Project Designer ID: Brands, T-shirts, & the Communication of Identity

Project Designer ID examines how brand image and consumer identity influence one another when mediated by designer T-shirts.

Casa La Doniccé  |  University of Southern California  |  Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Productions

  • Dissertation
  • White Paper
  • Marketing Briefs
  • Book
  • Documentary
  • T-Shirts
 

(Click to View)

This research was conducted with generous funding from the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Jouralism

Project Designer ID: Brands, T-Shirts, & the Communication of Identity

Overview

Project Designer ID examines how brand image and consumer identity influence one another when mediated by designer T-shirts. Specifically, it asks how changes in perceived status are likely to take place for both brands and consumers when individuals of different apparent social status are seen wearing designer T-shirts by brands from different market segments. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods in order to provide a most complete analysis of these phenomena. 

Study 1

Study 1 involved 31 in-depth interviews with fashion industry professionals ranging from independent designers to business administrators to moguls of the trade. This research was used to establish a cultural framework for the current T-shirt market and gain insights about the value of the T-shirt as a high-stakes market commodity from an organizational perspective. It was also used to make informed decisions about the procedural methods carried out in the study that followed.

Study 2

Study 2 (N = 1237) consisted of one pilot study (n0 = 370)  and two online experiments (n1 = 495), (n2 = 372) divided into a total of 26 cells of (41≤ n ≤ 53),  which examined consumer perceptions of status using designer brand T-shirts and consumer identity as the independent variables. 

Synthesis

The combined results of these studies were assessed through the use of analytical synthesis in order to make highly informed generalizations about organizational and consumer behavior as both a theoretical and practical examination of popular culture and the consumer market at large. 

IMPLICATIONS

Real market implications for this research and its findings were determined, and recommendations are provided for organization stakeholders, particularly marketers, aiming to maximize either profits or brand equity or for those seeking to optimize the balance between the two.


Project Designer ID: Brands, T-Shirts & the Communication of Identity

Dissertation | White Paper | One Sheets | Book | Documentary | T-Shirts

 

Dissertation

This written manuscript and presentation outlines the research, theories and findings of Project Designer ID with high level analysis.

 
        Click to View PDF of Dissertation

        Click to View PDF of Dissertation

 
              Click to View PDF of Slide Presentation

              Click to View PDF of Slide Presentation

 

This dissertation was successfully defended  by Stylés Akira at the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in completion of the degree of 'PhD in Communication'. (click to view)

Stylés Akira after defense with committee members (l to r) Patti Riley (Co-Chair), Michael Cody, and Andrea Hollingshead (Co-Chair).

The 2015 class of newly minted PhD's from USC Annenberg.       (Stylés Back Row Center-Right)

(Stylés Far Right)


White Paper

This document summarizes the work and findings in short format.

 
        Click to View PDF of White Paper

        Click to View PDF of White Paper

 

Marketing Briefs

These briefs detail key sections of the work and provide simplified marketing reports derived from the research and analyses.

      Click to View PDF of One Sheet No.1

      Click to View PDF of One Sheet No.1

     Click to View PDF of One Sheet No.2

     Click to View PDF of One Sheet No.2

     Click to View PDF of One Sheet No.3

     Click to View PDF of One Sheet No.3

 
          Click to View PDF of Stat Sheet

          Click to View PDF of Stat Sheet

     Click to View PDF of Design Synopsis

     Click to View PDF of Design Synopsis

 

Book

 

The book gives an overview of the study alongside a broad cultural analysis for popular consumption.

 

Forthcoming...

 

Documentary

The film offers a rich media format for the presentation of the project and its supplemental research findings for general audiences.

Documentary Coming Soon...


T-Shirts

The Designer ID T-shirts feature the Cubism artwork developed for the project.