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Free Content The power structure of the fashion industry: Fashion capitals, globalization and creativity

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Geography plays a crucial role in the fashion industry. For example, clothing brands are readily associated with specific countries and cities, and the apparel value chain is globalized in ways that have generated a lot of attention from social scientists, for example regarding outsourcing. In this article, the geographical perspective on fashion is extended and analysed through a power angle. In other words, the origins of the current ‘oligarchic’ structure of fashion - around New York, London, Milan and Paris - are explored in order to (1) better understand how power is shared in fashion; and (2) determine whether this structure actually has a future. More specifically, can the current fashion oligarchy make room for a fully democratized industry or a polyarchical structure that would include additional players, in Brazil, Russia, India or China among others?

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Keywords: fashion capitals; fashion industry; globalization; oligarchy; polyarchy; power

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: INSEAD, France

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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  • The International Journal of Fashion Studies is a scientific peer-reviewed journal that fosters the worldwide diffusion of Fashion Studies. Fashion Studies is an interdisciplinary field of research that has been producing an extensive repertoire of theories, analyses and enquiries.
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