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Most of society identifies fashion(reference website: primarily with the field of costume and adornment. However, fashion the-orists emphasize that fashion operates in many diverse areas of group life (Robinson 1961). For example, fash-ion has been suggested to operate in such areas as sci-ence (Crane 1969), mortuary practice (Blumer 1969), Christian names (Shepard 1973), and business manage-ment (Abrahamson 1991). To limit fashion to the field of costume and adornment is to have an inadequate idea of the true scope of its occurrence (Blumer 1969). Given the broad presence of fashion's influence, re-search on the fashion process should be of interest to marketing academicians as well as practitioners. First, fashion phenomena provide a prime example of the so-cial influences that are so often acknowledged to be a prominent aspect of consumer behavior (see Bearden, Netemeyer, and Teel 1989 for a recent treatment). Sec-ond, the fashion process is a dynamic example of the use of products to express self-image, role position, or feelings toward relevant others (Belk 1988; Levy 1959). Finally, the fashion process provides an opportunity to study preference shift and formation as opposed to static preferences (Zajonc and Markus 1982). Despite the importance of fashion and its potential contribution to the marketing discipline, most of the re-search on fashion has been within the fields of econom-ics, home economics, and sociology. This research pro-vides insightful verbal and anecdotal descriptions of fashion phenomena. However, these descriptions have not yet met the rigorous standards of a consumer theory (Zaltman, LeMasters, and Heffring 1982). A leading au-thor in fashion theory characterizes the situation as fol-lows (Sproles 1981, p. 117): The current state of fashion theory includes a loosely organizeda rrayo f descriptivep rinciplesa nd propositionsb ut is not formalizedi n thati t does not specify a detailed structureo f concepts, variables, and relations. The goal of our article is to advance the understanding of the fashion process, provide relevant managerial in-sight, and promote future research on this important topic. To this end, we (1) review previous descriptions of fash-ion phenomena and integrate them into a more formal theoretical framework and (2) develop and analyze a mathematical model of fashion adoptions based on this framework. The mathematical model reveals the type of information needed by managers to forecast fashion trends, in addition to providing a method for analysis and fore-cast generation. First, we review descriptions of fashion trends and various perspectives of the fashion process that have appeared in the literature. Second, we identify a set of widely accepted constructs from the fashion lit-erature that influence and motivate an individual's adop-tion of fashion styles. Third, we develop a representation of the individual's fashion decision process that incor-porates the influence of these constructs, and integrate it into a societal-level framework. Fourth, we develop a model of the societal-level framework and examine its dynamic implications in a general sense, then analyze the specific dynamics of social influence patterns as-sumed by previous fashion theories. We conclude with a summary of the results, implications of our research, and directions for future empirical work and extensions of the theoretical model.
25.1.11 03:12


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