You Should Be Reading: Fashion and Age

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This week, Worn Through would like to highlight an area that tends not to receive much recognition in our field: fashion and age. While the youthful ideal holds sway in fashion advertising, there are certainly many consumers who do not meet that demographic. Are brands unintentionally ostracizing a potentially lucrative market? What happens when brands *do* target these markets? How should a brand go about seeking an older demographic with more disposable income? What might this demographic be looking for, both in stores and online? These are just a a few of the questions these three recently published articles explore. We hope you enjoy! 

1. Ban, L., & Chen, G-Q. (2013). The lifestyle oriented marketing of fashion luxury. Advanced Materials Research, 796, 519-522. 

The individual interviews were adopted in this research to investigate and to conclude the characteristics based on lifestyles and fashion consumption behaviors of the different customers in China. Consumers were grouped according to the age, life cycle, educational background and occupation to be interviewed for lifestyle. Six lifestyles were concluded according to the most prominent behavior of the consumer. The differences in five major items of lifestyle were also concluded. The influential factors on fashion luxury consumption behaviors of Chinese consumers were discussed. The marketing strategies towards consumers with different lifestyles were proposed on the basis of consumer lifestyle. — Full Article Abstract

2. Mackinney-Valentin, M. (2013). Face value: Subversive beauty ideals in contemporary fashion marketingFashion, Style & Popular Culture, 1(1), 13-27. 

Through five cases from high-end fashion brands, this article explores the use of models in contemporary fashion marketing. The models represent subversive beauty ideals, and the aim of the analysis is to determine whether these ‘faces’ are intended to challenge stereotypes concerning age, gender, body and sexuality or whether they are examples of marketing absorbing consumer behaviour to appeal to contemporary consumers. The research is based on fashion campaigns and runway shows in mainly luxury fashion brands in the Euro-American market in the period 2009–2012. The article concludes that while greater diversity may be a positive side effect of the use of subversive beauty ideals the stereotypes are also the prerequisite for the social strategy at play. This strategy deals with the Logic of Wrong where social distinction is created through literally doing something that is considered socially or culturally wrong. — Full Article Abstract

3. Tripathi, G., & Dave, K. (2013). Store format choice and relationship quality in apparel retail: A study of young and early-middle aged shoppers in New Delhi regionJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 20(5), 479-487. 

Shopping format choice has been an interesting and important area of research in the academic literature for a long time. However, research in this area is presently at a nascent stage in India. There are a very few studies which focus on store format choice in India apart from the work of Anand and Sinha (2009),Prasad and Aryasri (2008)Sinha and Banerjee (2004) and Tripathi and Sinha (2008). The present study compares three different retail formats (Discount stores, Exclusive stores and Multi-brand outlets) based on the shopper’s perception of relationship quality (RQ) of these stores using multivariate techniques. For addressing the objective of this study a sample of 313 shoppers is used. Results suggest that “conflict due to store” and “combined overall RQ due to the store and its employees” influence the store format choice. The RQ levels among the apparel store format are highly competitive. — Paraphrased  Article Abstract


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