This chapter offers a definition of “Marketing” and “Fashion Marketing” and then dives into the history of advertising. It gives an overview of the history of advertising, taking it forward to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The chapter illustrates that the origin of modern day consumerism is a direct result of the industrial revolution, overproduction of goods and encouragement of the masses to become active consumers. As this chapter shows, up until the dawn of factory-produced goods, consumption was limited to what people needed and of course, what they could afford. From the middle of the nineteenth century onwards, prices fell due to cheaper production possibilities and people increased the frequency of purchases. Goods became available far away from their production origin due to transportation and awareness of the goods was increased thanks to advertising strategies and new communication channels.

Advertising was the key in getting a vital message out to the potential consumers about all the manufacturers and brands, encouraging a higher level of consumption, creating distinction and trust. This helped to re-establish a balance of increased supply and increased demand.

The industrialization of nations, and the invention of mass media opened pathways for reaching broader masses quicker, more directly and more effectively than ever before. Radio advertising was one of the advertising channels which helped to send a message to customers instantaneously. This particular example of the first half of the twentieth century is still applicable today: first the brand must select the right media channel through which the target audience can be reached most effectively. Such as the case with the Old Man’s Adler’s Elevator shoes and the Yiddish Radio Project, as demonstrated in a short case example of targeted radio advertising.

The USA is explored as pioneers of advertising and mass communication, employing highly skilled psychologists who transferred their theories to marketing practice, such as Walter Dill Scott, Edward Bernays, Ernest Dichter, Neil Borden and Jerome McCarthy, Ivy Lee, Elmo Lewis and Abraham Maslow. Their ingenious inventions such as the Marketing Mix are used in marketing even decades later and became the foundation of modern marketing and communication practice. At the end of the nineteenth century and in the first decades of the twentieth century numerous advertising associations were formed, many of which are still active now. The De Beers case example shines light on how early advertising could have great influence on consumers. Furthermore, the chapter juxtaposes various media when it was first used for mass communication today, when all but the silent film are still in use.

The chapter closes with ethical questions and considerations regarding the content. Arguably, some experts believe that the true problems of today’s fashion industry lie in our long-standing habit of consuming since the industrial revolution, causing global problems such as pollution, production controversies and waste on land and in oceans. In most developed countries we are now used to fashion consumption as a learned behaviour, difficult if not impossible to unlearn.