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Understanding the Role of Professional Organisations in Supporting the Development of the Creative Industries at the Local and Global Levels: Paris as the Global Node for the Fashion Industry (1973–2011).

Academic research

Understanding the Role of Professional Organisations in Supporting the Development of the Creative Industries at the Local and Global Levels: Paris as the Global Node for the Fashion Industry (1973–2011)

David Zajtmann

Building on Scott (The cultural economy of cities. Sage, London, 2000; Hum Geogr 92:115–130, 2010), this chapter examines in detail how local professional organisations can support the development of the creative industries both sectorally and spatially taking as an example the fashion and Haute Couture sector in Paris. Most firms in this luxury industry remain concentrated in a few capital cities across the world including Paris, London, New York and Milan. However, Paris remains the key fashion hub across the globe. Using the literature on meta-organisations (Ahrne G, Brunsson N, Meta-organisations. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham/Northampton, 2008), this chapter examines how the Fédération de la couture, du prêt-à-porter des couturiers et des créateurs de mode (Federation) – here considered as a meta-organisation and cultural intermediary – has supported the development of Haute Couture in Paris. Indeed, by staying open to newcomers and international brands and by integrating global sectoral dynamics, the Federation has been an important factor in sustaining Paris’ position in the high-end fashion industry globally. Simultaneously, Paris’ reputation and the city’s ability to attract the main professional buyers from the sector can explain the involvement of creative brands in its professional networks.

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