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Monthly Archives: February 2018

Contextualising Your Practice proposal

During this unit you will be expected to develop a 1500 word proposal that outlines your intentions for your final year extended essay. In order to facilitate this, you will receive six lectures that focus on planning your approach, using relevant literature and appropriate methodologies and analysing your data. Alongside these will be six seminar sessions and a one-to-one tutorial.

By the end of these sessions you should have identified a clear research question that relates to your field of practice and your proposal should outline what you intend to study, why you think your work will refer to existing knowledge in the field and how you will research, incorporate and apply relevant theoretical approaches and methodologies.

You should use the experience you have gained on previous Cultural and Historical Studies units and present your final proposal in academic form, with Harvard style referencing, appropriate visual material and indicative references.

The Impact of Designer Scandal on Fashion Brand


The fashion and celebrity culture affirms that the implication of a designer in any scandal is detrimental to the long-term brand-growth efforts. According to Um (2013) designers who court scandals are victims of media precipitation that adversely affects the receptions of their fashion brands by the consumers. Mill, Patterson, and Quinn (2015) have also reported that the probable implication on the brand value is worse if the said designer is a celebrity. Stories featuring gossips, extra-marital affairs, break-ups, emotional turmoil and nudity are considered grist to the media industry. As Knittel and Stango (2013) observes, book publishers, gossip magazines, celebrity blogs amongst others will scramble for such scandals to achieve more traffic. As such, involvement of a designer in any form of the identified scandal will accrue negative publicity that do not only affect the reputation of the designer involved, but has adverse implications on the brands they endorse.
While it is known that receiving unwanted media attention is disadvantageous to any celebrity, some individuals have used the eagerness of the media for the scandal to orchestrate consumer interest towards improving their career. It is however, not clear whether the same attitude has been embraced in the fashion market, where the analysis of the scholarly marketing research indicates that the involvement of a designers in any form of scandal is inherently bad for the growth of his/her fashion brand. Nevertheless, some scholars still believe that unexpected benefits can still be attained by the involvement of the designers in a scandal. To give more insights on the same, the proposed study will look at the effects of designers’ scandal on the value and growth of their fashion brand. The focus will be on the evaluation of the consumers’ reaction towards the scandal and the consequent implications on their purchase behavior.

Designer Scandals

Designer scandals mainly involve the personal life of an individual who is believed to have performed a socially-undesirable or role-inappropriate act. Cases such as drug use, marital conflicts and use are actions categorized as scandals. People tend to have a negative perception towards individuals who engage in such activities. The negativity does not only affect negatively the reputation of the person involved, but also have adverse effects on his/her career. In the context of a designer, being involved in scandal is deeply detrimental to the growth of the fashion brand. Most marketing researchers indicate that as much as the designer may be able to thrive through the scandal and rebuild his/her reputation, the negative implications of any scandal on the brand is almost irreversible. This is mainly observed when the resulting negative publicity is poorly managed, or has severe effects on the public.
Even though most scholars provide vivid insights that designers’ scandal affects the perceptions of the consumers towards the brand, unexpected benefits can still be attained from such scandals. Cases such as Harvey Weistein scandal seems to justify the assertions that designer scandal adversely affect the performance of a fashion brand. According to Feldman (2017) the harassment and sexual assault allegation labeled against Harvey Weistein affected negatively his wife’s Marchesa design. Weistein had used his influence connection in Hollywood to improve the strength of the Marchesa brand (that mainly consisted of gowns and fashion accessories) as well as its presence on the red carpet. Since the emergence of the scandal, the fashion brand has continually struggle to regain its position in the luxury fashion market (Feitelberg, 2017). Tiger Wood’s extra-marital status scandal presented a similar case that justifies the argument that designer scandal affects the value of a brand (Knittel and Stango, 2013).

Figure 1: Marchesa collection, source; Feitelberg (2017)
Nevertheless, the scandals could have still resulted in some benefits if well managed. According to Mills, Patterson and Quinn (2015) any publicity is suitable in brand building process. Enhanced brand awareness is achieved, when the designers attain some publicity, whether positive or negative. The ability of the designer to change the perceptions and attitude of the consumer determines the future performance of the brand. Feitelberg (2017) has argued that the failure of the Marchesa brand was attributed to the inability of Chapman to dissociate her clothing brand from Harvey Weistein. As much as he contributed towards the growth of the same brand, linking his personality to the fashion brand contributed to the negative effects that were reported. Also, the designer engaged in subsequent scandals that further affected the perceptions of the consumers towards the Marchesa brand. With properly management, designer scandal will have minimal negative implications on the fashion brand; in fact, it can lead to enhance visibility of the brand, further improving its performance within the fashion market.
To avail more insights on the concept of designer scandal and resulting implications on the fashion brand, the proposed study will be based on the notion that there are potential benefits from designer scandals. By taking this stance, it should be noted that the researcher believes that all scandals literally have no consequence Suggested benefits can be accomplished when there is prompt management of the probable negativities that can arise from the scandals and that may have impacts on the brand. The proposed study will point at the myriad cases of fashions brands that have grown and achieved enhanced visibility even after experiencing a scandalous narrative. The growth of Calvin Klein brands that featured a significant number of models that were involved in various scandals reported significant growth from such scandals. Termed as rebellious brands, the Calvin Klein clothing and accessories thrive well in the event of a scandal featuring one of its designers or models. Similarly, the involvement of Kate Moss in drug use did not in any way interfere with the performance of the fashion brands that the model endorsed. As much as she did not participate directly in the design, her involvement in the endorsement of the brand enhanced her association with the same. It was expected that the scandal will negatively affect the performance of the brand, however, her endorsers Chanel and Burberry elevated her to more lucrative deals that did not only restore her reputation but also contributed towards building the strength of the brand further.
The Galliano scandal also justifies the possibility of achieving some benefits from the designer scandals. As much as the designer was involved in unethical act, the fashion brand still maintained a higher level of performance despite him losing his job and consequently damaging his career and reputation. Without disputing the assertions that designer scandal is likely to damage the value of a brand, the proposed study will explore the unexpected benefits that can come out of the scandals and how to accomplish the same.

Research Approach

The main aim of the proposed study is to explore the concept of designer scandal and its consequent implications on the fashion brand value and strength. The focus of the proposed study will be to give insights on the probable benefits on the fashion brand that can be attained in the event of a designer scandal. To achieve the research goal, the study will adopt critical review of literature as the methods of information collection. The study will begin with the literature review on designers’ scandal to present a historical background on the same. The probable impacts of the scandals on the brand value and performance will be determined. The study will then take the case of John Galliano scandal involving Christian Dior brand in exploring the unexpected benefits that can result from the designer scandals. The proposed study will be conducted in line with the consumer culture theory that advocates for the analysis of the consumption behavior and choices from a cultural and social point of view contrary to the psychological and economic views. The study will focus on illustrating how John Galliano’s courting scandal was used to improve the visibility of the fashion brand to enhance its performance. An explanation on how to effectively manage the scandal to attain the unexpected benefits will also be provided.