technical questions, please contact Monika
Karen Bettez Halnon
While scattered examples of Poor Chic can be found historically in North America and Europe, the controversy of it, but never named generally as such, did not surface in any major way in public consciousness until the early 1990s.
Even during the 1970s, with the Sex Pistols' frontman
Johnny Rotten (named for his decaying teeth) singing about privileged
people taking a "holiday in other people's misery" and the
ironic subsequent fashion of torn up and tattered punk clothes (worn
by Rotten originally as necessity), poverty chic was still in a relative
state of immaturity.
On Feminism in the Age of Consumption
Nicki Lisa Cole
University of California, Santa Barbara
“The largest growing economic force in the world isn't China or India -- it's women. The earning power of women globally is expected to reach $18 trillion by 2014 -- a $5 trillion rise for current income, according to World Bank estimates. That is more than twice the estimated 2014 GDP of China and India combined” (Voigt 2009)
The above quote from a recent article posted on CNN.com, titled “Women:
Saviors of the world economy?” reflects heightened attention to
both the earning power and spending power of today’s women. Economists,
product designers, and marketers are turning to women as the consumers
who can perpetuate capitalist growth in this post-economic crisis moment.
The FemmeDen, a group of women researchers who focus on the gendered
implications of product design, write in one of their online publications, “Why
is gender important? Women’s continuing evolution combined with
their increasing buying power has created an explosive business opportunity
in the consumer products industry.” They then point out that women
in the U.S., though once “powerless,” are now “powerful,” in
that they buy or influence eighty percent of consumer decisions (FemmeDen
in Transformation? How
Class-Based Emotions Shape Fashion Consumption Practice
by Karen Rafferty
In the last couple of decades, transformations in the fashion industry and marketplace have ignited debate about the nature of social class relations today. Fashion writer Dana Thomas (2007) illustrates how, since the mid 1980s, many luxury fashion houses passed brand management from the family kin to external CEOs, who started to aggressively target the mass, and primarily middle class, markets. This move was to alter the intrinsic nature of the industry, having been centred upon visually differentiating the elite from subordinate classes for hundreds of years. In the pursuit of expanding profit, quality and craftsmanship were compromised so lower-priced product lines could make the point of entry for luxury fashion consumption more accessible across class fractions.