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D-Signed for girls: Disney channel and tween fashion

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The introduction of Disney’s first proprietary tween fashion collection, called D-Signed, marks an unprecedented expansion of synergistic marketing strategies for comprehensive lifestyle branding to the tween girl market in the United States. The production and exponential growth of this particular fashion collection allow girls to literally (at Target stores or at home) and virtually (via sponsored online dress-up games and social networks) try on the ‘edgy’ fashions of Sonny Munroe (played by Demi Lovato), among many other lines inspired by Disney Channel’s girl characters. Exploring the promotion of and inspiration for the D-Signed fashion collection, this article employs media industries analysis in conjunction with discursive and ideological textual analysis to advance an understanding of how fashion functions economically and ideologically in relation to television as a site of lifestyle marketing to tween girls. This project aims to address gaps in girls’ media culture scholarship and theorizations of postfeminist girlhoods through an exploration of how contemporary girlhood is constructed in the Disney empire. Thus, this article asks, how might the D-Signed fashion collection function, discursively and economically, as a site for the reproduction and performance of a form of idealized, postfeminist tween girlhood? And how do fashion lines affiliated with Disney Channel programmes function within and beyond Disney’s entertainment empire?

Keywords: disney; fashion; franchise; girl; postfeminism; target; tween

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Texas

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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  • Film, Fashion & Consumption is a peer-reviewed journal designed to provide an arena for the discussion of research, methods and practice within and between the fields of film, fashion, design, history, art history and heritage. The journal seeks to stimulate ongoing research on these topics and to attract contributions not only from scholars researching in these areas but also from practitioners, who are traditionally excluded from academic debate. The journal thus aims to unite and enlarge a community of researchers and practitioners in film, fashion, consumption and related fields, whilst also introducing a wider audience to new work, particularly to interdisciplinary research which looks at the intersections between film, fashion and consumption.
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