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The global teen market has significant spending power and is an important factor in the world economy. However, little is known about the social motivations underlying attitudes toward luxury fashion brands during adolescence. This research investigates the social mechanisms underlying teenage attitudes toward luxury fashion brands in a cross-cultural context. In a study of 570 French and American adolescents, this research shows that both need for uniqueness and susceptibility to influence relate positively to attitudes toward luxury brands, and that fashion innovativeness mediates these relations. This research also shows that culture moderates these relations. Specifically, the mediated relations between need for uniqueness and luxury brand attitudes are stronger for American adolescents than for French adolescents. In contrast, the mediated relations between susceptibility to influence and luxury brand attitudes are stronger for French adolescents than for American adolescents. The results have implications for strategies luxury retailers develop for appealing to adolescents in different cultures.
5.1. Theoretical implications Although the topic of fashion innovativeness is important to consumer researchers, little empirical research has addressed fashion innovativeness during adolescence. Research on adolescent consumers is important because they are different from consumers in other age groups, both in the value they attach to their peer groups (assimilation) Fig. 1. Hypothesized mediated model and moderated mediation model. and their need to emerge as unique individuals (individuation). The findings presented here highlight that susceptibility to others' opinions is critical for teen fashion innovators, who apparently need to cultivate credibility by exerting their influence. Indeed, our findings show a positive relation between susceptibility to both normative and informational influence and fashion innovativeness, which is contrary to extant research with adults (cf. Clark & Goldsmith, 2006; Midgley & Dowling, 1978). These findings suggest that adolescents have a strong need to affiliate to others, to seek information from their peer group, to comply with the expectations of their friends, and to consistently demonstrate preferences that distinguish them from other groups (Gentina et al., 2013). Thus, adolescent fashion innovators exhibit both a need for assimilation typical of adolescent years and a tendency to deviate from norms. By behaving and dressing in accordance with personal standards, adolescents demonstrate the robustness of their personal identities, which increases the likelihood that others admire them (Gentina et al., 2013). Such assimilation interacts with the more commonly assumed individuation to empower consumer influence, which then predicts attitude toward luxury fashion brands.