Luxury Fashion and Culture: Volume 7

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Table of contents

(14 chapters)

By appropriating fashion discourse, consumers generate personalized fashion narratives and metaphoric and metonymic references that negotiate key existential tensions and that often express resistance to dominant fashion norms in their social milieu or consumer culture at large. (Thompson & Haytko, 1997)

This article describes the core tenets of fashion marketing theory (FMT) from the perspective of economic psychology. The study here is unique and valuable in proposing empirically testable hypotheses that follow from FMT and in describing evidence from available literature testing these hypotheses. The core tenets reflect the view that impactful fashion marketing moderates the relationships among price and consumer demand for the firm's offering (i.e., brand) by psychological customer segments, and subsequently firm profitability. Relating to fashion marketing, “psychology” in “economic psychology” includes the influences of chronic desire for conspicuous consumption (CC) and desire for rarity as relative human conditions, that is, humans vary in these desires; consumers relatively very high versus very low in these desires are more prone to enact conspicuous choices whatever the price level of the object or service. Consequently, different pricing points (decisions) that maximize profitability vary considerably for product designs which are positioned high in CC and rarity directed to customers very high in chronic desire for CC and rarity versus product designs which are positioned low in CC and rarity directed to customers very low in chronic desire for CC and rarity.

The main thesis here is that the stories that some brands tell to consumers enable consumers to achieve archetypal experiences. Examining the stories consumers tell in natural contexts involving shopping for and using brands informs explanations of associations of archetypes, brands, and consumers. The study advances the use of degrees-of-freedom analysis (DFA) and creating visual narrative art (VNA) as useful steps for confirming or disconfirming whether or not the stories consumers tell have themes, events, and outcomes that match with the core storylines told by brands. As a proposal, an extension of thematic apperception tests (TATs) is relevant in applying the DFA to brand-consumer storytelling research. The study includes a review of early work on TATs, DFA, archetypal theory, and how brands become icons. The study's theory, method, and findings provide useful tools for brand managers and researchers on issues that relate to psychology and marketing.

This study explores how consumers perceive and interpret their own use of fashion when situated in two different contexts in everyday life. The methods this study adopts include auto-driving by utilizing four pictures by two participants in dress-down and dress-up situation, the interpretive case method mainly using confirmatory personal introspection (CPI) and member checks as to elicit independent conclusions of the original emic interpretation. As a result, this study reports the projective function of fashion in the expression of oneself and personality, demonstrates how situation plays a major role in consumers’ perception and use of fashion, and addresses a series of tensions and paradox resolutions between autonomy and conformity issues in different situations. Therefore, this study confirms the perspectives of Belk (1975) and Thompson and Haytko (1997). Also, the study shows how unique meanings describe the dialogue from the process of self-introspection, confirmative evaluation by other person, and interpretation of symbolic meanings embedded in brands.

Are consumers tired of standing out? This study probes whether or not fast fashion understands the implicit behavior of their customers while dressing up or down. Retailers tend to market their more ready-to-wear (dress-down) fashion product in an approach that allows the customer to customize the outfits to become easily “me-self,” through a big selection of accessories for men and women such as hats, glasses, and scarves. Versus the dress-up look that echoes with conforming to social norms. Today marketers seem to misunderstand the tendency that when one dresses down they often seek to blend in more with the environment rather than display their own personality through fashion. The study extends the literature through explicating the process of picture introspection and member check using confirmatory personal introspection (CPI). Even though when one dresses down you would expect more individuality, according to the findings the subject sample was also more inclined to blend in society and stand out less. In the dress-up look there was a strong call for displaying features of a powerful and strong individuality.

This study explores the meaning of Cinderella archetype through the use of visual narrative art (VNA) created from the chosen motion film. First, the present study describes basic concepts of several qualitative research methodologies including visual sociology, cognitive sculpting (CS), storytelling, and VNA. Mapping contexts that the movie describes deepens the understanding of the stories and enactments. Second, the paper briefly examines the Cinderella archetype in storytelling. Finally, the paper illustrates VNA via CS of a subject movie for improving interpretations and sense-making of the story.

This study explores how young, adult millennials address a series of tensions between autonomy and conformity issues in different situations. The main finding is how consumers negotiate to release tension by combining and adapting culturally established fashion discourses to achieve their objective at a satisfactory level. The research describes six photos of three participant-observers in “dress-down” and “dress-up” occasions. The study applies a confirmatory personal introspection (CPI) method (including visual auto-driving and member checks) to analyze fashion discourses. The main findings include tension descriptions when the hegemonic look is not the one that the consumer expected according to the situation. Through this tension consumers choose between conformity and autonomy. Consumers often express resistance to dominant fashion norms and negotiate key existential tensions. The study contributes to (McCracken, G. (2008). Transformations. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.) post-modern transformation proposals and builds from Goffman's (1959) presentation of self in everyday life – the self is indeed porous and encourages excursions in and out as McCracken (2008) suggests.

This study explores archetypes of luxury brand Chanel through the use of visual narrative art created from studying consumer blog entries. The chapter describes visual narrative art as a qualitative research tool. Mapping contexts and stories that blog entries describe figure out the archetype of the brand. This study extends understanding of archetypes of luxury brand from different consumers’ perspectives.

Cover of Luxury Fashion and Culture
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Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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