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Italian fashion business: Achievements and challenges (1970s-2000s)


  • Elisabetta Merlo


The article aims to provide a critical insight into the history of the Italian fashion business from the 1970s onwards by exploring a mix of sources including information provided by the industrial partners of fashion designers, articles published in the economic and financial press, and evidence collected from the main financial and economic databases. The analysis shows that although Italian ready-to-wear was extremely effective at meeting the new trends emerging in consumption patterns, Italian fashion companies have remained niche businesses compared to their French counterparts. The conclusions stress the contribution which business history can provide in explaining such a gap as well as the strategies pursued by fashion corporations.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisabetta Merlo, 2011. "Italian fashion business: Achievements and challenges (1970s-2000s)," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(3), pages 344-362.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:53:y:2011:i:3:p:344-362
    DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2011.565512

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