Library Dissertation Showcase

Sell out: an investigation into the ironic relationship between elite European fashion brands and the working-classes

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

This study explores how certain European luxury fashion brands could be perceived as having an ironic and sometimes hypocritical relationship with the working-class style of dress. This perception has been explored more deeply through two significant case studies; which are the relationship between Burberry and the British ‘Chav culture’, and the ‘war zone’ between Dapper Dan and Gucci. Since the 1980s, Gucci and Dapper Dan have had a love-hate relationship which is based on imitation. These case studies are compared to the sociological study `University’s not for Me – I’m a Nike Person’: Urban, Working-Class Young People’s Negotiations of `Style’ which was conducted by Archer, L., Hollingworth, S and Halsall, A. in 2007. This comparison allows the reader to understand the effects of the ironic relationship between the working-class youth and the elite level of the fashion industry. In conclusion, it is evident that this relationship is having both positive and negative effects on workingclass youth. On this basis, it is recommended that more people from a working-class background are employed within the exclusive levels of the fashion industry to lower the potential for class-appropriation. This may also lead to the creation of more tangible role models for working-class youth.

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