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International Journal of Consumer Studies ISSN 1470-6423

Beyond the fad: a critical review of consumer fashion involvement


ijcs_1041 84..104

Iman Naderi
Department of Marketing and Logistics, College of Business, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA

Keywords Consumer involvement, content analysis, fashion, literature review. Correspondence Iman Naderi, Department of Marketing and Logistics, College of Business, University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle 311396, Denton, Texas 76203-5017, USA. E-mail: iman.naderi@unt.edu doi: 10.1111/j.1470-6431.2011.01041.x

Abstract
Fashion involvement has been regarded as an important research topic in consumer research. Despite the importance of this topic, no attempt has been made in the past to review, assess and consolidate extant research on fashion involvement. This study presents a comprehensive and critical review and analysis of the recent studies on involvement in the context of fashion clothing to indicate the current state and identify possible gaps. A content analysis of the current peer-reviewed journal articles published on this research topic reveals a paucity of research on a number of antecedents and consequences of involvement. Further, the ndings show that the research method is biased towards the survey method as opposed to experimentation. In this paper, the results of the content analysis outlining methodologies, sample characteristics, variables and major ndings are provided and analysed, followed by directions for future research, theoretical and managerial implications, and limitations.

Introduction
The concept of involvement, originated from social psychology (Sherif and Cantril, 1947; Harvey and Sherif, 1951), was linked to marketing and consumer research in Krugmans (1965, 1966, 1971) early works in television advertising and involvement. Involvement is a multidimensional concept (Warrington and Shim, 2000), and dozens of studies have focused on conceptualizing, differentiating and measuring its various dimensions (Michaelidou and Dibb, 2006). However, its applications in consumer research remain complex. One of the most important aspects of involvement is its effect on purchasing different product categories (Bloch, 1981; Traylor, 1981). Understanding consumer attachment to products and how this attachment is formed and maintained is important for businesses in order to target an audience (Chae et al., 2006). The focus of this study is on fashion clothing that has been regarded as a high-involvement product class (OCass, 2004). Highly fashioninvolved consumers have historically been important to fashion researchers and marketers because they are seen as drivers and inuencers of fashion (Tigert et al., 1980; Goldsmith et al., 1993), and their reactions to new styles can be crucial to the eventual success or failure of products (Goldsmith et al., 1999a). Furthermore, fashion leaders can be integrated into a fashion rms marketing strategy because they represent a signicant target market with high sales potential (Summers, 1970). Despite the importance of this topic, no attempt has been made in the past to review, assess and consolidate extant research on fashion involvement. The purpose of this study is to present a
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comprehensive and critical review and analysis of the most recent studies on involvement in the context of fashion clothing. Such an assessment over a lengthy period of time is imperative since it will indicate the current state and identify possible gaps in the literature that should be addressed by future research. This paper is prompted by recent calls for more conceptual articles in the development of knowledge in the marketing discipline (Yadav, 2010). Thus, this study is expected to offer useful insights to both practitioners and academic scholars and could provide the basis for future investigating the subject in a more systematic, thorough and effective way. To this end, the paper rst provides a common view of involvement. Second, some of the important frameworks of involvement are reviewed, followed by a brief discussion on the different directions that the involvement construct has taken. Third, the notion of involvement in product categories specically in fashion clothing is claried and dened. Fourth, the results of a content analysis of previous studies on this topic, outlining methodologies, sample characteristics, variables and major ndings are provided. Finally, based on the conceptual framework for involvement proposed by Andrews et al. (1990), the ndings are presented and analysed, followed by future research directions, theoretical and managerial implications, and limitations.

What is involvement?
Several conceptualizations have been proposed for the involvement construct. Muncy and Hunt (1984) identied and discussed ve distinct concepts that have been labelled involvement i.e.

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Fashion involvement review

ego involvement, commitment, communication involvement, purchase importance and response involvement. As Churchill (1979, p. 67) suggests, the researcher must be exacting in delineating what is included in the denition and what is excluded, and failure to do so can result in confusing, inconsistent and ambiguous ndings. Day (1970, p. 45) denes involvement as the general level of interest in the object or the centrality of the object to the persons ego structure. Following closely on this denition, Tyebjee (1979, p. 299) states that involvement is determined by the centrality, relatedness, and number of values engaged by an attitude. Involvement is also dened as a persons perceived relevance of the object based on inherent needs, values, and interests (Zaichkowsky, 1985, p. 342). Personal relevance is a common concept in these denitions, which has also been repeated in some other works (e.g. Robertson, 1976; Greenwald and Leavitt, 1984). Thus, the focus of involvement is on how relevant or important a person perceives an object (Zaichkowsky, 1986). In other words, involvement exists whenever an issue or object is related to the unique cluster of attitudes and values that constitute a persons ego (Bloch and Richins, 1983, p. 70). In line with this view, Mitchell (1979, p. 194) denes involvement as an individual level, internal state variable that indicates the amount of arousal, interest or drive evoked by a particular stimulus or situation. He states that involvement has two main dimensions, intensity and direction. Intensity is the degree of arousal or preparedness of a consumer with respect to a goal-related object, and direction refers to the stimulus towards which the arousal is channelled (Mitchell, 1981). Andrews et al. (1990) later extended this denition by adding the third dimension of persistence; that is, the duration of involvement intensity. The next section presents the important involvement frameworks that have been proposed in previous research.

RI. In contrast, Mittal (1989) noted that purchase decision involvement (PDI) is to some extent analogous to SI. He argues that it concerns a mindset, not a response behaviour manifested in the decision-making process. Although the concept has purchasedecision task as its goal object, this does not imply a necessity that it should be assessed only at the time of purchase. Cohen (1983) argued that though ego involvement suggests a readiness to respond to a particular set of stimuli, the term involvement by itself refers to an actual interaction with a stimulus rather than to the mere potential to do so. In another framework classifying the antecedents of involvement, Zaichkowsky (1985) identied three factors that precede involvement: (1) personal factors inherent interests, values or needs that motivate one towards the object; (2) physical factors characteristics of the object that cause differentiation and interest; and (3) situational factors something that temporarily increases interest towards the object. The rst factor relates to the characteristics of the person. The second factor relates to the physical characteristics of the stimulus such as type of media (e.g. TV, radio, print), content of the communication or the variation found in the product classes being advertised (Zaichkowsky, 1986). The third factor relates to situations. For example, one may pay attention to advertisements for a car with greater involvement if one is thinking of buying a car. In a more recent study of involvement, extending the Zaichkowskys (1986) framework of involvement, Andrews et al. (1990) proposed a conceptual framework in which numerous antecedents and consequences of involvement have been determined. Based on this framework, antecedents of involvement are categorized into personal factors and situational factors, while consequences include search behaviour, information processing and persuasion (see Fig. 1).

Related constructs Involvement frameworks


In one of the most comprehensive frameworks for involvement, developed by Houston and Rothschild (1978) and then used by Rothschild (1979), three types of involvement were identied: 1 Enduring involvement (EI) the long-term relationship between an individual and the object of concern. Houston and Rothschild (1978) suggested that EI depends on past experience with the product and the strength of values to which the product is relevant. 2 Situational involvement (SI) the level of concern evoked by a particular situation and is affected by product attributes as well as situational variables. Unlike EI, SI represents a temporary interest in an object and could be triggered by a particular cause such as perceived risk (Michaelidou and Dibb, 2006). 3 Response involvement (RI) the complexity or extensiveness of information gathering and decision-making activities. Indeed, RI is the consequence of the level of interest in a particular product category (Houston and Rothschild, 1978). Consistent with this view, Stone (1984) proposed a dichotomy of involvement as (1) a mental state and (2) a behavioural process. The mental state dimension corresponds to enduring and SI. On the other hand, the behavioural dimension deals with information acquisition and decision-making process, and thus corresponds to Involvement is an individual-based construct it is the individual consumer who is involved, not products, or advertising content, media, objects, or situations (Andrews et al., 1990, p. 28). Similarly, Kassarjian (1981) argued that regardless of the product or situation, some people tend to be more involved in the consumer decision process. Muncy and Hunt (1984) dened a low-involvement buyer as the one who does not go through complex decision making and information processing. However, based on the denition of involvement proposed by Mittal (1989, p. 148), the degree of interest of a person in an object, it can be concluded that involvement requires a goal object or direction (Mitchell, 1979; Andrews et al., 1990). Therefore, a reason for diverse denitions of involvement is that it has different applications (Zaichkowsky, 1985). A person can be involved with products (Bloch, 1981; Traylor, 1981), with advertisements (Krugman, 1965, 1966; Mitchell, 1981; Greenwald and Leavitt, 1984), with tasks (Clarke and Belk, 1979; Tyebjee, 1979) or with purchase decisions (Slama and Tashchian, 1985; Mittal, 1989). OCass (2000) suggested and tested a second-order construct of consumer involvement, which includes the four rst-order constructs of product involvement, PDI, advertising involvement and consumption involvement. The next section discusses product involvement specically fashion clothing involvement in greater detail.
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Fashion involvement review

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Figure 1 Conceptual framework of the study (adapted from Andrews et al., 1990, p. 29).

Fashion clothing involvement


Previous research (e.g. Howard and Sheth, 1969; Traylor, 1981; Warrington and Shim, 2000; OCass, 2004) has examined involvement as a product category-specic phenomenon i.e. different products arouse different levels of involvement. There is a general consensus among researchers that clothing is a high-involvement product class (e.g. Clarke and Belk, 1979; OCass, 2004). In fact, Clarke and Belk (1979, p. 313) argued that while there are individual differences in levels of involvement with a given product, with a relatively homogenous population, the rank order of involvement with an array of products are expected to be reasonably constant. Differentiation of alternatives could cause involvement because the alternatives are not perceived as substitutes, and hence the person will be motivated to compare and evaluate the differences (Zaichkowsky, 1986). On the other hand, when products have similar utilitarian value, their symbolic value may become a major determinant of choice (Bagozzi, 1975). Clothing and apparel is one of the product categories within which most products are nearly equivalent from a functional point of view (e.g. warmth or protection). In addition, clothing enables consumers to make social identity statements (McIntyre and Miller, 1992) by communicating messages such as how important an individual is and how much status he or she has (OCass and Choy, 2008). The meaning that is associated with clothing, in general, and fashion clothing, in particular, makes its purchase and usage important (Antil, 1984). Fashion is temporarily adopted by a noticeable proportion of members of a social group because that behaviour is perceived to be socially appropriate for the time and situation (Sproles, 1979).
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Based on this denition, fashion clothing is a culturally endorsed style of aesthetic expression in dress and adornment, which is discernible at any given time and changes over time within a social system of group of associated individuals (Sproles, 1974, p. 465). Some consumers may maintain a strong interest in fashion clothing as a general case, even when a particular purchase or salient usage situation is not at hand (Bloch and Richins, 1983) because they have a desire to adopt styles that will identify them as up to date with people whom they admire in a given situation (Miller et al., 1993). Summers (1970) study indicated that involvement in womens fashion clothing is the strongest variable determining opinion leadership. In the following sections, a review of the most recent studies in this area is presented.

Methodology
In order to organize this review, a content analysis was conducted on the current articles in the marketing and consumer behaviour literature, focusing on the content of fashion clothing involvement. Essentially, content analysis is a quasi-quantitative and qualitative methodology developed specically for investigating any problem in which information content serves as the basis for inference (Kassarjian, 1977; Weber, 1990; Bernard and Ryan, 2010, p. 288). Content analysis involves analysing the contents of information with regard to key trends, themes, characters, items and words (in this case, articles). This method has been widely used by marketing researchers in the past, providing insightful ndings (e.g. Li and Cavusgil, 1995; Leonidou et al., 1998). Although the implementation of content analysis varies considerably, there are commonalities in the methodology that cut across the various

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Fashion involvement review

approaches, including the basic phases of data collection, coding, analysis of content and interpretation of results (e.g. Hirschman, 1987; Weber, 1990; Carley, 1993). The following describes the procedure used for data collection, coding and analysing the data.

Table 1 Number of total articles in selected journals Total 19901999 20002010 (n = 44) (n = 14) (n = 30) % % % 21.4 28.6 0 14.3 14.3 0 0 0 0 43.3 6.7 16.7 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3

Journals

Data collection
To select the articles, and in line with the work of Tellis and Tellis (2009), seven major electronic databases, namely ABI-Inform (ProQuest), EBSCOhost, Emerald, JSTOR, ScienceDirect, Scopus and Google Scholar, were searched. For the literature search, a comprehensive search of eight general descriptors fashion clothing involvement, fashion involvement, fashion consciousness, fashion leadership, fashion innovativeness, clothing involvement, clothing interest and apparel involvement in the title, abstract, keywords and subject of the journal articles published between 1990 and 2010 was carried out (Darley et al., 2010). Although the main focus of this study is fashion clothing involvement, it was decided to include apparel involvement, clothing involvement and clothing interest in the search because several scholars have commonly used the abstract term of fashion involvement to indicate the interest with the apparel and clothing product category (e.g. Kim et al., 2002). Also used frequently as indicators of the level of involvement in fashion clothing are fashion leadership (e.g. Goldsmith et al., 1996; Beaudoin et al., 2000), fashion consciousness (e.g. Tigert et al., 1976; OConnor et al., 1997) and fashion innovativeness (e.g. Goldsmith et al., 1999b), and thus were used in the search process. In addition to the database search, a bibliographic ancestral search (Tellis and Tellis, 2009), scanning the reference list of the articles on hand for articles not yet identied, was also performed. In terms of procedure, only studies that have been published in marketing and consumer behaviour journals (i.e. within the traditional marketing domain using the American Marketing Association list of journals as a resource) were included in the review process. The articles published in the Textile Research Journal, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal and International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education were also considered for analysis because these journals carry mainstream consumer- and fashion-related articles. In addition, the search was restricted to the last two decades (i.e. 19902010) for two main reasons. First, the backdrop of this study is the framework proposed in 1990 by Andrews et al. (1990), and second, before 1990, attention primarily focused on the conceptualization and measurement of involvement (e.g. Bloch and Richins, 1983; Zaichkowsky, 1985, 1986). The initial list contained 101 relevant articles that were published over the last two decades. In the next step, an in-depth examination of the full content of each article shortened the list to a nal list of 44 peer-reviewed articles from 15 journals (see Table 1).

Journal of Fashion Marketing and 36.4 Management Clothing and Textiles Research 13.6 Journal International Journal of Consumer 11.4 Studies Journal of Product and Brand 6.8 Management Psychology and Marketing 6.8 Advances in Consumer Research 2.3 European Journal of Marketing 2.3 Family & Consumer Sciences 2.3 Research Journal International Journal of Fashion 2.3 Design, Technology and Education Journal of Consumer Behaviour 2.3 Journal of Consumer Marketing 2.3 Journal of Consumer Psychology 2.3 Journal of Economic Psychology 2.3 Journal of Marketing Theory and 2.3 Practice Journal of Retailing and Consumer 2.3 Services Textile Research Journal 2.3

0 7.1 7.1 0 0 7.1 0

3.3 0 0 3.3 3.3 0 3.3

Coding procedure
In line with the works of Darley et al. (2010) and Leonidou et al. (2010), the content of each article was coded based on the following developed coding criteria: Source and nature of articles journal name, publication year and nature of the article (i.e. empirical or non-empirical).

Authorship characteristics name and number of authors, their afliations at the time of publication as either non-academics (e.g. consultants, government employees and industry practitioners) or academics, and country base. Research methodology articles were coded as utilizing one of four major categories of research methodologies (Helgeson et al., 1984): (1) survey a study involving direct contact to determine individuals characteristics or behaviours; (2) experiment deliberate manipulation of variables by the experimenter so that the effect upon other variables can be measured; (3) discussion literature reviews and other articles not supported by data analysis; and (4) other use of secondary data, study replications, etc. Sample size for empirical studies (i.e. survey and experiment), the nal number of complete and usable questionnaires or the total number of participants in study was considered and coded as sample size. Non-empirical studies, on the other hand, were coded as not applicable (i.e. NA). Sample source the sampled populations studied in the articles were also coded into the following broad groups: (1) college students; (2) adult consumers; (3) female consumers; and (4) male consumers. Variables all independent and dependent variables in the study were identied and coded separately. In addition, in scale development/validation articles, the focal construct of the study was coded. After analysing and coding the articles found in the data collection step, validity and reliability of the coding were established. In doing so, rst a random sample of 10 articles (22.7%) was
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8 7 6
Number of Articles

5 4 3 2 1 0 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Figure 2 Number of articles published each year.

selected and coded by an independent coder (a PhD student in marketing). Perreault and Leighs (1989) interjudge reliability coefcient (Ir) was calculated, ranging from 0.91 to 0.96, and the judges discussed and reconciled any differences in their coding [the judges were in perfect agreement (Ir = 1.0) in the coding of journal name, publication year, and name and number of the authors]. To ascertain the validity of the work, two academics with expertise in the subject area reviewed and analysed two independent samples of 28 and 34 articles as well as the coding results. Consequently, some inconsistencies and differences were identied and resolved. The studies of fashion involvement are summarized in Table 3 with respect to the methodology, sample size, sample source, dependent and independent variables and major ndings (Darley et al., 2010).

Findings and discussion


The ndings of the content analysis carried out for the articles are scrutinized and discussed in this section. The remainder of this section is divided into four subsections: (1) source and nature of articles; (2) authorship characteristics; (3) methodological issues; and (4) constructs and variables.

the topic in consumer research, it is worth noting that no study has been published in what is commonly agreed upon in academia as the top-tier marketing journals (i.e. Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research and Journal of Marketing Research) between 1990 and 2010. The articles collected were categorized into two decades: 1990 1999 (14 articles) and 20002010 (30 articles). The number of articles published each year was analysed (see Fig. 2). Overall, the results show an increasing pattern in the number of articles published on this topic over the time frame of the study. More specically, the number of published articles has increased by 114% during the 2000s compared with the 1990s. This nding further conrms the growing importance of the topic among consumer researchers. The analysis shows that all of the articles reviewed in this study are empirical (i.e. referring to qualitative or qualitative data gathered via primary and/or secondary research methods) as opposed to non-empirical.

Authorship characteristics
Despite the importance of this topic for practitioners in fashion clothing industry (Michaelidou and Dibb, 2006), a comparison analysis between authors with an academic afliation and authors with a non-academic afliation reveals that only six non-academic authorships (out of a total of 111 authorships; 5.4%) contributed in six publications (13.6%). This nding is not surprising because academic contributors are under increasing pressure to publish in rigorous peer-reviewed journals, whereas the climates for nonacademic authors seldom provide incentives and rewards for scholarly publications. However, it is worth noting that the contribution of the non-academic authors has been increased during the time period of the study. Further analysis of the authorship characteristics, summarized in Table 2, reveals that at the time of publication, the authors of more than two-thirds (i.e. 70.4%) of the articles were located in North America (particularly the US with 77 authors). These ndings can be attributed to the existence of a greater number of academic institutions in the US. Other common locations of authors included the UK, Canada and South Korea.

Source and nature of articles


As shown in Table 1, nearly two-thirds (61.4%) of the studies in this area were published in the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal or International Journal of Consumer Studies, with 16, 6, and 5 articles respectively. This nding supports the importance of these journals as scholarship outlets for fashion researchers. On the other hand, this list contains only seven of the top 50 marketing outlets (Hult et al., 2009), namely Advances in Consumer Research, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice and Psychology and Marketing, accounting for about 20.5% (i.e. 9 out of 44) of the total number of articles reviewed. Considering the importance of
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Table 2 Authorship characteristics Total (n = 44) % 19901999 (n = 14) % 20002010 (n = 30) %

Authorship characteristics Afliation of the authors All academics Academics and non-academics All non-academics Number of countries One Two Country base North American universitiesa European universitiesb Other universitiesc
a

86.4 13.6 0 79.5 20.5 70.4 15.9 13.6

92.9 7.1 0 78.6 21.4 85.7 7.1 7.1

83.3 16.7 0 80.0 20.0 63.3 20.0 16.7

US (77 authorships) and Canada (six authorships). UK (eight authorships), France (one authorship), Germany (two authorships), Spain (one authorship) and Switzerland (one authorship). c Korea (ve authorships), Australia (three authorships) and Brazil (one authorship).
b

to 13 articles (i.e. 43.3%) during the 2000s. The impact of age in the level of involvement in fashion clothing products was examined in various studies (e.g. OConnor et al., 1997; Beaudoin et al., 1998; OCass and Choy, 2008), and the ndings show that young people are more involved in fashionable product categories (Goldsmith et al., 1993; OCass, 2004). Thus, the ndings from such studies may have limited generalizability, although it has been argued that a relatively homogenous population is appropriate for theory testing (Calder et al., 1981). Table 4 also shows that the sample of 13 studies (28.9%) only included female consumers. Further analysis indicates that using female consumers has decreased over the time period of this study. More specically, female consumers were studied in 46.7% of the articles published during the 1990s, whereas only 20.0% of the articles published during the 2000s studied female consumers. It is worth noting that previous research has shown that women are generally more involved in fashion clothing (e.g. Slama and Tashchian, 1985; Auty and Elliott, 1998; OCass, 2004) and therefore, these biased samples can also affect the generalizability of the ndings.

Constructs and variables Methodological issues


Data collection Content analysis of Table 3 shows that except for one study, in which both in-depth interviews and a questionnaire were used, the data collection tool in all other studies is self-administered questionnaire. This nding is disappointing. Although surveys maximize generalizability, the precision in control and measurement of variables related to the behaviour of interest is relatively low (McGrath, 1982). In addition, survey research allows for obtaining a wide range of information, but cannot provide in-depth information; it is more extensive than intensive (Kerlinger and Lee, 2000, p. 619). In fact, methods have certain distinct limitations, and thus, the use of different methods, triangulation, would lead to using an appropriated mix of different methods such that the weaknesses of one are compensated for by the strengths of the others and vice versa (Deshpande, 1983). Sample size The analysis of the reviewed studies indicates that the average sample size is 423 (median 361) with a minimum of 85 and a maximum of 1184 respondents. These results conrm that, in general, studies in this area recruited relatively large samples, and only seven studies had a sample size of less than 200. Further analysis indicates that the average sample size during the rst half of this period (M = 466.4) is slightly higher than the second half (M = 402.9). Sample source It was found that college students were used as the sample in 17 studies, accounting for 37.8% of the total studies (see Table 4). Further analysis reveals that the number of articles using student sample increased from four articles (i.e. 26.7%) during the 1990s A review and content analysis of the literature listed in Table 3 reveals four broad categories of the studies based on the role of fashion clothing involvement: (1) fashion involvement as independent variable in 23 studies (52.3%); (2) fashion involvement as dependent variable in 17 studies (38.6%); (3) fashion involvement as both dependent and independent variables in two studies (4.5%); and (4) two scale studies (4.5%). The majority of studies (90.9%) in this area are focused on a limited portion of the framework. Antecedents of involvement The conceptual framework for involvement proposed by Andrews et al. (1990) was adapted to analyse the coding. Among the antecedents of involvement, personal factors are the most examined variables in these studies. Personality factors (such as materialism, personality traits, opinion leadership, innovativeness and prestige sensitivity) have been examined in 15 studies. Ego-related constructs (such as self-monitoring, self-concept, self-esteem and personal identity) were explored in eight studies. Personal and social values (three studies) and cultural values (three studies) have also been investigated in these studies. Socio-demographic characteristics such as income, education, race and family status were also examined in seven studies. However, these studies have generated mixed results. While Goldsmith et al. (1993) found no signicant effect of income and education on the level of involvement in fashionable products, Belleau et al. (2008) showed a positive effect of income and a negative effect of education on fashion involvement. Overall, ndings provide evidence that fashion involvement has been mostly regarded as an enduring characteristic rather than a transitory trait in previous research. Consequences of involvement Among the consequences of fashion involvement, preference of a particular brand or product such as brand commitment and brand
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Size 248 Adult female consumers Social values, gender, education, income Fashion leadership Sample source Independent variable(s) Dependent variable(s) Major ndings Younger women are more likely to be fashion leaders. Fashion leaders were also found to be more active in fashion-related behaviours. Fashion leadership was associated with the social values of excitement and fun/ enjoyment in life. Variation in apparel involvement dimensions is partially explained by bre information sources. Consumer demographic variables inuence apparel involvement. Individual consumers who differ in involvement before purchase will continue to differ during the purchase process, and the degree of difference between them remains about the same. Both studies revealed signicant differences in relevant behaviours (such as frequency of shopping and monthly spending) between low- and high-involvement consumers. Scale validation Fashion involvement, fashion opinion seeking, fashion knowledge Three fashion-related scales were validated by using US adult consumers as well as Korean consumers, and supporting the reliability and validity of all three scales and their applicability for cross-cultural fashion research. Fashion leadership Findings support the hypothesized role of social and personal values in motivating consumers; women higher on the fashion leadership scale placed signicantly more importance on excitement than the non-leaders. Self-concept Fashion leadership Fashion leaders expressed a unique self-concept; they considered themselves more excitable, indulgent, contemporary, formal, colourful and vain than followers. 177 Adult female consumers Fibre information sources, demographics Apparel involvement 341 Adult consumers Situational involvement in clothing, enduring involvement in clothing Involvement responses (information search, giving information to others, word of mouth) 135 Adult female consumers Fashion clothing involvement Seventeen behavioural measures such as frequency of shopping, monthly spending, etc. 1184 Adult consumers, college students Nationality (South Korea, US) 251 Adult female consumers Social values 376 College students

Table 3 Summary review of fashion involvement literature

Study

Method

Fashion involvement review

Goldsmith et al. (1991), Clothing and Textiles Research Journal

Survey

Thomas et al. (1991), Clothing and Textiles Research Journal

Survey

Richins and Bloch (1992), Journal of Consumer Psychology

Survey

Flynn and Goldsmith (1993), Psychology and Marketing

Survey

Flynn et al. (1993), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

Goldsmith et al. (1993), Psychology and Marketing

Survey

Goldsmith et al. (1996), Clothing and Textiles Research Journal

Survey

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Browne and Kaldenberg (1997), Journal of Consumer Marketing

Survey

387

College students

Self-monitoring, materialism

Clothing Involvement, Brand Involvement

Higher levels of self-monitoring are associated with increased materialism. High self-monitors were more involved with clothing as a product category than low self-monitors. Women were more involved with clothing, with fashion in general, and with fashion brands in particular than men. The meanings of branded and unbranded fashion products are different. Age and gender can only affect meanings of branded products. High self-monitors have more negative attitudes to unbranded products than low self-monitors do, while low self-monitors have more positive attitudes to utilitarian attribute of only unbranded products. Fashion followers have the same overall attitude towards buying American or imported apparel. However, fashion leaders have a more positive attitude towards buying imported apparel than buying domestic apparel. Fashion followers and fashion leaders have similar attitudes towards buying American apparel, but fashion leaders have a signicantly more positive attitude than followers towards buying imported apparel.

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Auty and Elliott (1998), Journal of Product and Brand Management

Survey

669

Adult consumers

Self-monitoring of fashion, brand, age, gender

Meaning of a fashion product

Beaudoin et al. (1998), Journal of Product and Brand Management

Survey

283

Young female consumers

Fashion leadership

Buying American or imported apparel

Goldsmith et al. (1999b), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

926

Adult female consumers

Demographic characteristics, shopping frequency, fashion magazine readership, fashion innovativeness

Clothing usage

Those women who spend more are more likely to be fashion innovators, shop more for clothes and have higher fashion media exposure. Few demographic characteristics, however, distinguish these women from light and non-users.

Fashion involvement review

91

92
Size 505 Adult consumers Consumer knowledge, product involvement, perceived risk Information search, satisfaction, brand loyalty Sample source Independent variable(s) Dependent variable(s) Major ndings Consumer knowledge, product involvement and perceived risk indirectly inuence brand loyalty through the mediating variables of information search and consumer satisfaction. In addition, the direct effect of information search and consumer satisfaction on brand loyalty is positive and signicant. Gender has no effect on the internal and external promotional references used by consumers. Consumers use of promotional activities, both internal and external to the retail store setting, is affected by product involvement. Signicant but relatively low relationships among fashion involvement, pre-purchase clothing satisfaction and clothing needs exist. Fashion involvement and clothing needs were positively correlated, while pre-purchase clothing satisfaction and clothing needs were negatively correlated for both petite and tall-sized women. Attitudes toward domestic and imported apparel, important apparel attributes Fashion leaders accorded more importance to 6 out of total 12 apparel attributes. Fashion leaders as well as fashion followers had more positive attitudes toward domestic apparel than imported apparel. Compared with followers, fashion leaders had more positive attitudes toward imported apparel. Fashion involvement, fashion innovativeness, subjective knowledge, opinion leadership, opinion seeking, price sensitivity Spending for new fashion Product use and four psychological characteristics of consumer behaviour (involvement, innovativeness, knowledge and opinion leadership) are positively associated. Heavy use is associated with lower price sensitivity. Adult consumers 727 College students Apparel involvement, gender Internal and external promotional references 321 Adult female consumers (tall and petite) Clothing needs, pre-purchase satisfaction Fashion involvement 641 Adult female consumers Fashion leadership 323

Table 3 Continued

Study

Method

Fashion involvement review

Jin and Koh (1999), Clothing and Textiles Research Journal

Survey

Kinley et al. (1999), Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services

Survey

Yoo et al. (1999), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

Beaudoin et al. (2000), Clothing and Textiles Research Journal

Survey

Goldsmith (2000), Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice

Survey

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OCass (2000), Journal of Economic Psychology

Survey

450

College students

Gender, age

Fashion clothing involvement

A conceptualization and operational measure for consumer involvement was developed to differentiate the level of involvement across consumers for a focal object (product, purchase decision, advertisements and consumption). Age has a signicant negative effect on fashion clothing involvement, with women reporting higher levels of involvement in fashion clothing. Product involvement and brand commitment are not highly related and, indeed, represent unique constructs. Various differences were revealed among the four groups with respect to product orientations, sources of brand information and the importance of product attributes. Fashion leaders have a more favourable attitude towards exotic leather apparel products, have a greater purchase intention of such products, have higher cognitive motivations and have a different shopping orientation from followers. They enjoy shopping more and are not as cost conscious, traditional or conservative as followers.

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Warrington and Shim (2000), Psychology and Marketing

Survey

615

College students

Product involvement

Brand commitment

Belleau et al. (2001), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

400

Members of Fashion Group International

Fashion leadership

Attitude towards product, purchase intention, cognitive motivation, shopping orientation

Goldsmith (2002), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

533

Adult consumers

Opinion leadership, innovativeness, involvement, knowledge, social identity, personal identity

Frequency of clothing purchase

Heavy users of fashion clothing describe themselves as involved, innovative and knowledgeable, and as opinion leaders. They view fashion as a means of expressing social and personal identity. Psychological constructs are more strongly associated with usage than are levels of age, education and income.

Fashion involvement review

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Size 274 College students Apparel involvement, gender Product attribute beliefs, product attitudes, attitude towards ad Sample source Independent variable(s) Dependent variable(s) Major ndings A combination of apparel involvement dimensions (fashion, individuality and comfort) inuenced consumer beliefs about product attributes. Comfort variables showed to be a stronger component of apparel involvement for men, and women tended to be more involved in fashion. All independent variables were positively correlated with amount of online clothing purchase, but being an adventurous online buyer and a heavy catalogue shopper had the most impact on online clothing buying. Thus, online apparel buying is motivated more by Internet innovativeness than by clothing innovativeness. Materialism, gender (female) and age (younger) signicantly and positively affect fashion clothing involvement. Fashion clothing involvement leads to greater perceived knowledge of fashion that positively affects consumer condence in making decision. Fashion consciousness Teenagers in China were clearly less fashion conscious than those in the US and Japan, while US and Japanese respondents were highly similar in that regard. These results support that a difference exists between developed and less-developed countries. Self-esteem, perceived social status, materialism, apparel-product involvement Compulsive buying behaviour The compulsive buying behaviour of participants was negatively related to self-esteem and positively related to perceived social status associated with buying, materialism and apparel-product involvement. 805 College students Fashion innovativeness, shopping innovativeness, fashion involvement, catalogue clothing shopping, demographics Online shopping for clothing 478 Adult consumers Materialism, gender, age, fashion clothing involvement Fashion clothing involvement, subjective knowledge, condence 620 College students Nationality (US, China, Japan) 305 College students

Table 3 Continued

Study

Method

Fashion involvement review

Kim et al. (2002), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

Goldsmith and Flynn (2004), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

OCass (2004), European Journal of Marketing

Survey

Parker et al. (2004), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

Yurchisin and Johnson (2004), Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal

Survey

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Kim (2005), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

757

Adult female consumers

Values

Apparel involvement

Five consumer involvement types were identied based on four dimensions of involvement: challenged moderate, knowledged enthusiast, indifferent moderate, challenged enthusiast and cautious moderate. All list of values items have signicant relationships with dimensions perceived/sign and pleasure interest. If respondents were involved in apparel selection and purchase, a similar level of involvement held true towards both Indian ethnic apparel and contemporary American clothing. Although a low level of acculturation process did result in a higher level of involvement in Indian ethnic apparel, the reverse did not hold true. Generation Y men are aware of fashion and show a degree of involvement, but this is not translated necessarily into behaviours, such as shopping regularly for clothes and embracing new styles.

Rajagopalan and Heitmeyer (2005), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

85

Asian-Indian consumers in the US

Level of acculturation

Purchase involvement of Indian ethnic apparel, purchase involvement of contemporary American clothing

Bakewell et al. (2006), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

346

Adult male consumers

Fashion consciousness

Fashion adoption

Bertrandias and Goldsmith (2006), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

201

College students

Need for uniqueness, attention to social comparison information

Fashion opinion leadership, fashion opinion seeking

Both consumer need for uniqueness and attention to social comparison information were positively related to fashion opinion leadership. Attention to social comparison information was also positively related to fashion opinion seeking, but consumer need for uniqueness was negatively related to fashion opinion seeking.

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Size 124 Female tennis players Fashion involvement Pre-purchase satisfaction, post-purchase satisfaction Sample source Independent variable(s) Dependent variable(s) Major ndings There is a positive correlation between the level of fashion involvement and pre-purchase satisfaction as well as post-purchase satisfaction. Pre-purchase satisfaction and post-purchase satisfaction are positively correlated to each other. In contrast to existing literature, womens age was not shown to be signicantly related to the number and type of clothing problems in this study. Various empirical measures assessing ve dimensions of involvement were combined into a nine-item multidimensional scale to measure involvement with clothes. Consumers think about their clothes in terms of two dimensions: interest (ve items) and importance (four items). Fashion-conscious mature consumers tended to have younger cognitive ages (even though their chronological ages were slightly higher), while lower fashion-conscious respondents had higher cognitive ages (although slightly younger chronologically). Impulse buying, positive emotions Fashion involvement and positive emotion had positive effects on consumers fashion-oriented impulse buying behaviour with fashion involvement having the greatest effect. Hedonic consumption tendency was an important mediator in determining fashion-oriented impulse buying. Fashion involvement, hedonic consumption tendency 557 Adult consumers (mostly female) Scale development Fashion involvement 104 Mature female consumers Age, cognitive age, budget Fashion consciousness, fashion information source, motivation, channel preference, importance of clothing attributes, perception of fashion 217 College students

Table 3 Continued

Study

Method

Fashion involvement review

Chae et al. (2006), International Journal of Consumer Studies

Survey

Michaelidou and Dibb (2006), Journal of Consumer Behaviour

Survey

Nam et al. (2006), International Journal of Consumer Studies

Survey

Park et al. (2006), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

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Summers et al. (2006), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

430

Afuent female consumers

Fashion involvement, attitude towards behaviour, subjective norms, controversy perception, price/quality/ prestige perception, personality traits, demographics Fashion involvement, attitude towards behaviour, subjective norms, personality traits, media usage Purchase intention

Purchase intention

Attitude towards performing the behaviour, subjective norms, controversy perception (social acceptance) and fashion involvement were signicant predictors of purchase intention.

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Belleau et al. (2007), Clothing and Textiles Research Journal 229 College students

Survey

There is a positive signicant relationship between attitude towards the behaviour and purchase intention. In addition, subjective norms and other external variables (i.e. fashion involvement, personality trait and media usage) had no inuence on purchase intention. Interviewees generally agreed that gay men are more fashion conscious than heterosexual men. Even though gay consumers may not actively pursue fashion in the context of clothing involvement, they are highly interested and aware of changes in fashion trends. Gay consumers show a higher level of fashion involvement than both heterosexual men and women.

Sha et al. (2007), International Journal of Consumer Studies

Survey and interview

158

Gay men

Sexual orientation

Fashion involvement, fashion awareness

Belleau et al. (2008), International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education

Survey

239

Afuent female consumers

Age, income, education, personality traits, price perception, media usage, prestige sensitivity

Fashion involvement

Public self-consciousness, prestige sensitivity and media usage were signicantly related to fashion involvement. However, all of the relationships were weak. Higher-income women had higher fashion involvement, while age and education had a negative signicant relationship with fashion involvement.

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Size 598 College students Need for uniqueness, attention to social comparison information, status consumption Fashion opinion leadership, fashion opinion seeking Sample source Independent variable(s) Dependent variable(s) Major ndings Consumer need for uniqueness was related positively to opinion leadership, but negatively with opinion seeking for younger consumers. Attention to social comparison information was positively related more highly to opinion seeking than to opinion leadership. Status consumption had the largest overall positive association, followed by role-relaxed consumption, which was negatively related. Consumers perceptions of brand status and brand attitudes are positively associated with their willingness to pay a premium price for both high- and low-status brands. Brand status has a positive signicant effect on brand attitudes. However, only for high-status brands is the effect of fashion clothing involvement on brand status and brand attitude signicant. Product brand loyalty In the fashion industry, characteristics of the retail channel contribute higher to product brand loyalty in vertically integrated channels, while the impact of product brand characteristics on brand loyalty is higher in conventional channels. Consumers involvement has a stronger effect for vertically integrated channels. Retail outlet preference, intention to visit an outlet in the future Apparel involvement, experiential values, utilitarian and hedonic preferences Gen Y brick-and-mortar apparel shoppers with low and high levels of retail preference and future patronage intentions do not differ signicantly regarding mean experiential value dimensions. 460 College students Fashion clothing involvement Brand status, brand attitude, willingness to pay premium 795 Adult consumers Product brand perception, retail store perception, channel, consumers involvement (moderator) 130 College students

Table 3 Continued

Study

Method

Fashion involvement review

Goldsmith and Clark (2008), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

OCass and Choy (2008), Journal of Product and Brand Management

Survey

Schramm-Klein et al. (2008), Advances in Consumer Research

Survey

Sullivan and Heitmeyer (2008), International Journal of Consumer Studies

Survey

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Michaelidou and Dibb (2009), International Journal of Consumer Studies

Survey

557

Adult consumers

Product involvement (i.e. clothing), variety-seeking drive, brand loyalty, perceived risk, pleasure, perceived similarity

Brand-switching propensity

Internal factors including clothing involvement, risk, variety-seeking drive and loyalty positively affect brand-switching behaviour. In particular, respondents who are interested in clothing and are highly involved with it are likely to show brand-switching behaviour in their purchases of clothing. Age has a signicant negative inuence on fashion clothing involvement, and fashion involvement is positively associated with consumers fashion knowledge, commitment and time spent in shopping. Fashion clothing involvement mediates the relationship between age and commitment as well as that between age and subjective knowledge. Fashion knowledge has a positive effect on consumers condence in making the right decision about fashion clothing.

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Vieira (2009), Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

Survey

315

College students

Materialism, gender, age, fashion involvement

Fashion involvement, time, commitment, knowledge, patronage, condence

Diaz-Meneses (2010), Textile Research Journal

Survey

341

Adult consumers

Personal and social needs, demographic characteristics

Fashion involvement

Involvement with new fashion is not only a personal more than social need, but also it is addressed more from an emotional than a cognitive perspective. There are different ways in which consumers become interested in fashion according to their socio-demographic characteristics.

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Sample source College students Adult female consumers Adult consumers Adult male consumers

Average sample size 417 356 491 252

Total (n = 44) 17 13 13 2 (37.8%) (28.9%) (28.9%) (4.4%)

19901999 (n = 15) 4 7 4 0 (26.7%) (46.7%) (26.7%) (0.0%)

20002010 (n = 30) 13 6 9 2 (43.3%) (20.0%) (30.0%) (6.7%)

Table 4 Samples used in the studies

Note: Both college students and adult consumers were used in one study (i.e. Flynn et al., 1993) and thus, the total number of studies in this table is 45.

loyalty (13 studies), search and shopping behaviour (12 studies), perceived differences in product attributes (eight studies), attitude durability (ve studies) and time spent examining alternatives (three studies) have been mostly examined in the studies reviewed. These ndings reveal that all consequences of fashion involvement studied in the reviewed articles are either behavioural (i.e. search behaviour) or attitudinal (i.e. attitude durability) constructs. Therefore, although information processing, one of the consequences of involvement in the framework of the study, is more related to advertisement involvement, its application to product involvement has not been investigated in this context. Role of gender and age Gender is a popular variable tested in the studies and except for 15 studies that were gender specic i.e. only males or females the role of gender has been explored in 12 studies (41.4%) of the other 29 studies. In seven studies, gender was regarded as an independent variable in the theoretical model, and it was examined under the demographic characteristics in ve studies. Overall, the results indicate that women are more involved in fashionable clothes. The role of age in the level of involvement in fashion clothing has been also tested in eight studies, indicating that young consumers are generally more involved in fashion clothing. Measurements It was also found that only two studies were aimed at developing new scales or validating existing scales. The analysis of the scales used in the studies revealed interesting results. The items measuring the construct of fashion clothing involvement were mainly adopted from one of the ve developed scales: the Fashion Involvement Index proposed by Tigert et al. (1976); the Fashion Consciousness Scale suggested by Wells and Tigert (1971) and extended by Lumpkin and Darden (1982); the Purchase Decision Involvement Scale (Mittal, 1989); Clothing Interest Scale (Lumpkin, 1985); and Personal Involvement Inventory proposed by Zaichkowsky (1985). Most of the items used in the aforementioned scales measure the antecedents (such as personal relevance, importance of the object, etc.) and consequences (such as search and shopping behaviour, time, etc.) of involvement. Therefore, it can be concluded that in the conceptual framework of the study, most of the relationships between involvement and its antecedents as well as its consequences may not be causal relationships. In other words, most of the antecedents and consequences of the construct are not, respectively, causes and effects of involvement, but rather its dimensions.
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Directions for future research


Regarding the importance of this topic in consumer research, several issues need to be addressed in future research. First, due to the fact that all reviewed studies used survey as the methodology, it is suggested that other types of research designs, particularly experiments, be used in the future studies on this topic. A scientic discipline may be at best advantage when each research style is represented in approximately equal proportions as this will enlarge the comprehension of reality by producing convergent and complementary results (Hirschman, 1985; Stewart, 2009). Therefore, other types of research methodologies, particularly experiments, can be used in the future studies on this topic. Second, general samples in terms of gender, age, career, race and culture should be used in future studies in this area in order to have more generalizable results. In addition, the results of some recent studies (e.g. Bakewell et al., 2006; Vieira, 2009) indicate an increasing trend of mens involvement in fashion clothing. In fact, men have changed their focus and orientation from conventional clothing to fashion clothing in recent years. Thus, future research should consider males as a potentially attractive segment for fashion clothing products. Third, most of the research conducted in this area has been focused on personal factors, persuasion, and search and shopping behaviour. Other antecedents and consequences of product involvement in the model (i.e. decision factors and information processing) need to be investigated. In fact, an interesting avenue for future research would be examining more comprehensive models of involvement, including its various antecedents and consequences. In doing so, developing more specic and reliable multidimensional scales for measuring this construct is required. Finally, mixed ndings in some areas (e.g. effects of income and education on fashion involvement) warrant further investigations. In fact, although a historical analysis is valuable for consolidating the previous ndings and building foundations of contemporary scholarship, given the vast changes in the society, shopping and consumption patterns, it is crucial to make the case for application of previous ndings on fashion involvement to current consumer markets.

Implications
Theoretical implications
As already discussed in previous section, the ndings of the present study provide several theoretical implications for consumer researchers and fashion theorists. First, this study

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distinguishes what has been done so far from what needs to be done in the future (Baker, 2000). For example, based on the framework of the study, it has been found that most of the studies in this area have focused on personal factors and search behaviour, and thus, other interesting areas such as decision factors and information processing need to be examined in future studies. Second, several important variables relevant to the topic such as purchase involvement, brand commitment, personality traits, personal values, search behaviour and fashion leadership have been found, establishing the context of the topic and enhancing the subject vocabulary. Third, the ndings show that the main research design and data collection methods in this area are survey and self-administered questionnaire. Therefore, consumer researchers should apply other research methodologies such as experiments to test the causality relationships in the proposed models in order to check the reliability and robustness of the ndings. Finally, the results of the studies reviewed in this area can be integrated in order to establish generalizations about fashion involvement behaviour. In so doing, a meta-analysis technique can be used especially when there are inconsistencies between results (see Hedges and Olkin, 1985; Hunter and Schmidt, 2004). Overall, an effective review creates a rm foundation for advancing knowledge, facilitates theory development, closes areas where a plethora of research exists, and uncovers areas where research is needed (Webster and Watson, 2002, p. 13). As researchers learn more about the concept of fashion involvement, they will be able to explain a variety of consumer behaviours related to this unique area and increase their knowledge of consumer involvement in general.

and signicant segment. In addition, the results presented here provide substantial evidence that brand is one of the most important variables in the context of fashionable products. According to Auty and Elliott (1998, p. 122), not only do fashion brands need exclusivity, market presence, emotion and trendy association, but they also need to be seen on the streets. Therefore, brand managers and advertisers must consider this point when developing the overall style of their advertising message as well as the overall communication strategy. For instance, advertisers can tailor product positioning of their new lines of fashion by devising appeals that emphasize how these products represent social signicance and uniqueness of their owners (Bertrandias and Goldsmith, 2006). Further, based on the studies reviewed, highly fashion-involved consumers are less price sensitive than their lowinvolved counterparts, and thus, marketers may not need to discount to this group, or allow coupons to fall into their hands to improve margins and store protability. Finally, the ndings show that fashion involvement results in a desire to spend time on an enjoyable activity, and thus, retailers must devote time and effort to provide a better shopping experience. Overall, it is noteworthy to mention that the success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts (Gladwell, 2000, p. 33), and companies must consider highly fashioninvolved consumers as their important agents in disseminating fashion information.

Limitations
As with all exploratory studies, this paper has some limitations. One such limitation is the choice to use a specic 21-year time period, in this case the years 19902010. Although limiting the review to a specied time frame is in line with the work of Grifth et al. (2008), it lowers the generalizability of the ndings because the selection of any other time period could result in different ndings. However, according to Sproles (1974), fashion is a topic that is heavily susceptible to trends, and change is implicit and critical to the fashion process, making it likely that this study, which examines the most recent information available, is the most up-to-date analysis of fashion data. In addition, most of the studies before the 1990s focused on conceptualization of the term. Another limitation of this study is concerned with the criteria used for data collection. There might be some other studies discussing this topic, which are not included in our literature review. However, this possibility is minimized by (1) searching in seven different electronic databases; (2) using eight different descriptors; (3) considering the title, abstract, keywords and subject of the articles during the search process; and (4) scanning the reference list of the articles on hand for articles not yet identied. Further, dissemination of scholarly work in fashion involvement is not limited to refereed journals; conference papers, dissertations, textbooks and unpublished working papers also serve this purpose. Given this, it is deemed appropriate to also explore inuential works disseminated through non-journal outlets. Another limitation of this study is the use of a customized conceptual framework for analysing the studies. This may restrict the identied future research directions because this review did not cover some other constructs addressed in other frameworks, though this framework is the most recent and comprehensive framework available in the literature.
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Managerial implications
Fashion is a high prole and economically important industry (Michaelidou and Dibb, 2006) in which consumer involvement plays a key role in maintaining interest and spending. In terms of marketing strategy, the wide scope of the studies presented and issues reviewed in this paper make a complete discussion of all managerial implications impossible. However, several major points may be drawn. As already mentioned, highly fashioninvolved consumers represent an important segment to the fashion marketer (Tigert et al., 1980). They are also known as the drivers of the fashion adoption and diffusion process (Goldsmith et al., 1993) by wearing new fashions for others to see and by spreading word of mouth about them (Martinez and Polo, 1996). Thus, for marketing managers in the fashion industry, it is an obvious incentive to better understand and encourage involvement among consumers. In addition, the success of any marketing strategy would depend on the ability of marketers to identify and target these consumers. In doing so, marketers often rely on demographics that may be good predictors of some aspects of consumer behaviour. However, demographics can be replaced by other characteristics that more clearly and precisely show who fashion-involved consumers are and what they are like. Fashion involvement framework could also be used as an effective market segmentation tool. Personal factors (e.g. personality traits, personal values, socioeconomic characteristics), which are among the mostly explored antecedents of fashion involvement, will provide a more detailed prole of the fashion-involved segment, enabling marketers to more effectively customize their strategies to attract this discrete

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Acknowledgements
The author appreciates helpful comments and suggestions provided by Charles Blankson, Francisco Guzman and Eric Van Steenburg, as well as three IJCS reviewers on prior drafts of this article.

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