For my haul video I selected four articles of clothing from Lulu Lemon. The four items are a pair of leggings, a sweatband, a sweatshirt and a tank top.  I will first describe the items and explain why I purchased them, followed by an analysis of all four products in terms of the vocabulary discussed in class.

1. My first product that I will be discussing is the “Run Inspire Crop.”  These are athletic leggings designed for running or other intense cardio sports.  They are black leggings with green and white polka dot detailing on the waistband and bottom section.  I purchased this pair of leggings because it was the best option for spinning, which is my exercise of choice and also indicative of my lifestyle.

photo 2

2. My second product is a neon yellow racerback tank.  This tank is not specific to any sport but is acceptable to wear for yoga, running or any other sport.  Once again, I selected this shirt to wear during spinning.  I picked the neon yellow color because I thought that it was unique and different; a quality that is common amongst High Cultural Capital Individuals.

photo 4

3. My third product is a grey cropped hoodie with slight tie-dye detailing.  I purchased this item on sale.  I purchased this item because I wanted a jacket to wear to and from spin class.  I picked grey because it is a neutral color and would match with some of my more colorful lulu lemon outfits such as the shirt I just mentioned.

photo 3

4. My final product that I will be discussing is a neon yellow and white striped sweatband.  I also purchased this product to wear during spin class.  I bought it to color-coordinate with my neon yellow racerback tank top and because I wanted a unique style.

photo 1

 

Lulu Lemon is an excellent example of how companies target consumers based on lifestyle choices.  The company has changed the way consumers view both the act of exercising as well as exercise apparel.  Furthermore, Lulu Lemon was born out of the owner’s inspirational experiences performing yoga; a sport that combines spirituality and athleticism.  This combination of exercise as a spiritual experience as well as for health purposes has translated into how lulu lemon markets their clothing.  Lulu Lemon’s philosophy seems to go hand in hand with several qualities of High Cultural Capital individuals.  Cultural Capital is defined as “sedimented knowledge and competence required to make distinctions and value judgments.”   Furthermore, having cultural capital gives one access to that cultural class.  The products I have selected from lulu lemon are typical products purchased by a High Cultural Capital individual.  Aside from the high price of the products, one way in which these items show High Cultural Capital consumption is that there is a value on formal aesthetics rather than material aesthetics.  For instance, some of the clothes such as the sweatband are not necessarily made out of the best moisture absorbent material, but I selected the sweatband based on the aesthetic qualities.  In addition, the products are also indicative of high cultural capital because they stress individuality, aesthetics, and emphasize leisure as self-actualization.  Furthermore, the products toy with the idea of use value versus exchange value.  Specifically, while the leggings and the other pieces of apparel probably have the same use value as exercise gear from a non-famous brand, consumers are willing to pay the higher price because they are lulu lemon branded clothes.  What makes these products and lulu lemon, as a brand unique is that they target a specific lifestyle; in my case, the products I selected fit within my lifestyle framework of spinning.  Furthermore, by buying the lulu lemon products I’m buying into a lifestyle, community, identity and culture.  This concept is similar to what de Certeau claimed when he said, “secondary production hidden in the process of its [an object’s] utilization.” These products play into Marx’s idea of commodity fetishism and the ritual acts of consumption.  Commodity fetishism is “ over-investing emotionally in the importance of a commodity.”  Exercising is no longer just about the act of getting in shape and staying healthy; there is now commodity fetishism with athletic attire because consumers today have placed extraordinary value on their appearance.  These products represent more than just work out gear, they represent “looking good and feeling good.”  Therefore, the act of consuming stylish exercise apparel has become part of the ritualized routine of getting prepared to exercise.  Furthermore, these products also play into the concept of aestheticization of everyday life.   Specifically, these upscale exercise products give aesthetic appeal to otherwise mundane everyday life activities such as going to the gym.  Overall, these products represent the ideal version of a healthy and fabulous lifestyle and the belief that consumption is the pathway to achieving one’s ideal cultural identity. 

 

 

 

Advertisements