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Title: The creation of a multi-cultural identity for window displays in Durban's fashion retail shop fronts
Authors: Lichkus, Sarah Christine 
Issue Date: 17-Aug-2012
The purpose of this study was to explore the possibility of creating shop window displays
focussing on a South African identity in the Durban region. The impetus for the study
stemmed from the design of the Constitutional Court which features elements of South
African culture. This study challenges the contemporary notion of presenting window
displays using primarily Western influences and proposes the use of fashion imagery and
cultural identity currently dominating South Africa. The study argues against corporate
fashion stereotypes and champions a representation of an eclectic multi-cultural South
African society. In this respect key theories of identity, culture, and design were explored.
A qualitative methodology was conducted utilising interview and observation approaches
to obtain data. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve local professionals
specialising in the fields of art, design, fashion and architecture to obtain their expert
opinions. The data was analysed by clustering information into themes to establish the
findings. Interview findings revealed that shop window displays should accommodate
local imagery appropriate to the South African context. Observing two local production
houses, namely Hirt & Carter and Barrows in Durban provided insights for a backdrop
creation for the practical component of the study. The practical comprised of producing
retail shop installations and a visual catalogue representing findings drawn from the study.
The catalogue was used to illustrate the results of investigating a national image and
identity that could be intrinsic to window display creation in South African fashion retail
shop fronts.
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Masters Degree in Technology: Fashion Design, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2012.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Arts and Design)

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