Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"These Aren't the Same Pants Your Grandfather Wore!": The Evolution of Branding Cargo Pants in 21st Century Mass Fashion
by Hancock, Joseph H., II, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2007, 328; 10835919
Abstract (Summary)

In this study, fashion and brand ideologies are utilized in explaining how cargo pants (the fashion) are no longer the main attraction for the consumer when purchasing the pants. It appears that the consumer may identify with the branding concept used to contextualize cargo pants and to create a selling story; these branding channels sometimes create a hyperreality that entices the consumer to buy the garment thinking s/he is “purchasing” part of the fantasy. Understanding this phenomenon is key to this investigation of cargo pants that have been manipulated and changed through brand culture. The goal of the study is to build upon these fashion studies synthesizing the theoretical foundations of branding by conducting an applied study of a cargo pants in fashion. By examining a single garment type, it was possible to comprehend how all elements of the fashion system are manipulated and systematically changed through branding, and how a garment’s meaning becomes context dependent. This is important for understanding that during a particular fashion season a garment can have multiple meanings, thereby appealing to more consumers who may or may not purchase the garment for the same reasons. By deconstructing changes in fabrications, garment labeling, design features, and contextual placement, the reader will begin to understand that cargo pants are no longer the same army uniform pants worn by their grandfathers. As the American culture continues to become more diverse and multicultural, the goal of retailers becomes not only one of showing how a garment is multi-functional, but also how these companies must market a similar garment to a number of diverse target markets. The re-invention of cargo pants in brand advertising serves as a key to understanding change in American material and popular culture. While fashion advertising is referenced in many studies to depict fashion and its evolution, few fashion scholars discuss how the branding (context) of the garment is the actual vehicle that aids in changing the perception, meaning and “language” of fashion.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cunningham, Patricia
Commitee:
School: The Ohio State University
Department: Textiles and Clothing
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Ecology
Keywords: Abercrombie &, Fashion branding, Fitch, Hyperreality, Mass fashion, Postmodernism
Publication Number: 10835919
ISBN: 978-0-355-97061-6
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