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  • Svita Sobolyeva

  • Fashion Studies (MA)

    Svita Sobolyeva
    This thesis explores the role of contemporary tastemakers and what it takes to become one in the fashion industry today. With the increased popularity of PR agencies offering to refine and glamorize clients’ identity, it has become more difficult than ever to identify who is behind the profile of a public persona. To explain the increased interest in the notion of self-branding, which has rapidly gained popularity over the last decade, I examine the Paris-based public relations agency AVEC and interview two members of the team, discussing their views on tastemakers and the importance of social media performance in the fashion industry. I discuss the self-constructed persona of a contemporary tastemaker, Olivier Zahm, editor in chief of the influential fashion magazine Purple . In addition, I analyze the difference between tastemakers and influencers and the role tastemakers play in today’s digital landscape. I discuss social media and the ways in which it encourages users to establish fake identities in pursuit of attention and recognition. I also examine attempts to join specific communities and ways of constructing the self within these circles. Ultimately, I seek to identify today’s tastemakers and explore the ways they maintain uniqueness while modifying their personae to meet the global community’s demands.
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