How has Paris, the world's fashion capital, influenced Milan, New York, and Tokyo? When did the Marlboro Man become a symbol of American masculinity? Why do Americans love to dress down in high-tech Lycra fabrics, while they wax nostalgic for quaint, old-fashioned Victorian cottages?
Fashion icons and failures have long captivated the general public, but few scholars have examined the historical role of business and commerce in creating the international market for style goods. Producing Fashion is a groundbreaking collection of original essays that shows how economic institutions in Europe and North America laid the foundation for the global fashion system and sustained it commercially through the mechanisms of advertising, licensing, marketing, publishing, and retailing.
The collection reveals how public and private institutions-from government censors in imperial Russia to large corporations in the United States-worked to shape fashion, style, and taste with varying degrees of success. Fourteen contributors draw on original research and fresh insight into the producers of fashion-advertising agents, architects, corporate executives, department stores, designers, editors, government officials, hairdressers, haute couturiers, and Web retailers-in their bid for influence, acclaim, and shoppers' dollars.
Producing Fashion looks to the past, revealing the rationale behind style choices, while explaining how the interplay of custom, invented traditions, and sales imperatives continue to drive innovation in the fashion industries.
Regina Lee Blaszczyk is Professor of Business History and Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society at the University of Leeds. Her books include the award-winning Imagining Consumers: Design and Innovation from Wedgwood to Corning and Major Problems in American Business History: Documents and Essays.