Hagley History Hangout: Fashion Capitals

In the course of the twentieth century, Italy succeeded in establishing itself as one of the world’s preeminent fashion capitals, despite the centuries-old predominance of Paris and London. This book traces the story of how this came to be, guiding readers through the major cultural and economic revolutions of twentieth-century Italy and how they shaped the consumption practices and material lives of everyday Italians. In the interview with Roger Horowitz, Executive Director of Hagley Center, Emanuela Scarpellini explores the economic and cultural changes that made it possible for Italian fashion to rise to world prominence in the 1960s and 1970s. She also uncovers the important role played by the DuPont Company in this process, using documents from the Hagley archives to show the company encouraged and promoted the use of synthetic fibers in clothes created by Italian designers.  

Emanuela Scarpellini is Professor of Modern History at the University of Milan, Italy. She is the author of several books, including Material Nation: A Consumer’s History of Modern Italy (2011) and Food and Foodways in Italy from 1861 to the Present (Palgrave, 2016). 

The audio-only version of this program is available on our podcast.

 Interview available at  https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-emanuela-scarpellini .

Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at  https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout