FeaturedHello world!

Welcome to Deeper Thought. Fascinated with the theoretical aspects of Fashion, Design, Art and Culture. I will be taking a deeper view on how these reflect, shape and mould our understanding of ourselves and our society. The articles, papers and views are by leading specialists, scholars and journals on the subject.

Thank you for reading my posts.

Michael

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Barbara Kruger

Barbara Kruger

Conceptual artist Barbara Kruger (American, born January 26, 1945) is best known for her layered photographs, featuring provocative statements on issues surrounding Commercial Culture, Feminism, and Identity Politics. Kruger was born in Newark, NJ, and studied art at Syracuse University, the School of Visual Arts, and Parson’s School of Design, under Diane Arbus. She spent several years working as a graphic designer and artistic director for publications, such as Mademoiselle, House and Garden, and Aperture.

At the same time she gained critical recognition for her photographic and screenprinted works, in which she layered found images from commercial sources and overlaid them with short, challenging phrases, such as “You are a captive audience,” and “I shop therefore I am”. Kruger’s work powerfully examines individual participation within consumer and media Culture, and provides a forceful feminist critique. She has exhibited her work at the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center for Photography in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the National Center for Contemporary Art in Grenoble, France, and at the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland, among other institutions. Her work has also been reproduced on billboards, t-shirts, and other public venues. Kruger currently lives and works in Los Angeles and New York.

Visions of the Body — Body Images and Fashion in the 20th Century

Visions of the Body — Body Images and Fashion in the 20th Century


Akiko Fukai Chief Curator, The Kyoto Costume Institute


Dialogue Between Clothes and the Body

Our bodies wear clothes. to meet the demands of the times and society, clothes have become fashion. Fashion can be regarded as the story of the fictitious body as a visible surface.

Until the 19th century, in the history of European fashion, clothes, working in concert with the body, created new forms through the interposition between them of “foundation,” a sub-structure which functions creatively. It created extravagant forms and proliferated intricate decorations on the surface. However, in the 20th century the relationship between clothes and the body showed a different development from that of the previous centuries where it was ensconced in a uniform, visual space. Clothes and the body-fashion-changed, became the subject, and was no longer an object simply to be seen. As the art of the 20th century was devoted to an expression of the self, the body itself became a powerful medium of expression in fashion.

Although in general we must concede to Lemoine-Luccioni’s statement that “women had no bodies of their own until the beginning of the 1980s. Courrège’s line, Dior s line, Saint-Laurent’s line….. They were as different as their handwriting,”1 the multifaceted relationship between the body and fashion blossomed around us at the end of the 20th century. How did it happen and where does it intend to go? How did the 20th century culture actualize body images in fashion? Continue reading “Visions of the Body — Body Images and Fashion in the 20th Century”

An Empirical Study Of Luxury Brand Marketing Effectiveness And Its Impact On Consumer Engagement On Facebook

An Empirical Study Of Luxury Brand Marketing Effectiveness And Its Impact On Consumer Engagement On Facebook


 Article by Chedia Dhaoui* Insight Social Networks, Sydney, Australia


Abstract

Luxury brands have embraced the social media era through marketing communications pointing out the particular attributes of luxury such as high quality, rich pedigree, rarity, personality and placement, as well as using public relations, public figures and typically high pricing, to drive consumer engagement. This paper provides empirical findings about the effectiveness of luxury brand marketing in driving consumer engagement on social media platforms. An empirical study of 52 luxury brands’ Facebook pages has been conducted. The findings of this study provide valuable guidance for luxury brand managers and marketing researchers on how to formulate and implement effective social media marketing strategies to leverage their luxury brand’s potential.


Keywords: Consumer Engagement, Social Media Marketing, Online Marketing, Luxury Brand Management, Facebook


Introduction

Over the past decade, social media has changed the ways in which brands interact with their customers, leading to new online marketing practices. Facebook, among other social networking websites, has become a major marketing communication channel that allows marketers to promote their brand and engage their customers and audiences. Social media has also been considered particularly suitable for developing customer relationships (Kane, Fichman, Gallaugher, & Glaser, 2009), creating the need for a dedicated research effort around the concept of online consumer engagement.

The social media era has brought new challenges for the luxury market, which has been historically reluctant to engage with mass availability media like the Internet (Geerts & Veg-Sala, 2011; Okonkwo, 2009). Luxury brands increasingly began to adopt social media (Phan, 2011) in a move to target “emergent affluents” under 35 years old (Ortved, 2011).

This paper provides insights into how luxury brand marketers can formulate and implement effective social media marketing strategies and how much (and what type of) engagement they can expect. In this paper, the main attributes of luxury brand marketing are discussed and their effectiveness in engaging with consumers on social media platforms is investigated. This paper focuses on Facebook as the chosen social network to support the empirical study, driven by its popularity and its wide adoption by the business community. This paper makes several contributions to the research effort around online consumer engagement. First, a multidimensional conceptualization of consumer engagement is proposed to allow a more precise measurement of its individual constructs. Second, several attributes specific to luxury brand marketing have been evaluated empirically with regard to how much engagement they would create on Facebook. A statistical analysis of full online conversations has been conducted to gain insights into how to formulate and implement effective social media strategies.

Continue reading “An Empirical Study Of Luxury Brand Marketing Effectiveness And Its Impact On Consumer Engagement On Facebook”

Fashion and Identity

Fashion and Identity


…Fashion is more powerful than any tyrant”
Malcolm Barnard 

Introduction

For hundreds of years people have put some message in the type of clothing they wore. Long ago people started wanting to stand out from the “crowd” and be different from other people by means of changing their clothing. Some examples of these “standing out” became very popular and were followed by more people. This was the moment when fashion appeared. Nowadays, fashion is sometimes defined as a “constantly changing trend, favoured for frivolous rather than practical, logical, or intellectual reasons”. Nevertheless, it is necessary to say that at the present moment fashion has a deeper influence on the life of people and possess more than just frivolous reasons for its existence. Clothing has become an integral part of self-realisation of every person. It is no longer just an “external shield” and a frivolous attitude towards it may cause loosing a very important physical, psychological and social aspect of a person’s life. The harmony attained by the combination of the inner world of a person and his “exterior” makes it very hard to say not even being a professional in this sphere that fashion is just about looks. Clothing is basically a covering designed to be worn on a person’s body. This covering is a need, a necessity that is dictated by the norms of social conduct. This “necessity” brings a lot of variety into the lives of people and makes their image more complete. It is not about people serving fashion; it is about fashion being a slave of people.

Fashion and Identity 

The type of clothing completely depends on the person who is wearing it; therefore it becomes a reflection of his perception of himself, which leads us to the term – personal identity. Lately a lot is being heard about personal identity and its meaning in the life of every single person on the planet. The choice of clothing and accessories (clothing that is worn or carried, but not part of a person’s main clothing) is as important as identification through the colour of hair, height, skin and gender. Clothing nowadays is a media of information about the person wearing it. It is a cipher; a code that needs a decryption in order to understand what kind of person is underneath it. The present time offers a great variety of these “ciphers” and therefore gives people a large number of opportunities to reveal their identity. As every cloth carries a strong message about its owner, every owner “nests” a certain value in it depending on his temperament, mindset or today’s mood. Therefore, the clothing of a person is a mean of communication with the outside world. It is the way of telling people about the “state” and the ”status” of it owner. Continue reading “Fashion and Identity”

The Aesthetics Of Luxury Fashion, Body And Identify Formation

The Aesthetics Of Luxury Fashion, Body And Identify Formation

Abstract

In this paper we theorize and empirically investigate how female consumers’ attitudes and preferences relating to bodily appearance are linked to their perceptions of the aesthetics of fashion. Our theoretical work is informed by three streams of research: aesthetics of production, aesthetics of reception and aesthetic labor. These three converge to illuminate our study. Using the ZMET technique, we uncover four themes: fashion as wearable art, body and self-identity, bodily appearance and high fashion brands, and aesthetic labor through fashion. Our focus on the aesthetics of fashion and identity formation provides a segue into the broader discussion of the growing importance of aesthetics in understanding consumer behavior.

Keywords: Luxury Fashion Aesthetics; Fashion And Self-Identity; Fashion And Body

Introduction

In this paper, we theorize and empirically investigate how consumers’ attitudes and preferences relating to bodily appearance are linked to their perceptions of the aesthetics of fashion. We address the link between embodiment and consumer experiences and identity formation in order to elucidate the contours of aesthetic experience. As some fashion researchers (Davis, 1992; Dwyer, 2004; Entwistle, 2009) have noted, there seems to be a natural relationship between bodily appearance and fashion choices, but this link has not been adequately investigated within the field of consumer research. Our study attempts to examine key issues that lie at the intersection of aesthetics, fashion, and the body based on consumer narratives, and explores how the underlying themes emerging from such narratives provide empirical and theoretical insights into bodily appearance and the aesthetics of fashion.

Our theoretical approach integrates and goes beyond recent work by consumer researchers on the aesthetics of the body (Joy& Sherry, 2003; Thompson & Hirschman, 1995), fashion theory (Barthes, 1983[1967]; McCracken, 2005; Scott, 2005; Solomon, 1985), gender subjectivity and gender-based appeals (Kaiser, Freeman, & Chandler, 1993; Sengupta & Dahl, 2008) and identity formation (Oyserman, 2009; Shavitt, Torelli, & Wong, 2009; Wang & Calder, 2009). Our empirical work employs a modified ZMET approach (Ringberg, Odekerken-Schröder, & Christensen, 2007; Zaltman & Coulter, 1995), an analytical technique using qualitative data based on visual images as interpreted by consumers. We focus on three theoretical notions that collectively form the basis of our study: aesthetics of production, aesthetics of reception and aesthetic labor. In the field of culture and fashion theory, there has been a fair amount of attention paid to fashion and bodily appearance as a way to recognize the aesthetics of production that includes dress, clothing, and costumes (Entwhistle, 2000; Miller, 2007). In addition, consumer researchers have begun to pay attention to developments relating to the reception of aesthetic images (Schroeder, 2002; Venkatesh & Meamber, 2008). On a more sociological level, the notion of aesthetic labor enters the picture, indicating that consumers live in an “aesthetic economy” (Postrel, 2003) and that norms of attire and appearance are influenced by sociocultural forces. These different strands of research raise a set of questions that guide our study:

  1. What meanings do consumers derive from fashion images and what metaphors do they use to describe their bodily experiences with and exposure to high fashion?
  2. How do consumers integrate their perception of bodily appearance, aesthetics of fashion, and identity?
  3. What type of aesthetic effort is exerted by consumers to look good in their attire and adornments?

Continue reading “The Aesthetics Of Luxury Fashion, Body And Identify Formation”

The Identity Of Luxury Brand

The Identity Of Luxury Brand

Source (an excerpt from): Heine, K., Phan, M., Waldschmidt, V. (2014)


 The objective of this paper is to apply the concept of brand identity to the luxury segment and to demonstrate its suitability as a framework for the creation of luxury brands.

1. Benefits of Identity-Driven Luxury Brand Management

The Purpose of the B: Above all, luxury brands need to master the creation of luxury-specific symbolic meaning as this marks the major difference between the premium and luxury segment. Companies who have nothing to believe in and who have nothing else to communicate apart from their product features can only remain premium. This distinguishing feature is represented on the one hand by Lexus, which concentrates on comfort and other functional characteristics – and on the other hand by Rolls-Royce, which is rich in history and shrouded in mystery. Emotional benefits also become ever more essential for brand differentiation because an increasing number of people are engaging in symbolic consumption and may choose a product mainly due to the congruity between their personality and the symbolic personality of the product. There is a large repertoire of excellent premium brands with a strong product-orientation and excellent engineering that have the potential to become luxury brands. But often it seems hard for these companies to leave the ground of hard-headed facts in exchange for an enigmatic and almost esoteric world of brand symbolism where products are equipped with luxury-specific emotions and even an “aura”. However, especially the combination of functional and specific symbolic benefits is the key from the premium into the luxury segment.

2. The Concept of Brand Identity

Brand management often still relies on “traditional” positioning by a few major characteristics, which were found out by market surveys to be especially relevant for the consumers’ purchasing decision. However, today this approach is not enough to create unique symbolic benefits especially in the lifestyle and luxury segments. The relatively new concept behind positioning, namely the concept of brand identity, is suitable for that purpose. Similar to human identity, brands are also ascribed as having an identity. The brand identity corresponds with the intra-company self-perception of a brand, which determines precisely how the brand should appear to external target groups. In contrast to mass-market positioning, the brand identity is not the result of market research, but represents above all the companies’ inner vision and convictions. A luxury brand does not define and constantly adapt itself according to consumer surveys, but it is identity-driven and proud – and walks out into the world to connect to like-minded individuals. As the opposite pole of the brand identity, the brand image corresponds with the public perception of the brand by its target groups and is the result of its marketing measures and other consumer experiences with the brand. The elements of brand identity can be roughly divided into two main components: The physical-functional and the abstract-emotional components. Continue reading “The Identity Of Luxury Brand”