European fashion

The creation of a global industry

The fashion industry has long been a particular victim of the borders between academic disciplines that have pursued their own agendas and employed their own language with minimum dialogue with outsiders. This book represents a sustained interdisciplinary and global assault on such artificial constraints which have constrained much research on the fashion industry in the past. Many historical studies have heavily focused on the ecosystems of Paris, Milan, New York, and other fashion hubs. It breaks new grounds as the authors trace the actors involved, from the luxury conglomerate LVMH to retailers, including the iconic Swedish firm H&M. The book also emphasizes the work of fashion professionals who worked behind-the-scenes as intermediaries: trendsetters, retail buyers, stylists, art directors, advertising executives, public relations agents, brand managers, and entrepreneurs. It examines the transition from the old system to the new in a series of case studies grouped around three major themes. The book deals with the transformation of Paris from a couture production centre to a creative hub for design and brand management. It examines the special role of retailers and retail brands in promoting European fashion, with reference to transnational exchanges between Europe, America, and the wider world. The book explores seminal developments in a select group of global fashion hubs on the European periphery or entirely outside of Europe, and their roles in critiquing the mainstream fashion system with heritage marketing, vintage aesthetics, ethical brands, and local styles.

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