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Free Content Creating an American Mythology: A Comparison of Branding Strategies in Three Fashion Firms

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Fashion firms must formulate and promote an identity that will be meaningful and memorable. Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and American Apparel are brands that overtly define themselves as American. Each brand seeks out what they define as essential elements from the American cultural landscape. These elements are used to construct a unique and coherent narrative—or more precisely mythology—underscoring the values of the brand, and framing a lifestyle identity to be embodied within products and extended to the wearer. By formulating a culturally rich brand identity and presentation, the firm attempts to visually and textually seduce the target consumer. These three brands are linked through their acceptance of democracy as a common denominator defining an American identity; however, each brand links itself to radically different manifestations of American democracy.

Keywords: American style; branding; marketing; mythology

Document Type: Research Article


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Publication date: May 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Fashion Practice is the first peer-reviewed academic journal to cover the full range of contemporary design and manufacture within the context of the fashion industry. Fashion Practice provides a much-needed forum for topics ranging from design theory to the impact of technology, economics, and industry on fashion practice.

    Interdisciplinary and wide-ranging, Fashion Practice addresses the entire business of fashion, including: innovation in fashion design and practice; sustainability and ethical decision making within the industry; micro- and nano-technologies within the fashion context; “smart” textiles and digital fashion; materials, design, concepts and interdisciplinary process; fashion consumption and production from retail/e-tail to performance fashion; new developments in fashion and clothing retail.


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