The Aspiration Assumption: Women’S Consumption of Fashion Advertising

Barbara Phillips, University of Saskatchwan, Canada
Edward McQuarrie, Santa Clara University, USA
One of the key assumptions underlying much of the previous research regarding fashion is that all fashion advertising carries a simple aspirational message showing a model to be emulated. This presentation reports a content analysis of three decades of fashion advertising in Vogue and Vanity Fair to demonstrate that fashion ads are not simple vessels of aspiration. The presentation then uses the findings from two surveys of the readers of fashion magazines to examine how women consume fashion magazines. Finally, the presentation reports the results of an ongoing set of interviews with "fashionista women" to develop a theory of why women consume fashion advertising as they do.
[ to cite ]:
Barbara Phillips and Edward McQuarrie (2009) ,"The Aspiration Assumption: Women’S Consumption of Fashion Advertising", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 154-156.