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Sample Essay on Cultural Studies

How is music linked to the consumption of fashion goods?
Popular culture today has two central components which are inalienably linked to each other i.e. music and fashion. Historically, the clothes worn by music and movie stars have been seen as desirable and beautiful by the youth of the nation for many decades. However, I believe it was Elvis Presley who was the first music star to influence the fashion sense of an entire generation in a significant way. In the new millennium, we have stars we can emulate no matter what our taste and sense in fashion. In fact, we have got to the stage where music styles and fashion styles are carrying the same names and labels to describe a particular lifestyle e.g. glam rock, hip hop, gothic etc.

Fashion and Music
The fundamental connection between the two is and always has been about money. It is not enough to sell records that go platinum, the stars of today and their managers want to sell an image and that image come with CDs, coats, shirts, underwear or even fetish wear as discovered by rap star Eve (Rozhan, 2004). Of course success in the fashion industry appears to be much more difficult than success in the music industry simply because of association with an image or a brand name.

For example, Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs launched his design label a few years ago with a street image which did not meet with the success he expected (Rozhan, 2004). It was only after he changed his own image and launched a more mainstream type of clothing that his designs got some level of acceptance. Sean might have been too early with a hip hop line though because recent developments in music and fashion show that the hip hop image is gaining in popularity (Garofoli, 2006).

Hip hop is getting a good response since it comes as being more acceptable to the mainstream than hardcore rap. It all has to do with the image which the fashion stricken teenager wants to project, hardcore rap comes with certain assumptions and image labels which has been exploited by brands like Fubu and others but hip hop is more accessible (Rozhan, 2004). Hip hop has become one of the defining factors in the music industry, commercials, fashion and film.

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