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Fashioning Globalisation: New Zealand Design, Working Women and the Cultural Economy

ISBN: 978-1-4443-3702-0
216 pages
August 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
Fashioning Globalisation: New Zealand Design, Working Women and the Cultural Economy (1444337025) cover image


Drastic changes in the career aspirations of women in the developed world have resulted in a new, globalised market for off-the-peg designer clothes created by independent artisans. This book reports on a phenomenon that seems to exemplify the twin imperatives of globalisation and female emancipation.
  • A major conceptual contribution to the literatures on globalisation, fashion and gender, analysing the ways in which women’s entry into the labour force over the past thirty years in the developed world has underpinned new forms of aestheticised production and consumption as well as the growth of ‘work-style’ businesses
  • A vital contribution to the burgeoning literature on culture and creative industries which often ignores the significant roles taken by women as entrepreneurs and designers rather than mere consumers
  • Introduces fashion scholars and economic geographers to a paradigmatic example of the new designer fashion industries emerging in a range of countries not traditionally associated with fashion
  • Takes a fresh perspective on an industry in which Third World garment workers have been the subject of exhaustive analysis but first world women have been largely ignored
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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Credits ix

Preface xi

Series Editors' Preface xiv

Acknowledgements xv

1 What We Saw and Why We Started this Project 1

2 Global Aspirations: Theorising the New Zealand Designer Fashion Industry 19

3 Policy for a New Economy: 'After Neoliberalism' and the Designer Fashion Industry 43
with Richard Le Heron and Nick Lewis

4 Cultivating Urbanity: Fashion in a Not-so-global City 69
with Alison Goodrum

5 Gendering the 'Virtuous Circle': Production, Mediation and Consumption in the Cultural Economy 99

6 Creating Global Subjects: The Pedagogy of Fashionability 125

7 Lifestyle or Workstyle? Female Entrepreneurs in New Zealand Designer Fashion 153

8 Conclusion: An Unlikely Success Story? 179

Index 191

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Author Information

Maureen Molloy is Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Auckland. Her work has focused on the relationships between academic ideas, policy contexts, and popular culture. Her most recent book is On Creating a Usable Culture: Margaret Mead and the Origins of American Cosmopolitanism (2008).

Wendy Larner is Professor of Human Geography and Sociology at the University of Bristol, UK. She is internationally recognized for her innovative scholarship on globalization, neoliberalism and governance, and has published in a wide range of international journals, and edited books across the social sciences.  She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and an Academician of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences.

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“Fashioning Globalisationprovides a comprehensive and fascinating view of an industry which provides new insights into the ways in which globalization proceeds and provides an alternative and authoritative account of the role of the fashion design industry in a globalising world.”  (New Zealand Geographer, 24 April 2015)

‘This is a wonderful and timely contribution to fashion scholarship and to cultural geography and sociology. The authors produce a highly original and meticulously researched account of the entrepreneurial activities of women fashion designer in New Zealand while also raising many issues about work and employment in this sector as a whole.’—Angela McRobbie, Professor of Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

‘In this path breaking book, Molloy and Larner weave a theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich account of gender and globalisation that captures the diverse forms of embodied subjectivity and work that characterise the global fashion industry. While previous studies of fashion emphasise first world consumers and third world workers, Molloy and Larner illustrate how globalisation has impacted the lives of female fashion designers in New Zealand, giving rise to new possibilities as well as constraints. They present a fascinating account of how a female-dominated creative industry gained a high profile within neoliberal policy-making circles in New Zealand, a story that illuminates the impossibility of separating the material and the symbolic, economy and culture, and production and consumption in an understanding of globalisation.’—Deborah Leslie, Professor of Geography, University of Toronto, Canada

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