What do fashion designers look like? Comparing representations of stock photograph designers and professional designers

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2015-11-11
Authors
Jablon, Sara
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Abstract

This study intended to evaluate how American stock photograph companies portray fashion designers. The U.S. apparel industry is a large and varied field. In 2010, there were 7,855 apparel manufacturing firms, and more than 16,000 fashion designers were employed in at least 30 states (BLS, 2012). Over 200 institutions offer secondary degrees in fashion-related programs (“Top 75,” 2013). Clearly, the occupation of fashion designer is of interest to many Americans, making it important to understand how it is characterized in the media and to compare its depictions to reality. To explore this idea, this study developed two research questions: (1) How do stock photographs represent fashion designers? and (2) How do those representations compare to those presented by professional designers of themselves?

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