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Fashion leaders’ and followers’ attitudes towards exotic leather apparel products

Bonnie D. Belleau (Professor of Apparel Design/Production in the School of Human Ecology at Louisiana State University)
Kelly Nowlin (Designer with an apparel company located in Denton, Texas)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 1 June 2001



The domestic exotic leather industry (for the purposes of this study exotic leather was defined as ostrich, emu and American alligator) has been in existence for many years, but much of the raw leather is exported, resulting in a loss of value added for America. The purpose of this study was to explore fashion leaders’ and followers’ attitudes towards exotic leather apparel products. The theoretical framework used for this study was Sproles’ model of fashion adoption (Sproles 1979). This study was part of a larger research project which was designed to segment the market, profile consumers of exotic leather apparel products and develop promotional strategies. A questionnaire, mailed to 800 fashion professionals in eight regional fashion centres across the country, yielded a 50 per cent return rate. Results indicated that the Sproles model was effective in describing and characterising fashion leaders (adopters) and followers (Sproles 1979). Fashion leaders had a more favourable attitude towards exotic leather apparel products, had a greater purchase intention of such products, had higher cognitive motivations, and had a different shopping orientation from followers. Leaders enjoyed shopping more and were not as cost‐conscious, traditional, or conservative as followers. Understanding the differences between fashion leaders and followers will only serve to enhance and contribute to the economic development of the domestic exotic leather industry.



Belleau, B.D. and Nowlin, K. (2001), "Fashion leaders’ and followers’ attitudes towards exotic leather apparel products", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 133-144.




Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited

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