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    Fontana, Giovanni Luigi and Miranda, José Antonio 2016. The business of fashion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Investigaciones de Historia Económica - Economic History Research, Vol. 12, Issue. 2, p. 68.

    Perner, Petra 2016. 2016 30th International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications Workshops (WAINA). p. 790.

    Jonathan Morris, Prof. and Belfanti, Carlo Marco 2015. History as an intangible asset for the Italian fashion business (1950-1954). Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 7, Issue. 1, p. 74.

    Merlo, Elisabetta 2015. When fashion met industry. Biki and Gruppo Finanziario Tessile (1957–72). Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Vol. 20, Issue. 1, p. 92.

    Tokatli, Nebahat 2014. ‘Made in Italy? Who cares!’ Prada’s new economic geography. Geoforum, Vol. 54, p. 1.

    Catalan, J. and Ramon-Munoz, R. 2013. Marshall in Iberia. Industrial Districts and Leading Firms in the Creation of Competitive Advantage in Fashion Products. Enterprise and Society, Vol. 14, Issue. 2, p. 327.

    Pouillard, Veronique 2013. Keeping designs and brands authentic: the resurgence of the post-war French fashion business under the challenge of US mass production. European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire, Vol. 20, Issue. 5, p. 815.

    Wenting, R. and Frenken, K. 2011. Firm entry and institutional lock-in: an organizational ecology analysis of the global fashion design industry. Industrial and Corporate Change, Vol. 20, Issue. 4, p. 1031.

    Wenting, R. 2008. Spinoff dynamics and the spatial formation of the fashion design industry, 1858-2005. Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 8, Issue. 5, p. 593.


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

  • Elisabetta Merlo (a1) and Francesca Polese (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 13 December 2011

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.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Yuniya Kawamura , The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion (Oxford, 2004)

Angela McRobbie , British Fashion Design: Rag Trade or Image Industry? (London, 1998)

Nancy L. Green , Ready-to-Wear and Ready-to-Work: A Century of Industry and Immigrants in Paris and New York (Durham, N.C., 1997)

Norma Rantisi , “The Ascendance of New York Fashion,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 28 (Mar. 2004): 86106

Norma Rantisi , “The Local Innovation System as a Source of ‘Variety’: Openness and Adaptability in New York City's Garment District,” Regional Studies 36 (2002): 587602

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Business History Review
  • ISSN: 0007-6805
  • EISSN: 2044-768X
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