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Selling whose dream? A taxonomy of aspiration in fashion imagery
Abstract and Figures
Scholars and practitioners assume that women aspire to fashion photographs of idealized models. It is unknown, however, what makes a fashion image aspirational because previous researchers have not explored the various dimensions that evoke this concept. In this article, I share the development of a taxonomy that explains the evaluative criteria and image elements that elicit aspiration in fashion photographs based on data gathered in focus groups with 100 women. Findings reveal that women aspire to a fashion image according to their evaluations that it is honest, empowering and socially responsible. The models, creative direction and visual cues in the image trigger these three aspirational criteria. My research contributes the first taxonomy of aspiration in fashion photographs and to the enhancement of knowledge about consumer engagement with images. Industry professionals are encouraged to incorporate promotional photographs into their corporate social responsibility agenda and produce imagery that represents women’s diverse beauty and character alongside glamour and artistry.
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