Counterculture Couture: A Semiotic Analysis Of Hot Topic

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Counterculture Couture: A Semiotic Analysis of Hot Topic In this day in age, many teenagers and young adults do not want to fit in. They want to find a way to express their individuality and differences, and one of the most common ways to express yourself is through clothing. In Anne Norton’s “The Signs of Shopping” she argues, “it is the source of those commodities through which we speak of our identities, our opinions, our desires” (88). What Norton is saying, that your choice in clothes represents who you are as a person and what you believe in. Hot Topic is arguably one of the most popular alternative clothing stores with 642 locations. Hot Topic sells a variety of different clothing geared specifically for teenagers to young adults through…show more content…
The company thrives on the fact that most teenagers and young adults have an ideation to stand out amongst their peers. The consumers of Hot Topic buy from them because their clothes represent an identity that is against popular culture. In Thomas Frank’s “Commodify Your Dissent” he says, “consumerism is no longer about “conformity” but about “difference” (153). In other words, Frank is saying that nobody wants to be the same as everybody else, so we are all trying to be different which is what teens and young adults think when they shop at Hot…show more content…
The commodities that Hot Topic sells that makes them so different are part of their Hot Topic Fashion. Some examples of their fashion collections are, Come As You Are, Retro, All Dolled Up, Gothic Romance, and Ready to Role. The Come As You Are collection features items such as plaid, ripped jeans, and acid washed denim. These clothes create an identity that can be defined as edgy and 90’s grunge. All Dolled Up features pastel colored headbands, bows, and skirts. Different from the preceding collection, these commodities represent a girly, cute, and fun identity. The collection, Ready to Role, features items such as costumes and props of characters from movies, video games, TV shows, and comic books. Again, these items promote an identity different from the aforementioned. Although all these identities are different, they all have one thing in common: they are not mainstream identities. As previously stated, Hot Topic thrives on the ideation to stand amongst their peers. That’s why the company offers so many forms of identities they can sell. Hot Topic’s fashion is letting teens and young adults express themselves how they want, whether they’re buying a pair of ripped jeans, a flower crown, or a band

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