What is the price of beauty?
This was the principal question of the much-acclaimed book „Pricing beauty“ (Berkeley, 2011) by Prof. Ashley Mears, PhD, Dept. of Sociology, Boston University. Invited by MD.H Berlin’s Dept. of Fashion Management, Prof. Mears held a lecture on that topic, focusing the question of taste and beauty in a cultural production market, the balance between money and art in fashion, and how „incipient taste“ happens in a market characterized by uncertainty. So-called „winner-take-all“ markets mark one part of fashion modeling, characterized by the front pages of glamour magazines and runway shows of Haute Couture and Designers‘ fashion. But on the other part are the catalogue models who represent a more common ideal of beauty within everybody’s reach, also earning serious money on a more constant level. The differences mark a highly volatile but extremely attracting market for young people. A market which is also teaching them about value the hard way. Why this market is and will stay exactly that way, despite all online forums, was another main point of the insightful and entertaining lecture in Berlin.