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How Fashion Designers Used Critical Thinking to Turn Around Struggling Businesses

Updated: Mar 11, 2023



"Fashion business can be saved using critical thinking by analyzing problems, adapting to changing trends, identifying opportunities, and creating innovative solutions to drive growth and profitability" remarks Prof. Gaurav Mandal .Here are some examples of fashion designers who saved their businesses using critical thinking:

  1. Ralph Lauren: In the 1990s, Ralph Lauren's brand was struggling due to declining sales and a lack of direction. Lauren was able to turn the business around by rethinking his approach to design and marketing. He introduced new product lines, rebranded the company, and invested in marketing campaigns that appealed to a younger demographic. His critical thinking and willingness to adapt to changing trends helped to revitalize the brand and bring it back to profitability.

  2. Miuccia Prada: When Miuccia Prada took over her family's business in the 1970s, the company was primarily known for its high-end luggage and accessories. Prada recognized that the fashion industry was changing and that the company needed to diversify its product offerings in order to survive. She introduced a line of ready-to-wear clothing that was both innovative and accessible, and her critical thinking and ability to adapt to changing trends helped to turn the company into a global fashion powerhouse.

  3. Tom Ford: When Tom Ford took over as the creative director of Gucci in the 1990s, the brand was struggling due to a lack of direction and declining sales. Ford was able to turn the business around by rethinking the brand's image and introducing new product lines. He also invested in marketing campaigns that were provocative and edgy, which helped to attract a younger, more fashion-forward demographic. Ford's critical thinking and willingness to take risks helped to revive the Gucci brand and make it one of the most successful fashion companies in the world.


  1. Sabyasachi Mukherjee: Sabyasachi is one of the most successful fashion designers in India, and his eponymous brand is known for its luxurious and ornate designs. During the pandemic, when the fashion industry came to a standstill, Sabyasachi turned to digital platforms to continue reaching his customers. He launched virtual consultations, online sales, and even a virtual trunk show, all of which helped his business stay afloat.

  2. Anita Dongre: Anita Dongre is another prominent Indian fashion designer who was quick to adapt to the changing times. She shifted her focus to e-commerce and started selling her designs online, even launching a virtual store that customers could visit from the comfort of their homes. She also used social media to her advantage, creating engaging content that helped her maintain her brand's visibility.

  3. Masaba Gupta:Known for her bold and unconventional designs. During the pandemic, she launched an initiative called "Maskaba" that sold designer masks to raise funds for COVID-19 relief. She also shifted her focus to comfortable and practical clothing, recognizing that people were spending more time at home and needed versatile pieces that could be worn both indoors and outdoors.


In summary, these fashion designers were able to save their businesses by using critical thinking to identify problems, adapt to changing trends, and develop innovative solutions. They were willing to take risks and think outside of the box in order to revitalize their brands and bring them back to profitability.


About The author

Gaurav Mandal is a fashion educator and leader, dedicated to inspiring the next generation of design professionals. He is recipient of two national awards from the Indian Government for his contributions to the fashion industry. A NIFT Delhi Gold Medalist fashion designer , he completed his Fashion Marketing master’s degree from Nottingham Trent University, UK. He teaches millions of students through his YouTube Channel and works with several NGO’s for imparting creative education.


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