Taste-making in turbulent times: Vogue and its social networks
Vogue is a long-standing taste-making institution, with a reputation for drawing together a selection of the most fashionable people, places, and products in its monthly magazine. In the mass-communication systems of the twentieth century, expert knowledge conveyed through monthly magazines was important and effective. However, the digital context of the twenty-first century enables instant access to fashion information, influences and influencers, allowing us to be as informed as many experts. The paper uses Actor-Networks (Latour, 2005) to examine the evolution of taste-making practices in fashion communication. Content from British Vogue May 1967 and May 2017 provides the data for a comparative analysis of changing methods of influence in fashion. This qualitative case study considers how Vogue has responded to the networked conditions of the contemporary communication environment and what its digital strategy can reveal about new methods of influence. It identifies how the ongoing structural changes to fashion communications continue to reshape institutional tastemakers such as Vogue, online and offline.
Copyright (c) 2019 Rachel Matthews
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