Communicating material characteristics in a digital age: Three case studies in independent fashion
This article focuses on the intersection of the material and the digital in the independent fashion sector, with a focus on ways in which digital media and contemporary communication tools are being used to unite them. It explores the tension between the opportunities provided to small business in the contemporary media landscape and its use in a sector closely associated with a nostalgic valorisation of material qualities related to nature, artisanship and luxury. It further examines ways in which the communication of material characteristics through technological platforms contributes symbolic value to independent fashion as a cultural product. Thematic analysis was conducted of online texts and images related to three contemporary American independent labels in a three-year period (2014 –2017). The study finds that instead of being viewed as a threat to the independent fashion sector’s driving ethos, technology has been embraced as a tool allowing independent fashion producers to amplify their voices as they challenge existing fashion paradigms.
Copyright (c) 2019 Alexandra Tuite
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