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The spread of luxury culture amongst Kuwaiti women. Analysis of luxury brand development in Kuwait from the oil discovery until present

The spread of luxury culture amongst Kuwaiti women. Analysis of luxury brand development in Kuwait from the oil discovery until present
The spread of luxury culture amongst Kuwaiti women. Analysis of luxury brand development in Kuwait from the oil discovery until present
This research investigates the distinct characteristics of Kuwaiti heritage in the context of textile and fashion accessories. Moreover, it addresses how these characteristics can be used in the creation of new contemporary designs that reflect Kuwaiti women’s cultural identity at the current time and are perceived as luxury fashion. Luxury has always been associated with privileged and high-class people who use it as a tool to distinguish themselves from the public in any society. This has been practiced as far back as ancient civilisations such as the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks. In Kuwait, before the discovery and production of oil, Kuwaiti society was predominantly living in modesty and poverty, luxury being exclusive to merchants and the ruling family since they could afford it and, importantly, had access to it. Nowadays, a phenomenon exists, mostly among women in Kuwaiti society, in which women’s identity and social status are determined by the visible brands and luxury fashion logos they choose to wear. This research concentrates on the spread of luxury culture in Kuwait from the period just before the discovery of oil until the current time. Furthermore, the research investigates the relationship between the formation of cultural identity and luxury fashion brands within the context of Kuwait. The purpose of this study is to investigate the main factors and events that have a significant impact on Kuwaiti women’s tendency towards the acquisition of Western luxury fashion brands. In addition, it aims to identify the factors that have remarkably contributed to changing the perception of luxury in Kuwaiti society, in order to understand the relationship between luxury and the formation of cultural identity. The researcher uses interviews as the main method for data collection and deploys observation, analysis of visual evidences and participation as supporting methods. Moreover, the chosen strategy is mainly employed in the form of a case study and action research. This study found that there is usually a model for the spread of luxury culture in any society. Kuwait passed through a number of phases in that model within almost 75 years. Currently, Kuwaiti women are recognizing the concept of luxury fashion through their access to Western luxury brands. They wear luxury fashion brands as a means of defining their social position in society, demonstrating that they are economically capable of purchasing expensive fashion labels. However, they are defining their cultural identity through other aspects than fashion. Moreover, both cultural identity and perception of luxury are constantly changing and are influenced and shaped by the surrounding dynamic environment.
Jafar, Muna
6abf2dd6-f71f-4304-98f5-4642a5014766
Jafar, Muna
6abf2dd6-f71f-4304-98f5-4642a5014766
MAKHOUL, BASHIR
3690b0b3-7263-42c5-97b1-cbf7af82e388

(2013) The spread of luxury culture amongst Kuwaiti women. Analysis of luxury brand development in Kuwait from the oil discovery until present. University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art, Doctoral Thesis, 306pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This research investigates the distinct characteristics of Kuwaiti heritage in the context of textile and fashion accessories. Moreover, it addresses how these characteristics can be used in the creation of new contemporary designs that reflect Kuwaiti women’s cultural identity at the current time and are perceived as luxury fashion. Luxury has always been associated with privileged and high-class people who use it as a tool to distinguish themselves from the public in any society. This has been practiced as far back as ancient civilisations such as the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks. In Kuwait, before the discovery and production of oil, Kuwaiti society was predominantly living in modesty and poverty, luxury being exclusive to merchants and the ruling family since they could afford it and, importantly, had access to it. Nowadays, a phenomenon exists, mostly among women in Kuwaiti society, in which women’s identity and social status are determined by the visible brands and luxury fashion logos they choose to wear. This research concentrates on the spread of luxury culture in Kuwait from the period just before the discovery of oil until the current time. Furthermore, the research investigates the relationship between the formation of cultural identity and luxury fashion brands within the context of Kuwait. The purpose of this study is to investigate the main factors and events that have a significant impact on Kuwaiti women’s tendency towards the acquisition of Western luxury fashion brands. In addition, it aims to identify the factors that have remarkably contributed to changing the perception of luxury in Kuwaiti society, in order to understand the relationship between luxury and the formation of cultural identity. The researcher uses interviews as the main method for data collection and deploys observation, analysis of visual evidences and participation as supporting methods. Moreover, the chosen strategy is mainly employed in the form of a case study and action research. This study found that there is usually a model for the spread of luxury culture in any society. Kuwait passed through a number of phases in that model within almost 75 years. Currently, Kuwaiti women are recognizing the concept of luxury fashion through their access to Western luxury brands. They wear luxury fashion brands as a means of defining their social position in society, demonstrating that they are economically capable of purchasing expensive fashion labels. However, they are defining their cultural identity through other aspects than fashion. Moreover, both cultural identity and perception of luxury are constantly changing and are influenced and shaped by the surrounding dynamic environment.

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Published date: February 2013
Organisations: University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art

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Local EPrints ID: 355431
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/355431
PURE UUID: 3959c29e-019d-4e6c-9c70-f7dc1353a34f

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Date deposited: 11 Nov 2013 13:38
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 03:47

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