Abstract

This article identifies the way famous names mediated the relationship between US cultural insecurity and secure consumer behavior by reading Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes alongside US film branding and shopping guides to Europe. In Blondes, Loos establishes a new kind of value based on recognizable brand names such as Cartier and Ritz. Branding and franchising luxury goods resonated with a US desire to democratize high culture, with the effect of rewriting the grand tour narrative as a shopping expedition.

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