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Brilliance In Marketing: MoMA Showcases Iconic Fashion Brands in “Items: Is Fashion Modern?”

Iconic fashion brands appear in nearly every exhibit at the new MoMA exhibition Items: Is Fashion Modern? The American Marketing Association visited the Museum of Modern Art’s newest exhibition to see what brands DO belong in a museum…


00:00 Is fashion modern? Are brands art? The Museum of Modern Art aims to answer those questions in a new exhibition of garments and accessories, and the American Marketing Association New York is here to share some of the iconic designs in this much-anticipated show, that is wall-to-wall with well-known brands.

00:21 It’s been over 70 years since the MoMA’s last foray into fashion. Past curators just didn’t consider it art. A walk through this newly opened and ground-breaking exhibit, however, suggests they were wrong.

00:36 So move over Picasso and Van Gogh, and make space for Dockers khakis, Lululemon yoga pants, Snuglis and fanny packs. But that is not to say the exhibition is not without standards of cool like Ray Bans, Levis, a Prada backpack, and Calvin Klein briefs. Speaking of underwear, what about the life-changing WonderBra and Spanx.

01:03 And shoes! There are plenty of them on exhibit, from the commonplace flipflop to the anti-establishment Doc Martens. And you’ve got Converse All Stars and Nikes, Tevas, and Moon boots.

01:16 The MoMA presents each item within a context that includes function, style, technology, and cultural identity. From the luxury of the Hermes Birkin Bag to working-class Woolrich flannel shirt, from the fun of Lily Pulitzer to the politics of Colin Kapernick, the show is expansive, both historic and up-to-the-minute.

01:38 The 111 pieces in the exhibit were culled from hundreds of potential items; selected for the strength of design, pioneering use of materials, and cultural impact. It is impossible to tell the story of design without talking about fashion. Some brands do belong in a museum. And that’s brilliance in marketing.

Special thanks to producer Cary Munk.