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Older women's responses to current fashion models

Joy M. Kozar (Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA)
Mary Lynn Damhorst (Department of Apparel, Educational Studies, and Hospitality Management, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 11 July 2008




The purpose of this study is to examine if older female consumers prefer apparel advertising models more closely resembling their age.


The sample for this study consisted of 163 women between the ages of 60 and 80. Full‐color photographs of fashion models were presented as stimuli. A questionnaire measuring participants' beliefs about the models, purchase intentions, perceived similarity with the models, and perceived fashionability of the model's clothing was used.


Participants perceived older looking models to be more attractive than younger models and indicated more likelihood of purchasing the clothing worn by the older models. Participants who perceived more similarity to the models also had more positive beliefs about the model's appearance and attractiveness, indicated a greater willingness to purchase the model's clothing, and perceived the model's clothing to be more fashionable.

Practical implications

This study suggests that incorporating older looking models in fashion advertisements is a useful strategy in marketing to the mature market.


Many researchers have noted the opportunities and challenges in segmenting older consumers. This paper contributes to an understanding of effective marketing tactics used to appeal to older women. Identifying these strategies is significant given the increasing size and spending power of the mature market.



Kozar, J.M. and Lynn Damhorst, M. (2008), "Older women's responses to current fashion models", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 338-350.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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