From élite fashion to mass fashion

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The role played by fashion in the clothing market in Britain in the 60's is analyzed. The study is based on interviews with fashion designers & fashion journalists, & on the answers of a sample of several hundred consumers to close-ended questionnaires with few open-ended questions, on statistical data about the clothing market in Britain, on market research data, & on the available literature about the development of fashion as a mode of clothing behavior. Distinction is made between mass fashion & elite fashion as 2 different modes of clothing behavior, both reflecting responsiveness to innovations in style & design. The findings are roughly consistent with the hypotheses: (1) that clothing behavior in Britain in the 60's tended to be fashion-oriented, (2) that fashion in Britain in the 60's was age-group directed more than class-directed, (3) that mass fashion is disposed toward uniformity & the consumer's response is not primarily oriented toward the presentation of individuality, (4) that mass fashion tends to be anonymous & unpredictable as to the response of the consumers to each individual innovation, & (5) that varying participation in the process of diffusing fashion is conditioned by differences in respective perception of the part in the processes & by the patterns of communication among them. In the light of the prevalence of mass fashion & its implications, some modifications are suggested to the existing theoretical approaches to fashion. Modified AA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
JournalArchives Europeennes de Sociologie
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1975


  • Britain/British (see also England, Great Britain) ; Clothes/Clothing ; Clothing ; Consumer behavior ; Consumer goods ; Consumer tastes ; Elite/Elites/Elitism/ Elitist/ Elitists ; Fabrics ; Fashion design ; Fashion/Fashions/Fashionable ; Innovation diffusion ; Market/Markets/Marketing (see also Market research) ; Mass/Masses ; NOTES CRITIQUES ; Social change ; Social control ; Social interaction


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