Yajin Wang

Professor Wang received her Ph.D. in Marketing from the Carlson School of Management at University of Minnesota in 2015. Her research focuses on luxury brands and conspicuous consumption, and social/ interpersonal influence on consumer's behavior. Her research has been published in Journal of Consumer Research and Psychological Science, and has been covered in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, BBC News, FOX News, and CNN. She teaches consumer behavior in the undergraduate program.

De Beers Looking To Alter Diamond Industry – Again

SMITH BRAIN TRUST – De Beers once swore it would never debase itself by selling stones that had been grown in a lab.

Well, that was then.

Now, the global diamond magnate has launched Lightbox, its own line of lab-grown diamonds. It’s pricing them at a fraction of the going rate, in a move that could crush its key rivals in the market for synthetic gems and position the company to once again reshape how the world views the diamond.

Dolce & Gabbana's China Problem

SMITH BRAIN TRUST – Dolce & Gabbana is reeling from a self-inflicted scandal that seems unlikely to go away anytime soon.

The Italian fashion house was forced to cancel a highly anticipated runway show last month in Shanghai, amid social media backlash over an ad campaign that many deemed offensive to Chinese culture. The ad campaign, aimed at promoting the runway show, included video of an Asian woman trying unsuccessfully to use chopsticks to eat Italian foods like pizza and cannoli.

Why Fashion Week Still Matters

SMITH BRAIN TRUST – In an era of social media, where the internet brings far-flung places closer and makes location an almost secondary consideration, there is a week when being in the right place – New York City – still matters. It’s Fashion Week.

“It is precisely because of social media that Fashion Week has become so enduring,” says Yajin Wang, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

How J.Crew Can Weather the Rough Seas

J.Crew is battling some choppy seas. It's had 10 consecutive quarterly sales declines, two straight years of losses, and now the iconic, classic clothier is swimming in more than $2 billion in debt. Its longtime style maven and creative director Jenna Lyons is out, as is its once-celebrated CEO Mickey Drexler. It's paddling against unprecedented challenges from fast-fashion retailers and e-commerce competitors. And now as J.Crew looks to right its course, it's facing another crisis: an identity crisis. Read more...

Fearless Idea 26: Know the Power of Posh Labels

High-priced luxury handbags are sometimes referred to as “statement pieces,” and for at least some women, the statement they’re making is: “Don’t even try to take my man." For such women, luxury accessories, such as high-priced designer shoes and handbags, function as “a signaling system directed to other women who pose threats to their romantic relationships,” according to research from Smith School professor Yajin Wang. She found that a woman who felt the need to shield her mate from the affections of a rival often did so by seeking out and flaunting lavish possessions. Read more...

Victoria’s Secret Millennial Problem

Victoria's Secret models Stella Maxwell (L) and Romee StrijdCan Victoria's Secret get her groove back? Faced with fundamental shifts in customer preferences, rising online shopping and fading shopping-mall traffic, the queen of lingerie has reported a slowdown in sales and is cautioning that this year's revenues won't be among its perkiest. Now experts are wondering whether the brand will be able to bounce back. Smith School professors Jie Zhang and Yajin Wang say it won't be easy. Read more...


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