Both a resource-based view and transaction cost economics perspective point to firms deciding to either make-or-buy an input. In practice, this tends to result in low-skill functions being outsourced while those of higher value are retained. In this article, we explore a situation counter to the prevailing literature. We study a highly creative industry - fashion - and discover the relationship between core competence and outsourcing is not as simple as previously conceptualised. Creativity, fashion's assumed competency, rather than being guarded within a firm is instead often outsourced or borrowed. More mundane tasks such as marketing and logistics are what each firm rather develops. The effects of resulting co-dependencies are mapped and analysed in order to offer managerial insight as well as contribute to discussion within the outsourcing and resource based literatures.