Arlesa Shephard, assistant professor of fashion and textile technology, served as lead researcher on a study of Hispanics and their attitude toward fashion while teaching at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Since coming to Buffalo State in 2012, Shephard has presented her research at three conferences and documented it for an article that recently appeared in an academic journal.
Her findings also were included in a June 24 article in the online publication Latin Times.
In 2010, Shephard and two colleagues from the University of North Texas surveyed more than 450 students on their respective campuses about shopping behavior and how they prioritized fashion.
"This is right after the 2010 Census came out showing the incredible growth within the Hispanic population," she said. "We realized they represent a viable consumer market that hadn't received much attention before."
Their research revealed that Latinos tend to be fashion leaders and enjoy shopping more than their Caucasian peers. Also, both male and female Hispanic consumers are generally fashion conscious and spend a greater portion of their income on clothes than do other races.
“Although Hispanics tend to be collectivists who are family-oriented and embrace their heritage, they also want to assimilate into the U.S. culture,” Shephard said. “Displaying the newest fashions is a way for Hispanics to show that they belong in the U.S.”