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Dematerialized fashion and French couture subsidy

Which role did fashion play in French international relations and its interaction with America and the Common Market in the 1960s and 1970s?

A globe.
Photo: Juliana Kozoski, Unsplash

About the project

This project aims to study the role of French women’s sartorial fashion in France’s international relations with a focus on both its interaction with the European Economic Community (EEC) and its influence on the American mass market during the 1960s and 1970s.

This approach is meant to open the fields of fashion history and international relations history to each other. This will be done through the analysis of the influence of women’s sartorial fashion on the American mass market as well as within the context of the EEC through the prism of the French authorities (industrial, governmental and diplomatic). This project brings the political perspective of international relations as a new approach to the study of the fashion industry.


The project seeks to understand why a program of aid to couture was renewed at the end of the 1960s when women’s sartorial fashion had evolved to favor ready-made garments by integrating the interest of States to the analysis of the multilayered influence of immaterial and material cultural products of the creative industries.

This is of crucial importance in a globalized world where businesses fight for market shares and where States subsidize strategic industries in order to give them an edge in penetrating foreign markets. The study of the influence of a State program to subvention a creative industry by integrating the analysis of new diplomatic data, is of importance in order to understand the extent of the States’ toolkit to gain competitive advantages for their national industries.

Published Sep. 22, 2020 8:22 AM - Last modified Dec. 20, 2021 2:16 PM