European fashion

The creation of a global industry

Edited by Regina Lee Blaszczyk and Véronique Pouillard

European fashion


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2210-0
  • Pages: 344
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £35.00
  • Published Date: February 2018
  • BIC Category: Fashion & Textiles: Design, Fashion & Society, History Of Fashion, Art History, HISTORY / Social History, DESIGN / Fashion, Economics, finance, business & management / Economic history, Humanities / Social & cultural history
  • Series: Studies in Design and Material Culture


The period since 1945 has been a transformative era for the fashion industry. Over the course of seventy years, the fashion world has moved from celebrating the craftsmanship of haute couture to revelling in ever-changing fast-fashion. This volume examines the transition from the old system to the new in a series of case studies grouped around three major themes. Part I focuses on Paris as a creative hub, aiming to understand how the birthplace of haute couture adapted to late-twentieth-century developments. Part II considers the retailer's role in shaping taste, responding to consumer expectations and disseminating fashion merchandise. Part III looks to alternative visions of the European fashion system that have appeared in unexpected places. The volume is highly interdisciplinary, covering design history, cultural anthropology, ethnography, management studies and the cultural history of business.


'After World War II, fashion became more than a unique combination of art, luxury, intellectual property and media. It came to blend technology, ready-to-wear and the internationalisation of national creations. This book does a superb job of showing European fashion as a creative industry that connects design, purchasing and retail on a global scale. It puts fashion at the centre of a new understanding of innovation processes at large. The shift in customers, from women to men, upper to middle classes, and to places beyond "old" Europe has not altered the momentum of fashion, which continues to redefine taste and trends without homogenising society.'
Patrick Fridenson, Professor of International Business History, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris

'Small, medium and large. European fashion encompasses a broad, global swath of the fashion system, from haute couture to fast fashion, and explores the interconnectedness of trade, finance and style. It is a welcome addition to the fascinating cross-disciplinary literature on fashion history demonstrating the kaleidoscopic complexity of the subject. History proves one size does not fit all.'
Alexandra Palmer, Nora E. Vaughan Fashion Costume Senior Curator and Chair of the Veronika Gervers Research Fellowship in Textiles & Costume, Royal Ontario Museum

'The anthology provides a new insight into the history of fashion business and culture studies, proposing different angles of observation and a mix of various case studies [.] We can consider the book a successful first step in tracing a new pathway in fashion studies and a useful instrument for the research agenda of business history, marketing, management, and cultural history scholars interested in investigating the development of business and the culture of fashion.'
Valeria Pinchera, Business History (2018)

'This much-needed edited collection offers focused, authoritative chapters based on the case study model used in business history, with the crucial additional consideration of cultural analysis. It joins other volumes in Manchester's Studies in Design, a series of single-author books and edited collections that consider their subjects, ranging from eighteenth-century British chinoiserie to corporate landscape, in cultural context [.] Books such as this are important in deepening the field of fashion studies and widening its focus.'
Nancy Deihl, New York University, H-France Review, Vol. 19 (February 2019), No. 23

'This interdisciplinary book is a must for those who are researching areas such as design history, cultural anthology, ethnography, management studies, and business history. The case studies presented by the various authors show evidence of sound academic research.'
Dr. Lorraine Portelli, The Journal of Dress History, Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2019

'[European fashion] provides a new approach to the study of fashion history. Unlike most works in Fashion Studies, it delves into how creativity and the process of value were transmitted across generations and spread geographically [.] This interdisciplinary book is a must for those who are researching areas such as design history, cultural anthology, ethnography, management studies, and business history. The case studies presented by the various authors show evidence of sound academic research.'
Lorraine Portelli, The Journal of Dress History, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Spring 2019)


Foreword by Geoffrey Jones
1 Fashion as enterprise - Regina Lee Blaszczyk and Véronique Pouillard
Part I: Reinventing Paris fashion
2 Recasting Paris fashion: haute couture and design management in the postwar era - Véronique Pouillard
3 LVMH: storytelling and organizing creativity in luxury and fashion - Pierre-Yves Donzé and Ben Wubs
4 Reawakening the 'sleeping beauties' of haute couture: the case of Guy and Arnaud de Lummen - Johanna Zanon
Part II: International connections and the role of retailers
5 Buying abroad, selling in Paris: the 1953 Italian fair at Galeries Lafayette - Florence Brachet Champsaur
6 Anonymous tastemakers: the role of American buyers in establishing an Italian fashion industry, 1950-55 - Sonnet Stanfill
7 The rise and fall of European fashion at Filene's in Boston - Regina Lee Blaszczyk
8 H&M: how Swedish entrepreneurial culture and social values created fashion for everyone - Ingrid Giertz-Mårtenson
Part III: European fashion on the periphery
9 Competitiveness of the Japanese denim and jeans industry: the cases of Kaihara and Japan Blue, 1970-2015 - Rika Fujioka and Ben Wubs
10 Rhythms of production in Scottish textiles and fashion - Shiona Chillas, Melinda Grewar, and Barbara Townley
11 The 'ethical sell' in the Indian luxury fashion business - Tereza Kuldova
12 A bag of remembrance: a cultural biography of Red-White-Blue, from Hong Kong to Louis Vuitton - Wessie Ling


Regina Lee Blaszczyk is Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society, and Professor of Business History at the University of Leeds

Véronique Pouillard is Associate Professor in the History of Modern Europe at the Institute for Archaeology, Conservation, and History (IAKH) at the University of Oslo

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