Serpica Naro
Precarity in the fashion system
in Precarious objects
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This chapter focuses on fashion design in the context of precarity, drawing from literature on creative labour and Milan as a fashion city. It does so by exploring the making of the fictitious fashion designer Serpica Naro, and of Serpica Naro’s sophisticated intervention in the guise of a fashion show at Milan Fashion Week 2005. The analysis is threefold: first it builds on the literature on the tradition of tactical media, guerrilla communication and multiple-use naming to connect making practices to other genealogies of cultural activism. Second, drawing on literature on biopolitics, this chapter provides a discussion of Serpica Naro’s collection in reference to precarity as an embodied, everyday experience. Third, analysing the activists’ archive, it investigates the theoretical production of Serpica Naro as a social medium: a medium that produces relations and subjectivities, and as a ‘metabrand’, or an open-source brand. The chapter argues that the significance and power of Serpica Naro goes beyond the value of the hoax, disruption and creative conflict produced by their intervention in Milan Fashion Week. Instead, the chapter argues, its significance lies in the articulation of the geometry of power engendered by Fashion Week and of the crucial role of precarious workers in it, and in the critical reconfiguration of the flows of goods and imaginaries generated by Fashion Week.

Precarious objects

Activism and design in Italy


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