Marketing Fashion : Critical Perspectives on the Power of Fashion in Contemporary Culture book cover
1st Edition

Marketing Fashion
Critical Perspectives on the Power of Fashion in Contemporary Culture

Edited By

Karin M. Ekström

  • Available for pre-order on May 26, 2023. Item will ship after June 16, 2023
ISBN 9781032204802
June 16, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
272 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Fashion as a societal phenomenon has fascinated scholars in different disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and marketing often from an interdisciplinary perspective. Fashion mirrors societal changes, cultural norms and values over time. It can be interpreted as mundane everyday practices, constructions of identity and status as well as being associated with the art world. In this book, the focus lies on marketing and the role of marketers when fashion permeates society in deliberate and subtle ways.

This edited collection critically reflects upon the power of fashion in contemporary society and the role marketing and marketers have in the process of defining, creating and preserving fashion, but also for divesting fashion that is no longer up to date. It expands on existing knowledge to better understand the role marketers play as cultural agents in determining fashion and its markets. Contributors to the book are international, advanced scholars in marketing and sociology challenging traditional ways of thinking. In a society where problems with overproduction and overconsumption represent major challenges, the critical perspective of the role fashion plays in contemporary society and what influence marketing has for shaping fashion is not merely relevant, but necessary.

This cutting edge, interdisciplinary book will appeal to scholars across a broad range of fields including fashion marketing, fashion studies, consumer culture and research, as well as sociology and anthropology. It will also be valuable for students in advanced courses of study in a variety of disciplines besides marketing.

Table of Contents


Karin M. Ekström

Part I

Fashion and Marketing in Society

1. Fashion, Self and Identity

Colin Campbell

2. Fashion Police to Fast Fashion: "Slow Down and Pull Over!"

Russell Belk

3. Fashioning Marketing and its Consequences

A. Fuat Firat, Deniz Atik, Zeynep Ozdamar Ertekin

Part II

Social Change and Marketing

4. Embracing Diversity and Body Positivity: The Role of Marketing in Fashion Markets

and Culture

Antonella Carù, Stefania Borghini and Stafano Prestini

5. From Sanitary to Fashionable Masks: Lessons from Crisis Marketing

Franck Cochoy, Anaïs Daniau, Alexandre Mallard

6. Marketing Gun Identities Through Firearm Fashions

Terrence H. Witkowski

Part III

Fashion and Brands

7. A Social Practice Perspective on Fashion Branding

Marcus Gianneschi and Johanna Moisander

8. Museums as Channels for Marketing Fashion –Reflections on Marketization and


Karin M. Ekström

9. A Community in Love: The Relationship and Dynamic between Odd Molly and

its Community

Hanna Wittrock

Part IV

Fashion, Waste, Sustainability and Ethics

10. Consumption of Clothes and the Problems of Waste in Affluent Societies – Understanding the Driving Forces of Consumption and Waste

Karin M. Ekström

11. Sustainable Fashion Marketing: Green or Greenwash?

Elaine L. Ritch

12. ‘Ethical Fashion’ is a Fiction

Efrat Tseëlon

Afterword - Growing Demands of Ethics and Aesthetics

Francesco Morace

View More



Karin M. Ekström is Professor in Marketing at the Department of Business Administration and Textile Management, University of Borås, Sweden where she heads the Marketing, Fashion and Sustainable Consumption Research Group. She has been involved in research on consumption for many years, frequently in multidisciplinary projects. Her research focuses on consumer culture, with a particular focus on the meaning(s) of consumption and consumption of food, clothing and nature. She has recently edited Museum Marketization, Cultural Institutions in the Neoliberal Era (2020). Examples of other edited volumes related to consumption and sustainability are Waste Management and Sustainable Consumption - Reflections on Consumer Waste (2015), Beyond the Consumption Bubble (2011, co-edited with Kay Glans) and Elusive consumption (2004, co-edited with Helene Brembeck).


"We are all implicated in the circuits of fashion production, consumption and disposal. But, it is rare that analyses manage to articulate the power dynamics which shape the cultural environment, texture lived experience and outline their salience for capital reproduction on a global scale. This impressive text does exactly that. It provides a critical, historical, socio-cultural perspective on this important industry which has significant impacts on our lives and potentially devastating effects in terms of inter-generational justice. It is essential reading."

- Mark Tadajewski, University of York; Royal Holloway, University of London, UK  

"Professor Ekström once again has her finger on the pulse of consumer culture – and it’s racing! This book offers valuable critical perspectives on fashion as both a dizzying on- and off-line arena of consumption practices feeding personal identity and social hierarchies, and an exemplary model of market expansion feeding on symbolic, material and economic struggles and policing among consumers, and between activists, firms, and governing agents. This collection is essential reading for visionary marketing, fashion, design, and sustainability industry practitioners, advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and future leaders in understanding what’s at stake with fashion now and in preparing for a sustainable future." 

- Professor Lisa Penaloza, KEDGE Business School, France

"This book presents a very timely and remarkably comprehensive interdisciplinary perspective on the fashion industry’s cultural, societal, economic and ecological consequences. Nicely balancing historical and contemporary insights, readers of this book will learn about, not only what the fashion system has wrought, but how it could re-deployed to create a more sustainable and culturally diverse future."

- Craig J. Thompson, Churchill Professor of Marketing, University of Wisconsin-Madison


"This is a timely collection on the power of fashion to both reflect and influence social and cultural norms as well as the role of marketing in these processes. All the chapters make significant contributions to our understanding of the complex dynamics at the intersection of marketing and the fashion system. The volume is thus crucial reading for anyone seeking insights into the many diverse ways that fashion permeates contemporary society."

- Pauline Maclaran, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

"This collection of fascinating essays tells us that fashion is more than an industry; it has become a central fact of our consumer society, making the discipline of marketing a key to understanding the workings of our unsustainable economy. The chapters reveal the mechanics of many fashion systems, from guns to runways, facemasks to museums, showing us why fashion provides both pleasure and dangers."

- Richard R. Wilk, Distinguished Provost’s Professor Emeritus, Indiana University, USA