Branding Luxury: Japan, China, and Vogue

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This thesis examines the role of luxury across histories and the democratization of modern luxury. This thesis then looks at the value of the Vogue brand as both a product and an agent in the development of luxury taste and participation within emerging markets, particularly within Japan and China. A developed nation today, Japan was able to engage with modern international trade and luxury consumption decades before China’s currently emerging society due to internal socio political factors and events dating back to the 17th century. China’s particular political turmoil over the past century then further dissuaded essential participation. This paper discusses the varying ways Western luxury brands have entered these disparate economies and argues that the creation of luxury desire must be rooted in a localized cultural understanding. The paper then argues that just as Vogue allowed the emerging US economy to establish luxury and fashion tastes and industries independent of France and Other Europe following World War I, international editions of Vogue allow emerging societies the same confidence. This confidence translates to a more extensive repertoire of brand engagement and further refined taste as well as the development of a homegrown industry held to international standards. Employing a first hand analysis of Vogue Japan and Vogue China advertisements over time, this paper further confirms these assumptions by finding: advertisements and content reaching younger consumers through Vogue China must further localize and employ educative content when compared to the advanced readers of Vogue Japan and that since inception the number of participating domestic luxury brands within Vogue China has dramatically increased.





Songer, Chloe (2014). Branding Luxury: Japan, China, and Vogue. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from

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