Buying abroad, selling in Paris
The 1953 Italian fair at Galeries Lafayette
in European fashion
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Drawing on the archives of the Galeries Lafayette, this chapter presents a case study of the 1953 Italian fair, a commercial event offering Parisian customers the very best Italian imports, from food to textiles. The case study allows us to assess the extent of influence on the French department store of American management practices and the building of a new European commercial network. This case study of the 1953 Galeries Lafayette Italian fair is a suitable starting-point for the historical study of those fashion professionals working behind the scenes. In addition, the chapter covers the post 1945 period, a less thoroughly researched moment in the historiography of retailing. It offers an opportunity to respond to the call of Victoria de Grazia, who underlined that 'the evolution of modern systems of distribution is astonishingly understudied'. The success of R. H. Macy's Italian promotion had a powerful impact on Galeries Lafayette.

European fashion

The creation of a global industry

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