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Turning Fashion into Business: The Emergence of Milan as an International Fashion Hub

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  • Merlo, Elisabetta
  • Polese, Francesca

Abstract

The Italian fashion industry rose to a position of international prominence in the second half of the twentieth century. An important factor in the sector's global success was the opening up of the international, particularly the American, markets. The changes that occurred within the fashion industry after World War II, most critically the end of the Parisian monopoly, offered opportunities that were exploited differently by the various competitors. While cities like London and New York managed to promote themselves as alternatives to Paris, Italy was initially unable to create a single fashion capital. Florence, Rome, and Milan felt themselves equally entitled to become the staging ground for Italian fashion production, but Milan, benefiting from certain features of its productive structure, eventually emerged as the winner. The city's success was based on a long, steady accumulation of resources and the ability to harness its creative and managerial capabilities. The result was Milan's emergence as a fashion “superstar” in the 1970s.

Suggested Citation

  • Merlo, Elisabetta & Polese, Francesca, 2006. "Turning Fashion into Business: The Emergence of Milan as an International Fashion Hub," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(03), pages 415-447, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:buhirw:v:80:y:2006:i:03:p:415-447_03
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    Cited by:

    1. Rik Wenting & Koen Frenken, 2011. "Firm entry and institutional lock-in: an organizational ecology analysis of the global fashion design industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(4), pages 1031-1048, August.
    2. Bellandi, Marco & De Propris , Lisa, 2015. "Three Generations of Industrial districts," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 32, pages 75-87.
    3. Rafael Boix Domenech & Luciana Lazzeretti & José Luis Hervàs Oliver & Blanca De Miguel Molina & Borja Trujillo Ruiz, 2011. "Creative clusters in Europe: a microdata approach," ERSA conference papers ersa11p471, European Regional Science Association.

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