Cultural heritage fashion branding in Asia

Eunju Ko, Seulgi Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

19 Citations (Scopus)


In "the century of culture," a current drift is toward utilizing cultural heritage branding. Cultural heritage brand referred to in this study means a brand with value proposition based on cultural heritage. As Asian cultures are gathering global focus amid ongoing trend of exoticism and the growth of Asian economies, there is more opportunity especially for Asian brands to benefit from cultural heritage branding. Also, the advantages of cultural heritage branding can benefit fashion brands, considering that designs of great importance in fashion brand's competitiveness can earn creativity and originality from cultural heritage. Therefore, this study (1) profiles cultural heritage fashion brands based on Asia: Japan, China, and Korea, (2) identifies components of cultural heritage fashion branding by comparative analysis, and (3) identifies characteristics in brand management strategy from the brands, and offer managerial implications for upcoming cultural heritage fashion brands. This study adopts a case study approach that focuses on Asian fashion brands; Issey Miyake (Japan), Shanghai Tang (China), and Damyeon designed by Lee Hye Soon (Korea). The analytical contents of this research include general profiles (i.e., brand history, brand philosophy and concept, and BI and visual representation), cultural heritage perspectives and brand management perspective (i.e., product, price, place, promotion, and brand extension). Most of the information was retrieved from multiple sources including books, academic papers, brand's annual report, brand official website, news articles, etc. Overall, this study shows cultural heritage fashion branding can be useful in distinctiveness in positioning and delivering brand value in depth, authenticity, and credibility for customers (Urde, 2007). The findings suggest some managerial as well as cultural heritage-related indications for upcoming cultural heritage fashion brands. Although common components of cultural heritage fashion branding (i.e., utilization of traditional prototype, emphasis on traditional fabric, and preservation of traditional craftsmanship) were drawn out, achieving optimal balance between tradition and modernity was found critical as well. Managerial guidelines include foreign brand naming, premium pricing, art-related promotions, and extension for a total lifestyle brand. In further research, the type of industry and different country-of-origins can be applied in order to extensively study about the issue of cultural heritage branding.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTourism Sensemaking
Subtitle of host publicationStrategies to Give Meaning to Experience
EditorsArch Woodside
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameAdvances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
ISSN (Print)1871-3173

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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