Monday, April 16, 2007

ThisNext.com

ThisNext.com is a very useful resource for online shoppers and networkers alike. This site is a way to recommend products you love, review recommendations from others, and meet new people. It is a very innovative site that is unique because consumers can read reviews from other consumers that are not affiliated with the products they are recommending. On this site you can also compile a personal wishlist of items you love. A great feature on this site is their own creation: "shopcasting." This is a way not only to view recommendations but also to shop for the items directly from the site. This site definitely fills a void in online shopping and gives all the shoppers out there a way to share their finds and maybe meet some new shopping partners.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

New York Fashion Week vs. L.A. Fashion Week

While New York Fashion Week is the home to high fashion design houses like Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Chloe, and Zac Posen, L.A. Fashion Week hosts trendier and more ready to wear brands like 2 B Free, Ed Hardy, and Rock and Republic. With these brand differences come many more distinct qualities like type of models, music, crowd in attendance, and overall vibe. In New York, the models are waif thin, while in Los Angeles the models are still thin but have more of a sexy, curvy body type. In New York, the music is typical edgy runway music, while in Los Angeles they play current artists like Gwen Stefani and the Pussycat Dolls, or in the case of the Victoria's Secret holiday fashion show, have Justin Timberlake performing as the models walk. In New York the crowd is a mix of celebrities, socialites, journalists, artists, and upper class old money women. In L.A., the shows are attended by the young in crowds, it girls Paris Hilton (who walks the 2 B Free show every year), Rachel Bilson, Elisha Cuthbert, and other young Hollywood hipsters. The vibe of the New York shows is an edgy, almost over the top artiness, while in Los Angeles the vibe is sexy, funky, and young.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Paper 3: cultural debate

cultural debate in fashion.

How thin is too thin and how does this relate to fashion?

Runway models dressed in the latest high fashion collections of Chanel, Jean Paul Gautier, Marc Jacobs, and other hot designers walk the catwalks of New York, Paris, and Milan. Models have come to represent a beauty ideal, however it is an ideal that is impossible to achieve for the majority of women. Only 1% of women naturally have this super tall super thin body type. So where does that leave the rest of the women, starving? In many cases that is what these models are doing, starving themselves and creating unhealthy body images and eating habits for young women in America.

After several runway models have died of being malnourished in South America and Europe, many cities, like Milan and Madrid, have put a minimum requirement of body mass index on models who want to walk the runway. Where the debate comes in is that while many people in the industry and out support this requirement and think it should be required in every fashion capital city, many models believe it is their body and their right to have it look the way they wish, and many designers believe it is their creative right to achieve the look they want from these waif like models. And "While shows in Milan and Madrid have taken action to ban models deemed too skinny, the British Fashion Council said that regulations were "neither desirable or enforceable."" (London Fashion)

While actresses like "Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz have [] spoken out against the trend towards "size zero" models," some people in the industry support these super thin ideals. "Fashion photographer Mario Testino told CNN that the fashion industry had no cause for concern. "We are in a business to sell clothes. Clothes look better on a thinner person, but I don't think that clothes look good on a skeleton, myself." (London Fashion)


In the New York Times article "When is Thin too Thin?," Eric wells writes, "Linda Wells, the editor of the beauty magazine Allure, said there were moments during the shows when she could hear gasps in the audience at their appearance. “What becomes alarming is when you see bones and start counting ribs,” Ms. Wells said." David Bonnouvrier, the chief executive of DNA Models, says "“This goes against everything we stand for as an industry.. I am kicking and screaming about it now because this should be an industry of beauty and luxury, not famished-looking people that look pale and sick.”" (New York Times) Models have always been thin, but when industry insiders become alarmed we are obviously entering dangerous territory.


I think that models need to be regulated by their agencies and the designers they are working for to ensure that they are having healthy eating habits. There is a difference between someone who is thin and healthy and fit and someone who is clearly starving themselves. Not only is this endangering the health and lives of these models, but it is affecting the self esteem of young girls and endangering their health. I think that there needs to be more positive role models for young girls in the fashion industry, and that fashion can sell on someone who is a size 2 or 4 as well if not better than it sells on someone who is a size 00 and unhealthy.

The images that saturate our media have a negative impact on the body image of teenage girls. The images promote an ideal that is incredibly and almost impossibly thin for the average teenage girl. Super thin celebrities and runway models, as well as the models used in advertisements send a message that a girl can only be beautiful if she is thin. In "Think "Thin" and Feel Bad," from the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, they state "Correlational studies have linked exposure to media that contain ultra-thin ideals to increased body-dissatisfaction, thin-ideal internalization, self-discrepancies, and eating pathology," in women.

I believe that our society promotes an unhealthy and unrealistic ideal for what beautiful should be. This cultural debate that is taking place within the fashion industry not only affects the runway models and fashion designers, but it affects the mental and physical health of fashion consumers, admirers, and young girls all over the world. In a USA Today article, Frederique van der Wal, a former Victoria's Secret model, is quoted after attending New York Fashion Week, ""This unnatural thinness is a terrible message to send out. The people watching the fashion shows are young, impressionable women."" I think that designers are entitled to their creative liberties, however when the use of these extremely thin models becomes dangerous to the health and wellbeing of many people that goes beyond the realm of creativity.

The most vulnerable target of advertisements in the fashion industry are tweenage and teenage girls. This is the age group where the industry has the power to hook these girls and make sure they are consumers for life. This in itself is ethically questionable, but when fashion takes it a step further and influences body image and perception of self for the rest of these girls lives, we need to reexamine our values as a society.




Extremely Thin Model Picture


Body-image pressure inundates teen girls- CNN.com

Brown, Amy, and Helga Dittmar. “ THINK "THIN" AND FEEL BAD: THE ROLE OF APPEARANCE SCHEMA ACTIVATION, ATTENTION LEVEL, AND THIN-IDEAL INTERNALIZATION FOR YOUNG WOMEN'S RESPONSES TO ULTRA-THIN MEDIA IDEALS.” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 24.8 (2005): 1088. 3 April 2007 .


Do thin models warp girls' body image? - USA Today

Fashion industry launches inquiry into health of models- The Independent, UK

Grant, Isabel J, and Graeme R Stephen. “Buying behaviour of "tweenage" girls and key societal communicating factors influencing their purchasing of fashion clothing.” Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. 9.4 (2005): 450. 20 February 2007 .

Halliwell, Emma, Helga Dittmar, and Jessica Howe. “ The impact of advertisements featuring ultra-thin or average-size models on women with a history of eating disorders.” Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. 15.5 (2005): 406. 3 April 2007 .

London Fashion Week hit by skinny row- CNN.com

N.Y. considers banning ultrathin fashion models -CNN.com

When is thin too thin?- New York Times

" Body-image pressure inundates teen girls"

Body-image pressure inundates teen girls


This article talks about how the images that saturate our media have a negative impact on the body image of teenage girls. The images promote an ideal that is incredibly and almost impossibly thin for the average teenage girl. Super thin celebrities and runway models, as well as the models used in advertisements send a message that a girl can only be beautiful if she is thin.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

cultural debate in fashion.

How thin is too thin and how does this relate to fashion?

Runway models dressed in the latest high fashion collections of Chanel, Jean Paul Gautier, Marc Jacobs, and other hot designers walk the catwalks of New York, Paris, and Milan. Models have come to represent a beauty ideal, however it is an ideal that is impossible to achieve for the majority of women. Only 1% of women naturally have this super tall super thin body type. So where does that leave the rest of the women, starving? In many cases that is what these models are doing, starving themselves and creating unhealthy body images and eating habits for young women in America.

After several runway models have died of being malnourished in South America and Europe, many cities, like Milan and Madrid, have put a minimum requirement of body mass index on models who want to walk the runway. Where the debate comes in is that while many people in the industry and out support this requirement and think it should be required in every fashion capital city, many models believe it is their body and their right to have it look the way they wish, and many designers believe it is their creative right to achieve the look they want from these waif like models. And "While shows in Milan and Madrid have taken action to ban models deemed too skinny, the British Fashion Council said that regulations were "neither desirable or enforceable.""

While actresses like "Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz have [] spoken out against the trend towards "size zero" models," some people in the industry support these super thin ideals. "Fashion photographer Mario Testino told CNN that the fashion industry had no cause for concern. "We are in a business to sell clothes. Clothes look better on a thinner person, but I don't think that clothes look good on a skeleton, myself."

I think that models need to be regulated by their agencies and the designers they are working for to ensure that they are having healthy eating habits. There is a difference between someone who is thin and healthy and fit and someone who is clearly starving themselves. Not only is this endangering the health and lives of these models, but it is affecting the self esteem of young girls and endangering their health. I think that there needs to be more positive role models for young girls in the fashion industry, and that fashion can sell on someone who is a size 2 or 4 as well if not better than it sells on someone who is a size 00 and unhealthy.

London Fashion Week hit by skinny row

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Fashion change and fashion consumption: the chaotic perspective"

This article studies fashion changes and how fashion is accepted or rejected by the masses. The article takes on "the chaotic perspective." The article explains how fashion change is a cycle driven by fashion retailers to make consumers continually purchase new products. Fashion change occurs in a series of steps and conformity and pressures kick in to make consumers buy what becomes fashionable. The researchers conducted focus groups and in depth interviews in Hong Kong to support their study. They asked questions about "perception on fashion, fashion adoption guidance, appearance style creation and physical influence." They discovered a central theme: that being fashionable is extremely significant in fashion change and consumption. The article talks about "the copycat phenomenon" where independent fashion retailers propel fashion trends. They also address "cultural context" and the effect of "the social system" where cultural and social norms and ethics influence and even dictate fashion consumerism and success or failure of trends. In many cases, the social system determines what fashion trends are going to be rejected by consumers because they defy social values. The article responds the many different theories that have been developed in the past to explain fashion change and consumption, but they conclude that the chaotic perspective is the most accurate way to describe this fashion cycle. This article is useful in my research because it provides another theory to explain the fashion cycle and also gives marketing implications for this theory.

Law, Ka Ming, Zhi-Ming Zhang, and Chung-Sun Leung. “ACADEMIC PAPER: Fashion change and fashion consumption: the chaotic perspective.” Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. 8.4 (2004): 362. 27 February 2007 .

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Do role models influence teenagers' purchase intentions and behavior?"

This article examines the influence of role models on teenagers purchasing habits. These role models include direct influence- parents, and indirect influences- celebrities, and sport stars. The article describes teenage consumer influence as three-fold: "(1) they influence their parents' spending; (2) they will spend a lot of money in the future; and (3) they are trendsetters." The way that clothing is perceived as trendy or cool is determined by teenagers. The article looks at where teenage consumer behavior originates, as a socially learned behavior that is influenced by role models. The obvious and more commonly recognized role models mentioned are parents, teachers, and peers. However where this article expands the theory is by asserting that role models can be people that these teenagers have never come directly in contact with- celebrities and sports stars. They identify several influences as having an effect on teenage consumer behavior: family, television, and education/career. In their study, the researchers used a survey and a questionnaire to examine 218 high school students between the ages of 13 and 18 from 74 different high schools. The researchers developed three hypotheses that they were hoping to prove through their research: "(1) There will be a positive relationship between role model influence and adolescents' purchase intentions; (2) Direct role models (fathers, mothers) will influence adolescent purchase intentions significantly more than vicarious role models (favorite entertainers, favorite athletes); (3) Direct role models (fathers, mothers) will influence adolescent purchase behaviors significantly more than vicarious role models (favorite entertainers, favorite athletes)." They found that celebrities and sports stars influence purchase intentions as well as parents and direct models, but that parents influence purchase behavior much more strongly. This study is very helpful in marketing research and examining what influences teenagers when it comes to actual purchase behavior.

Martin, Craig A., and Alan J. Bush. “Do role models influence teenagers' purchase intentions and behavior?” The Journal of Consumer Marketing. 17.5 (2000): 441. 22 February 2007 .

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Using diigo and zotero...

I think that it has been very helpful using Diigo and Zotero to do research and form a Bibliography. Zotero has been especially helpful. I have used MLA format since I was in the sixth grade and no matter how many times I use it I always have to look up the format. Zotero does that for me and it is so simple, I love it! Diigo is really helpful in bookmarking sites from any computer and annotating and highlighting without printing something out.

"Buying behaviour of "tweenage" girls and key societal communicating factors influencing their purchasing of fashion clothing"

This article looks at what drives fashion consumerism in "tween-age" girls ages 12-13. The goal was to provide a specific conclusion for marketing in the fashion industry to help advertisers understand the purchasing motives of young girls who are key consumers in the fashion industry. They describe these "tweens" as very powerful and wealthy consumers, who have become serious targets for marketing campaigns in many industries. The article talks about the importance of brands making clothing and trends easily identifiable. Tween-age girls identify what they wear by brand names of companies and stores which drive what is considered cool. This group of pre-adolescents are very consumed with fitting in socially. An integral part of fitting in socially, is wearing the right clothes that are considered cool. The researchers form several focus groups of girls in this age range to see what motivates them to use their purchasing power in very specific ways. This article is useful for me and my studies because it allows me study brands and study a marketing target group that is very powerful in the fashion industry.

Grant, Isabel J, and Graeme R Stephen. “Buying behaviour of "tweenage" girls and key societal communicating factors influencing their purchasing of fashion clothing.” Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. 9.4 (2005): 450. 20 February 2007 .

"Negative symbolic consumption and consumers' dive for self-esteem: The case of the fashion industry"

This article looks at the relationship between self-esteem and consumption of goods in the fashion industry. The article examines the process by which consumers attribute "negative symbolic meanings" to certain products and how this affects consumption in the fashion market. The researches assert that consumers make purchasing decisions based upon the positive or negative attributes held by the products. Consumers make purchases in the fashion industry based on their feelings of self-esteem and whether a product would improve that self-esteem. And consumers avoid certain purchases in order to "protect their self-esteem." The article explains "Symbolic Consumption" as a point where consumers give intangible meaning to material products. The researches interviewed people about their feelings about fashion, self-esteem, group membership, and negative attribution to certain fashion or consumer decisions. They found that most people felt more comfortable dressing like part of a group, not standing out in a crowd. These people expressed a fear of being judged negatively and talked about poorly for fashion choices with negative symbolic meaning. The article then discusses how the marketing industry capitalizes on these positive and negative symbolic meanings and uses them to create ideal situations for positive consumption. This article is useful to me, because this talks about certain human qualities that drive consumerism in the fashion industry, and examines how this affects fashion marketing.


Banister, Emma N, and Margaret K Hogg. “Negative symbolic consumption and consumers' dive for self-esteem: The case of the fashion industry.” European Journal of Marketing. 38.7 (2004): 850. 20 February 2007 .

Bibliography for Zotero Sources

Banister, Emma N, and Margaret K Hogg. “Negative symbolic consumption and consumers' dive for self-esteem: The case of the fashion industry.” European Journal of Marketing. 38.7 (2004): 850. 20 February 2007 .

Goldsmith, Ronald E., and Flynn, Leisa R. “Psychological and Behavioral Drivers of Online Clothing Purchase.”

Nam, Jinhee, et al. “The Fashion-conscious Behaviours of Mature Female Consumers.”

Park, Eun Joo, Eun Young Kim, and Judith Cardona Forney. “A structural model of fashion-oriented impulse buying behavior.” Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. 10.4 (2006): 433. 20 February 2007 .


Workman, Jane E., and Studak, Cathryn M. “Relationships Among Fashion Consumer Groups, Locus of Control, Boredom Proneness, Boredom Coping and Intrinsic Enjoyment.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Los Angeles Fashion, Ready to Grow Up and Grow Glamorous in 2007"

This article describes Los Angeles as a "a fashion mecca." Los Angeles is full of Design schools, a great nightlife scene full of fashion hopefuls, and is the home to the garment or fashion district Downtown. "Designers who choose the warm western sun over the eastern chill of cities like New York and Chicago find a thriving fashion community full of fashion schools, shows, and designers who make sure that Los Angeles' fashion presence is known worldwide." While cities like New York, London, and Paris have been viewed as fashion capitols, Los Angeles has become a major center for fashion development.

http://www.fashionschoolreview.com/news/2007/01/glamorous-in-2007.html

"Fashion Marketing Hits Wisteria Lane"

This article talks about the new website SeenOn.com. This site takes product placement to the next level, and allows television viewers to access the designer clothes or accessories that are worn by the characters on their favorite shows. "Marketers have been placing products in television shows almost as long as television has existed. But now that sales of a product placement can be directly linked to the selling of them, the stakes of such advertising may become even greater." People have always been influenced in fashion through television shows and other entertainment media, but this allows viewers to directly access the items that they have seen for purchasing. This cuts out a tedious step of recognizing and locating items which prevents many people from purchasing these items that they see.

http://www.fashionschoolreview.com/news/2007/01/wisteria-lane.html

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Style.com- a visual site

The fashion industry is almost entirely visual. Every blog, every site, every magazine, and every advertisement needs visual elements to enhance the point it attempts to portray. Style.com is the online site of fashion magazine "Vogue" and "W." The site is basically the digital translation of the articles and columns of the magazine however the images are essential in creating an aesthetically pleasing and affective site.

The darker blue background of the site paired with white and light blue fonts make the writing pop and the large main image stands out in its distinguished greens while maintaining the cool color tones of the blues and whites. The blue background extends horizontally across the site and serves as a refreshing and interesting template for a site that is not widely used. This mirrors the high fashion and inventive attitude of these magazines and creates a united theme that is communicated through the site. The links are very clear, and attention is drawn to the subscription links for both magazines which is a main focus of the site. If you look at the list of designers on the main page and select one, for example Oscar de la Renta, you are directed to a page with a description of the designers latest collection. While the description is incredibly detailed it is empty without the support of the image that accompanies it. There is also the option to view a slide show of the designers entire collection to get a complete picture.

The images are used to enhance and support the articles of both magazines. Style.com is aware of its audience, its purpose, and its image and therefore is aesthetically successful in its online site.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Paper 1

Introductory Post:

My experience with the fashion industry has led me to several theories about fashion and mainstream American consumers. Celebrity and media have a huge influence in the fashion world. Popular fashion starts with high fashion couture for the extremely wealthy American population and eventually trickles down to more affordable chain stores. Young girls flip the pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and their favorite celebrity gossip magazines and absorb all of the up and coming trends modeled by the celebrities that they most admire. These young girls are what drive the fashion industry and what the media feeds off of to promote celebrity. Having your clothing line worn by a Lindsay Lohan, a Jessica Simpson, or a Paris Hilton is a marketing jackpot. Being photographed and pictured in one of these magazines is the best advertising you can get.
Celebrities have become full faceted icons for Americans. They carry an almost 'holier than thou' image that many Americans, particularly young women, strive to achieve. Many want to share the celebrity lifestyle, and the haute couture wardrobe that these celebrities sport reflects that lifestyle. Clothing is something to cover our bodies and keep us warm, Fashion is a lifestyle.
Celebrity has become so central to American culture that it is foolish not to use that as a resource to gain exposure and success in the fashion industry. As an aspiring fashion designer and a Los Angeles native, I realize how many resources are within my reach. My marketing strategy for the fashion industry is as follows: use the resources of media and celebrity to make people believe your brand is popular and popular your brand will become. Fashion and marketing is about knowing your consumers, knowing what drives them and what inspires them, and then using media exposure to surround them with your newest trend.
As an eleven year old girl about to enter middle school, I was doing the usual August back to school shopping with my Mom. I remember her showing me a pair of capri pants and saying "Nicki, try these on these are the newest fad!" I looked at the pants and repulsed, replied " Mom, those are the ugliest things I have ever seen in my life!" which I accompanied with a grossed-out face just to emphasize my point. A month later, what did I have to have? Capri pants. So much so that I did not even care about getting an "I told you so" from my Mom. I had read my favorite magazines, which at that point were Teen and Cosmogirl, and probably seen them on some of my friends. That is how the fashion industry works. That is the power of media influence on fashion. The ability to take something someone hates and make them feel like they need to have it. Celebrity is a very powerful marketing tool.

Resources:

Many online blogs about the fashion industry use celebrity and media to enhance their blogs. I use these other blogs as resources to support and relate my blog. The resources that I use throughout my blog are mostly online fashion magazines, fashion and celebrity blogs, online retail venues and resources through design schools. These blogs all discuss influences on the fashion industry, current events in fashion, and celebrity affiliation with fashion.

One resource, "Fashion Worlds," is a site that looks at every aspect of the fashion industry. It dissects fashion visually and even sociology and gives and interesting insight into the fashion world. "Fashion Verbatim" is an online blog that examines celebrity fashion, representation of fashion in media and online, and analysis of runway shows and designer collections. "Style.com" is the online location of fashion bibles "Vogue" and "W" magazines. This site is useful for basic fashion information, current or up and coming trends, new collections, and fashion spreads.

These sites are helpful resources to examine the fashion world as it exists online. There is a very prominent element of celebrity in all of these online resources which shows a very important marketing aspect of media and fashion. The internet is an endless resource for marketing in the fashion industry.

Evaluation:

One blog that is very helpful in my blogging experience is called "Fashion Worlds." One of their posts is an article called "The Cycle of Fashion" which describes the sociological context of the fashion industry.

"Designers continually persuade the public that their new ideas, however shocking they may seem, are in fact everything that a stylish wardrobe requires." This is the greatest capability of fashion- the ability to make people feel like they need the newest trend. This drives the fashion cycle. This article brilliantly contemplates the Sociology behind this cycle. How do we drive the cycle of fashion? "Are we really duped by such duplicity? Or are we willing participants in the cycle of fashion? And perhaps more significantly, what relevance does the cycle have today in Western society’s culture of mass consumerism?

"Perhaps sheer boredom inspires the continual search for something new. Or can novelty be related to ideas of sexual allure and attraction? Do competing market interests in the fashion industry play a role in animating the cycle? Or could changes in dress function as markers of class differentiation?"There are so many possibilities as to what drives the fashion world. Could it be a combination of all of the above? Our world has become so fast paced. When something new surfaces we are already ready for the next big thing. Are we bored or are we just numb to the sensation of discovering something new? We know America is a society where sex sells. That is also what can drive fashion. Fashion is about art, about collaboration, about inspiration, abut it is also about sex appeal. And ideas about what is sexy are continually changing and transforming. Competition also drives the cycle. Designers are constantly at war with each other to create the newest trend. While they feed off of each other to create these trends, there are always those with an edge.

"The apparently random, rapid overlapping of new fashions is not restricted to changes in dress, but can also be noted in areas of modern culture as diverse as painting, music, architecture, entertainment and systems of health care. In Western society’s media-based culture of mass consumerism and against a background of globalisation, fashion appears to serve reactionary purposes that both structure and affirm the identities of groups and individuals. From surfers and students to alienated middle-class youths and married working women, weekly changes in fad like styles give a sense of belonging whilst also distinguishing them from the masses."Media and consumerism drive the fashion industry. Fashion becomes a lifestyle, and identity that has influenced, whether consciously or unconsciously, every aspect of American society.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Resources

The resources that I use throughout my blog are mostly online fashion magazines, fashion and celebrity blogs, online retail venues and resources through design schools. These blogs all discuss influences on the fashion industry, current events in fashion, and celebrity affiliation with fashion.

One resource, "Fashion Worlds," is a site that looks at every aspect of the fashion industry. It dissects fashion visually and even sociology and gives and interesting insight into the fashion world. "Fashion Verbatim" is an online blog that examines celebrity fashion, representation of fashion in media and online, and analysis of runway shows and designer collections. "Style.com" is the online location of fashion bibles "Vogue" and "W" magazines. This site is useful for basic fashion information, current or up and coming trends, new collections, and fashion spreads.

These sites are helpful resources to examine the fashion world as it exists online. There is a very prominent element of celebrity in all of these online resources which shows a very important marketing aspect of media and fashion. The internet is an endless resource for marketing in the fashion industry.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"The Cycle of Fashion"

"The Cycle of Fashion"

"Designers continually persuade the public that their new ideas, however shocking they may seem, are in fact everything that a stylish wardrobe requires."


This is the greatest capability of fashion- the ability to make people feel like they need the newest trend. This drives the fashion cycle. This article brilliantly contemplates the Sociology behind this cycle.

"Are we really duped by such duplicity? Or are we willing participants in the cycle of fashion? And perhaps more significantly, what relevance does the cycle have today in Western society’s culture of mass consumerism?"

"As one fashion gains popularity, crests and dissipates, another stylistic wave is already forming behind it."

Metaphor: fashion cycle is like waves.

"Perhaps sheer boredom inspires the continual search for something new. Or can novelty be related to ideas of sexual allure and attraction? Do competing market interests in the fashion industry play a role in animating the cycle? Or could changes in dress function as markers of class differentiation?"

This is interesting. There are so many possibilities as to what drives the fashion world. Could it be a combination of all of the above? Our world has become so fast paced. When something new surfaces we are already ready for the next big thing. Are we bored or are we just numb to the sensation of discovering something new? We know America is a society where sex sells. That is also what can drive fashion. Fashion is about art, about collaboration, about inspiration, abut it is also about sex appeal. And ideas about what is sexy are continually changing and transforming. Competition also drives the cycle. Designers are constantly at war with each other to create the newest trend. While they feed off of each other to create these trends, there are always those with an edge.

"The apparently random, rapid overlapping of new fashions is not restricted to changes in dress, but can also be noted in areas of modern culture as diverse as painting, music, architecture, entertainment and systems of health care. In Western society’s media-based culture of mass consumerism and against a background of globalisation, fashion appears to serve reactionary purposes that both structure and affirm the identities of groups and individuals. From surfers and students to alienated middle-class youths and married working women, weekly changes in fad like styles give a sense of belonging whilst also distinguishing them from the masses."

Media and consumerism drive the fashion industry. Fashion becomes a lifestyle, and identity that has influenced, whether consciously or unconsciously, every aspect of American society.



Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Profile of My Fashion Life

I love the blog My Fashion Life. It is about everything fashion related. This blog was founded by Michele Obi, who is a Fashion magazine editor. The blog is sort of a blend of a blog and an online fashion magazine. The frequency of blog posts varies anywhere from seven a month, to three a day.
This blog relates to my work because it not only focuses on fashion but on marketing and celebrity influence on the industry. The blog is professional in the sense that it maintains the feel and structure of a magazine. The blogs are detailed and interesting and enhanced with photos. The audience of this blog includes industry professionals, up and coming fashion designers, and fashionistas everywhere. This site is great inspiration and a helpful reference site for my site. My blog will be more focused on fashion marketing and will not have the magazine format.

http://www.myfashionlife.com/

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fashion Marketing and Celebrity Influence

My experience with the fashion industry has led me to several theories about fashion and mainstream American consumers. One of my theories is that celebrity and media have a huge influence in the fashion world. Popular fashion starts with high fashion couture for the extremely wealthy American population and eventually trickles down to more affordable chain stores. Young girls flip the pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and their favorite celebrity gossip magazines and absorb all of the up and coming trends modeled by the celebrities that they most admire. These young girls are what drive the fashion industry and what the media feeds off of to promote celebrity. Having your clothing line worn by a Lindsay Lohan, a Jessica Simpson, or a Paris Hilton is a marketing jackpot. Being photographed and pictured in one of these magazines is the best advertising you can get.
Celebrities have become full faceted icons for Americans. They carry an almost 'holier than thou' image that many Americans, particularly young women, strive to achieve. Many want to share the celebrity lifestyle, and the haute couture wardrobe that these celebrities sport reflects that lifestyle. Clothing is something to cover our bodies and keep us warm, Fashion is a lifestyle.
Celebrity has become so central to American culture that it is foolish not to use that as a resource to gain exposure and success in the fashion industry. As an aspiring fashion designer and a Los Angeles native, I realize how many resources are within my reach. My marketing strategy for the fashion industry is as follows: use the resources of media and celebrity to make people believe your brand is popular and popular your brand will become. Fashion and marketing is about knowing your consumers, knowing what drives them and what inspires them, and then using media exposure to surround them with your newest trend.
As an eleven year old girl about to enter middle school, I was doing the usual August back to school shopping with my Mom. I remember her showing me a pair of capri pants and saying "Nicki, try these on these are the newest fad!" I looked at the pants and repulsed, replied " Mom, those are the ugliest things I have ever seen in my life!" which I accompanied with a grossed-out face just to emphasize my point. A month later, what did I have to have? Capri pants. So much so that I did not even care about getting an "I told you so" from my Mom. I had read my favorite magazines, which at that point were Teen and Cosmogirl, and probably seen them on some of my friends. That is how the fashion industry works. At this point I go back to my original reaction to the capri pants, but that's beside the point. That is the power of media influence on fashion. The ability to take something someone hates and make them feel like they need to have it. Celebrity is a very powerful marketing tool.