chapter  28
10 Pages


An Urban Industry of Style
WithJennifer Craik

In this chapter I show that fashion is arguably the cultural industry that most typifies the mediated city, both historically and contemporaneously, because of its ability to communicate signs and symbols of social status and actions. The characteristics of the mediated city as simultaneously exhibiting linkages and cross-hatching between material (physical presence, urban form, and spatial layout) and symbolic (image, communicated branding, and social networks) formations fit the archetype of global fashion capitals. Despite the proliferation of fashion cities, the iconic four—Paris, London, New York, and Milan—remain the epitome of fashion capitals. Histories of the Paris and London fashion industries explore the dynamics of how these fashion cities developed: industrialization (mass production of apparel), new employment opportunities (factories, artisan crafts, retailing, advertising, media), migration (to cities), mercantile and consumerism (retail facilities and shopping, expenditure on goods), and world trade (import, export, outsourcing of production, travel, and tourism).