“A powerful exposé of Parisian haute couture” – Book of the Week, Times Higher Education
Fashion is one of the most powerful industries in the world, accounting for 6% of global consumption and growing steadily. Since the 1980s and the birth of the neoliberal economy, it has emerged as the glittering face of capitalism, bringing together prestige, power and beauty and occupying a central place in media and consumer fantasies. Yet the fashion industry, which claims to offer highly desirable job opportunities, relies significantly on job instability, not just in outsourced garment production but at the very heart of its creative production of luxury.
Based on an in-depth investigation involving stylists, models, designers, hairdressers, make-up artists, photographers and interns, anthropologist Giulia Mensitieri goes behind fashion’s glamorous facade to explore the lived realities of working in the industry. This challenging book lays bare the working conditions of ‘the most beautiful job in the world,’ showing that exploitation isn’t confined to sweatshops abroad or sexual harassment of models, but exists at the very heart of the powerful symbolic and economic centre of fashion.