Anonymous tastemakers
The role of American buyers in establishing an Italian fashion industry, 1950–55
in European fashion
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By focusing on the role of the fashion buyer, this chapter confirms that, as had been the case for postwar Paris, the custom of North American buyers helped to develop Italy's nascent fashion system and place it firmly on the fashion map. Because a buyer's merchandise selections were the prism through which many North American women perceived European fashions and European style, the chapter places some emphasis on buyers' choices from the Italian seasonal offerings for the stores they worked for. It draws heavily upon the papers of Giovanni Battista Giorgini, held in the Archivio di Stato in Florence. The chapter also draws from the archives of the American department store chain I. Magnin, now held in the San Francisco Public Library. I. Magnin prided itself on the buying acumen of its staff. A surviving document, in the form of a television documentary transcript, explains I. Magnin's business approach.

European fashion

The creation of a global industry


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