Heroin Chic: The Fashion Phenomenon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heroin chic emerged in the 1990s as a high class fashion trend which appropriated visual imagery of heroin junkies and their environment into fashion photography. Eventually condemned as an immoral glorification of drug use with the potential to corrupt and destroy innocent youth, heroin chic ended amidst scandal and controversy. Issues concerning the exposure of the drug culture of the fashion industry, and its potential for creating an image of drug use as appealing and ‘cool’ for youth, pervaded editorials, columns and articles, with the majority of discussion focusing upon the concept that the corruption of the fashion industry and their unscrupulous morals for advertising was to blame. It can be demonstrated, however, that many of these perceptions and explanations for the fashion trend of heroin chic have questionable validity both in their structure and evidence and through their construction of a ‘moral panic’.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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