Credits: 6

Schedule: 29.10.2018 - 14.12.2018

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Henri Weijo
Linda Turunen
Olga Lavrusheva – TA

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Instructor’s contact information

Course information

Primary contact person: Olga Lavrusheva

Office: Töölö, E2.30

Office Hours: Monday 13-14

Professor Henri Weijo

Availability: By appointment

Status of the course: Aalto course; elective course in Marketing Master’s program, Fashion Management
minor studies

Location: Töölö campus, see course website for

Language of Instruction: English

Course Website: 

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

II 2018–19 (autumn) Töölö campus

II 2019–20 (autumn) Otaniemi campus


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The concept of “fashion” is pregnant with meaning and much of this stems from its everyday use—we say something is “in fashion”, “fashionable” or “the latest fashion.” Yet these statements only scratch the surface of what fashion means to contemporary consumer culture. This course aims to illuminate precisely this. More specifically, we will focus on how the cultural world of fashion is constructed and what roles do consumers play within it.

The course is primarily designed for those pursuing a career in the fashion industry. Students will be exposed to cutting edge academic work as well as renowned experts in the Nordic fashion industry. That said, the course also serves as a special topic consumer behavior class. We dive deep into theory as well as empirics of fashion consumption; the course will cover certain topics relating to consumer behavior (identity, gender, semiotics, sociology consumption) at much greater depth than a regular consumer behavior class—even an advanced one. Therefore, the course will also be of high value to aspiring trend scouts, (market) researchers, branding experts, entrepreneurs, and B2C marketing managers.

Students will gain...

1. … the ability to analyze different fields of fashion and map out their constituting elements as well as their relations
2. … valuable insights on consumers’ preferences, projects, and desires relating to fashion
3. … analytical abilities to explain what consumers “do” in the world of fashion
4. … skills for developing consumer brand strategies, both in fashion and beyond
5. … new perspectives on the culture and production of fashion

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course will be carried out as a series of lectures and workshops. During these contact sessions the students will familiarize themselves with the key concepts and theories. Furthermore, the students will learn useful skills, such as running projects in cross-disciplinary groups and conducting field research.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Students will work in groups to carry out a series of conceptual assignments as well as market research assignments. Individual assignments will help the students to reflect their takeaways and guarantee a holistic learning experience. Throughout the course the students will receive support and feedback from the faculty as well as seasoned industry professionals.


The course grade will consist of the following components:

● Group work and written reports
● Group presentations
● Individual home assignment
● Active class participation

The final breakdown and balance between these elements will be announced at the beginning of the course.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

6 credits, 160 hours:

The course includes lectures, readings, individual assignments, and group work conducted both in class as well as outside of it.

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

A collection of articles assigned by the lecturers

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

23A00110 Markkinoinnin perusteet/Introduction to Marketing or equivalent

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Registration via WedOodi. Check registration time in WebOodi.

NOTE: Mention your group of priority upon registration.

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The number of students admitted to the course is restricted to 80. Priority is given to (1) Aalto students studying in MSc Program of Marketing, (2) CEMS-students, (3) Aalto students studying a MSc minor study package in Fashion Management, (4) Aalto students studying a MSc minor study package in Consumer Research, (5) Aalto students studying a MSc minor study package in Marketing and (6) other students.

NOTE: Students are required to write own group of priority to further information field of course registration!

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 


29.10. Monday - Course Introduction and Fashion in Consumer Culture (Henri Weijo)

Barthes, R. (2013). “Fashion and the Social Sciences” in The Language of Fashion. Bloomsbury.

Tokatli, N. (2018). “Fashion, functionality, and the contemporary consumer.” Journal of Consumer Culture,

Östberg, J. (2011). “Style” In D. Southerton (Ed.), The encyclopedia for consumer culture. Thousand Oaks,
CA: Sage

McCracken, G. (2009) “Culture Fast and Slow”, in Chief Culture Officer.


Miller, D. (2004), “The little black dress is the solution. But what’s the problem?” Berg.

2.11. Friday - The Fashion System and Semiotics in Fashion (Pekka Mattila)

Barthes, R. (1977). Elements of semiology. Macmillan.

Barthes, R. (2013). “On the Fashion System” in The Language of Fashion. Bloomsbury.

McCracken, G. D., & Roth, V. J. (1989). “Does clothing have a code? Empirical findings and theoretical
implications in the study of clothing as a means of communication.” International journal of
research in marketing, 6(1), 13-33.

Berger, A. A. (2016). “Signs: Fashion.” In Applied Discourse Analysis (pp. 51-60). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

5.11. Monday - Fashion in Consumer Culture: Sociological Perspectives, the Body, and Gender (Henri

Rocamora, A. (2002). Fields of Fashion: Critical insights into Bourdieu’s sociology of culture. Journal of
Consumer Culture, 2(3), 341-362.

Twigg, J. (2007). Clothing, age and the body: a critical review. Ageing & Society, 27(2), 285-305.

Gronow, J. (1993). Taste and fashion: the social function of fashion and style. Acta Sociologica, 36(2), 89-

Murray, J. B. (2002). The politics of consumption: A re-inquiry on Thompson and Haytko's (1997) “Speaking
of Fashion”. Journal of consumer research, 29(3), 427-440.

McCracken, G. (2009) “Status and Cool”, in Chief Culture Officer.


Weijo, H. (forthcoming) “Democracies of Taste Ruled by the Law of Jante? Rudiments of a Nordic Sociology of Consumption.” in Nordic Consumer Culture

Miller, D. (2015). Denim. Consumption Markets & Culture, 18(4), 298-300.

Parmentier, M. A. (2016). High heels. Consumption Markets & Culture, 19(6), 511-519.

9.11. Friday - Buying, using and disposing of fashion (Linda Turunen)

Bye, E., & McKinney, E. (2007). “Sizing up the wardrobe—Why we keep clothes that do not fit,” Fashion Theory, 11(4), 483-498.

Gregson, N., & Beale, V. (2004). “Wardrobe matter: the sorting, displacement and circulation of women's
clothing,” Geoforum, 35(6), 689-700.

Young Lee, J., Halter, H., Johnson, K. K., & Ju, H. (2013). Investigating fashion disposition with young
consumers. Young consumers, 14(1), 67-78.

12.11. Monday - Guest lecture and Panel Discussion

16.11. Friday - Ownership and identity in the context of clothing (Laura Rosenberg and Henri Weijo)

Ahuvia, A. C. (2005). “Beyond the extended self: Loved objects and consumers' identity narratives.” Journal
of consumer research, 32(1), 171-184.

Cwerner, S. B. (2001). Clothes at Rest: Elements for a Sociology of the Wardrobe. Fashion Theory, 5(1), 79-

Holliday, Ruth (1999) “The Comfort of Identity,” Sexualities, 2(4), 475-491.

Bardhi, F., & Eckhardt, G. M. (2017). Liquid consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, 44(3), 582-597.

19.11. Monday - Consumers as Groups: Subcultures, Tribes, and Consumers as Authors of Fashion (Henri

Schouten, J. W., & McAlexander, J. H. (1995). Subcultures of consumption: An ethnography of the new
bikers. Journal of Consumer Research, 22(1), 43-61.

de Burgh-Woodman, H., & Brace-Govan, J. (2007). We do not live to buy: Why subcultures are different
from brand communities and the meaning for marketing discourse. International Journal of
sociology and social Policy, 27(5/6), 193-207.

Scaraboto, Daiane and Eileen Fischer (2013), “Frustrated Fatshionistas: An Institutional Theory Perspective
on Consumer Quests for Greater Choice in Mainstream Markets,” Journal of Consumer Research,
39 (6), 1234–57.

Sandikci, Ozlem and Guliz Ger (2010), “Veiling in Style: How Does a Stigmatized Practice Become
Fashionable?”, Journal of Consumer Research, 37 (1), 15–36.


Rinallo, D. (2007). Metro/fashion/tribes of men: Negotiating the boundaries of men’s legitimate
consumption. Consumer tribes, 76-92.

Rahman, O., Wing-Sun, L., & Cheung, B. H. M. (2012). “Cosplay”: Imaginative self and performing identity.
Fashion Theory, 16(3), 317-341.

Seregina, Anastasia and Henri A. Weijo (2017), “Play at Any Cost: How Cosplayers Produce and Sustain Their
Ludic Communal Consumption Experiences,” Journal of Consumer Research, 44 (1), 139–59.

23.11. Friday - Changing spaces in fashion (Alexei Gloukhotsev and Henri Weijo)

Entwistle, J., & Rocamora, A. (2006). The field of fashion materialized: a study of London Fashion Week. Sociology, 40(4), 735-751.

Kawamura, Y. (2006). Japanese teens as producers of street fashion. Current sociology, 54(5), 784-801.

26.11. Monday - Fashion in a digital consumer culture (Henri Weijo)

Crewe, L. (2013). When virtual and material worlds collide: democratic fashion in the digital age.

Environment and Planning A, 45(4), 760-780.

Dolbec, P.Y. and Maciel, A. (2018) “In or Out? How Consumer Performances Lead to the Emergence of New
Tastes,” In Taste, Consumption, and Markets, Routledge.

McQuarrie, E. F., Miller, J., & Phillips, B. J. (2012). “The megaphone effect: Taste and audience in fashion
blogging,” Journal of Consumer Research, 40(1), 136-158.

Dolbec, P. -Y., & Fischer, E. (2015). Refashioning a field? Connected consumers and institutional dynamics in
markets. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(6), 1447-1468.


Kretz, G., & de Valck, K. (2013). “Fashion blogging,” in The Routledge Companion to Digital Consumption (pp. 80-89). Routledge.

30.11. Friday - Guest Lecture

3.12. Monday - Case presentations for Assignments 1 and 2

14.12. Friday - Case presentations for Assignment 3


Registration and further information