chapter  8
Fashion design and technologies in a global context
Pages 17

Apparel is part of an economy of signs. It embodies cultural capital, as the result of design and marketing activities. It is also the fruit of technology and labor. Goods are linked to material culture changing over time and space and to the mobilization of technology changing over time and space. Or, to be more precise, the conditions of production and consumption are a refl ection of a specifi c capital formation at a given time. In this chapter the change from a Fordist/modernist mode of production and consumption to a post-Fordist/postmodern mode will be examined, using the analysis of David Harvey in his seminal work The Condition of Postmodernity, fi rst published in 1989. Goods are traded in a globalized economy, both as commodities and as brands. There is a clear spatial dimension to the diffusion of changes in product confi guration and meaning. There is also a spatial dimension to the localization of production. The two levels are not linked as international division of labor may differ between design and marketing on the one hand and production on the other. Evolution in the organization of production can be analyzed in the framework of the global value chain model (Gereffi 2001). In addition to examining the quantitative aspect of globalization, this chapter will also assess more qualitative changes in production in developing countries, which may enable processes that are not economically possible in developed countries.