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Status Consciousness and Its Effect on Men's Fashion Consumption

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Status Consciousness and Its Effect on Men's Fashion Consumption

A Comparative Analysis

Many young people including the male shoppers are attracted now more than ever to fashion. It is not uncommon to see celebrities like Anderson Cooper sitting at front-row seats in big fashion house productions in Milan, New York, London and Paris. Some might argue that this can be attributed to the increasingly growing influence of fashion marketing agents such as GQ columnist, Scott Schuman. His blog, "The Sartorialist" is a beautiful anthropological collage of personal style stories told through photographs of well-known fashion figures and regular street people. From the streets of New York to the alleys of Milan, Moscow and Florence, Scott Schuman creates a powerful juxtaposition of style elements that influence masses of audiences around the world. With this growing influence, many shoppers are now adopting specific style characteristics and selecting their brands of choice based on the new style trends communicated through style marketing agents such as the Schuman's blog as well as other communication efforts capable of influencing the perceived perception of the brand as well as the self. For male as well as female consumers, marketing agents and reference groups are significantly important. Not only do they help define and ascribe status to products and brands, but they also shape and alter the consumer's self awareness.

In this research paper, I would like to examine the relationship between marketing agents and the consumption habits of the male shopper. The paper will also inspect the engineering of consumer-brand communication and its influence on the consumers' level of self-awareness. The paper will discuss various marketing agents such as the design of shopping venues and status-conveying cues used in the creation of fashion and the shaping of male shopper consumer preferences.

It is often argued that brands convey certain status-elevating characteristics and associations and proving entry to consumer groups that are otherwise inaccessible. Upon examination of the fashion market, one will notice that specific fashion brands are overtly positioned to maintain exclusivity, communicate prestige and convey a certain user role and position . However, we know that the desire for status is not limited to the wealthy consumers of every class level have the desire to upgrade or downgrade status. America fashion designer, Tommy Hilfiger, conveys status with a Rolex watch wrapped around the wrist of a model in his ads. His famous statement often repeated in consumer behavior books, "many of these people [referring to people in poverty] would rather have a Rolex than a home . In saying so, Hilfiger recognizes that status- conveying symbols vary across consumer segments because different classes have different symbols of the



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