Year of Publication



Undergraduate Education


Inspired by what drives someone to pursue fame STAR FEVER will explore this topic in the form of an apparel design collection for the fall-winter 2024 under the hypothetical JOSHUA MILLER brand. The project is structured to document the creative process of pulling inspiration from the quest for stardom in a way that’s easy to follow (Kieser et al, 2022). STAR FEVER consists of five sections: “Introduction,” “Theories of a Desire for Fame,” “Case Study – Lady Gaga,” “STAR FEVER,” and “Conclusion.” “Theories of a Desire for Fame” synthesizes research on fame, narcissism, and selfesteem instability to provide context for the ideas to be discussed in the case study. The section begins with the presentation of John Maltby et al.’s “Implicit theories of a desire fame” to derive the factors meaning derived through comparison with others, psychological vulnerability, and conceitedness as the most relevant factors worth exploring given the case study and subject of the project (Maltby et al., 2008). The work of Christopher Lasch, Mark Young & Drew Pinsky, and Lynne Carroll is then synthesized to define narcissism by having a negative self-concept that drives the narcissist to seek self-gratification in the form of self-supremacy over others, consequently, surrendering their self-esteem and self-perception to others (Carroll, 1987). Research connecting narcissism to celebrities and MBA students is explored as well. Then the impact on self-esteem instability and the drive for fame is analyzed through the work of Brown Amy Noser & Virgil Zeigler-Hill to suggest that the desire for fame may be caused by selfesteem instability because of fame’s potential ability to stabilize fleeting self-image. “Case Study – Lady Gaga” applies these ideas to Stefani Germanotta’s (Lady Gaga) pursuit of fame. The self-proclaimed “master in the art of fame” is a large inspiration to Miller and the core ideas on fame presented in The Fame and The Fame Monster function as the personal springboard of STAR FEVER (CBS News, 2011). The interviews are taken from three points in her early career that together document her before the success of "Just Dance”, during The Monster Ball Tour, and two months before the release of her magnum-opus Born This Way (Helligar, 2020). Through this connection, the goal is to establish to what degree Lady Gaga’s desire to rise to fame fits into the context of the presented psychological literature. The essay will end with a conclusion that summarizes the ideas presented, states future questions for research, and introduces the design component of the thesis. “STAR FEVER”, the central section of this project, opens by defining the brand profile, customer profile, fall-winter 2024 mood board, and fall-winter 2024 color palette before moving into specific designs. This component contains: eight designs presented in the form of research and development (R&D) pages containing garment descriptions, fabric descriptions, flat sketches, and croquis sketches; three technical packages (TPKs) containing detailed flat sketches, croquis sketches, colorways, bill of materials (BOMs), stitches & seams, and graded specs; and full collection illustrations. STAR FEVER then ends with a summary of the research presented, questions for future research, and a closing word from Miller in “Conclusion” to state the final message of the project. Miller hopes that the readers of this project will be left feeling affirmed in their selfworth.

Available for download on Thursday, May 14, 2026