Femvertising and fast fashion: Feminist advertising or fauxminist marketing messages?

Francesca Sobande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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As part of the following commentary there is consideration of how the mainstreaming of ‘intersectional feminism’ is implicated in allegedly ‘feminist advertising’ by fast fashion brands H&M, Boohoo and Missguided, ultimately to generate profit. Feminist thought has involved critique of how capitalist systems are entangled with sexist structures that contribute to the subjugation of women (Davis 1981). Nevertheless, despite such contentions, the notion of what scholars such as Åkestam, Dahlen and Rosengren (2017) call ‘femvertising’ (feminist advertising), has recently emerged in marketing rhetoric and beyond. In this commentary, I argue that ultimately, such femvertising still upholds the profit-oriented idea that women must buy and consume certain products, in order to affirm themselves and the market-bound sense of ‘feminism’ that is being promoted. I explore the extent to which such marketing is reflective of a commitment to feminism, or is a false (fauxminist) attempt to convey a brand’s investment in women’s equality and empowerment. Through the analysis of advertisements of fast fashion brands I illustrate the ways in which feminist-coded content is effectively and ineffectively used, as well as discarded, as part of fast fashion marketing messages of inclusivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
JournalInternational Journal of Fashion Studies
Issue number1
Early online date30 Apr 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Apr 2019


  • branding
  • feminism
  • femvertising
  • marketing


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