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Competitive Dynamics of Southern California's Clothing Industry

Author

Listed:
  • Allen J. Scott

    (UCLA)

Abstract

A general outline of the functional and spatial characteristics of the clothing industry in Southern California is sketched out. Two important trends are noted: (a) the increasing design- and knowledge-intensive structure of the industry and (b) the marked increase in offshore subcontracting by local manufacturers that has occurred in recent years. The predicaments and promises of this situation are explored. Will the industry simply continue to lose its employment base in the region? Will it succeed in making the transition to the status of a major world center of fashion? I argue that the Southern California clothing industry is potentially capable of rising to the latter challenge, though it remains strongly over-shadowed by the New York industry in terms of both fashion significance and commercial reach, and it also retains strong elements of its traditional underbelly of sweatshops. I further argue that considerable effort needs to be invested in building social infrastructures to reinforce current positive trends in the industry. Given the right kinds of private and public responses, I submit that Southern California is capable of becoming an international fashion center on a par with New York, Paris, London, or Milan.

Suggested Citation

  • Allen J. Scott, 2005. "Competitive Dynamics of Southern California's Clothing Industry," Urban/Regional 0511015, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpur:0511015
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 20
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/urb/papers/0511/0511015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gereffi, Gary, 2000. "The transformation of the North American apparel industry: is NAFTA a curse or a blessing?," Desarrollo Productivo 84, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    2. Allen J. Scott, 1997. "The Cultural Economy of Cities," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 323-339, June.
    3. A J Scott & D P Angel, 1988. "The Global Assembly-Operations of US Semiconductor Firms: A Geographical Analysis," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 20(8), pages 1047-1067, August.
    4. Gereffi, Gary, 1999. "International trade and industrial upgrading in the apparel commodity chain," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 37-70, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rik Wenting & Oedzge Atzema & Koen Frenken, 2008. "Urban Amenities or Agglomeration Economies? Locational Behaviour and Entrepreneurial Success of Dutch Fashion Designers," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0803, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2008.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Apparel; agglomeration; outsourcing; industrial clusters;

    JEL classification:

    • R - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics

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