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Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers (Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture) [Hardcover]

Regina Lee Blaszczyk
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

October 31, 2007 0812240375 978-0812240375

How has Paris, the world's fashion capital, influenced Milan, New York, and Tokyo? When did the Marlboro Man become a symbol of American masculinity? Why do Americans love to dress down in high-tech Lycra fabrics, while they wax nostalgic for quaint, old-fashioned Victorian cottages?

Fashion icons and failures have long captivated the general public, but few scholars have examined the historical role of business and commerce in creating the international market for style goods. Producing Fashion is a groundbreaking collection of original essays that shows how economic institutions in Europe and North America laid the foundation for the global fashion system and sustained it commercially through the mechanisms of advertising, licensing, marketing, publishing, and retailing.

The collection reveals how public and private institutions—from government censors in imperial Russia to large corporations in the United States—worked to shape fashion, style, and taste with varying degrees of success. Fourteen contributors draw on original research and fresh insight into the producers of fashion—advertising agents, architects, corporate executives, department stores, designers, editors, government officials, hairdressers, haute couturiers, and Web retailers—in their bid for influence, acclaim, and shoppers' dollars.

Producing Fashion looks to the past, revealing the rationale behind style choices, while explaining how the interplay of custom, invented traditions, and sales imperatives continue to drive innovation in the fashion industries.

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Editorial Reviews


"Producing Fashion takes readers on an international journey that acknowledges the preeminence of Paris haute couture but also includes stops in Russia, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, and the United States. The case studies, based on new original research, demonstrate the interplay between business enterprise and fashion."—Journal of American History

"Producing Fashion demonstrates the importance of studying fashion, very broadly defined, from the perspective of business history. Case studies from several countries and from various periods during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries show how 'fashion intermediaries' in the business world developed new products and styles that resonated with consumers. Combining historical methods with models from cultural studies and other social science disciplines, these studies provide new insights into the environments that facilitated product innovation, the dissemination of ideas in the marketplace, and factors leading to cooperation or resistance on the part of consumers."—Diana Crane, University of Pennsylvania

"At last, a collection of essays that considers fashion as both a commercial and a cultural phenomenon. Informed by recent approaches in the fields of business history, material culture studies, and the history of design, Producing Fashion offers a stimulating series of case studies that range from fashion magazines in Tzarist Russia to questions of taste in the contemporary American home. Anyone who has ever considered how and why fashionable trends emerge will find something of interest in its pages."—Christopher Breward, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

About the Author

Regina Lee Blaszczyk is Professor of Business History and Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society at the University of Leeds. Her books include the award-winning Imagining Consumers: Design and Innovation from Wedgwood to Corning and Major Problems in American Business History: Documents and Essays.

Product Details

  • Series: Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture
  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (October 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812240375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812240375
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 9.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,858,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Regina Lee Blaszczyk is Chair in the History of Business & Society in the School of History at the University of Leeds in the UK, and Associate Editor at the "Journal of Design History." Her research focuses on enterprise and consumer culture, on design and innovation in the creative economy, and on the chemical industries. She has published seven books, including "Imagining Consumers: Design and Innovation from Wedgwood to Corning," "Major Problems in American Business History: Essays and Documents," "Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers," "Rohm and Haas: A Century of Innovation," and "American Consumer Society, 1865-2005: From Hearth to HDTV." Her most recent book is "The Color Revolution," which is likeable on Facebook at TheColorRevolution.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Producing fashion December 31, 2010
From a perspective of business history, "Producing Fashion" is a very interesting collection of essays. However, be warned, that "fashion" here is loosely defined, encompassing topics such as the making of the "Marlboro Man", or the recent resurgence in the popularity of "Victorian housing". Nonetheless, the book offers a great range of insights into the origins of the industry and its evolution over time.

If you like reading business history, you'll enjoy this book.
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