designer labels

designer labels
   Widespread designer label consciousness began in the late 1970s with the appearance of designer jeans, Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein being the key designers. Design and designer labels became retailing watchwords of the 1980s, trans-forming the appearance of the high street. Retailers quickly became aware of the selling power of designerlabelled products. They provided the retailers with the power to influence, seduce and manipulate the consumer into buying in a pattern and, frequently, contributing largely to the overall success of both retailer and designer. The boom times of the 1980s produced a new generation of highly affluent individuals, notably in the media and computer industries. Conspicuous consumption was the pervading theme, which in turn cultivated the insatiable desire for all designer labelled products. In the 1990s the overriding fashion element was individuality, and key designers played the most important role in fulfilling this desire.
   Consequently, the end result was not individuality but rather a homogeneous fashion look; so much so that the younger generation began rejecting designer label items like trainers, for example, because their parents had also adopted them, and opted instead for comfortable and traditional loafer designs. However, the obsession with designer labels continued and spread to products for the home, clothes for children and fashion accessories. This ethos became a form of religion for the 1990s consumer society and generally permeated all socioeconomic groups.
   See also: labels

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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