Robert Gordon University, UK
Scottish style: The construction of national identity and place amongst Scottish fashion influencers on Instagram
This paper explores the phenomenon of personal style as an expression of national identity by investigating the construction of Scottish identity amongst fashion influencers on Instagram. Instagram is recognised as an example of visual media that has been embraced by the fashion industry and one that lends itself to the communication of place.
The paper adopts a novel photo-interview approach, building on the work of others in the fields of visual analysis and qualitative research. Participant influencers were asked to select and discuss a sample of their own Instagram posts that they felt represented their identity as a Scottish fashion influencer. These posts were subject to further interpretation and new meanings around Scottish identity and fashion were uncovered, including: the use of historic settings and landscapes as a backdrop for outfit posts, expanding the traditional definition of street style; a preference for autumn-winter styles; and a relationship between belonging to a place and personal style.
Scottish identity was important to the participants in this study and something they felt made them stand out within the increasingly crowded realm of fashion influencers online.