Chanel’s Creative Trajectory in the Field of Fashion: The Optimal Network Structuration Strategy

Part of the Creativity in the Twenty First Century book series (CTFC)


This chapter elaborates a social structural perspective on creativity that aims to situate the generation and recognition of creative work within the larger social context in which creators and their audiences (peers, critics, and users) are embedded. Specifically, we argue that creativity is subject to a core-periphery network tradeoff. While peripheral actors can gain legitimacy for their creative work by moving towards the core, core actors can escape the field’s conformity pressures by moving closer to the periphery. Our strategic research material is the field of the haute couture (high-end fashion) in Paris during the 20th century. We advance the notion of optimal network structuration strategy to explain how Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, an outsider located at the margins of the French society, was consecrated as an iconic and acclaimed figure within the world of fashion.


Creativity Recognition Core-periphery network position Fashion Coco Chanel 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stern School of BusinessNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of ManagementUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Cass Business SchoolCity University LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

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