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Free Content Rebranding American men’s heritage fashions through the use of visual merchandising, symbolic props and masculine iconic memes historically found in popular culture

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This article takes a critical examination of how merchandising inspired by popular culture communicates various notions of history, and in this case, to display and sell heritage fashion lines. In specific retail locations popular and historically cultural-influenced visual displays and aesthetic merchandising strategies are studied to ascertain and interpret the importance of visual display as one vehicle of fashion branding. A careful interpretive analysis, determines that retailers associate cultural-influenced thematic props and icons reflective of America culture to sell men’s mass-fashion garments and give them an aura of authenticity and American heritage. These displays and the branding stories convey conceptual (pop) cultural masculine icons or noted historical memes of US historical masculine imagery that include such male icons as the rebel, the cowboy, the Ivy Leaguer, jocks and blue-collar workers, revealing how these worn styles have infused into American culture and men’s mass fashion as contemporary street style.
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Keywords: American culture; fashion branding; masculinity; memes; men’s fashion; visual display

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Drexel University 2: Xi’an Polytechnic University

Publication date: October 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • Critical Studies in Men's Fashion examines the multi-faceted dimensions of men's appearance. It uses the holistic definition of dress as a means of examining the tangible and intangible aspects of creating and maintaining appearance. This journal is the first to exclusively focus on men's dress and topics of gender, identity, sexuality, culture, marketing and business will be discussed. Men's dress and fashion have been side-lined in scholarship, and this journal provides a dedicated space for the discussion, analysis, and theoretical development of men's appearance from multiple disciplines. All articles are blind-peer reviewed in order to maintain the highest standards of scholastic integrity. Theoretical and empirical scholarship in the form of original articles, manuscripts, research reports, pedagogy, and media reviews are welcome.
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