DEVELOPMENT OF FUNCTIONAL APPAREL FOR COSMETOLOGISTS IN LAGOS, NIGERIA
The purpose of this study was to develop functional apparel for cosmetologists in Lagos, Nigeria. Specifically the study was designed to: determine the functional apparel requirements (needs) of the cosmetology occupation; develop design criteria based on the needs for functional apparel and generate creative ideas for the prototype apparel; determine the functional apparel design preferences of the cosmetologists and select a final design idea; establish mean body measurements of cosmetologists for small, medium and large size-based users; develop 60 pattern pieces for the final design obtained in small, medium and large size categories; construct 24 sets of the functional apparel for the three size-based categories of user models and determine the mean ratings of both cosmetologists (users) and judges on mobility, fit comfort, safety/protection, general utilitarian, expressive and aesthetic variables of the functional apparel product. The study area was Lagos, Nigeria. The Research and Development (R & D) design was adopted and the Functional Apparel Design Process framework of Dejonge (1984) which coincides with the stages of the R & D cycle was utilized to accomplish the study goal. The stages of the design process were articulated into three major phases of the study namely, Development of design criteria based on functional apparel needs assessment of cosmetologists; construction of the prototype functional apparel in small, medium and large sizes; and evaluation of the prototype apparel against established criteria on small, medium and large size-based users. Two sets of population were used in phases I and III of the study. This comprised 3,820 cosmetologists rand 151 judges consisting of Home Economics lecturers, cosmetology instructors, apparel producers and students. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 195 subjects from the cosmetologists population for the study in the first phase of the study. Purposive sampling technique was utilized to select 22 judges and 24 cosmetology models in the third phase of the study. Three sets of instruments were used for data collection in phases I and III of the study. The first, a Functional Apparel Needs Assessment (FANAC) instrument used to ascertain the functional apparel needs of cosmetologists. The second instrument was a 5-point semantic differential rating scale – Functional Apparel Design Assessment (FADAC) instrument used by cosmetologists to assess movement/mobility, fit, comfort, safety/protection expressive, aesthetics and general utilitarian variables of the functional apparel. The third instrument – Functional Apparel Design Assessment (FADAJ) instrument also a 5 – point semantic differential scale used by judges to score the fit, mobility, comfort, safety/protection, expressive, aesthetics and general utilitarian variables of the cosmetologists’ functional apparel. Cronbach alpha coefficient was used to determine reliability for each rating scale. The values for each scale was > 0.70 for the cosmetologists and > 0.75 for the judges in the preliminary study. The reliability values were slightly higher in the main study when re-examined. Descriptive statistics was used to analyse the data obtained from the research questions and t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to test the hypotheses at .05 level of significance. All the data processes were done using the SPSS version 12. The major findings include: 6 general functional apparel needs for cosmetologists functional apparel; 11 design criteria clustered into 7 broad variables needed to produce functional apparel for cosmetologists; 7 creative design ideas selection; mean body measurements of cosmetologists determined for three size categories; a 20 piece pattern set for each size category of consumers. A total of 60 pattern pieces; 24 functional apparel sets were produced and rated on the criteria outlined for evaluation by both cosmetologists and judges. There were no significant differences in the mean ratings of the three size-based users of the functional apparel for most of the variables used in the assessment of general apparel function and acceptability. There were significant differences between the mean ratings of cosmetologists and judges in 10 out of the 13 variables used in the assessment of the functional variable cluster. Five recommendations were made. These include among others, the utilization of the revised functional apparel design process by both lecturers and students of Home Economics in tackling functional apparel design problems to address both physical and socio-psychological needs of people in various environmental and work related conditions in Nigeria.