Monday, March 14, 2011

Case Study on the Bobo Subculture and the Power They Achieve Through Fashion.

By Nicolle D'Onofrio

Bobos utilize typical subcultural fashion codes to unite and differentiate themselves from other subcultures. Their name, an abbreviation standing for Bourgeois Bohemian, indicates the various contradictions of the subculture. The “Bourgeoise” indicates the comfortably raised, well-educated, affluence of this subculture while the “Bohemian” points to the aforementioned subsistent artisan ideals.

Link to Video description of Bobo Fashion by France 24: Here

Similar to many subcultures, Bobo fashion, as a fashion genre, is “esoteric--something of a private code, a badge of identity even, among small urban cliques” (Sontag, 2). Two significant modes of fashion that are typically Bobo is bricolage included in a varying vintage fashion, and nationalistic pride displayed by wearing authentic French Berets. Popular french store colette offers an abundance of Bobo fashion, satisfying their need for exchange within “a real network”, whether it be an exchange of physical clothing, new trends, or even stylistic inspiration (Hebdige 154). These trends are all significant in creating what is authentic Bobo, creating a level of status through this authenticity.

Colette website featuring a variety of Bobo blogs and links.

Bobos are actively defining their culture, particularily as it relates to their fashion codes, by avidly mediating their cultural definitions. Blogs and Websites such as allow Bobos to become their own fashion authority figures, transforming their perceived status to true influential power. Because Bobo Fashion is clearly aligned with their Bourgeoise-Bohemian ideals, the adoption of Bobo trends may also signify the shifting of normal codes that usually align citizens to either leftist artists, or conservative and affluent professionals.

Bobo Images taken from

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