Abstract: Fashion and National Identity: Interactions between Italians and Chinese in the Global Fashion Industry

Simona Segre Reinach

Abstract

Although—or perhaps because—production may be transnational, having or not having a "national fashion" is fundamental to the success of brands operating in the contemporary market. In the interactions between Italians and Chinese who together make and sell fashion, the theme of national identity clearly emerges. The capacity to produce fashion (that is, a shared aesthetic) is an explicit, positive idea ("Italy has a fashion") or an implicit, negative one ("China does not have a fashion") that determines both the communication choice of "made in Italy" and the working and collaborative relations between Italians and Chinese at different levels in the design, production, and distribution of brands and products. The broadening of the Eurocentric vision has diminished the conviction that westerners have sole rights to fashion. A nation's capacity to create fashion (to be recognized as an "author country"), however, is part of a process of renegotiating hierarchies and roles according to the contexts and players concerned.

BEH On-Line Paper