Eunice Abe

Eunice Abe

COURSE: Fashion Business & Promotion 2017

Pathway:

TITLE: Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness

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There is a current desire to celebrate different cultures yet a complete lack of racial diversity and cultural sensitivity to express it.
Brands have the power to change the way people see the world by sharing fresh cultural perspectives.
About:
The Perspectives Dissertation and Final Major Project modules took me on a journey of self discovery and provided an avenue for me to voice my thoughts on the current political and social climate affecting people of colour, predominantly.
Both modules placed me outside of my comfort zone and exposed strengths and capabilities within me that I had not yet been aware of. From conducting initial research to generating a marketing campaign for ASOS, both modules have aided in my growth, development and skill set not just for industry but also on a personal level.

The Perspectives Dissertation module investigated the construction of black masculinity through fashion, film and music. It explored the historical context surrounding black masculinity and it's relating issues such as the black man's oppressed status and his exposure to institutional racism. The main focus was identifying how the entertainment industry have contributed to the portrayal of the black image which is still very relevant today. The black man's image is usually one of several types: "the sexual super stud, the athlete, the rapacious criminal. That is how he is perceived in the public consciousness, interpreted in the dominant media and ultimately how he comes to see and internationalise his own role." (Staples, 1982) After the completion of my dissertation, I studied my dissertation further which enabled me to identify a re-occurring theme: how societal perceptions can limit someone from taking pride and ownership of their identity.

I applied this ideology to today's modern society and looked at it from a wider perspective - race, social, political and cultural contexts, multiculturalism, diversity and inclusivity. Projects such as Black Boys Don't Cry by Iggy LDN, which explores black masculinity and blackness as a whole where different shades and stories are found celebrating personal identity and expression. The Final Major Project was formed out of a sheer desire to celebrate the freedom of self expression from individuals regardless of what your race may be. It was also aimed at removing the stigma or perceptions attached to people of colour, in this case, Multicultural Millennials.

In a world where appearance-obsessed Kardashian culture is inescapable, the Limitless campaign showcased a group of Millennials taking pride in the power of their own voice and living life on their own terms, refusing to bow down to society's limitations. The campaign was an exploration of self expression and individuality - a generation that is empowered and ready to take on the world, taking control of their identities and being comfortable in it when society has told them not to be.

Another motivation behind this campaign, was ending the objectification of people of colour especially in a era where it seems that diversity is growing. I started becoming quite disinterested in the way brands were implementing and somehow cloning similar ways of promoting diversity and inclusivity so I decided to create a concept that explored these two subjects in a modernised way. The key to this was being authentic, personal and relatable. Research carried out by Huffington Post explains how "millennials want brands to be authentic" and relevant.

Speaking from a brand's perspective, Millennials want the real story. An authentic brand has its priorities and values in line and knows why it exists. "It has clarity of vision, and a driving passion." (Frontify, n.d)
This is why I created this concept for ASOS as I believe that they show levels of cultural awareness through their core values: "recognising the diversity of our global customers and ensuring products and messages reflect and celebrate this diversity."

In relation to my future career goals, which is to become an expert in the field of Social Media Marketing, this marketing concept revealed the importance of marketers when it comes to targeting different demographics. Millennials are the biggest emerging opportunity for marketers and for the Limitless concept, I had to understand the behavioural attitudes, lifestyles and habits of this group as well as knowing what channels to communicate with them on, e.g. most used social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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