Fashion Brands in Novels: A review of the use of fashion brand names in fiction

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Brand names are often used to help to achieve verisimilitude in fictional works, making characters appear more realistic and enabling the reader to identify and empathise with them. Clothing is a value-expressive product, and thus fashion brand names frequently appear in contemporary popular fiction to help support characterisation.

Although the concept of branding is often traced back to ancient times, commercial brands as we understand them today did not really exist until the nineteenth century. The use of brand names in novels is often assumed to be a relatively recent phenomenon, confined to lowbrow, popular fiction; however,
references to fashion brands can be found throughout a wide variety of novels and literary genres, from Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth (1905) to the current plethora of chick lit novels.

This paper uses a literature-based approach to present a brief history of the use of fashion brand names in novels, focusing on key authors and genres. It analyses how fashion brands are represented in novels, and the different ways in which they are used by authors.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2015
EventTextual Fashion Conference - University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Jul 201510 Jul 2015


ConferenceTextual Fashion Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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