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The fashion system in the 21st Century: new trends, old habits

Grant number: 18/18789-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Vânia Carneiro de Carvalho
Grantee:Giulia Falcone de Lourenço
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/07366-1 - Collect, identify, describe, exhibit: the curatorial cycle and the production of knowledge, AP.TEM


This research comprehends the fashion system of the 21st century as a field of interaction between a so called traditional fashion, represented by fashion magazines and luxury maisons, and a "new fashion", represented by fast-fashion brands and fashion blogs. With the introduction of new agents in the fashion system, trendsetting can no longer be understood as a process that involves uniquely high fashion ateliers or luxury brands. Social distinction marks represented by new trends can emerge from the reciproque interaction of luxury fashion, fast-fashion and streetstyle. However, the degradation of trends may still be a direct result of the loss of their social distinction function when appropriated by the less affluent social strata. The dispute for social distinction marks promotes the differentiation between each fashion segment, bestowing upon luxury fashion the status of legitimate while relegating other agents to a secondary role. Even though the discourses concerning each one of these segments may differ, the mode of production, sales strategies and consuming habits are increasingly resembling each other. Thus, the social distinction marks that intent to put them apart may be an outcome of brand fetichism rather than a consequence of material differences.

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