Over a two-year period, I photographed over 500 different brand labels sewn in the necklines of previously worn shirts that hung on the racks of thrift stores. The archive contains hundreds of contemporary brand names and collected garments in a study of language and location. The labels are read as texts of material culture, serving as commentary on contemporary thought. I was curious about how the choices in naming operate as a codex to recognizing how these small texts worn against the back of the neck serve as documents of social/cultural values.
The written research became my thesis for my master’s degree in Critical Studies and crossed critical theory, fashion theory and material cultural studies, situating the brand label as a site of cultural material, and social values in relation to the physical body. Like the label itself, the research intersects different fields like linguistics, consumer culture, economics, waste, religion and race.