) Next to the aforementioned points of attention, the Antwerp fashion coalition also needs to be careful that the ‘fashion vibe’ in Antwerp does not get too commercial. As a result of the Tourism Department’s focus on shopping experience, Antwerp gets increasingly know as a shopping- instead of a fashion city. Since the eighties of the last century, Antwerp became known for its outstanding designers. Without these designers Antwerp would not have become a fashion city. That is why it is crucial that the next generations keep on feeling comfortable in Antwerp and want to establish their business in the city. After Mode2001 the first steps in this context were taken. However, it is important that the actors of the Antwerp fashion coalition keep on focusing on this aspect. “It is very important for the city of Antwerp to not underestimate the position of the designers. Some designers might think that fashion in Antwerp is not what it used to be. That the scene has been taken over by commercial brand stores. So a policy program related to fashion should be focused on this kind of issues.” (Director of the department Culture, Sports and Youth, at that time general coordinator of Antwerpen Open VZW and executive producer of Mode2001) 4.3.7 A fashion regime in Antwerp? Not all types of collaboration can simply be labeled as regimes. In order to be able to conclude if there is a fashion regime in Antwerp, a checklist of the following regime characteristics defined by Stone (1989) is used: composition (mix of public and private parties), (shared) agenda, the pooling of resources, stimuli-incentives to keep on collaborating, the informal arrangement and finally the stable and sustainable character of the collaborations. As stated before, the fashion coalition in Antwerp is relatively small and compact. In fact, there are only a few public and private parties which were the driving forces behind the concept ‘Antwerp fashion city’. The Antwerp fashion coalition represents parties from different perspectives. An important part of the Antwerp fashion coalition is represented by the creative or fashion related parties like the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy, the MoMu and the FFI, which also represents the designers. Another part of this coalition, as least as important, is represented by the touristic partners like the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp and later the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp but also the Tourism Department of the Flemish Community. A third part of the coalition is represented by different private parties, especially responsible for the contribution of financial resources. Despite the different perspectives, these parties had the overarching goal to position Antwerp as an international fashion city. In one way the goal was to illuminate the creative or Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 37

cultural dimension of fashion and to position and promote Flanders and especially Antwerp as a centre for avant-garde designer fashion. In another way, the goal was to open-up the touristic trump card fashion itself represents for Antwerp and Flanders. As a result, the shared agenda is a reflection of the composition of the fashion coalition, in which the creative and touristic perspective became intertwined. These two perspectives can also be identified in the context of resources. Regarding the resources, the pooling of resources can be identified in the Antwerp fashion cluster. Not only for the organization of Mode2001 and the realization of the ModeNatie, but also in the realization of a structural touristic policy program related to fashion. In general, the most important contribution of the creative related partners was their specific expertise, know-how and network related to fashion. This includes respectively education, research, the archiving and displaying of collections and the supporting and promoting of young fashion designers. The touristic parties on the other hand contributed their specific expertise, know-how, network and organizing capacity in the form of marketing and promotional campaigns, but also financial resources. Finally also several private parties contributed financial resources in order to realize initiatives like for instance Mode2001 and ModeNatie. Also concerning the stimuli or incentives, the abovementioned perspectives can be identified. The most important reason for creative parties to collaborate is to get the Antwerp fashion cluster to a higher level internally and externally consolidate and promote Antwerp or Flemish fashion; avant-garde fashion with a clear focus on the top segment of young fashion designers. For the touristic partners, the most important reason to collaborate is to position Antwerp and Flanders as an international and vibrant destination, in order to be able to attract visitors. Finally good citizenship, the sexy and imaginative image and the international attention are reasons why a lot of companies want to become associated with fashion and support the Antwerp fashion scene. Especially the incentives of the creative and touristic partners are contributing to a structural type of collaboration. The Antwerp fashion coalition is very compact. From the beginning, this coalition is driven by a few people with ambition, idealism and a common goal. As a result, people within the coalition know each other and are able to find each other easily. That is why the communication is strongly based on personal and informal contacts. Not only among the creative parties, but also between the creative and touristic parties. In this context of communication, the FFI and the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp are the two most important axes. With the foundation of the FFI, more and more collaborations concerning fashion developed in Antwerp. However, it was with the organization of Mode2001 (since 1999) that these collaborations developed into a coalition. After Mode2001, these collaborations were continued in the realization of the ModeNatie and a touristic policy program specifically related to fashion. In these years, the coalition was able to survive elections, the going away of several influential actors and the introduction of new representatives. At the moment, the Antwerp fashion coalition has reached a more mature phase, in which it is important to maintain the sense of urgency and the need to collaborate alive. Related to this, it is crucial that the 'fashion vibe' in Antwerp does not get to commercial, in order to keep the creative and touristic perspective aligned. Overall, it can be concluded that there is a fashion regime in Antwerp. Based on idealism, a sense of urgency and personal contacts, the parties within this regime have been able to create a common vision and capacity to act. As a result, Antwerp has been put on the international fashion map. However, it is crucial for the regime to, even in this more mature stage, keep the sense of urgency and need to collaborate alive.

Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 38

4.4

The way in which Antwerp uses fashion in its strategic positioning

4.4.1 Strategic agenda According to Gimeno Martínez (2007) it did not take long for fashion to become closely identified with the city of Antwerp. He (2007, p. 2449) states that: “In 2004, the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce (concept citymarketing plan Antwerpen) listed fashion as one of the seven structural elements underpinning the image of the city, the other six being architecture, art and culture, diamonds, water, restaurants and shopping. The same Chamber of Commerce had not mentioned fashion in its 1992 Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp. During those years, fashion entered the agendas of the Antwerp political elite and became immediately apparent.” During the nineties Antwerp underwent a branding process as a fashion city. Antwerp’s status as a fashion city was especially created within the logic of organized tourism and cultural events. The first time fashion explicitly became an item on the political agenda was with the Strategic Plan Tourism Antwerp in 1997. This plan, part of the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp, was especially dedicated to the realization of the ModeNatie. This plan fitted the Antwerp strategy related to fashion: never inventing something but only focusing on the strengths and highlighting these. “There was something going on in Antwerp, we should have been blind if we not noticed this. It was a logical step to respond to this.” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp) The opening of the ModeNatie was planned in 2001, at the beginning of Mode2001. However, because of some problems with the renovation, this opening was delayed. In the same year Mode2001 was organized. This was the first time the city of Antwerp invested a lot of money in a project related to fashion. With this event, meant to consolidate and strengthen Antwerp’s status as a fashion capital, the fashion coalition wanted to stress the intellectual, creative and cultural dimension of fashion and distinguish itself from commercial initiatives like fashion weeks. As a result, a clear profile concerning Antwerp fashion was created and communicated. Since the coalition also included governmental and touristic partners, the touristic component of fashion and the events was also very important. With Mode2001, the coalition wanted to open up the touristic trump-card that fashion itself represents for Antwerp and Flanders. As a result of Mode2001, the success of the vision of the event was continued in a structural touristic policy program related to fashion. From that moment on, the Tourism Department became the most important governmental partner in the fashion coalition. “We are emotionally involved with the Antwerp fashion scene. Of course there are official policy documents, but we have an emotional connection with fashion that goes far beyond the reach of those documents.” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp) Related to the important role of the Tourism Department in the fashion coalition, the branding aspect a became increasingly important. This branding strategy mainly focuses on contacts with the press and product development. Despite the focus on branding activities, Antwerp does not have an international city marketing strategy. Although thanks to all the marketing and promotional activities in the context of fashion, it might seem that there is something like an international city marketing campaign. For an important part, these marketing and promotional activities focus on shopping. “For an important part fashion is shopping in Antwerp. We have a mix of commercial brand stores, designer boutiques and multi-label shops. Besides, the city of Antwerp scores very good on the Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 39

‘amenities’ defined by Richard Florida. Antwerp is compact city centrally located between Amsterdam, London and Paris, has a good accessibility, a historical city centre and outstanding gastronomic facilities.” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp) As mentioned before, the fashion coalition has to be careful that the profile of Antwerp fashion does not get too commercial. According to Arnoldus et al. (2009, p. 18), several Antwerp fashion designers think that they are only used by the city to polish its image and reputation for touristic or commercial purposes. Without its designers, Antwerp would not have become a fashion city. That is why it is important for the Antwerp fashion cluster to also stay focused on this artistic dimension of fashion and to make sure that the designers will stay identified with Antwerp as a fashion city. In the present situation, especially the FFI and the Tourism Department are working on this issue. Next to the Tourism Department also the department Work and Economy, founded in the year 2006, concentrates on the commercial dimension of the fashion industry. This department of the city of Antwerp focuses on economic development and employment issues. “As the department of Culture, Sports and Youth of the city of Antwerp, we decided to not include fashion in our department. Since fashion is a serious economic business, this industry is assigned to the portfolio of the department Work and Economy, just like every other economic industry.” (Director of the department Culture, Sports and Youth, at that time general coordinator of Antwerpen Open VZW and executive producer of Mode2001) On the one hand, the policy program of the department Work and Economy focuses on the development and promotion of Antwerp’s shopping areas. With policy reports like ‘Retail in Antwerp’ the department Work and Economy aims to develop an up to date and coherent policy program related to retail, which is aligned with the latest trends and developments. In this context, the department has three main objectives. -

Making sure that the offer concerning retail is extensive and has a top quality. Striving for a maximum variation of shops and shopping area in order to be able to fulfill the demands of the consumers. Directing the commercial dynamism in Antwerp in order to stay competitive, by means of a clear positioning of the different (potential) shopping areas.

The abovementioned objectives are in line with the aim of the Tourism Department to promote Antwerp as an international shopping city, although fashion represents only a small part of the retail sector. Next to the policy program related to retail, the department Work and Economy is also developing a program which is more focused on the creative economy and innovation. With the development of this new program, the department Work and Economy wants to get issues like sustainable product development, creative entrepreneurship and talent development on the political agenda of Antwerp. In this context, Work and Economy identifies the facilitation concerning education and working/living space as its main responsibilities. These will be united in an integrated policy program for the creative sector. As a result it can be concluded that the department Work and Economy has no structural policy program for the fashion industry. Next to the policy program for the creative economy which is developed at the moment, the department identifies fashion as an icon which is very useful in the context of international city promotion. The department Work and Economy for instance mentions Antwerp’s famous fashion designers in its promotional material which is created in order to attract international businesses towards the city. Besides, the Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 40

department Work and Economy launched a project in collaboration with the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce: Plato-mode. This project aims at helping young fashion designers by professionalizing their business. “With fashion, we can relate to many different aspects of the Antwerp economy. Not only shopping, or the attraction of international businesses, but there are also links with the diamond- and the gastronomic sector. So the fashion industry is very important for the quality of life in Antwerp.” (Director of the department Work and Economy) The Antwerp Chamber of Commerce shares the above-mentioned point of view. According to this organization, the city of Antwerp should focus more on issues like talent development and innovation. This perspective is presented in Routeplan 2012, an initiative of the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with McKinsey. The aim of this plan is to provide recommendations to the city of Antwerp in the context of economic development. “In Antwerp two different routes or perspectives on fashion can be identified. One is related to shopping and the other is related to fashion as a biotope, with artistic and academic freedom and respect for designers. Those are two completely different perspectives. When a city becomes identified as a shopping city, this of course can be very valuable. However, the generation of artistic talent or designers is something completely different, something which can stimulate innovation and renewal in an urban context. For me innovation is the linking of the immaterial, creative and artistic sector to economic activity; something which cannot always be directed but, in my opinion, evolves best in the environment of a cluster. (Vice-chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the initiative Routeplan and former chairman of the board of directors of the FFI) Furthermore the report Routeplan 2012 concludes that it is very important to connect the different assets the city wants to promote like its history, diamond- and fashion industry. In order to achieve this, the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce states that a strong international city marketing campaign is crucial. That is why the development of such a campaign is one of the main points of attention in the report. “The A-campaign is an excellent campaign for internal purposes, for instance to create a sense of collectivity. However, what Antwerp really needs in my opinion is an internationally oriented city marketing campaign. Public-private collaborations, with the goal to firmly positioning Antwerp on the international market.” (Vice-chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the initiative Routeplan and former chairman of the board of directors of the FFI) It thus can be said that the strategic agenda of Antwerp related to fashion is mainly focused on branding. The agenda also focuses on development, but mostly from a touristic or commercial perspective. From the eighties onwards, with the establishment of the Antwerp fashion cluster, the government extensively supported the development of the fashion industry of Antwerp. However in the current, more mature phase, the sector is only occasionally supported with financial and spatial resources. Finally with the development of a new policy program for the creative economy, the city of Antwerp aims to focus more on this developmental part of the agenda. With this program, the city of Antwerp wants to turn its strategic agenda more in the direction of structural economic development and innovation within the creative economy.

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4.4.2 Organization Since the beginning of the Antwerp fashion coalition, several different parties were involved with the strategic positioning of Antwerp related to fashion. This especially became clear with the organization of Mode2001, the first serious contribution of the Antwerp fashion coalition. At that time, with the breakthrough of the Six of Antwerp and the famous, internationally know Antwerp Academy, Antwerp became known for its avant-garde designer fashion. In order to highlight and strengthen this reputation, the actors of the Antwerp fashion coalition decided that Mode2001 should stress the intellectual, artistic and cultural side of fashion. In this context especially the role of the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy and the FFI, in the person of Linda Loppa, was crucial. Next to the touristic point of view of Tourism Flanders and Antwerp (Strategic Plan Tourism Antwerp) the expertise related to fashion was contributed by these parties. After the realization of the ModeNatie, a process initiated by the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp (an initiative of the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce), a structural touristic policy program related to fashion was developed. As mentioned before, the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp has created a permanent consultation structure, in order to stay informed about what is happening in the sector. The FFI and the MoMu have been selected as the experts and representatives for the fashion industry. Furthermore the general manager of the FFI is also a member of the board of directors of the touristic campaign Visit Antwerp. However, the informal relation between the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp and the ‘fashion actors’ of the Antwerp fashion coalition goes far beyond the reach of these consultation structures. “There is no permanent consultation structure specifically related to fashion in Antwerp. However, the network is strongly based on informal connections and communication. The fashion experts of Antwerp are very important partners for us. They know the Antwerp fashion scene best and can advise us in making policy decisions. The FFI has the function of liaison in this context. They are the link between the creative partners on the one hand and the city of Antwerp on the other hand.” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp) Next to the Tourism Department, also the department Work and Economy, introduced in the previous paragraph, is in interaction with the representatives from the fashion industry. For the development of its new program related to the creative economy, the department Work and Economy is interested in the wishes and needs of different industries. “For the new policy program, the department Work and Economy of the city of Antwerp makes an inventory of the wishes and needs of its different target groups representing the creative economy. By creating a dialogue with the sector, they know what is happening and are able to anticipate on this. In my opinion, the focus towards this type of consultation is a very positive development.” (General manager FFI) As the aforementioned example illustrates, also in this context an important role is assigned to the FFI. Something which is not very striking since the mission of the FFI is to represent, coordinate, support, promote and stimulate the Flemish and Antwerp fashion scene. According to the FFI fashion is a source of innovation, creativity and economic growth. In line with its mission, the FFI functions as an expert and a coordinating and mediating partner. Finally, also the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce has an important role concerning the strategic positioning of the city of Antwerp. With both the initiatives Strategic Plan for the Region Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 42

Antwerp and Routeplan, the Chamber of Commerce presented recommendations to the city of Antwerp, aimed at stimulating economic development in the Antwerp region. With the Strategic Plan for the Region Antwerp, one of the most important realizations was the concept of the ModeNatie. Besides Routeplan, an initiative which the Chamber of Commerce started in the year 2003, became known as the GPS for future development in the Antwerp region. In the context of this plan, the Chamber of Commerce presents its most important recommendations and points of attention to the city of Antwerp. A special position in this Routeplan 2012 is directed to fashion. The organization of Antwerp’s strategic positioning related to fashion can best by typified by the co-creation or even bottom-up approach. As the history of the Antwerp fashion scene illustrates, a lot is accomplished with little or even without any governmental intervention. “In Antwerp a lot has been accomplished without the existence of a policy program related to fashion. The biggest mistake a government can make is taking interventions that destroy what is already there. Maybe the most important lesson that can be drawn from the Antwerp success is to identify what has organically grown and cherish this. The only thing a government can do is stimulating and facilitating where needed.” (Director of the department Culture, Sports and Youth, at that time general coordinator of Antwerpen Open VZW and executive producer of Mode2001) “Fashion is fashion, they are the experts. We are not going to intervene in what they are doing. I think we are just facilitating enough in order to keep everyone awake.” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp) 4.4.3 Activities Since fashion became an issue in the city of Antwerp, many activities have been organized in this context. This paragraph will highlight the most important contributions. After the breakthrough of the Six of Antwerp and with the rise of the fashion Department of the Antwerp Academy and the foundation of the FFI, the city of Antwerp became increasingly concerned with capitalizing on fashion. Since the Flemish initiative FFI had the mission to promote and support fashion in Antwerp and Flanders, the institute (supported by the city of Antwerp) started to organize the annual event Vitrine from the year 1998 onwards. For this event, fashion designers were asked to set up an installation in display windows at different points in the city. The outcome was an unusual presence of fashion at a street level, which was not reduced to the ‘limited possibilities’ of the museums but rater spread throughout the city. By challenging the idea of retail, exhibitory and public space as separate categories, the avant-garde allure of fashion was equaled, designer fashion was brought closer to citizenry and the City Council’s attentions of making a fashion capital of Antwerp were reaffirmed. Another very important event in the context of Antwerp’s status as a fashion city was Mode2001. In the year 1999 the curator presented the general program and his vision behind Mode2001. For this program he designed the red A, as the symbolic marker of the event. After the event, the city of Antwerp started to use the sign for marketing purposes in general. Next to this A, Mode2001 included several extraordinary fashion exhibitions at unconventional locations, an international fashion magazine (A-Z) and in the urban space, fluorescent colour panels were put at key points throughout the city. Next to this program, the city of Antwerp asked the curator to design new uniforms for the city staff, which had to be ready with the start of Mode2001. By then, the dustmen, gardeners, street sweepers and most of the other civil employees should have new, suitable outfits as Antwerp became presented as a fashion Mecca. This example clearly illustrates the Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 43

importance the city of Antwerp attached to the event. Together the above-mentioned elements made Mode2001 a coherent and internationally known festival, which would put Antwerp on the map of fashion as an artistic and cultural fashion city. This first time the government invested a lot of money on a project related to money turned out to be a great success.

Image 1: The campaign image of Mode2001; the skyline of Antwerp with colour panels (Verbergt, 2001, p. 24)

As mentioned before, the success of Mode2001 was continued with the realization of the concept ModeNatie in 2002 and a touristic policy program related to fashion. The most important element of that touristic policy program at that time was the Antwerp Fashion Walk. Because the Antwerp fashion scene became disturbed by guided tours of commercial tour operators, the Tourism Department of the city took responsibility and included the Antwerp Fashion Walk among its guided tour offerings. This tour, developed in collaboration with the FFI, was specifically created as a designer-friendly tour. The precedents can be found in Vitrine 1998, for which a guidebook was published. The map of the Antwerp Fashion Walk included the different venues and listed, fashion, shopping, restaurant and hotel addresses. Besides the Antwerp Fashion Walk, the Tourism Department developed the possibility to shop with a personal shopper, a First Aid for Antwerp Shopping Kit and a special edition of shopping bags for journalist (designed by AF van der Vorst and Tim Van Steenbergen). The relation with the press is very important for the city of Antwerp and mostly based on personal contacts. In October 2009, the city of Antwerp invited eight influential fashion bloggers to visit and write about the city. Furthermore, next to promotional campaigns like arrangements, internet sites (www.shoppinginantwerp.be and www.vistiantwerp.be), flyers, maps, advertisement in magazines and on the internet the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp also uses social media in order to promote the city. Antwerp for instance has its own Facebook page: Antwerp – City of Fashion. This page includes an interactive community, advertisement, an agenda and news related items. Furthermore the city of Antwerp participates in the Cool Capitals project, an interactive website that highlights some of Europe’s hippest capitals, in which fashion is one of the features by which the cities are presented. Other participating cities are Amsterdam, Zurich, Vienna and Valencia. Unlike other celebrated fashion cities, Antwerp never hosted a fashion week. However, Antwerp is known for the famous annual graduation show of the fashion department of the Antwerp Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 44

Academy: Defilé. This show every year brings together about 6.000 spectators from all over the world. These include not only family and friends, but also headhunters, buyers, press, styling agencies and fashion designers. This year (2010) the month of June was transformed into a fashion month in Antwerp. During this month, several initiatives like Vitrine, Defilé, the Antwerp Fashion Walk and Zwart, the current exhibition of the MoMu, are united into one fashion event: ’Mode. Bewust in Antwerpen.’ This fashion month was an initiative of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp. The above-mentioned activities are mostly related to branding and in some cases support, mostly by means of financial resources. Other examples of support can be identified in the activities of the FFI. Since the FFI has the mission to support and promote fashion designers in Antwerp and Flanders, the FFI initiates projects in the context of this mission. At the moment there are no specific activities organized in the context of development or the contribution of (work) space. That is why the department Work and Economy of the city of Antwerp is working on a new policy program for the creative industry. 4.4.4 Budget The Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp is the only department which has a specific policy program and budget related to fashion. The department Work and Economy is involved in the development of retail spaces and the attraction of international companies, in which the Antwerp fashion industry is used as an icon. However this department does not have a specific budget which can be used for the support, development or branding of the Antwerp fashion industry. Furthermore, in the context of the new policy program, the department aims to create a specific budget for the stimulation of the creative industries. However, this program is still in a developmental phase and will focus on the stimulation of the creative industries in general instead of having a specific focus on the Antwerp fashion industry. When looking at the fashion industry, it can be said that the Tourism Department is the most important representative of the Antwerp City Council. Unlike its relevant position, this department has a relatively small team and budget. The four people working at the department have a budget of a total amount of 2.1 million Euro. For the marketing related to fashion the Tourism Department has a budget of 30.000 Euro. On top of this, there is an amount of 20.000 Euro available for product development. The budget available for projects is about 500.000 Euro, of which the most is invested in the Cool Capitals project. Furthermore the Tourism Department also supports several initiatives from the industry. A good example of this is the initiative Vitrine, an annual event initiated and organized by the FFI. In its activities, the Tourism Department often collaborates with parties from the fashion industry. These parties are not finically contributing to the budget of the Tourism Department, but are mainly contributing their specific knowledge, expertise and network. Since the Tourism Department has a small budget for fashion, it is always looking for additional financial resources. For mega projects like for instance Mode2001 or ModeNatie, also several private parties and the Flemish Community financially contributed. Besides, as the structural supporter of the FFI, the Flemsih community indirectly also contributes.

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4.5 Antwerp: fit or misfit? As concluded in paragraph 4.3.7, there is a fashion regime in the city of Antwerp. The next question is to what extend a fit between this regime and the way in which Antwerp uses fashion in its strategic positioning can be identified. The existence of a (mis)fit will be analyzed by the following points: agenda, organization, activities, budget. Fit agenda In order to be able to identify a (mis)fit related to the agenda, the strategic agenda concerning the position and meaning of fashion in Antwerp (for instance branding, supporting, development) will be compared to the shared agenda of the fashion regime. From the eighties onwards, the Antwerp government extensively supported the development of the fashion industry in Antwerp. With the organization of Mode2001, an event to consolidate and strengthen the status of Antwerp as a fashion city, something like a fashion regime developed in the city of Antwerp. Together, the parties of this regime created a shared vision and agenda related to Antwerp fashion. Since that time, the agenda of the Antwerp fashion regime became known for its two perspectives, the creative perspective related to fashion designers and the touristic perspective related to branding and shopping experience. Both perspectives need each other in order to be able to position Antwerp as a fashion city. The touristic perspective needs the designers, the reason why Antwerp became a fashion city and the beating heart of the fashion cluster. The creative perspective on the other hand needs the promotion and international attention of visitors and press which is generated by the touristic partners. One very important partner within this fashion regime, the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp, also represents the strategic agenda of the city. As a result, the shared agenda of the fashion regime and the strategic agenda of the city are interdependent, intertwined and very much aligned to each other. At the moment, the strategic agenda of Antwerp related to fashion is mainly focused on branding from a touristic point of view. However, within this strategy, respect for the creative perspective (especially the fashion designers) is one of the main elements. Without these designers, Antwerp would not have become, or be, a fashion city. Therefore it is very important for the city of Antwerp to keep its designers satisfied. As a result, a fit between the strategic agenda of the city and the shared agenda of the fashion regime can be identified. Fit organization From the previous subsection it becomes clear that the fashion regime is very much involved with the strategic positioning of Antwerp as a fashion city. With Mode2001, different representatives of the creative as well as the touristic perspective were working together in order to consolidate and strengthen the status of Antwerp as a fashion city. Related to this, a collective claim about Antwerp fashion was created. In this context, Mode2001 was the starting point of a very successful collaboration between public, private and non-profit actors within the Antwerp fashion cluster. Even today, several representatives of the Antwerp fashion industry are strongly involved with the strategic positioning related to fashion. The city of Antwerp identifies these representatives as the experts of the Antwerp fashion industry and as a result, very important partners concerning the city´s strategic positioning in this context. That is why a bottom-up or co-creation approach can be identified. The Tourism Department for instance has a consultation structure in which the FFI and the MoMu are representing the fashion industry and for the marketing and promotional campaign Visit Antwerp someone of the FFI is a member of the board of directors. However, since the Touristic Department of the city of Antwerp is also represented in the Antwerp fashion regime, the personal and informal contacts between the different parties are going far beyond the reach of these formal consultation structures. That is why an also a fit concerning the organization can be identified. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 46

Fit activities Since fashion became an issue in the city of Antwerp, many activities have been organized in this context. Very important examples of this are of course the realization of Mode2001 and the ModeNatie. Both concepts were joint initiatives of creative and touristic partners, supported by parties from the private sector. After Mode2001, the success of the event was continued in a touristic policy program related to the fashion industry. Also in this case, a very important role is assigned to the representatives from the fashion industry. Related to this, these representatives are contributing their specific expertise, function as a mediator between the city of Antwerp and the designers and are protecting the image of Antwerp fashion. This can be identified in the context of promotional and marketing campaigns, projects as well as product development. Besides, these representatives are also initiating activities like Vitrine of the FFI and the exhibitions of the MoMu. These initiatives are supported by the city of Antwerp with financial resources and marketing and promotional activities. Also in this context it works both ways; these initiatives are valuable icons for the city of Antwerp in order to promote Antwerp as a fashion city and the initiatives again are profiting from the (international) attention generated by these activities. As a result it can be concluded that, also concerning the initiating, organizing and supporting of activities, a fit can be identified. Fit budget The final aspect which is needed in order to be able to identify if there is an overall fit in Antwerp, is related to the budget. It can be stated that the creative parties represented in the Antwerp fashion regime, are not financially contributing to the budget of the city. They are especially contributing their specific expertise, know-how and network. Other parties involved with the Antwerp fashion regime, like the Flemish Community and several private parties, are financially contributing. Especially in the context of mega projects, like Mode2001 and the ModeNatie, the pooling of financial resources can be identified. Again, a special position is directed to the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp. This department is the only representative of the Antwerp City Council with a specific budget related to fashion. This budget is not only used to finance the promotional and marketing activities of the city of Antwerp, but a part of this budget is also allocated to stimulate and support initiatives from the industry. Overall, it can be stated that also related to the budget, a fit can be identified in the city of Antwerp. In general it can be concluded that there is a fit between the Antwerp fashion regime and the way in which the city of Antwerp uses fashion in its strategic positioning.

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5.

Results: case Amsterdam

5.1 Facts The city of Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and the biggest city of the country. This city has a surface of 219,33 km², about 768.000 inhabitants, 177 (!) different nationalities, a historical inner city with a rich history of over 1000 years, the number four harbour of North−West Europe and the number four airport (Schiphol) of Europe, 40 museums, 1300 restaurants, 900 cafés and 300 coffee shops. Furthermore Amsterdam became famous for its rich tradition with painters like Rembrandt and Van Gogh, spirit of commerce since the VOC and of course its canals, tulips and the Red Light District. In general Amsterdam is known for its open, tolerant and creative climate (Wanders, 2009; www.amsterdam.nl). The creative industries represent an important part of the Amsterdam economy. The added value of the Amsterdam economy in the year 2002 was 24,7 milliard Euro, of which 1,1 milliard Euro (4,5%) was contributed by the creative industries (Rutten, Manshanden, Muskens and Koops, 2004). The amount of jobs in the creative economy of Amsterdam increased from 24.175 jobs in 1996 towards 37.708 jobs in 2009, which is an increase of 56%. With these rates, the employment in the creative industries of Amsterdam grew faster compared to the total employment in this city (Cohen, Van der Groep, Van Hinteren and Van Osteren, 2009).

Creative industries

Total economy 2009: Provisional rates

Year Figure 5: Development in the employment of the creative industries and the total economy of Amsterdam, 1996-2009 (index rates, 1996=100) (Cohen et al., 2009, p. 21)

An important group of these creative industries is represented by the creative business services and fashion in particular. Fashion design is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Dutch economy, especially in Amsterdam (Wenting, Atzema and Frenken, 2006). In the year 2009, 570 independent fashion designers were working in the city of Amsterdam. In the period 2004-2009, this amount increased with 48% . Next to the increase in the amount of fashion designers, also the rise in added value was the highest in this part of the Amsterdam fashion industry (Cohen, et al., 2009). Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 48

Fashion design Fashion production Fashion wholesale Fashion retail

Year Figure 6: The added value of the fashion industry in Amsterdam by sub sector, 1996-2007 (index rates, 1996=100) (Roso, Manshanden, and Koops, 2008, p. 18)

Compared to other Dutch cities, Amsterdam can be identified as the fashion capital of the Netherlands, especially when looking at the amount of fashion designers the different cities represent, respectively 22% in Amsterdam, 4,0% in Rotterdam, 3,6% in Utrecht and 2,9% in Arnhem. Reasons for these fashion designers to establish their business in the city of Amsterdam are the open and tolerant atmosphere of the city, the creative climate and the presence of potential customers. Next to the fashion designers, Amsterdam is also an attractive location for international fashion companies like for instance Tommy Hilfiger, G-star and Mexx, which established their headquarters in the city (Jaensch, Netjes and Van der Heide, 2007). Besides, since the year 2004, the city of Amsterdam also houses an international fashion week and lots of other initiatives related to fashion. From the aforementioned facts, it can be concluded that Amsterdam is the Dutch centre of fashion. However, on an international level, the city does not seem to be able to compete with fashion capitals like Paris, New York, Milan, London and Antwerp (Wenting, Atzema en Frenken, 2006). In order to be able to really grasp the origin of Amsterdam as a creative city and the position and meaning of fashion within this context, it is important to go back into history. 5.2 History Unlike Antwerp, the city of Amsterdam lacks a rich history and tradition in the context of fashion. However, the city of Amsterdam has a good reputation on aspects like creativity and innovation and is known for its creative industries. This paragraph will outline the historical background and the position and meaning of fashion in this context. Towards a policy program for the creative industries In the year 2000, the European Union initiated the Lisbon Strategy. This initiative included an actionand development plan for the European Union in the period between the year 2000 and 2010. The aim of this plan was to make the European Union the most competitive and dynamic knowledgebased economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth (www.europarl.europa.eu).

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“At that time, the creative knowledge economy was not an important topic in the Netherlands. After the initiation of the Lisbon Strategy that did not really change. The Netherlands did quite well on topics like innovation and R&D, so there was no urgency to invest in the creative knowledge economy. In the year 2002 countries like Finland (Helsinki) and England (Birmingham) did start to focus on the creative industries. At the same time the first book of Richard Florida was published and generated a lot of media attention. That was a turning point in the mindset of many policy makers. At that point they recognized the economic value of what was already discussed in the year 2000.” (Fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam and project manager creative industries of the AIM/CCAA) In the year 2002 Richard Florida published his book The Rise of the Creative Class. In this book, he presented the creative sector as the driving force in the context of economic development. From that moment on, policy makers embraced the creative industries in their policy programs. Also in the Netherlands this sector gained importance and became represented on the political agenda. For instance the Dutch Innovation Platform, founded in the year 2003 as an initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, selected the creative industries as one of its six key areas in which to promote growth and innovation (Roso, 2005). These six key areas have been selected based on their outstanding levels of ambition, economic power, organizational capacity and presence of state of the art knowledge and technology. The mission of the Dutch Innovation Platform is to strengthen the innovation capacity of the Netherlands, in order to position the country as an international knowledge economy (www.innovatieplatform.nl). In the same context the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science published a memorandum on the creative industries in The Netherlands. The memorandum with the title 'Ons Creatieve Vermogen' listed a number of policy measures in order to strengthen these creative industries. The vision behind the program was in one way to stimulate the economic dimension of the creative or cultural sector and in another way to strengthen the creative or cultural dimension of the economic sector. For this program, a total amount of 15 million Euro was invested (Wilde and Van Sas, 2006). Even before the presentation of this memorandum TNO, an independent research organization, did a study on the character, size and development of the creative industries in the Amsterdam region. This research was commissioned by the Amsterdam City Council and the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce. For this research, a new definition of the creative industries was developed. According to Rutten et al. (2004) the creative industries include: -

The arts Media- and entertainment Creative business services

In the TNO report 'De creatieve industrie in Amsterdam en de regio', Rutten et al. (2004) concluded that the creative industries represent an important contribution to the Amsterdam economy in terms of employment and added value. Next to this, they identified Amsterdam as the Dutch centre for creative activity. After the presentation of the TNO report and subsequently the memorandum 'Ons Creatieve Vermogen', the city of Amsterdam started to focus on stimulating and facilitating the creative industries with corresponding issues like talent development and innovation. Furthermore it is important to note that Rutten et al. (2004) concluded that the different sectors within the creative industries are equally represented in the city of Amsterdam. That is why the recommended not to focus on one specific part of these creative industries. According to Rutten et al. (2004) the strength of the creative industries of Amsterdam is related to its diversity and variety. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 50

Towards a policy program for the fashion industry? As presented in the previous section, the creative industries are an important sector for the city of Amsterdam. As a result of the TNO report 'De creatieve industrie in Amsterdam en de regio' (2004) the city of Amsterdam decided not to focus on one specific part of these creative industries. However, in the year 2007-2008 there was a fierce discussion going on in the Amsterdam fashion scene. The industry felt underrated by the Amsterdam government and expressed these feelings towards the press and politicians. According to several representatives from the fashion industry, there was too little attention for the economic and promotional value and potential of the fashion industry (Olde-Monnikhof, 2010). As a result of this discussion City Councilor Verweij (2007) presented the motion 'Amsterdam als Modestad', in which he stressed the economic and promotional value of the fashion industry for the city of Amsterdam. However, according to Verweij (2007) the Amsterdam fashion industry needed structural support in order to be able to flourish. He stated that until that moment, the support was ad hoc en not always based on facts and fair considerations. Finally Verweij argued that the Amsterdam fashion industry especially needed support for the stimulation of talent and the creation and stimulation of connections between the different actors within the Amsterdam fashion cluster. Subsequently, as a result of the motion of Verweij (2007), the city of Amsterdam decided to investigate whether, next to the general program for the creative industries, a specific policy program for the fashion industry was needed and if so, what this program should look like. That is why, again, the research organization TNO was asked to make an investigation for the city of Amsterdam; this time the subject was the fashion industry. The conclusion of the TNO report 'Marktplaats Mode: Amsterdam' (2008) was that the fashion industry indeed had an economic and promotional value for the city of Amsterdam and that especially the category fashion designers was represented above average in the city. The last chapter of the report focused on the question what a policy program related to fashion should look like. In this chapter it was stated that governmental intervention was only needed if one could identify monopoly formation, high entrance barriers, lack of information or high transaction costs. Roso et al. (2008) concluded that only in the category of young creative talent there was a lack of information and high transaction costs. That is why the city of Amsterdam chose for a sober form of governmental intervention related to its fashion industry. This program would focus on the visibility and organization of the Amsterdam fashion industry in general and the support of young creative talent specifically. In the context of this policy program, a special fashion coordinator was installed. This fashion coordinator functions as a coordinator, mediator and liaison within the Amsterdam fashion cluster. Furthermore the city of Amsterdam stresses that a specific policy program for the fashion industry is not needed, since this part of the creative industries is already represented in the policy program 'Programma Creatieve Industrie 2007-2010', in which it fits very well. 5.3 The fashion coalition In this paragraph, the Amsterdam fashion coalition will be described by the regime characteristics defined by Stone (1989): composition, (shared) agenda, resources, stimuli/incentives, informal arrangement of the collaborations and stable/sustainable collaborations. The nest subparagraph will start with a description of the composition. 5.3.1 Composition Unlike the compact and strong fashion cluster represented in the city of Antwerp, the Amsterdam fashion cluster includes lots of parties and numerous initiatives related to fashion. This paragraph presents an overview of the different public and private actors which are involved with the Amsterdam fashion industry. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 51



Creative industries Amsterdam

Department Economic Affairs of the city of Amsterdam (EZ) As outlined in the previous paragraph, the city of Amsterdam is an important party in the context of ‘Amsterdam fashion city’. Related to this, EZ is one of its most important representatives. EZ is committed to stimulating economic activity by strengthening the city´s economic structure and nurturing a competitive business environment. EZ aims to make all companies feel at home in Amsterdam and wants to ensure excellent opportunities for (inter)national companies, to set up business in the city (www.ez.amsterdam.nl). Special attention within this context goes to the creative industries. By focusing on creativity, Amsterdam wants to gain a distinctive position in the list of European 'top' cities. The policy program 'Programma Creatieve Industrie 2007-2010' contributes to this ambition. One of the initiatives in the context of this program is the programme Creative Cities Amsterdam Area (CCAA), in which also the fashion industry is represented. This programme will be described in the next section. Another initiative of EZ, which is specifically related to the fashion industry, is the fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam. This actor will be discussed at the end of this paragraph. Amsterdam Innovation Motor (AIM) / CCAA AIM is an initiative of the knowledge network 'KennisKring Amsterdam', which was initiated as a project in the year 2004 and finally registered as a foundation in the year 2006. AIM was established in order to maintain and consolidate the position of the Amsterdam region in the knowledge economy. Related to this AIM promotes innovation, cooperation and new business in the Amsterdam region. One of the four main sectors the AIM focuses on is the creative industries. An important project in this context is the project CCAA, of which AIM is hosting the programme office. CCAA is an initiative of seventeen different partners which includes the municipalities of Amsterdam, Haarlem, Almere, Alkmaar, Zaanstad, Hilversum, Amersfoort and Utrecht, the Provinces of Noord-Holland (North-Holland), Flevoland and Utrecht, the development companies AIM, Flevoland Development Companies and Taskforce Innovation Region Utrecht, the Chambers of Commerce of Amsterdam and Gooi-, Eem- and Flevoland and finally the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The program was initiated to consolidate and stimulate the creative industries in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (which includes the aforementioned municipalities and Provinces). In the creative industries there are many different organizations and initiatives, especially related to the stimulation of entrepreneurship. However, these initiatives are not always attuned to each other and supply and demand do not always seem to be able to find each other. CCAA aims to change this situation by: -

Concentrating information, activities and initiatives by bringing these together in a single physical and digital location: www.ccaa.nl. Improving services to (inter)national starting and growing entrepreneurs. Promoting the creative industries in the region so that they attract (inter)national attention.

Of specific part of CCAA is dedicated to fashion. The project manager creative industries at AIM/CCAA is responsible for this part. At the same time, this manager is also the fashion coordinator. “In my work, I spend 50% of my time as project manager creative industries for AIM/CCAA and the other 50% as a fashion coordinator for the city of Amsterdam.” (Fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam and project manager creative industries of the AIM/CCAA) Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 52

Amsterdam Partners As already mentioned in the first section, Amsterdam wants to gain a distinctive position in the list of European ‘top’ cities. In order to stimulate Amsterdam’s competitive position, it has been decided to give a high priority to strengthening its city marketing. Related to this, Amsterdam Partners was set up in the year 2004 as a platform which includes public as well as private parties. The goal of Amsterdam Partners is to promote and improve the image of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area among relevant target groups in the Netherlands and abroad. Amsterdam is distinctive for its representation of the combination creativity, innovation and commercial spirit. As a city brand is needed in order to promote a city, the motto 'I amsterdam' was launched. Because this motto promotes Amsterdam as a creative and innovative city with a commercial spirit, the creative industries and to a lesser extend the fashion industry in particular, are an important part of the Amsterdam city marketing campaign. An important element of this campaign is for instance the Amsterdam International Fashion Week (www.iamsterdam.com). Amsterdam Topstad Another initiative to stimulate Amsterdam’s competitive position was Amsterdam Topstad. This programme of the city of Amsterdam, had the ambition to re-establish Amsterdam as one of the top five European cities for business during the period 2006-2010. The goal was to remove obstacles, set up activities that would make a difference and market Amsterdam’s qualities. In this context, Amsterdam Topstad aimed to stimulate, participate, make connections between different initiatives and develop new projects. One of the initiatives related to the fashion industry was the project Red ight Fashion. This project transformed the Amsterdam Red Light district into a hotspot for the (inter)national fashion scene. Since March 2010, the programme has ended and achieved its goals by re-establishing Amsterdam as one of the top five European cities (www.topstad.amsterdam.nl). Amsterdam inBusiness Another important party in the context of the attraction of (inter)national businesses is Amsterdam inBusiness. This is the foreign investment agency of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Amsterdam inBusiness is an independent partner for companies wanting to set up their business in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. As an expert in this Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, Amsterdam inBusiness helps businesses finding the best location, introduces them to people who can add value and knowledge and finally navigates them quickly and safely through the bureaucratic and fiscal barriers that are part of any cross-border business venture. Since Amsterdam positions itself as a creative capital, Amsterdam inBusiness included the creative industries as one of its key areas, the fashion industry being a part of this (www.iamsterdam.com/en/business). The Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce The Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce is one of the twelve Chambers of Commerce in the Netherlands. On the basis of its expertise and consultation with employers’ and employees’ organizations, the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce undertakes all kinds of initiatives in order to stimulate the regional economy. In the year 2004, Chamber of Commerce was, together with the city of Amsterdam, one of the commissioners of the report 'De creatieve industrie in Amsterdam en de regio' (Rutten et al., 2004). After the presentation of the outcomes of this report, the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce included the creative industries as one of its key areas. For the fashion industry, as a part of the creative industries, the Chamber of Commerce mainly focuses on issues like entrepreneurship, internationalization and sustainable (product) development (www.kvk.nl). Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 53

Syntens Another organization which has a focus on the creative industries is Syntens. Syntens is an innovation network for small- and medium-sized companies (SME’s), which was founded in 1998 as an initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Syntens’ mission is to strengthen the capacity to innovate of SME’s, to stimulate successful innovation and to make a visible contribution towards sustainable growth. Syntens provides information and advice aimed at innovation within SME’s willing and able to innovate. Since the year 2005 Syntens included the creative industries as one of its key areas. In the year 2006 Syntens also included fashion in its portfolio. In interaction with experts from the industry, Syntens started to focus on issues like innovation, the stimulation of entrepreneurship and internationalization (www.syntens.nl). 

Fashion Amsterdam

Amsterdam International Fashion Week (AIFW) Unlike the previously described initiatives, the AIFW, founded in the year 2004 as a private initiative, has a specific focus on Amsterdam as a fashion city. At that time, initiators had the ambition to put Amsterdam on the map as a sparkling and international fashion city, with a focus on young designers. One of the initiators (www.ccaa.nl) states that: "*…+ the typical Dutch combination of trade and creativity and the Amsterdam atmosphere is what distinguishes the AIFW from other fashion weeks.” The program of the AIFW includes catwalk shows, trade fairs, presentations, lectures and parties. The show program is on invitation and for fashion professionals only. With the growing interest in 'Dutch Design', AIFW attracts a growing audience of international brands, buyers and press. In order to answer the immense demand, AIFW also created a public program: Fashion Week DOWNTOWN. In the start-up phase, the AIFW was supported by the city of Amsterdam. However, from the year 2008 onwards, the city of Amsterdam did not subsidize the AIFW any longer. In order to survive, the AIFW needed to make deals with sponsors. In that same year, the AIFW welcomed Fortis Bank Nederland as its main sponsor. As a result of the integration of Fortis Bank Nederland and ABN AMRO this year, the AIFW will be sponsored under the brand name ABN AMRO from the year 2010 onwards (www.amsterdamfashionweek.com). In this research the name Fortis will be used since it focuses on the period of the past 10-15 years. Amsterdam Airport Area (AAA) AAA, founded in the year 1994, is a partnership between seventeen public and private organizations. These partners are involved in the development of office and industrial parks at and around Amsterdam Airport Area (this area also includes parts of the city and the port of Amsterdam). All the partners have interest in the stimulation of the international position of the Schiphol Area as a competitive area. In its activities, AAA uses a cluster strategy, in which fashion is selected as one of the main clusters. According to AAA fashion stands for serious business. The number of national and international enterprises in fashion is growing and at the same time the volume of clothing and other fashion articles passing through Amsterdam Schiphol Airport as cargo is also rising. For this fashion cluster, a special taskforce fashion was created in the year 2005. Actors within this taskforce are Amsterdam inBusiness, the port of Amsterdam, the fashion coordinator, Schiphol Airport Development Company (SADC), the city of Almere. One of the objectives of the taskforce is to set up an international marketing and promotion campaign focused on fashion in the Amsterdam Airport Area, in order to establish Amsterdam as an international fashion city and as a result attract international businesses. Also in this marketing campaign, which is named Creative Fashion City Amsterdam, the AIFW has a prominent place (www.aaarea.nl). Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 54



Fashion the Netherlands

HTNK Next to the AIFW and the AAA, there are also several organizations and initiatives which are established in Amsterdam but focus on the Dutch fashion industry in general. HTNK, an international recruitment and consultancy agency that is specialized in fashion, is one of these organizations. Founded as a private initiative in 1997, HTNK was the first agency to specialize in the creative process of fashion. In this context, HTNK mediates for a wide variety of clients, both nationally and internationally, in which its services range from recruitment to consultancy on multiple levels. HTNK organizes seminars, workshops, projects, events and numerous other platforms for fashion professionals to meet. With these initiatives, HTNK has the mission to combine creativity with professionalism. HTNK’s consultancy division is always looking for new opportunities to increase the professionalism of the Dutch fashion business, both nationally and internationally. Over the years HTNK has grown into a partner, connector and stimulator of the Dutch fashion scene (www.htnk.nl). Dutch Fashion Foundation (DFF) The DFF, founded in the year 2001, is a non-profit organization which originated from the Arnhem Fashion Institute. Based in the Amsterdam World Fashion Centre (WFC), the DFF manages a group of the most talented Dutch fashion designers. Since the DFF is a non-profit organization, all income generated through the DFF-services, is directly reinvested in the promotion and shaping of the Dutch fashion discipline. With its services the DFF operates on two levels. In the first place the DFF strives to strengthen the social, economic and cultural role of Dutch fashion on a (inter)national level by organizing cultural projects, fashion shows and presentations. Furthermore the DFF aims to strengthen the economic level of fashion by facilitating the cooperation between fashion designers. The most important task of the DFF is supporting and promoting its selected group of Dutch designers on a national and international level (www.dutchfashionfoundation.com). Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) The AMFI, part of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, was launched in the year 1992, as a result of the merger between the Hogere Technische School voor Confectie, Mr. Koetsier and the fashion academy Montaigne. These two fashion training institutes had existed since the year 1950, therefore the AMFI can draw on more than half a century experience. The AMFI has expanded it program ever since, resulting in the current trio of graduation specializations: Fashion & Branding, Fashion & Design and Fashion & Management. With this program, the AMFI trains ambitious people who want to become professional by developing their creative, technical, communicative and commercial skills (www.amfi.nl). Because of the importance the AMFI attaches to commercial skills and entrepreneurship, the AMFI has got its own fashion brand: INDIVIDUALS. This brand is designed, produced and marketed by the students. With this initiative, a platform for the development of creativity and professionalism is created (www.individualsatamfi.nl). Modefabriek The Modefabriek was founded in 1996 and since that time has become a two-day fashion event with international stature. Twice a year, the Modefabriek is creating an inspiring fair experience which is related to the business-to-business segment. Within this concept, the Modefabriek focuses on the showing and trading of fashion labels for fashion professionals. In the year 2009, despite the economic crisis, the Modefabriek kept on expanding. The Amsterdam RAI represented 600 fashion labels within 40.000 m² and welcomed a record number of visitors: 17.000 (www.modefabriek.nl). Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 55

WFC The WFC, founded over forty years ago, is the wholesale centre for the Dutch retail industry. Based in Amsterdam, the WFC represents 400 showrooms and numerous national and international brands and labels. The WFC management rents, administrates and maintains its showrooms and other spaces. Furthermore in its location, the WFC hosts and organizes events. Related to this, the WFC is an important meeting point for the Dutch fashion and retail industry (www.worldfashioncentre.nl). Fortis Bank Nederland Since its foundation in the year 1990, after a fusion of the AMEV and VSB Bank, Fortis has an extensive portfolio of clients from the fashion industry. This portfolio for instance includes commercial brands like Tommy Hilfiger and G-Star. Furthermore, Fortis strongly believes in the potential of the Dutch fashion industry and identifies with its creative and innovative character. In this context Fortis is on top of developments in this industry and has a good understanding of this specific line of business. Related to this, Fortis gives its clients creative and pragmatic advice. Next to the providing of loans and other financial products and services for retailers and fashion designers, Fortis has also been a sponsor of the AIFW since 2005 and main sponsor since 2008. To Fortis, fashion is an important sector and an exclusive platform for client hospitality. With this sponsorship, Fortis endorses its ongoing support as a facilitator and coach for young designers. In this context Fortis started and supports several initiatives which aim to bridge the gap between creativity and commerce and get the Dutch fashion industry to a higher level (www.fortis.nl). Co-Lab Co-lab, a laboratory for fashion and strategy was founded in the year 2006. The initiative was supported by the Dutch foundation for Visual arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB). Its main objective was to help Dutch fashion to get to a higher level. According to Co-Lab, there is no structural follow-up for fashion designers in the Netherlands. That is why the Dutch fashion industry needs an initiative that is able to back up talented designers in finance and operations. In this context, Co-Lab guided and supported several designers with setting up their business. Furthermore Co-Lab stated that a lot of subsidies were invested into Dutch fashion design without any structural effects. That is why Co-Lab had the ambition to create a public-private investment fund for the fashion industry. Just like CultuurInvest, the idea behind the investment fund was to take minority shares in its participating fashion labels. In the context of this plan Co-Lab approached several private parties. In order to get the fund off the ground, Co-Lab also needed support from the public parties. However, as a consequence of the fact that Co-Lab did not seem to fit within any of the support programs, the plans for the investment fund are on hold at the moment (Kuijstermans, 2008). Fashion coordinator As already introduced in the previous paragraph, the fashion industry of Amsterdam has a great potential. However, there are several points which need the attention: the fragmented character of the cluster, the strong distinction between the world of creativity and the world of commerce and finally the lack of attention to entrepreneurship in education programs related to fashion. That is why, in July 2008, EZ installed a fashion coordinator in Amsterdam. The mission of this fashion coordinator is to create an overview of the existing initiatives, in order to be able to identify the gaps which need to be filled, stimulate collaboration and connect the different islands. One special point of attention within this context is the support of fashion designers in the Amsterdam Metropolitan area on issues like entrepreneurship. As a result, the fashion coordinator, as a liaison, connector and mediator, has a special position within the Amsterdam fashion cluster. However, at the moment the position of the fashion coordinator is being reconsidered by EZ (Olde Monnikhof 2009; 2010). Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 56

Creative industries Amsterdam CCAA

Department EZ AIM

Fashion Amsterdam

(Fashion Coordinator

)

Amsterdam Partners

AIFW AAA taskforce fashion Fashion the Netherlands

(Amsterdam Topstad)

HTNK

Amsterdam inBusiness

DFF

Chamber of Commerce Syntens

AMFI Modefabriek Fortis WFC (Co-Lab)

Figure 7: Schematic representation of the Amsterdam fashion cluster

In this paragraph, the most important public and private actors of the Amsterdam fashion cluster and the internal relationships within this cluster have been introduced. Figure 7 presents a schematic representation of this. Important to notice is that there is not one core coalition in the Amsterdam fashion cluster. This cluster is divided in three groups which all have a slightly different focus: creative industries Amsterdam, fashion Amsterdam and fashion the Netherlands. The first group represents parties which are focusing on the creative industries in Amsterdam. The second group represents parties which focus on positioning Amsterdam as a fashion city. The last group represents parties which are located in the city of Amsterdam, but focus on the Dutch fashion industry in general. A special position within this cluster is directed to the fashion coordinator, which functions as a connector between the different groups and parties. However, related to the fact that the position of the fashion coordinator is being reconsidered at the moment, this actor is enclosed by brackets. Amsterdam Topstad and Co-Lab are also enclosed by brackets because these parties do not exist anymore, but have been important players within the Amsterdam fashion cluster. Furthermore the lines in the figure represent the connections between the different parties, which are mostly project-based (apart from the connections between the different representatives of the city of Amsterdam). The dotted lines are connections with parties that do not exist anymore. The different connection and interrelations between the different parties will be further discussed in the following paragraphs. Of course there are more parties which are involved in the Amsterdam fashion cluster like MODINT (Dutch trade association for fashion interior design, carpet and textiles) and Premsela (Dutch platform for design and fashion). However, since these parties are not a part of the Amsterdam fashion cluster, these are not included in the figure. Also the already introduced Fonds BKVB and Bureau Broedplaatsen of the city of Amsterdam are not included. These parties will be discussed in paragraph 5.3.3, since their main focus is on the contribution of resources (financial resources/work space). Because of the multiplicity of involved parties, it is difficult to define the Amsterdam cluster. As illustrated in this paragraph, a point of attention in this context is related to the different agenda’s the cluster is representing. This issue will be discussed in the next paragraph. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 57

5.3.2 (Shared) agenda of the fashion coalition As presented in the previous paragraph, the Amsterdam fashion cluster includes a lot of different parties, agendas and perspectives on fashion. Examples of agendas or perspectives which are represented in this fashion cluster are for example: -

The innovation perspective: the fashion industry as part of the creative industries The creative perspective: stimulation and promotion of fashion designers The commercial perspective: the stimulation of entrepreneurship within the fashion industry The retail perspective: the fashion industry as part of the retail branch The logistic perspective: the fashion industry as part of a distribution system The acquisition perspective: the attraction of (international) fashion companies and businesses

“Everybody is focusing on its own specific agenda, which is basically not a wrong thing to do. However by doing this, the different parties lose track of the higher goal. I think that it is crucial that this higher goal gets formulated. Off course it is impossible to get all the different parties on the same line. However, it should be possible to formulate a shared policy direction; what do we want within five years.” (Project manager at Premsela and former project manager of Co-Lab) Next to the different perspectives, the different parties also have different agendas related to the target area. Target areas represented by actors from the Amsterdam fashion cluster include for example the city of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Airport Area and the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Next to this, a lot of the represented parties are not specifically focusing on Amsterdam but on the Netherlands or the Dutch fashion industry in general. For these parties, it is not the goal to stimulate or promote Amsterdam as a fashion city, but to get the Dutch fashion industry to a higher level. “I think we should focus on the Dutch fashion cluster. There is a very nice cartoon Peter van Straaten in which he has drawn the Netherlands as a village. A very good representation of what we are, nothing more than a pea. So let us stop creating small islands and start uniting and creating a collective identity.” (Creative/deputy director of the AMFI) “Everybody knows Paris fashion week, London fashion week, Milan fashion week. So the Netherlands or Holland fashion week, no thank you. Amsterdam is an excellent brand with international potential.” (Director commercial banking of Fortis) It can be said that only a few parties are concerned with the positioning and promotion of Amsterdam as a fashion city and have a specific focus on the city of Amsterdam. The most important parties in this context are the AIFW and its partners (especially main sponsor Fortis), the taskforce fashion of the AAA and the fashion coordinator as a representative of the city of Amsterdam (EZ). Within this positioning and promoting of Amsterdam as a fashion city, the AIFW mainly focuses on the creative perspective and to a lesser extend the commercial perspective. The focus of the fashion taskforce of the AAA on the other hand is related to the logistic/acquisition perspective. The fashion coordinator as a coordinator, mediator and liaison within the Amsterdam fashion cluster, strives to focus on and represent all the different perspectives.From the previous sections it becomes clear that the touristic/branding perspective, which the city of Antwerp strongly focuses on, is not represented in the city of Amsterdam.

Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 58

“Fashion is not specifically represented in the touristic policy of our city. I can image the fashion scene working as a magnet for international visitors. However, I do not think that we are already at that stage in Amsterdam.” (Senior policy officer at the department EZ of the city of Amsterdam) Related to the short history and the lack of tradition within the Amsterdam fashion cluster, there is no clear profile concerning Amsterdam fashion at the moment. According to the city of Amsterdam, the different actors and initiatives which represent the Amsterdam fashion cluster need to join their forces, in order to create a strong identity. “A story always becomes stronger when it is clear, unambiguous and straightforward. That is why the Amsterdam fashion cluster should join forces and create a collective profile or identity. However, what I have noticed the last years is that this has not always been the case.” (Senior policy officer at the department EZ of the city of Amsterdam) Before attention can be paid to external issues like the promotion of Amsterdam as a fashion city, several internal issues need the attention. First it is important to create a strong fashion cluster in the city of Amsterdam, in order to strengthen and consolidate Amsterdam’s position as a fashion city. In this context, as already mentioned in the paragraph 5.3.1, the following internal issues need the attention: -

The fragmented character of the Amsterdam fashion cluster, resulting from a lack of coordination, collaboration and jointed initiatives. The strong distinction between the world of creativity and the world of commerce. The lack of attention to commercial skills and entrepreneurship in education programs related to fashion (Olde Monnikhof, 2009).

In the last years, a development towards more collaboration and joint initiatives can be identified in the Amsterdam fashion cluster. Despite the fact that these collaborations and initiatives are still very much ad hoc or project based, this is a positive development. In the context of these collaborations, several initiatives which focus on respectively the first and the last two points of attention can be identified. Related to the fragmented character of the Amsterdam fashion cluster, an important initiative is the program CCAA. The first phase of this program (which is already completed) concentrated on mapping the different parties and initiatives present in the creative industries of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and subsequently creating an overview of this. One of CCAA’s main activities was concentrating information, activities and initiatives. In this program, the fashion industry is one of the main target areas. The fashion coordinator, who is working as a project manager for CCAA as well, is an important actor in this context. Next, related to the lack of attention to commercial skills and entrepreneurship, also several programs have been initiated. The most relevant are the project Turning Talent into Business (TTIB) and the Fashion Fasterclass. TTIB was started in the year 2007 as an initiative of Syntens in collaboration with HTNK, the DFF and the Arnhem Mode Biennale (AMB). The aim of TTIB was to guide sixteen high potential fashion design labels towards independent entrepreneurship. TTIB (which meanwhile has come to an end) was a great success and the first collaboration related to fashion on this level. Another initiative in this context is the Fashion Fasterclass. The Fashion Fasterclass started in the year 2009 as an initiative of Fortis and the AIFW. Twice a year when the AIFW is organized, the Fashion Fasterclass brings together fashion designers and a group of consultants, accountants, lawyers and financial and logistic experts. In several workshops, issues like Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 59

entrepreneurship, financial business, internationalization, distribution and legal and fiscal aspects are treated. The aim of the Fashion Fasterclass is to make fashion designers more aware of the commercial aspect of their business and to make the different representatives from the industry more aware of the potential of these creative talents. In this context, these projects are indirectly bridging the gap between the world of creativity and the world of commerce. A special point of attention in this context is the gaining of access to external financial resources, which still seems to be a problem for fashion designers. At this moment for instance the fashion coordinator and Fortis are making inventories of the possibilities in this context. 5.3.3 Resources As described in the previous paragraphs, the city of Amsterdam does not represent a strong fashion coalition with a shared agenda. As a result of the fragmented character of the fashion cluster, it is difficult to identify the pooling of resources. This paragraph provides an overview of the most important resources, which are contributed by respectively the city of Amsterdam and the representatives from the fashion industry, related to the different initiatives, projects and programs. Initiatives from the city of Amsterdam A first point of attention is the fact that the city of Amsterdam is not a structural partner within the Amsterdam fashion cluster. Related to the fact that the city of Amsterdam is not (yet) convinced of the potential of Amsterdam as a fashion city, it also marginally contributes to the development of the Amsterdam fashion cluster. The most relevant contribution is the financing of the fashion coordinator. For this initiative, the city of Amsterdam (EZ) invested a total amount of 98.000 Euro. Of this amount 48.000 Euro is allocated as compensation for the work of the fashion coordinator and the rest can be invested in the initiating or supporting of activities related to fashion. Next to this, the policy program of the city of Amsterdam is mainly related to the creative industries in general. That is why the activities the city of Amsterdam initiates are concentrating on the creative industries and the fashion industry being a part of these. An important initiative in this context is the program CCAA, which is a public initiative of seventeen partners, including the city of Amsterdam (EZ), which have been described in paragraph 5.3.1. This initiative has a focus on the creative industries in general but also includes a specific part related to the (Amsterdam) fashion industry. Because the initiative aims to strengthen and internally organize the creative industries of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region, it also contributes to the internal organization of the Amsterdam fashion cluster. Furthermore the initiative, especially the portal www.ccaa.nl, also has a promotional value. The program is financially supported by the seventeen collaborating parties of the partnership and the subsidy facility 'Pieken in de Delta'. This subsidy facility aims to strengthen the Dutch economy by stimulating economic development in its six different regions. Also for this facility, the creative industries are selected as one of the priorities. Furthermore the AIM is hosting CCAA’s program office, of which Eva Olde Monnikhof is project manager creative industries and, as fashion coordinator, specifically responsible for the part related to fashion. Besides the organization and promotion of the creative industries in Amsterdam, the city of Amsterdam also attaches importance to the contribution of living/working space for creative entrepreneurs. That is why the city has set up Bureau Broedplaatsen. The role of this organization is to develop affordable studios and living/working spaces for creative entrepreneurs. This project consists of approximately forty subsidiary projects or locations which have been or are developed. Since fashion designers are also creative entrepreneurs, these spaces are also available for them (www.bureaubroedplaatsen.amsterdam.nl). Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 60

Initiatives from the industry Since the city of Amsterdam is not yet convinced of the potential of Amsterdam as a fashion city, the initiative in this context needs to come from the fashion industry itself. An example of this is the AIFW, which started in the year 2004 as a private initiative with the goal to position Amsterdam as an international fashion city. In the start-up phase the city of Amsterdam supported the AIFW with respectively 235.000 Euro in 2005, 70.000 Euro in 2006 and finally 225.000 Euro in 2007. However in the year 2008 the initiative needed to be self supportive. That is why the AIFW since the year 2008 is structurally supported by sponsors like Fortis (main sponsor), AAA and Amsterdam Partners. “In my opinion this is a logical way of working for a government, which in this context is the stimulating or encouraging party. After a while initiatives need to become self supportive and that is why the city of Amsterdam does not financially support the AIFW anymore. However, the city still helps the AIFW with its permit applications. An activity which can save the event a lot of time and money.” (Fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam and project manager creative industries of the AIM/CCAA) Another important initiative in this context is the public private partnership AAA, which aims to strengthen the international competitive position of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. “The program office of AAA, which includes two fulltime coordinators, is housed in our building. These coordinators are primarily focusing on the activities of AAA. Furthermore all the members of the partnership are contributing manpower, their specific knowledge and expertise and a financial contribution every year. Since AAA represents different clusters, we also have different taskforces related to these clusters, one of them being the taskforce fashion.” (Manager marketing, communication and sales of SADC) Since fashion is one of its main clusters, AAA strives to position Amsterdam as an international and vibrant fashion city, in order to be able to attract international fashion companies to the region. Related to this vision, AAA has developed the promotional campaign 'Creative Fashion City Amsterdam'. Next to the AAA members also parties like the AIFW, the DFF and Amsterdam Partners contributed their specific knowledge and expertise to this campaign. According to AAA, the AIFW is a very important initiative concerning Amsterdam’s position as an international fashion city. That is why the AIFW is strongly represented in AAA’s promotional campaign. The collaboration with Amsterdam Partners mainly focused on the alignment of the campaign 'Creative Fashion City Amsterdam' with the vision and city marketing activities of Amsterdam Partners, in order to make sure that a fit could be assured. Finally in the year 2007, with the initiation of 'Creative Fashion City Amsterdam', the city of Amsterdam invested an amount of 325.000 Euro in the campaign. An example of a purely private initiative is the project TTIB, which has already been introduced in the previous paragraph. This project was started without any governmental support. “We organized the whole project without any financial compensation. If you want to get something done, it is better not to wait for governmental support, because subsidy requests always take a lot of time. We just wanted to help the designers and started right away. I take the offering of my own time, knowledge and energy as an investment in the future.” (Manager marketing, pr and projects of HTNK)

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According to the collaborating partners of TTIB, their most important contribution to the project was the investment of their specific knowledge, expertise and individual networks. Related to this Syntens for instance focused on commercial coaching and the DFF on the more creative variant. As a result, they were able to develop a successful coaching trajectory, which covered all aspects of fashion label management. After this coaching trajectory, which delivered sixteen well trained fashion designers, the start of a new collaboration was initiated. In the context of the regeneration of the Amsterdam Red Light District, the city of Amsterdam was looking for a new destination of a part of this district. At that time, accidentally, a few representatives of the city of Amsterdam met Mariette Hoitink, whose company HTNK is located in the Red Light District. After this meeting, the idea to create work space for the TTIB designers in this exiting part of Amsterdam was born. For this project, named RedLight Fashion, the city of Amsterdam mainly focused on the contribution of space, work space in this case. HTNK on the other hand contributed its expertise and organizing capacity by means of connecting the TTIB designers to the project. “After the idea for the initiative was born, Amsterdam Topstad joined the collaboration as a representative of the city of Amsterdam. This party financially contributed to the project and helped with developing a marketing and communication strategy. Of course we needed a flyer, brochure and information on the websites of the collaborating parties. Together we made sure that these promotional activities were aligned.” (Manager marketing, pr and projects of HTNK) Next to TTIB, also the initiative Fashion Fasterclass is related to the development of commercial and entrepreneurial skills of fashion designers. This initiative is financed by Fortis, the AIFW, Allen & Overy, the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce, Syntens and also the city of Amsterdam. As experts Fortis, the AMFI, the fashion coordinator, the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce, Syntens, Allen & Overy, Ernst & Young Modint are especially contributing their specific expertise and knowledge on a pro bono base. The organization of the Fashion Fasterclass was first in hands of the fashion coordinator but is now taken over by Fortis. As the initiator of the project, Fortis contributes financial resources, expertise and knowledge and organizing capacity. Fonds BKVB The last party which (indirectly) contributes to the Amsterdam fashion industry is the Fonds BKVB. Although this party is not a part of the fashion cluster in Amsterdam, it does have a special meaning in the context of the contribution of resources. Founded in 1988 by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences, this institution has become the most important provider of grants in the Netherlands. Grants are awarded in case of a positive recommendation from the relevant advisory panel, whose members are involved in the world of visual arts, design or architecture. The main criterion in considering applications for incentive grants is artistic quality. The panel looks at the existence of a coherent artistic vision, how this is expressed in the work and how it relates to the context of the discipline concerned (http://www.fondsbkvb.nl/09_english/02.php). Unlike the Flemish investment fund CultuurInvest, being commercial is considered as inferior when looking at the requirements of the Fonds BKVB. So in contrast to their Flemish colleagues, Dutch designers are less challenged to professionalize their business and become commercially successful. That is why Co-Lab had the ambition to start a public-private investment fund in the Netherlands. However, related to financing problems, these plans are on hold at the moment (Kuijstermans, 2008).

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5.3.4 Stimuli/Incentives As presented in the previous paragraphs, the Amsterdam fashion cluster represents a multiplicity of parties, initiatives and agenda. Next to this, there is also a multiplicity when it comes to reasons to collaborate, or maybe better, not collaborate. An outline of these different reasons is presented in this paragraph. When looking at the different agendas represented in the Amsterdam fashion cluster, a link with the reasons to collaborate can be identified. The innovation perspective This perspective is represented by parties like the city of Amsterdam (EZ), the AIM, Syntens and the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce. Their main reason to collaborate is to strengthen the creative industries of the Amsterdam Region. In this perspective, an important focus is directed to the stimulation of innovation, which in the creative industries means professionalization and stimulation of entrepreneurship. The creative perspective This perspective is represented by parties like HTNK, the DFF, the AMFI and the AIFW. Their main reason to collaborate is to stimulate and promote Dutch fashion designers. Of these parties, only the AIFW has a specific focus on Amsterdam. “For the AIFW it works both ways. Amsterdam is thé fashion city of the Netherlands, that is why the event is organized in Amsterdam. In one way the reputation of the city of Amsterdam strengthens the image of the event, but the event also helps to consolidate or strengthen the position of the city of Amsterdam.” (Event manager of the WFC) The commercial perspective This perspective is represented by parties like Co-Lab (which since a few months does not exist anymore) and Fortis. Their main reason to collaborate is to make the Dutch fashion industry (especially fashion design) an economically successful business. In the context of its partnership with the AIFW, another reason for Fortis is related to client hospitality. “We know this specific line of business like no other and we strongly believe in the potential of the fashion industry. That is why we are the main sponsor of the AIFW, which includes not only the investment of financial resources, but also the transferring of our knowledge and expertise and client hospitality.” (Senior project manager sponsoring and events at Fortis) “Of course Fortis also has an economic argument concerning the stimulation of young creative talent. When the next generation knows how it works, they can also benefit. A designer who is working on a garret is not making money. However, you first have to seed before you can harvest.” (Fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam and project manager creative industries of the AIM/CCAA) Furthermore the TNO report (2008) concerning the Amsterdam fashion industry concluded that fashion designers have high transaction costs. That is why this commercial perspective is also a reason for the city of Amsterdam to collaborate. At the moment CCAA/the fashion coordinator and Fortis are making inventories of the possibilities of access to external financial resources for fashion designers.

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The retail perspective This perspective is represented by parties like the WFC and MODINT (which is involved with, but not part of the Amsterdam fashion cluster). Their main reason to collaborate is to strengthen and stimulate the Dutch retail branch. Although the WCF is situated in Amsterdam, its focus is on the Netherlands in general. The logistic/acquisition perspective This perspective is represented by parties like Amsterdam inBusiness and AAA (the partnership which also includes the city of Amsterdam). Their main reason to collaborate is to attract (international) fashion companies and businesses to the region, to strengthen economic development in this region and, as a result, improve its competitive position. It can be stated that the different parties from the Amsterdam fashion cluster have different reasons or motivations to collaborate. The only actor which tries to represent all the different perspectives is the fashion coordinator. Because there is no overarching goal or shared agenda, collaborations mostly occur on a project or ad hoc level, within a certain sub-cluster or not at all. “Until recently there was a lot of discussion about responsibilities and demarcation. In my opinion people should focus on their own strengths in the context of a higher goal, instead of arguing about individual differences. That would be a good basis for further collaboration.” (Innovation consultant creative industries at Syntens) According to Roso (2005) the collaboration among different initiatives and the alignment between those initiatives, would definitely contribute to a stronger profile. In this context, Roso (2005) for instance mentions opportunities for collaboration between the AIFW and the Modefabriek. The joining of forces between the two events could definitely strengthen the international effect. However, according to Jaensch et al. (2007) such a collaboration is not easy to accomplish. Both initiatives are guarding their own specific identity. Furthermore, collaboration means investing, something which is not evident, especially not in this time. “Since the existence of the Modefabriek and AIFW there have been conflicting interests, especially when it comes to sponsorship or subsidies. Money always creates a certain type of dynamism, that is why attempts to stimulate the joining of forces failed.” (CEO of the WFC) Furthermore Jaensch et al. (2007) state that there is no leader in the Amsterdam fashion cluster. In this context they identify a role for the city of Amsterdam, which could intervene and mediate between the different parties. The director Commercial Banking of Fortis agrees: “I think that the city of Amsterdam could definitely benefit if the Amsterdam fashion scene gets coordinated and organized. This could have an enormous impact on the position of the city in many different ways. Not only on an internal level, but also in terms of international representation and visitors.” (Director commercial banking of Fortis) Nevertheless the city of Amsterdam (EZ) sticks to the point that the industry first has to organize and coordinate itself. Their contribution in this process is embodied by the fashion coordinator, which is already an additional policy measure when compared to the other creative industries.

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“If the fashion industry does not seem to be able to come up with a good story, that makes it easier for us to not specifically focus on this part of the creative industries.” (Senior policy officer at the department EZ of the city of Amsterdam) However, in the current situation, a tendency towards more collaboration can be identified. In this context Fortis has taken the lead in bringing together different representative from the fashion industry, including the Modefabriek and the AIFW. According to Fortis, these parties seem to be increasingly aware of the advantages and opportunities related to collaboration. Although these plans are in an embryonic stage, this is a positive development. 5.3.5 (In)formal arrangement of the collaborations Compared to the city of Antwerp, the Amsterdam fashion cluster represents many different parties and initiatives. However, most parties know each other and communicate in an informal way. “Everybody knows each other. The Amsterdam fashion scene is not that complex. I think I can already guess which respondents you have on your list.” (Fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam and project manager creative industries of the AIM/CCAA) One of the most important occasions on which the different parties are meeting is with the AIFW. Twice a year, the AIFW is an important platform for the (inter)national fashion scene to meet, but also for the representatives from the Amsterdam fashion cluster itself. This includes not only parties related to the creative part of the fashion industry. Also parties like Fortis, AAA, the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce and Syntens are represented at the event. These parties are also involved in the organization of side events like presentations and workshops like the Fashion Fasterclass. However, next to the fact that the representatives of the Amsterdam fashion cluster know each other, their conflicting interests and lack of a shared agenda always restricted an overarching type of collaboration. Neutral parties like the AMFI, Fortis, the fashion coordinator and Syntens have tried to mediate in this context. “We are not an expert when it comes to fashion. That is why we have an independent position within the Amsterdam fashion cluster. Because we want to stimulate collaboration, we just started listening to the different parties and their experiences. At that moment there was a lot of discussion and lack of open communication. We have tried to bring different parties together and start a collaboration, this initiative resulted in the project TTIB.” (Innovation consultant creative industries at Syntens) The fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam has a special position related to the stimulation of open communication and collaboration. For the city of Amsterdam it was important that this fashion coordinator would mediate between different parties, coordinate and create an overview of the different initiatives and finally connect the different islands within the Amsterdam fashion cluster. “For this position, the city of Amsterdam needed someone who already was familiar with the Amsterdam fashion scene. That is why they just called the different representatives of the cluster and asked which person they wanted to become the Amsterdam fashion coordinator. Originally I am a jurist and a political scientist but in my spare time I was already blogging about fashion and helping people from the industry. That is how I got to know the different parties. Finally these parties suggested me as the most suitable candidate and I became the fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam. Before me, three other persons who were responsible for this dossier finally left with a Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 65

burnout. That indicates the complexity of this dossier and shows why it is important for me to be and stay connected with the Amsterdam fashion scene.” (Fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam and project manager creative industries of the AIM/CCAA) In one way the fashion coordinator is a bridge between the different parties from the Amsterdam fashion cluster. In this context, the fashion coordinator is involved with for instance the task force fashion of the AAA, the organization of the Fashion Fasterclass and of course the program CCAA. As a result the fashion coordinator represents different perspectives and tries to get these together. “The role of the fashion coordinator is very important because she represents the creative, as well as the commercial, or as we say logistic dimension of fashion. She is not only member of our taskforce fashion, but also is in touch with other representatives from the fashion industry. In this way we stay up to date and do not have to organize meetings with, for instance, representatives of the more creative side of fashion every month.” (Manager marketing, communication and sales of SADC) Next to the fact that the fashion coordinator is a mediator between different parties from the Amsterdam fashion scene, she is also an important link between these parties and the city of Amsterdam. Originally, the relationship between the city of Amsterdam and the parties from the Amsterdam fashion scene has not always been optimal. Because of this disturbed relationship but also because of the fact that it is good to have one contact point for fashion, the fashion coordinator mediates between the city of Amsterdam and its fashion industry. Besides the good work of the fashion coordinator, there are still some gaps in the communication. In the first place, not all representatives of the Amsterdam fashion cluster seemed to be aware of the existence of the fashion coordinator. Furthermore there are also parties which still identify the fashion coordinator as a representative of the city of Amsterdam, or an actor which can give them access to subsidies. Besides, there is still a lot of miscommunication. At this moment for example, both Fortis and the fashion coordinator/CCAA are for instance working on an inventory of the possibilities concerning access to external financial resources for fashion designers. Despite the good contact between the two actors, both Fortis and the fashion coordinator were not aware of this fact. It might be stated that the communication between the different parties within the Amsterdam fashion cluster is getting better, but there is still a lot to win. 5.3.6 Stable/sustainable collaborations Unlike the fashion cluster in Antwerp, the Amsterdam fashion cluster is relatively young. Because of its lack of history and tradition, the Amsterdam fashion cluster is still in the developmental phase. In this context a tendency towards more collaboration can be identified. Because of this increasing willingness to work together, the fashion cluster of Amsterdam has a vibrant character with a lot of different initiatives. However, as a result of the lack of a shared agenda or overarching goal, these collaborations mostly occur on a project or ad hoc level or within a certain sub-cluster. An important point of attention within this context is the lack of leadership. With the publication of the book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ (2002) by Richard Florida, the TNO report ‘De Creatieve Industrie in Amsterdam en de Regio’ (2004) and the memorandum ‘Ons Creatieve Vermogen’ (2005), the creative industries became an important point on the political agenda of the city of Amsterdam. During that same period, in the year 2004, private parties took the initiative to organize a fashion week in the city of Amsterdam. This was an important initiative for the further development of the Amsterdam fashion cluster. At that time, the city of Amsterdam only Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 66

marginally supported the Amsterdam fashion industry. Furthermore there was no specific policy program related to the fashion industry and support only occurred on an ad hoc basis. In the year 2007 a fierce discussion arose because the fashion industry felt underrated by the city of Amsterdam. As a result of this discussion and the motion of City Councilor Verweij, the city of Amsterdam asked TNO to investigate whether a specific policy program related to the fashion industry was needed in Amsterdam. The conclusion of the TNO report was that the Amsterdam fashion industry only needed a sober type of governmental intervention. At that time, City Councilor Verweij already left the city of Amsterdam and the fashion industry did not manage to become a priority on the political agenda of the city of Amsterdam. This example illustrates the influence of elections/people in this context and the dependence of the Amsterdam fashion cluster on these people. “It is all about people with a certain ambition. At the moment Lodewijk Asscher for example attaches a lot of importance to craftsmanship and the craft economy, inspired by the book ‘The Craftsman’ [Sennett, 2008].” (Creative/deputy director of the AMFI) “The government is not a very reliable partner when you want to get things off the ground. Everything can be different tomorrow.” (Director commercial banking of Fortis) In the context of the positioning of Amsterdam as a fashion city, the city of Amsterdam and the representatives of its fashion cluster are waiting for each other to take the initiative. On the one hand, the representatives of the Amsterdam fashion cluster want more support from the city of Amsterdam, in order to get the industry to a higher level. On the other hand, the city of Amsterdam wants its fashion cluster to first organize itself and create a strong identity. Related to this, the first steps towards more collaboration have been taken by the Amsterdam fashion cluster. However, this is not easy when dealing with conflicting interests and a lack of a shared agenda. “Of course people from the industry can try to accomplish things without governmental support. However the government has an important role as facilitator. In my opinion the attitude of the city of Amsterdam is outdated and goes away from synergistic thinking. If you want to get something done, you will always need people with idealism and ambition, from private as wéll as from public parties.” (Vice-chairman of the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the initiative Routeplan and former chairman of the board of directors of the FFI) “We will keep on trying to convince the city of Amsterdam of the importance of its fashion industry.” (Managing director of the AIFW) “The managing director of HTNK is a good example of someone who is driven by personal ambition and idealism. Next to running her own commercial business, this woman is 100% committed to the fashion industry and helping this industry to a higher level. All without 1 Euro subsidy; that is the type of person you need.” (Innovation consultant creative industries at Syntens) “The representatives of the fashion industry have to become more committed to each other and willing to make concessions. At this moment it happens too often that collaborations are started but fall apart after a little while. In this context a sense of reality needs to be created.” (Fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam and project manager creative industries of the AIM/CCAA)

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The aforementioned quotes characterize the situation of Amsterdam at the moment. This can be illustrated by a few examples. One of the first examples of an initiative which was taken by the industry was TTIB (2007). For this project, different private and non-profit organizations were working together in order to mentor sixteen talented fashion designers towards professional entrepreneurship. The first coaching trajectory with this group of fashion designers was very successful and finally continued in the project RedLight Fashion. However, after this first session the collaboration between the TTIB partners stopped. In this case a structural approach, concerning for instance the translation towards educational programs, was missing. According to the initiators the sense of urgency faded and there was a lack of money and a lack of clarity regarding the agendas, responsibilities and tasks of the different involved parties. Other examples of initiatives with an ad hoc, project-based or temporary character are the already mentioned RedLight Fashion and the role of the fashion coordinator. Although RedLight Fashion is a good example of collaboration between public and private parties, HTNK and the city of Amsterdam are the initiators, also this project lacks a structural character. For the TTIB designers the new created working spaces are only temporary, at the moment the city of Amsterdam is looking for commercial exploiters for this part of its Red Light District. Finally also the role of the fashion coordinator is under pressure. At this moment, several representatives of the Amsterdam fashion cluster are trying to convince the city of Amsterdam of the importance of the fashion coordinator. Furthermore, these parties are still trying to stimulate collaboration within and the coordination and organization of the Amsterdam fashion cluster. A special position in this context is directed to Fortis: “At this moment we are trying to get the most important representatives from the fashion industry together. Actually this is not our responsibility, we are just a bank. However, because we believe in the potential of the industry and we have an independent position within this cluster, we took the initiative.” (Director commercial banking of Fortis) 5.3.7 A fashion regime in Amsterdam? Not all types of collaboration can simply be labeled as regimes. In order to be able to conclude if there is a fashion regime in Amsterdam, a checklist of the following regime characteristics defined by Stone (1989) is used: composition (mix of public and private parties), (shared) agenda, the pooling of resources, stimuli-incentives to keep on collaborating, the informal arrangement and finally the stable and sustainable character of the collaborations. The fashion cluster of the city of Amsterdam is characterized by a lot of different parties and initiatives. Within this cluster, a tendency towards more collaboration and joint initiatives can be noticed. However, these collaborations mostly occur on a project-based or an ad hoc level. Related to this an unequal division between private, non-profit and public parties can be identified. Most striking is the position of the city of Amsterdam within this context, which is not actively involved with the Amsterdam fashion cluster. The fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam is involved with the Amsterdam fashion cluster, however this position is being reconsidered at the moment. As a consequence of the fragmented fashion cluster and the passive attitude of the Amsterdam City Council, a lack of focus can be identified in the case of Amsterdam. This lack of focus can also be identified in the agenda. In the Amsterdam fashion cluster, a lot of project-based collaborations and initiatives can be identified. However, an overarching goal or shared agenda is missing. Different parties are representing different agendas including the innovation, creative, commercial, retail, logistic and acquisition perspective. These agendas seemed to be difficult to unite in one shared vision. Furthermore, different parties are representing different agendas concerning the target area. Some representatives of the Amsterdam fashion cluster are Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 68

focusing on Amsterdam, but others have a focus on the Amsterdam Airport Area, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area or the Netherlands in general. That is why it is important for the Amsterdam fashion cluster to internally organize and create a shared agenda and identity or profile. Related to this, internal issues like the fragmented character of the cluster, the strong distinction between creativity and commerce and the support of young creative talent (fashion designers) increasingly get the attention. In this context a tendency towards more collaboration and the internal organization and development of the cluster can be noticed. Since the Amsterdam fashion cluster is very much fragmented, there is no pooling of resources related to an overarching goal or shared agenda. The pooling of resources, again, happens on a project or ad hoc level without a structural character. These projects are mostly initiated by parties from the industry and supported by different public and private parties. The city of Amsterdam only occasionally supports project initiated within its fashion industry. When looking at the different agendas represented in the Amsterdam fashion cluster, a link with stimuli or incentives can be identified. However, these reasons to collaborate are mostly restricted to a project level within a certain sub-cluster. That is why the stimuli or incentives do not contribute to a structural type of collaboration with an overarching goal. Next to these stimuli and incentives, the Amsterdam fashion cluster also represents issues which discourage collaboration. Examples of this are conflicting interests, not only concerning the different agendas but also regarding the division of financial resources. These differences in agendas and conflicting interests are a reason for the city of Amsterdam to not specifically focus on its fashion industry or to get actively involved in this cluster. Despite the multiplicity of parties the Amsterdam fashion cluster represents, most of the parties within this cluster know each other and communicate in a quite informal way. However, unlike this informal type of communication, the Amsterdam fashion cluster is especially characterized by conflicting interests and the lack of a shared agenda. In this context, neural parties like the AMFI, Fortis, Syntens and especially the fashion coordinator have tried to mediate. A special position is assigned to the fashion coordinator, which not only is a mediator between different parties from the Amsterdam fashion scene, but also between these parties and the city of Amsterdam. Although the communication between the different parties is getting better, there is still a lot to win. Because of a lack of history and tradition, the Amsterdam fashion cluster is still very young. This cluster can be characterized by an increasing willingness to work together and as a result a dynamic character with a lot of initiatives. However, these initiatives are very much project based and an overarching goal is missing. In the past years, the Amsterdam fashion cluster was very much influenced by conflicting interests and elections. In order to be able to develop stable and sustainable collaborations, the Amsterdam fashion cluster needs to become internally organized. Related to this, both the parties representing the Amsterdam fashion industry and the city of Amsterdam are waiting for each other to take the initiative. However, in the current situation, the industry is taking the first steps in order to get more organized. Overall, it can be concluded that there is no fashion regime in Amsterdam at the moment. There is no equal division between public and private parties, a lack of a shared agenda or overarching goal and as a result the collaborations are very much project-based, not structural and characterized by conflicting interests and a lack of leadership. Although a tendency towards more collaboration can be identified, it is hard to even typify the Amsterdam fashion cluster as a coalition, because the collaborations are not based on an overarching goal or shared agenda.

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5.4

The way in which Amsterdam uses fashion in its strategic positioning

5.4.1 Strategic agenda The city of Amsterdam has no specific policy program related to fashion. As stated before, with the publication of the book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ (2002) by Richard Florida, the TNO report ‘De Creatieve Industrie in Amsterdam en de Regio’ (2004) and the memorandum ‘Ons Creatieve Vermogen’ (2005), the city of Amsterdam started to focus on the creative industries. In this context, together with the cities of London and Milan, the city of Amsterdam is known as one of the three heterogeneous super clusters of Europe. This means that in these cities, all the different parts of the creative industries are equally represented. That is why the city of Amsterdam is focusing on the creative industries in general, without a specific focus on a certain part of these industries. “The city of Amsterdam wants to be associated with the image of fashion, but has difficulties with focusing on one specific part of the creative industries.” (Senior consultant economic development and stimulation of the Chamber of Commerce) “We have the arts, media- and entertainment and creative business services. Of course we sometimes have an extra focus on a certain type of industry, but we try to equally distribute our attention. As a city you have to choose what you want to be. In my opinion Amsterdam is a diverse and creative city. A fashion city, that would not be my characterization of Amsterdam.” (Senior policy officer at the department EZ of the city of Amsterdam) Since the creative industries are a combination of economy and culture, these industries are represented by the departments EZ and DMO of the city of Amsterdam. “The creative industries are a very heterogeneous group. Advertising for instance is very much commercial and business related. The traditional arts on the other hand are depending on the subsidy system. The position of the fashion industry is somewhere in the middle of these two examples. From our perspective the economic aspect of this industry is very important. DMO on the other hand focuses more in the artistic dimension of fashion.” (Senior policy officer at the department EZ of the city of Amsterdam) In their policy program for the creative industries ‘Hoofdlijnen Creatieve Industrie 2007-2010’ the following focus points are formulated: -

Strengthening the connection between the creative industries and education Exploiting the cultural diversity Amsterdam represents Supporting creative entrepreneurs Stimulating innovation within the creative industries Creating crossovers within the creative industries and between the creative industries and other sectors Providing sufficient space for growth in the sector (for example housing or work space) The promotion of Amsterdam as a creative top city; creativity, innovation and trading spirit are the core values of the Amsterdam city marketing campaign I Amsterdam (www.amsterdam.nl)

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The overall focus of this agenda is on the development of the creative industries and the stimulation of innovation and entrepreneurship within these industries. Since the fashion industry is part of the creative industries, this part of the creative industries is also represented in the aforementioned agenda of the city of Amsterdam. This agenda contains issues related to development, support as well as branding. An example of development on this agenda is the program CCAA, which aims to consolidate and stimulate the creative industries in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. A specific part of this program is dedicated to the fashion industry. An example of support is for instance illustrated by the activities of Bureau Broedplaatsen, an organization which is responsible for developing affordable studios and living/working spaces for creative entrepreneurs, which includes fashion designers. Finally an example of the branding aspect of the agenda related to the creative industries is represented by Amsterdam Partners, which is the city marketing organization of the city of Amsterdam. The core values which are used in the city marketing campaign are creativity, innovation and trading spirit. These values have an excellent fit with Amsterdam’s policy program related to the creative industries. Regarding the Amsterdam fashion industry special attention is directed to the AIFW. In this context Charles van Renesse, managing director of Amsterdam Partners (Jaensch et al., 2007, p. 6) states: “City marketing is all about tuning the image of a city in such a way that this city attracts (inter)national visitors and companies. We aim to shift Amsterdam’s image of sex, drugs and rock-‘n-roll towards that of a creative business city. In the context of fashion the AIFW is an icon for the city of Amsterdam and an important tool for us to show the world that Amsterdam is creative and trendy city.” Next to the AIFW also the project RedLight Fashion is an important element in the promotional activities of Amsterdam Partners. “From a branding perspective, of course the city of Amsterdam pays attention to its fashion industry. However, the city does not financially support the event anymore. That is why we have to be careful that initiatives like the AIFW are not going to feel used for their promotional value.” (Senior consultant economic development and stimulation of the Chamber of Commerce) Besides the policy program for the creative industries, the city of Amsterdam has also included some policy measures with a specific focus on its fashion industry. As a reaction on the report ‘Marktplaats mode: Amsterdam’ (2008), the city of Amsterdam chose for a sober type of policy intervention specifically related to the fashion industry. This program focuses on the visibility and organization of the Amsterdam fashion industry and the support of young creative talent (fashion designers) within this industry. In the context of this program, the city of Amsterdam installed a fashion coordinator. Next to this, the city of Amsterdam also financially supports initiatives from the fashion industry. This type of support mostly has an ad hoc or project-based character. Examples of this are the AIFW (until the year 2008), RedLight Fashion and the Fashion Fasterclass. Since EZ is mainly concerned with the economic value of the fashion industry, the city of Amsterdam is also a member of the public-private partnership AAA, which included the fashion industry as one of its main clusters. Since this partnership focuses on the international marketing and promotion of the region, these activities are especially related to branding. “According to fashion the city of Amsterdam has installed the fashion coordinator, supports several projects in this context and has a city marketing campaign in which fashion is included. However, in the end the most important aspect is that the city of Amsterdam believes in the concept ‘Amsterdam fashion city’. I am not sure if that is the case.” (Senior consultant economic development and stimulation of the Chamber of Commerce)

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5.4.2 Organization Since the city of Amsterdam does not have a specific policy program for its fashion industry, many different parties are responsible for different aspects of this industry. Examples of different departments and organizations of the city of Amsterdam which are involved with the Amsterdam fashion industry are EZ, DMO, Amsterdam Partners, Amsterdam inBusiness, Bureau Broedplaatsen, the program Amsterdam Topstad (ended since March 2010) and even the planning department (DRO). “In the city of Amsterdam everything is very much fragmented. Not only in the context of the fashion cluster, but also when looking at the Amsterdam City Council and its partners. There are so many different departments and governmental organizations and all have their own vision and responsibilities concerning the fashion industry.” (Director commercial banking of Fortis) “Only when looking at the city of Amsterdam, with all its districts and departments, it would be insane to strive for an integral policy program for the Amsterdam fashion industry.” (Creative/deputy director of the AMFI) On the website of Amsterdam Topstad (www.topstad.amsterdam.nl) Mariette Hoitink states that: “In the context of RedLight Fashion we were working together with Amsterdam Topstad. This project was thé example of what a collaboration between public and private parties should look like. The strength of the collaboration was that we were working with only one representative of the city of Amsterdam, so there was one clear contact point. It is a shame that the program Amsterdam Topstad has ended. In my opinion the city of Amsterdam should focus more on structural collaborations which go beyond the level of departments.” Next to the fact that the city of Amsterdam represents a lot of different departments and organizations which are responsible for the fashion industry, the relationship between the city of Amsterdam and its fashion industry has not always been optimal. Since the city of Amsterdam has no specific policy program for the fashion industry and only supports this part of the creative industries occasionally, there have been several conflicts. Ever since the city of Amsterdam developed a policy program for the creative industries, the Amsterdam fashion cluster felt underrated. Especially when the city of Amsterdam stopped subsidizing the AIFW, these feelings were expressed towards the city of Amsterdam. That is why in the year 2008 the city of Amsterdam decided to install a fashion coordinator. The reasoning behind this decision was that with this fashion coordinator, the city of Amsterdam would have one contact point for its fashion industry, embodied by someone who knows the different representatives and, even more important, speaks their language. This fashion coordinator would function as a mediator and liaison. Not only between the city of Amsterdam and its fashion industry, but also among the different parties within the Amsterdam fashion industry. After the selection of the fashion coordinator in interaction with the representatives of the Amsterdam fashion cluster, the city of Amsterdam wanted to print business cards. However, the fashion coordinator argued that was not a very good idea. “I did not want to be explicitly presented as a civil servant or a representative of the city of Amsterdam. In that case people only think there is money. Maybe that is also one of the advantages of my position: I have no budget. That makes the relationship much better, people are not contacting

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me because they want money, they are contacting me because they need help.” (Fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam and project manager creative industries of the AIM/CCAA) Because the fashion coordinator was already familiar with the Amsterdam fashion cluster, most parties were aware of the introduction of this new actor within the cluster. “This very much goes by word-of-mouth, but as a fashion coordinator I am also blogging and it is mentioned on the website www.ccaa.nl. Furthermore, when the city of Amsterdam receives questions about fashion, they are always forwarding these questions to me.” (Fashion coordinator of the city of Amsterdam and project manager creative industries of the AIM/CCAA) Once a month, the taskforce creative industries of the city of Amsterdam organizes a meeting, of which the chairmanship is shared by the departments EZ and DMO. In the context of this meeting, the fashion coordinator is the representative of the fashion industry. At these meetings the fashion coordinator is answering questions about the Amsterdam fashion industry, in order to keep the different representatives of the city of Amsterdam up to date. Since the fashion coordinator has a lot of contact with the relevant parties, she is aware of the current developments within the industry and the wishes and needs of the different parties representing this industry. Since the city of Amsterdam has no specific policy program for its fashion industry and is not (yet) convinced of the potential of Amsterdam as a fashion city, the consultation structure is very much bottom-up or even laissez-faire. In this context the fashion coordinator is the link between the city of Amsterdam and its fashion industry. Related to this position, the fashion coordinator is trying to make the fashion industry a priority on the political agenda of the city of Amsterdam. However the position of the fashion coordinator is being reconsidered at the moment, the city of Amsterdam states that the initiative has to be taken by the industry itself. In this context, for instance parties like HTNK, the AIFW and AAA, are trying to show the city of Amsterdam the economic and promotional value of the fashion industry for a city like Amsterdam. 5.4.3 Activities The city of Amsterdam does not specifically focus on fashion within its strategic positioning. That is why the Amsterdam City Council does not initiate a lot of activities in this context. This paragraph presents an overview of the most important initiatives of public as well as private parties, aimed at strengthening the position of Amsterdam as a fashion city. One important development related to the position of fashion in Amsterdam was the foundation of the AIFW in the year 2004. With the organization of this event the initiators, all representatives from the fashion industry, had the ambition to put Amsterdam on the map as an international fashion city. Since its foundation, the AIFW has become an important platform. Within its program, the AIFW combines commerce and creativity. Related to this the AIFW provides a stage for young fashion designers, as well as for the growing new luxury segment (a new market segment that bridges the top of the premium mainstream and traditional luxury/couture). Since the year 2004, the AIFW is attracting a growing and an increasingly internationally oriented audience. In this context the event has an important meaning for the city of Amsterdam. In the first place the AIFW offers a stage for young fashion designers and with the Fashion Fasterclass it also focuses on the stimulation of the commercial and entrepreneurial skills of these designers. In the second place the event is an important icon concerning Amsterdam’s city promotion. That is why the event has a prominent position in the campaigns of Amsterdam Partners and AAA. In the third place, twice a year, the event Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 73

is an important occasion for the (inter)national fashion scene to meet. This includes for instance designers, business people, sponsors, press and representatives of governments, the fashion academies and other creative industries. Roso (2005) stated that the international effect of the event could be strengthened by collaboration, for instance with the Modefabriek, one of Amsterdam’s other fashion platforms. Meanwhile the first steps towards collaboration have been taken. Another important initiative for the position of fashion in the city of Amsterdam was the project TTIB. As already mentioned in paragraph 5.3.3, this initiative was the start of a new publicprivate collaboration, named RedLight Fashion. By bundling together sixteen fashion designers, RedLight Fashion aimed to strengthen the Dutch fashion identity and to put Amsterdam in the spotlight of the international fashion scene. Soon the concept became a magnet for the international press and visitors. Also Amsterdam Partners included the initiative in its city marketing campaign. With this initiative, HTNK showed the city of Amsterdam what a project related to fashion could mean for the city. “The exposure of RedLight Fashion was enormous, even CNN went to Amsterdam to visit the project. Besides, Mariette Hoitink flies all over the world to give presentations about this innovative concept.” (Innovation consultant creative industries at Syntens) Nevertheless, although the city of Amsterdam has initiated, supported (financial resources and living/working space) and stimulated the project (marketing and promotion), the concept only has a temporary character. At the moment, the city of Amsterdam is looking for commercial exploiters.

Image 2: The logo of RedLight Fashion (www.topstad.amsterdam.nl)

Next to the aforementioned parties, also the initiative AAA promotes Amsterdam as an international fashion city. In the brochure of this campaign, AAA (AAA, 2009) states that for international fashion companies Amsterdam can offer: -

A creative and inspiring climate and a skilled workforce 300 Knowledge institutes, professional and lobbying organizations and specialized service The Best European Airport: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Logistic expertise A favourable tax climate A young and dynamic climate regarding fashion High quality fashion education The AIFW

The promotional campaign includes a brochure and a video clip and is supported by the seventeen collaborating parties, including the city of Amsterdam. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 74

Next to the aforementioned activities, the city of Amsterdam also supports the program CCAA, aimed at strengthening, internally organizing and promoting the creative industries (and the fashion industry as being part of these industries) within the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Besides, the city of Amsterdam supports these industries with the contribution of affordable living/working spaces for creative entrepreneurs. Furthermore the city of Amsterdam specifically supports its fashion industry with the installation of a fashion coordinator; however this position is being reconsidered at the moment. Next to this the city of Amsterdam also financially supports initiatives from the fashion industry aimed at talent development like the the Fashion Fasterclass, but also projects of Streetlab, a Dutch platform for young artists such as fashion designers and several projects of Stichting Pal West Modeatielier, an initiative aimed at talent development in the area Amsterdam Nieuw West. However, TTIB, an initiative of several private and non-profit organizations of the fashion industry aimed at talent development, is not supported by the city of Amsterdam. Another project which is not supported by the city of Amsterdam is the Amsterdam Sustainability Institute for Fashion and Fabrics (ASIFF). This is a new institute which stimulates sustainability within the fashion industry. The focus of this institute is not only on the level of individual companies, but on the entire product chain. Since the city of Amsterdam focuses on issues like the creative industries, innovation and sustainability, it is striking that this initiative is not subsidized. 5.4.4 Budget The city of Amsterdam focuses on the support and stimulation of its creative industries in general. Especially the departments EZ and DMO are investing in these industries. Within this context, the city of Amsterdam is also participating in national and regional stimulation programs aimed at the strengthening of the creative industries or the knowledge economy in general. A good example of such a program on a national level was the Creative Challenge Call, which ended in the year 2006. An example of a regional facility is the program Pieken in de Delta. Since the city of Amsterdam does not have a specific policy program for its fashion industry, there is no a specific budget available for this part of the creative industries. That is why the city of Amsterdam supported its fashion industry occasionally and on an ad hoc level. Since this resulted in a lot of discussion, the department EZ of the city of Amsterdam reserved a specific part of its budget for the support of the Amsterdam fashion industry. In order to give an indication, in the period 2006-2008, EZ invested a total amount of 31.061.902 Euro on the stimulation of the Amsterdam economy. In the year 2009, this department only reserved an amount of 98.000 Euro for the installation of a fashion coordinator, which was responsible for the stimulation and support of the Amsterdam fashion industry. Of this budget, a total amount of 48.000 Euro was allocated as compensation for the work of the fashion coordinator and the rest could be invested in the initiating or supporting of activities related to fashion. At the moment, the first period of the fashion coordinator has ended. “At the moment we are reconsidering the position of the fashion coordinator. We just do not have the financial resources to structurally support each part of the creative industries individually. However, the discussion is still going on and we have not made a choice yet.” (Senior policy officer at the department EZ of the city of Amsterdam) Next to the department EZ, there are also other departments and organizations within the city of Amsterdam which are occasionally supporting the fashion industry. Examples in this context are the department DMO, Amsterdam Partners, Bureau Broedplaatsen, Amsterdam inBusiness and until recently the Amsterdam Topstad. Since the city of Amsterdam has not one specific budget available for the stimulation of the Amsterdam fashion industry, it is not possible for the representatives of Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 75

this industry to financially contribute to such a budget. However, with the organization of initiatives like the AIFW, the Fashion Fasterclass and TTIB these representatives and their partners are definitely contributing to the strengthening of Amsterdam´s position as a fashion city. 5.5 Amsterdam: fit or misfit? As concluded in paragraph 5.3.7, there is no fashion regime present in the city of Amsterdam. Furthermore the city of Amsterdam neither has a specific policy program related to the use of fashion within its strategic positioning. That is why it is difficult to use the concept of a fit in this case. Since the Amsterdam fashion cluster is young and still in a developmental phase, the concept of a fit might go beyond the current situation of this case. However, this paragraph will outline to what extend a (mis)fit can be identified. In order to be able to do this, the (mis)fit will be analyzed on the following levels: agenda, organization, activities and budget. Fit agenda In order to be able to identify a (mis)fit related to the agenda, the strategic agenda concerning the position and meaning of fashion in Amsterdam will be compared to the agenda(s) represented within the Amsterdam fashion cluster. As said before, the city of Amsterdam is not (yet) convinced of the potential of Amsterdam as a fashion city. That is why the strategic positioning of the city of Amsterdam is focused on the creative industries in general and not specifically on the fashion industry. Related to this, the strategic agenda of the city of Amsterdam has a strong focus on the development and stimulation of the creative industries and innovation. This agenda contains issues related to development, support as well as branding. Since the fashion industry is part of the creative industries, this part of the creative industries is also represented in the aforementioned agenda. However, the city of Amsterdam has never structurally supported its fashion industry. The Amsterdam fashion cluster on the other hand, represents a lot of different agendas which seem to be difficult to unite. However, within this cluster a tendency towards more collaboration can be identified. Issues which increasingly get the attention are the internal organization of the cluster, the bridging of the gap between creativity and commerce and the stimulation of young creative talent (fashion designers). After a discussion between the representatives of the fashion industry and the city of Amsterdam, the city of Amsterdam installed a fashion coordinator, which also focuses on the aforementioned issues. From this point of view, a semi-fit can be identified concerning the development of the Amsterdam fashion cluster. However, in general there is a misfit between the strategic agenda of the city of Amsterdam, which is focused on the creative industries and the specific focus on fashion within the Amsterdam fashion cluster. Fit organization Since the city of Amsterdam does not have a specific policy program for its fashion industry, the Amsterdam fashion cluster tries to convince the Amsterdam City Council of the potential of this industry. In this context, parties like HTNK, the AIFW and AAA, are trying to show the Amsterdam City Council the economic and promotional value of the fashion industry for a city like Amsterdam, for example by the initiating of projects. After a discussion about the passive attitude of the city of Amsterdam, the department EZ installed a fashion coordinator. Because of the disturbed relationship but also because of the fact that it is good to have one contact point for fashion, the fashion coordinator mediates between the city of Amsterdam and its fashion industry. Until recently, the fashion coordinator was informally involved with the different representatives of the Amsterdam fashion cluster and translated their wished and needs towards the Amsterdam City Council. Once a month, the fashion coordinator represented the Amsterdam fashion cluster at the meeting of the team creative industries. However at the moment, the position of the fashion coordinator is being Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 76

reconsidered. With this development, the Amsterdam City Council returns to its original position within the Amsterdam fashion cluster; which means a passive attitude and no active involvement. According to the city of Amsterdam, the initiative needs to be taken by the industry itself. Subsequently, these initiatives are only occasionally supported by the city of Amsterdam. That is why the best characterization of the organizational structure in Amsterdam is the bottom-up or even the laissez-faire approach. As a result of this approach, there is no fit concerning the organization. Fit activities In line with the strategic agenda of the city of Amsterdam, most of the activities the city initiates are focused on the creative industries in general. These activities are aimed at stimulating these industries and include support, developmental as well as branding aspects. However, because the city of Amsterdam does not specifically focus on fashion within its strategic positioning, the Amsterdam City Council does not initiate a lot of activities in this context. Most initiatives are coming from the industry itself and are, occasionally, supported by the city of Amsterdam. From an internal point of view, the city of Amsterdam supported its fashion industry with the installation of a fashion coordinator. Furthermore the city of Amsterdam financially supports several initiatives aimed at the stimulation of young creative talents (fashion designers), like the Fashion Fasterclass. From an external point of view, the city of Amsterdam also supports initiatives with a promotional value like the AIFW (only in the start-up phase), RedLight Fashion and the promotional campaign Creative Fashion City Amsterdam. It can be concluded that most of the activities of the city of Amsterdam are limited to the level of support and lack a structural character or approach. In the case of Amsterdam, different parties representing the Amsterdam fashion industry are contributing to the initiating, organizing and supporting aimed at strengthening the city´s position as a fashion city. However, the role of the Amsterdam City Council and its partners within this context is very marginal. Furthermore very little joint initiatives of public and private parties can be identified in this context. An example might be the project RedLight Fashion, however that collaboration arose accidentally. As a result of this unbalanced and ad hoc approach, a misfit concerning the activities can be identified. Fit budget Since the city of Amsterdam does not have a specific policy program for its fashion industry, there is neither a specific budget available for this part of the creative industries. Most expenses related to fashion are out of the pocket and divided over different departments and organizations the Amsterdam City Council represents. Only the department EZ had reserved a specific budget in order to stimulate the Amsterdam fashion industry. However, with the reconsideration of the position of the fashion coordinator (on which most of the budget was invested), this contribution seems to be one shot. Since there is no specific budget available for the fashion industry, it is also not possible for the representatives of this industry to contribute to such a budget. With the organization of initiatives like the AIFW, the Fashion Fasterclass and TTIB, the representatives of the Amsterdam are definitely contributing to the strengthening of Amsterdam´s position as a fashion city. However, it has to be concluded that in the case of Amsterdam, no public-private investment fund or even the pooling of financial resources (by public and private parties) in general can be identified. As said before, the city of Amsterdam only financially supports its fashion industry on a project basis. There is no structural vision behind the support and as a result, this support has an ad hoc character. Overall, it can be stated that also related to the budget, a misfit can be identified in Antwerp. In general it can be concluded that there is a misfit between the Amsterdam fashion cluster and the way in which the city of Amsterdam uses fashion in its strategic positioning.

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6.

Conclusion

In the contemporary complex urban environment, more and more cities identify the potential of the cultural industries and the fashion industries as a part of these industries. Larner et al. (2007) identify that in the ideal situation, this industry can produce double benefit. On the one hand it can create a new basis for economic development in the context of a globalizing economy and on the other hand it enables the revaluation of local identity. Larner et al. (2007) underpin the importance of city policy in this context. However, in the contemporary economy, local policymakers face a lot of complexities which ask for a more hybrid, dynamic, flexible and inclusive type of policy (Mommaas, 2009). In this context of urban policy making, the urban regime theory stresses the growing importance of flexible and informal governing coalitions of public and private parties (Stoker and Mossberger, 1994). In this research the urban regime theory is used as an attempt to understand differences in the way cities use fashion within their strategic positioning. The cases of Antwerp and Amsterdam have been selected as the sample for this research. 6.1 Recapitulation of the results in relation to the research questions and expectations In the previous chapters, the results have been described for each case individually. As already presented in the sub-conclusions, in the case of Antwerp a fashion regime and a fit between this fashion regime and the way in which Antwerp uses fashion in its strategic positioning could be identified. On the other hand, the sub-conclusion about Amsterdam showed that there is no fashion regime present in the city of Amsterdam. In this case, a misfit between the fashion cluster and the way in which Amsterdam uses fashion in its strategic positioning has been identified. In this paragraph, these results are used to provide an answer to the following research question: To what extend is there a fit between a fashion coalition and the way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning and how can this (mis)fit be understood? In order to answer to this question, first the results are recapitulated in relation to the expectations. Expectations In the context of this research, the following expectations have been formulated: If there is a fit, this means that the fashion coalition (regime) is represented in and involved with the program concerning the use of fashion in the strategic positioning of a city and also contributes to this program. In this case the fashion regime has a capacity to act and can influence the program concerning the strategic use of fashion in a city. As a result the approach becomes more integrated and inclusive and therefore the program is more likely to succeed. If there is a misfit, this means that the fashion coalition is not represented in and involved with the program and has no (or minimal) contribution to this program. In this case the fashion coalition has little or no capacity to act and little or no influence on the program concerning the strategic use of fashion in a city. As a result the approach becomes more isolated instead of integrated/inclusive and is therefore the program is less likely to succeed. The first expectation reflects the situation in Antwerp and can be confirmed by the results of this case. The fashion regime present in the city of Antwerp can be identified as a compact coalition based on personal ambition and informal contacts. With the event Mode2001, touristic, governmental parties as well as creative parties representing the fashion industry, united their perspectives in order to consolidate and strengthen Antwerp´s position as a fashion city. This event Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 78

was the starting point of successful collaborations between public, private and non-profit actors. A special position in this context is assigned to the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp. This actor, as being part of the Antwerp fashion regime, is the link between this regime and Antwerp´s strategic positioning related to fashion. In the context of this position, the Tourism Department very much uses a co-creation or bottom-up approach and attaches a lot of importance to the involvement of the experts from its fashion industry. That is why the fashion regime is able to influence the program concerning the use of fashion within the strategic positioning of Antwerp and has a capacity to act. As a result, the program concerning the use of fashion within Antwerp´s strategic positioning reflects an integrated approach and a fit with the Antwerp fashion regime. This regime succeeded in making fashion one of the main icons within the strategic positioning of the city of Antwerp. The second expectation reflects the situation of Amsterdam and can be confirmed by the results of this case. The parties representing the Amsterdam fashion industry want fashion to become a priority within the strategic positioning of the city of Amsterdam. However, the Amsterdam fashion cluster is very much fragmented and represents many different perspectives, which seem to be difficult to unite. Furthermore the Amsterdam City Council is not actively involved in its fashion industry. Both the city of Amsterdam and the representatives of its fashion industry are looking at each other to take the initiative. According to the city of Amsterdam, fashion is no priority on the political agenda because the Amsterdam fashion industry did not seem to be able to unite and come up with a good story. The representatives of the fashion industry on the other hand, state that the Amsterdam fashion cluster is very much fragmented because of the passive attitude and the lack of involvement of the city of Amsterdam. As a result, there is no fashion regime present in the city of Amsterdam which has a capacity to act. That is why there is no fit between the Amsterdam fashion cluster and the use of fashion within Amsterdam´s strategic positioning. Within this strategic positioning, fashion is still marginally represented, mainly as a part of the creative industries. From the abovementioned examples it can be concluded that, in one way, the (mis)fit between the fashion coalition and the way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning can be understood in terms of regime characteristics. The next section will illustrate the influence of national cultural policy within this context. National cultural policy Since this research compares two cases from a cross-national perspective, the national cultural policy program is included as an intervening variable. An important aspect in this context is Belgium´s history related to the textile industry. Up until the eighties Belgium was renowned for its high quality production of clothing and textile (De Voldere et al., 2007). When this industry collapsed in the year 1970-1980, the Belgian government implemented the Textile Plan. The aim of this plan was to generate a shift from the rough textile industry, towards the more creative and innovative fashion industry. This program not only included financial support, but also initiatives which would enhance the image of Belgian fashion and fashion designers in particular. With the regionalization in the year 1993, the Textile Plan came to an end and the fashion industry became supported by the Flemish government. However, the national Textile Plan established a firm basis for Antwerp to become a fashion city (Arnoldus et al., 2009). Unlike Belgium, the Netherlands does not have a rich history related to fashion. Just like Belgium, the Netherlands did have a flourishing textile industry. However, when this industry got in crisis, especially in the 1970-1980s, the Dutch government did not initiate a national plan in order to save or regenerate this industry. From the year 2002 onwards, the Netherlands started to position itself as a creative knowledge economy. The Dutch Innovation Platform for instance selected the creative industries as one of its key areas in which to promote growth and innovation (www.innovatieplatform.nl). Furthermore the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science published the memorandum 'Ons Creatieve Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 79

Vermogen'. On this national policy program aimed to strengthen the creative industries, a total amount of 15 million Euro was invested (Wilde and Van Sas, 2006). These national policy measures stimulated the city of Amsterdam, being one of three heterogeneous creative super clusters of Europe, to increasingly focus on the creative industries within its strategic positioning. “The Netherlands is known for its strong policy programs related to the creative industries and innovation. In Antwerp we just started to develop such a program. In that context Amsterdam is way ahead.” (Director of the department Work and Economy of the city of Antwerp) From this point of view, the difference in the position and meaning of fashion within the strategic positioning of Antwerp and Amsterdam can also be understood in terms of national cultural policy. This might explain why the strategic agenda of the city of Antwerp has a strong focus on fashion, while the city of Amsterdam focuses on the creative industries in general. Another point of attention in the context of national cultural policy is the access to external financial resources. After the Textile Plan, the Belgian government has never structurally supported its fashion designers. Only since the year 2006, the public-private investment fund CultuurInvest was founded. The goal of CultuurInvest is to invest risk-capital in Flemish creative enterprises (for instance fashion designers) that cannot get support from the government. An important aspect of CultuurInvest is that the fund does not subsidize but invests risk-capital in Flemish enterprises, with the goal of gaining financial returns. In order to be considered for an investment, the creative enterprises must be able to convince the selection commission of the commercial potential of their products. In this way, CultuurInvest stimulates creative entrepreneurs to become more entrepreneurial. Unlike their Belgian colleagues, Dutch fashion designers have less difficulties with gaining access external financial resources. The Dutch fashion landscape is known for its generous contribution of grants, especially by the Fonds BKVB. In Belgium, a fashion designer only has access to external financial resources when he or she possesses entrepreneurial qualities. In the Netherlands, fashion designers need to position themselves as artists (instead of entrepreneurs) in order to gain access to external financial resources (grants). As the Belgian fashion entrepreneurs do not have as much possibilities as Dutch fashion entrepreneurs on the level of subsidies, they have to adapt their strategy to their less generous environment. As a result of this environment, Belgian fashion designers become more pro-active commercially oriented. So in contrast to the Dutch fashion designers, Belgian fashion designers are forced to professionalize their business and become commercially successful (Kuijstermans, 2008). The aforementioned differences are not translated into the styles of Dutch or Belgian fashion. Dutch fashion is often associated with street wear, a segment which is relatively easy to market. However, this does no justice to the varied pallet of styles Dutch fashion represents. Nevertheless it is true that street wear and new luxury are strongly represented in the Dutch market. The more artistic labels simply did not seem to be able to survive. One of the few exceptions in this context is the label Viktor & Rolf. Started in 1993 as a part of Le Cri Néerlandais (a group of six Dutch fashion designers that went to Paris to show their collections), Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren were the only designers who were able to turn their label into a commercial success (Roso, 2005). The Belgian style on the other hand cannot simply be typified as commercial. Still today, Belgian fashion designers are known for their avantgardistic and intellectual approach. The commercial aspect is related to their entrepreneurial skills and sense of reality. That is why, in the long run, Belgian fashion designers are better able to compete on an international level (Kuijstermans, 2008). “The combination of commercial and artistic qualities is what is making Belgian fashion designers successful internationally.” (Fashion journalist and co-founder of the FFI) Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 80

From this perspective, the difference in the position and meaning of fashion within the strategic positioning of Antwerp and Amsterdam can also be understood in terms of national cultural policy; specifically related to financial support of the fashion designers. This might explain why the city of Antwerp became closely identified with fashion and its successful fashion designers. In the city of Amsterdam this is not (yet) the case. However, there are plans for a public-private investment fund for fashion designers in the Netherlands (although these plans are on hold at the moment). 6.2 Methodological remarks The research design applied to this research is a comparative, cross-sectional case study or focused comparison. That is why the results coming from this research can be used to understand the specific situations of the cases of Antwerp and Amsterdam. However, generalization on the basis of these two cases is not valid. That is why it cannot be concluded that regimes, in general, positively influence the way in which city´s use fashion in their strategic positioning. Neither a causal relation in this context could be determined, based on the results coming from this research. That is why in this research, the relation between fashion coalitions and the way in which cities use fashion within their strategic positioning has been studied in terms of (mis)fit. Next it should be mentioned that, although being comparable in many respects (as described in paragraph 3.2), the cases of Antwerp and Amsterdam differ when it comes to the type of economy and representation of the creative industries. For Antwerp, the fashion industry represents a crucial part of its economy. “Of course Antwerp is an industrial and a harbour city. However, the fashion industry is not only important for Antwerp in terms of added value and jobs, but also in terms of image, representation and tourism.” (Director of the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp) For the city of Amsterdam on the other hand this is not the case. Being one of three heterogeneous creative super clusters of Europe, Amsterdam has identified the fashion industry as being a part of its creative economy. These differences can be related to the national differences in background, history and tradition when it comes to the fashion industry. That is why it is relevant that the contextual variable national cultural policy has been included, in order to be able to control for this effect. Furthermore, a specific remark regarding the case of Amsterdam has to be made. As already mentioned in paragraph 5.3.7 and 5.5, there is no regime present in the city of Amsterdam. This city neither has a specific policy program related to the use of fashion within its strategic positioning. As a result, the concept of a fit might go beyond the current situation of this case. However, it has been analyzed to what extend a (mis)fit could be identified. Paragraph 5.5 concludes that there is a misfit between the Amsterdam fashion cluster and the way in which the city of Amsterdam uses fashion in its strategic positioning, based on the operationalization of the concept (mis)fit in paragraph 2.2.2. However, when reflecting on this concept, it could also be argued that a fit could be identified in the city of Amsterdam. This will be illustrated by the following figure. Regime + + -

Strong representation of fashion in a city's policy program + + -

Figure 8: A schematic representation of a theoretical reflection on the concept (mis)fit

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(Mis)fit Fit Misfit Misfit Fit

Based on this scheme, it could be concluded that there is a negative fit in the city of Amsterdam, related to the absence of a fashion regime and the subordinate role of fashion in its policy program. The implications of this will be illustrated and discussed in the following paragraphs. Another point which needs the attention when using a case study design and the technique of snowball sampling within the context, is the danger of creating a too homogeneous group or leaving out crucial participants. For this research, this effect has been minimized by interviewing 25 respondents with different backgrounds and representing different sectors and perspectives. However, it should be noted that within the available time, it was not possible to interview a representative of the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy. Since this is an important actor of the Antwerp fashion regime, the required information was gathered by visiting the open door day, interviewing a former teacher of the fashion department, reading other reports and by using the internet. 6.3 Reflection on the relevance This research provided insight in the relation between fashion coalitions and the way in which cities use fashion in their strategic positioning. From a scientific point of view, this research enlarged the existing knowledge regarding the urban regime theory and the role of governing coalitions in postFordist cities. The cases of this research illustrated that with the presence of a fashion regime, the program concerning the use of fashion within a city´s strategic positioning becomes more inclusive, integrated and is more likely to succeed. The use of the urban regime theory as an attempt to analyze and understand differences in the way cities use fashion in their strategic positioning is relatively new. In fact, the combination of academic research and the fashion industry can be said to be quite exceptional. In this context, Larner et al. (2007, p. 1) state that: “Despite the recent reinvigoration and high visibility of fashion in the world of media, there is surprisingly little academic literature examining fashion and cities in the context of globalization.” Besides, because this research focuses on the relation between fashion coalitions and the use of fashion within the strategic positioning of post-Fordist cities, it also contributes to a better understanding about the changing role of leisure and culture in these cities. In the case of Antwerp, the fashion industry became one of the drivers for economic redevelopment and the revaluation of local identity. Still today, fashion is one of the main icons within the strategic positioning of Antwerp. Within the strategic positioning of Amsterdam on the other hand, fashion is just identified as a part of the creative industries. Related to this the cross-national perspective of this research showed the importance and influence of national cultural policy in this context. As a result, the cross-national perspective, in this case a comparison between Belgium and the Netherlands, provided an additional contribution. Finally, the urban regime theory has mainly been used as an attempt to analyze the influence of governing coalitions on for instance economic (re)development of cities. However, for the cases studied, it was not possible to indicate this type of causality. The case of Amsterdam for instance illustrated that, although Stone (1989) states that local governments increasingly experience the necessity of cooperation with actors beyond the public realm, the Amsterdam City Council want the representatives of its fashion cluster to take the initiative. That is why studying the relation between fashion coalitions and the way in which cities use fashion within their strategic positioning in terms of (mis)fit, turned out to be a valuable addition to the original framework of the urban regime theory. However, more important than the issue of causality, is to focus on the internal dynamics within fashion coalitions, in order to be able to provide recommendations. From a social perspective, this research could suggest recommendations to the parties involved with the use of fashion in the strategic positioning of cities. In this way, collaborations could be improved or optimized in order to resolve problems or exploit potential chances. As a result, cities should become more successful in using fashion in their strategic positioning. These recommendations will be described in the next paragraph. Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 82

6.4

Recommendations

Recommendations from a social perspective In this section, recommendations will be given in order to optimize or improve collaborations. In the case of Antwerp, there are two points of attention. The first point is that the fashion regime in the city of Antwerp has reached a mature phase. Since the development of the regime, fashion has become a central element within Antwerp´s strategic positioning and Antwerp became known as a fashion city. Within this context, all parties have reached a comfortable and stable position, in which the sense of urgency and need to keep on collaborating are slowly fading. However, in order to maintain or strengthen Antwerp´s position as a fashion city, it is important for the partners within the Antwerp fashion regime to keep on collaborating with an eye on the higher goal. As a fashion city, Antwerp cannot only depend on its history and needs a new spark. Related to this, the Antwerp fashion regime should focus on its strengths like the informal contacts and the synergy between the touristic and creative perspective (and the corresponding resources and incentives). Concerning these perspectives, special attention needs to be paid to the touristic perspective, especially represented by the Tourism Department of the city of Antwerp. This perspective becomes more and more commercial and focused on shopping experience instead of fashion designers. Since the fashion designers are the heart of the concept Antwerp fashion city, it is important to keep the creative (artistic) and the touristic (commercial) agenda in balance. Fortunately, the collaborating parties of the Antwerp fashion regime are working on this issue. Unlike the fashion regime in Antwerp, which already developed towards a more mature phase, the Amsterdam fashion cluster is still in a developmental phase. The fashion cluster can be characterized by the representation of a lot of different perspectives and a lack of involvement or a passive attitude of the Amsterdam City Council. As a result, it has been concluded in paragraph 5.3.7 that there is no fashion regime or even coalition present in the city of Amsterdam. It would seem logical to interpret this lack of a fashion regime in terms of Amsterdam’s ambition to be a creative instead of a fashion city. That is why, in paragraph 6.2, it has been concluded that a negative fit could be identified in the city of Amsterdam (the absence of a fashion regime and the subordinate role of fashion in the policy program of the city of Amsterdam). However, the situation of Amsterdam is not that unambiguous. In this case, special attention has to be paid to the role of the government. Related to this, Ward (1996) states that the role of governments within governing coalitions is crucial, especially in the European context. On the other hand, with the elections every four year, the (city) government is not always a very reliable partner. The case of Amsterdam illustrated that over time, there have been several politicians which proclaimed the ambition of wanting to position Amsterdam as a fashion city. However, with the departure of these politicians also these claims faded. Nevertheless there are several parties, like for instance the AIFW and the taskforce fashion of the AAA, which still have the ambition to position Amsterdam as a fashion city. However, according to Stone (1989) a regime involves the bringing together of various elements of a community and the resources they control. So without the involvement of the Amsterdam City Council, the parties representing the Amsterdam fashion cluster have no capacity to act and, as a result, cannot be characterized as a regime. Nevertheless according to Stone (1989), it is important to place the analysis of governing coalition beyond the formal question of whether a regime exists or not. That is why, in the case of Amsterdam, it would be interesting to focus on the internal dynamics within the fashion cluster. Roso (2005) states that in theory, the city of Amsterdam has the ingredients which are needed in order to become an international fashion city. These include a creative and inspiring climate, high quality fashion education, the presence of many international fashion companies, good logistic facilities, the highest representation of fashion designers, a fashion week and many other initiatives related to fashion, Amsterdam has the potential to become a fashion city. Moreover, the Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 83

city of Amsterdam is increasingly aware of these treasures. However, related to the positioning of Amsterdam as a fashion city, the city of Amsterdam wants the representatives of its fashion cluster to take the initiative. Although this is conflicting with the urban regime theory (1989) which states that local governments increasingly experience the necessity of cooperation with actors beyond the public realm, a few recommendations can be made to the representatives of the Amsterdam fashion cluster. The first recommendation for the Amsterdam fashion cluster is to unite and develop a joint claim or profile about Amsterdam fashion, based on its specific characteristics and strengths. In the case of Antwerp, the creative perspective represented a shared view on Antwerp fashion since the eighties onwards: avant-garde fashion with a clear focus on the top segment of young fashion designers. This shared perspective became one of the strengths of the Antwerp fashion regime. "The parties of the fashion cluster have to think about the unique selling point of Amsterdam. What are the underlying assets and how can these be consolidated and strengthened. This is not an artificial process but comes from the inside out. (Vice-chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the initiative Routeplan and former chairman of the board of directors of the FFI) Potential assets on which Amsterdam as a fashion city could build are the tolerant and inspiring atmosphere of the city of Amsterdam. This creates an open mind for new ideas and hospitable environment to people and organizations from other cultures. Furthermore Amsterdam offers a younger and more dynamic alternative when looking at the traditional couture industry represented in for instance Paris and Milan. An example in the context is the growing representation of the new luxury segment and jeans. Besides, the city of Amsterdam is leading when it comes to issues like innovation and sustainable product development. Finally, the strong representation of the creative industries provides opportunities for valuable crossovers. Since the Amsterdam fashion cluster is young and vibrant, there are still lots of possibilities. With the development of a joint claim or shared agenda about Amsterdam fashion, the representatives of the Amsterdam fashion cluster might be able to convince the Amsterdam City Council about the potential of this industry. However, with all the different perspectives and conflicting interests, this will not become easy. The challenge will be to unite the different perspectives and individual interest into a common vision. Since a common vision and consensus are formed on the basis of interaction, the representatives of different perspectives or sectors will have to collaborate. The advantage of these collaborations might only become visible in the long run, which could be an obstacle for collaboration. Another complexity in this context might be the fact that Stone (1989) states that a regime has to arise organically. This would imply that a regime could not be purposely created. However, the informal contacts and creasing willingness to work together present in the Amsterdam fashion cluster provide a good basis for further collaboration. Furthermore the development of a shared agenda and the pooling of resources could stimulate mutual dependency and stable collaborations. Recommendations from a scientific perspective (further research) From a scientific perspective, the urban regime theory has proved to be an interesting and helpful theoretical device in understanding differences in the ways cities use fashion in their strategic positioning. However, further research is needed in order to fortify the revealed conclusions. Interesting in this context would be a comparison between cities in which fashion already has a central role within the strategic positioning. As a result, differences in the ways these cities uses fashion in their strategic positioning could better be understood in terms of regime characteristics.

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Wenting, R., Atzema, O. and Frenken, K. (2006) Modeontwerp en ondernemerschap. Profielen, plaatsen en prestaties. Utrecht: Universiteit. Wilde, M. and Van Sas, L. (2006). Een onderzoek naar het krachtenveld in de creatieve industrie in Nederland. Downloaded on 20 April 2010 from: http://markwilde.nl/creatieveindustrie/. Zukin, S. (1991). Landscapes of Power. From Detroit to Disney World. Berkeley: University of California Press. Websites www.aaarea.nl www.aimsterdam.nl www.amfi.nl www.amsterdam.nl www.amsterdamfashionweek.com www.bureaubroedplaatsen.amsterdam.nl www.dutchfashionfoundation.com www.ez.amsterdam.nl www.europarl.europa.eu www.fondsbkvb.nl/09_english/02.php www.iamsterdam.com www.individualsatamfi.nl www.innovatieplatform.nl www.kvk.nl www.shoppinginantwerp.be www.syntens.nl www.topstad.amsterdam.nl www.vistiantwerp.be www.antwerpenopen.be

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Appendix 1: Operationalization of central variables The fashion coalition Indicator Composition

Meaning Mix of public and private parties

Shared agenda of the coalition

Shared vision, set of goals and policy direction as agreed upon by the collaborating parties

Resources

The specific input and pooling of public and private resources

Stimuli/incentives

(Im)material stimuli for collaboration

(In)formality

Informal arrangement of the collaborations

Stable/sustainable collaborations

Stable and sustainable development of the collaborations

Measurement - Public and private parties which are collaborating - The existence of a (shared) vision about the future (compared to the strategic agenda) - Strengths, weaknesses, possibilities and threats - Agreement about what should happen to achieve this (goals/policy direction) - The specific input and pooling of resources by the public and private collaborating parties. For instance: capital, expertise, knowledge, time, power and organizing capacity. - (Im)material reasons to collaborate and keep participating in the collaboration mentioned by the participants. For instance: money, contracts, facilities (material) and involvements, contacts, purpose (immaterial). - How collaborating parties know each other - When and at which occasions do the parties see/meet/talk to each other - The origin/occasion of the collaborations - The length of collaborations - Power structure: hierarchy, responsibilities, conflicts

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The way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning Indicator Strategic agenda

Meaning The position and meaning of fashion in the strategic agenda of a city. For instance: branding, supporting and development

Organization

Top-down or bottom-up/co-creation approach

Activities

The initiating, organizing and/or supporting of activities in the context of the strategic agenda

Budget

A specific budget available for the strengthening of a city’s position as a fashion city

Measurement The existence of a strategic agenda (for instance branding, supporting, development) concerning the position and meaning of fashion in a city, as represented in for instance official (policy) documents (compared to the shared agenda of the coalition) Occasion, initiator, involved parties, hierarchy, consultation structure, development of the relationship The contribution of the involved parties to the initiating, organizing and or supporting of activities in the context of the strategic agenda: - Branding: communication and promotion activities, city marketing activities, events - Supporting: stimulating the sector by providing specific resources like for instance capital (subsidies) or (work)space - Development: public-private partnerships in the context of innovation and economic development Contribution of the involved parties to this budget

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Appendix 2: List of respondents Organization Antwerp City Council Antwerp City Council

Function Director Tourism Department (former Strategic plan Tourism Antwerp) and co-founder of the ModeNatie Director department Work and Economy

Antwerp City Council1 Antwerpen Open VZW

Director department Culture, Sports and Youth Former general coordinator and executive producer of Mode 2001

Antwerpen Open VZW FFI FFI MoMu Mindred, Designers Against Aids Chamber of Commerce

Producer General manager Co-founder and fashion journalist Press and pr manager Owner, initiator, fashion journalist and co-founder FFI Vice-chairman, chairman of the initiative Routeplan and former chairman of the board of directors of the FFI Former chairman Gevaert NV, Strategic plan for the region Antwerp, FFI and co-founder of the ModeNatie (NV) Manager guided tours

Gevaert NV2 Antwerpen Averechts Organization Amsterdam City Council

Function Senior policy officer at the department EZ

Amsterdam City Council AIM CCAA

Fashion coordinator Project manager creative industries Project manager creative industries

Chamber of Commerce Syntens AMFI HTNK AIFW WFC WFC Fortis Fortis

Senior consultant economic development and stimulation Innovation consultant creative industries region Amsterdam Creative/deputy director Manager marketing, pr and projects Managing director CEO Event manager Director commercial banking Senior project manager sponsoring and events

Co-Lab Premsela

Former project manager Project manager

Modint3 SADC

Managing director Manager marketing, sales and communication

1

The blocks with a thicker line are representing one person Interviewed by telephone 3 Interviewed by e-mail 2

Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 91

Appendix 3: Item list Fashion coalition 1. Composition: collaborating parties, division between public and private parties, interesting other parties which are not collaborating (+why not), eventual existence of other networks/coalitions and contact/collaboration between different networks/coalitions. 2. Shared agenda of the coalition: vision about the future (compared to the strategic agenda). Strengths, weaknesses, possibilities and threats. Actions which need to be taken in order to achieve this (policy direction). Agreement/consensus versus differences concerning the agenda. Documentation of the agenda. Preventing self interest, stimulating collectivity. 3. Resources: specific input and pooling of resources of collaborating parties. Interesting (potential) resources which other (not collaborating parties) could put into the collaboration. 4. Stimuli/Incentives: (im)material motivation to collaborate and to keep on participating in the collaboration. Possible reasons for parties to not collaborate or stop collaborating. Eventual solution. 5. (In)formality: connection of different parties. History, frequency and type of contact. Occasions at which different parties see/meet/talk to each other. Eventual contact with parties who do not participate in the collaboration. Eventual solutions to stimulate collaboration. 6. Stability/sustainability: origin of the collaborations; starting point and initiative (how and why). Length of collaborations. Power structure within the collaboration: hierarchy, responsibilities, conflicts. Changes over time (elections). Facilitators and barriers for the collaborations. Eventual reasons for lack of collaboration. The way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning 1. Strategic agenda: the similarities/differences between the shared agenda of the fashion coalition and the way in which a city wants to use fashion in its strategic positioning, as represented in for instance official (policy) documents. 2. Organization: involvement of different parties with the way in which a city uses fashion in its strategic positioning. Initiating party and the occasion of this initiative. Hierarchy between involved parties. Type of consultation structure (top-down or bottom-up/co-creation approach) + frequency. Development of the relation. Parties which are not involved + why. 3. Activities: the contribution of the involved parties to the initiating, organizing and/or supporting of activities aimed at strengthening the city’s position as a fashion city. Examples of such activities can be communication and promotion activities, city marketing activities, events, supporting/stimulating activities by providing specific resources or public-private partnerships in the context of innovation and economic development. What is the actual contribution of the involved parties + why. Parties which do not contribute + why. 4. Budget: contribution of the involved parties to the budget specifically available for the strengthening of a city’s position as a fashion city. Resources each party contributes + why. Parties which are not contributing +why.

Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 92

Appendix 4: Format of a data matrix Case Amsterdam Respondent Quote(s) Concept 1 (code): resources Respondent A “…………………………….” Respondent B “…………………………….” Respondent C “…………………………….” …………………….. “…………………………….” …………………….. “…………………………….” …………………….. “…………………………….”

Case Antwerp Respondent Quote(s) Concept 1 (code): resources Respondent A “…………………………….” Respondent B “…………………………….” Respondent C “…………………………….” …………………….. “…………………………….” …………………….. “…………………………….” …………………….. “…………………………….”

Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 93

Appendix 5: Time planning Month February

Date 08-02-2010 22-02-2010

March

06/13-03-2010 09-03-2010

April

05/09-04-2010

May

26/30-04-2010 03/07-05-2010 17-05-2010

21-06-2010 June

July

22-06-2010 02-07-2010

August 17-08-2010 September 14-09-2010

Activity Hand in Individual Thesis Proposal Hand in revised Theoretical Paper (not necessary) Writing introduction, theory (based on Theoretical Paper) and methods chapter Desk research: cases and key-actors Contacting and making appointments with key-actors Working on semi-structured questionnaire (item list) + further preparation interviews Ski holidays Hand in revised Individual Thesis Proposal (if necessary) Interviewing key-actors + processing interviews Contacting and making appointments with other relevant parties as referred to by key-actors. Easter holidays Interviewing other relevant parties + processing interviews Start coding and analyzing interviews May holidays May holidays Leisure Policies: handing in revised group report: Shopping Sunday Finishing analyzing interviews Processing results / writing results chapter Start writing conclusion ILON: re-examination Finish writing conclusion Working on title page, summary, preface, table of contents, bibliography and appendices Hand in Master Thesis Result Master Thesis (first version) Working on revision first version master thesis (if necessary) Working on revision first version master thesis (if necessary) Hand in revised Master thesis (if necessary) Graduation ceremony

Master thesis Leisure Studies | Fashion Cities and the Urban Regime Theory | 94

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