Sri Lankan Fashion Designers: Self-Directed Learning in the Apparel Industry

Fecha de publicación: 29/10/2021
Fuente: Clothing and Textile Research Journal
Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, Ahead of Print. The Sri Lankan apparel industry is currently in transition from apparel assembly to manufacturing original designs as a value addition. Design teams work closely with Western brands, buyers and designers to offer advanced creative and technical design services. The purpose of this article is to investigate how Sri Lankan designers acquire personal, high-value fashion knowledge and design skills in this crucial time of industry transition. The study adopts a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews conducted with 28 fashion design and product development professionals in the industry. Based on an inductive thematic analysis, the study finds that Sri Lankan designers’ acquisition of high-value fashion knowledge and skills comes primarily through their self-directed learning. This study proposes the Designers’ Self-Directed Learning Cycle to illustrate how designers’ learning happens and is applied in their professional practice. The findings are significant in understanding the designers’ practice in the export-oriented apparel value chain.