Norwegian version of this page

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.

Events and activities

89th ACFAS Congress

La mode, un instrument d’influence pour la diplomatie : L’exemple français du plan d’aide à la couture des années 1960 et 1970

May 9-13, 2022

Read more about the talk (, in French)

Video of the talk (Vimeo, in French)

Creative IPR International Conference

February 17, 2022

Roundtable with Audrey Millet and Professor Véronique Pouillard

Read the abstract: Fashion’s Symbolic Value in Question: Dematerialization, Intellectual Property and Capitalism

"Qu'est-ce que la mode ?" Podcast

December 20, 2021

Go to the podcast: "La mode et la diplomatie française" (

FASHION IN IR Online Workshop: Fashion and Diplomacy

December 2-3, 2021

Read more about the workshop.

New Diplomatic History Podcasts

November 26, 2021

Go to the podcast "Fashion, Diplomacy and IR" (

48th Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History

Panel "French History as Global History?" – The 1967-81 Aid-to-Couture Plan: French Fashion's Transnational Influence Bolstering France's Commercial Diplomacy.

October 28, 2021

Read more about the event (

2nd World Congress of Business History

Session A02: The Dematerialization of Fashion: Growing Diplomatic Fascination and Waning Textile Interest for Haute Couture in France, 1950s-1960s.

September 9, 2021

Read more about the congress (

Creative IPR Seminar

La mode française. Vecteur d’influence aux États-Unis (1946-1960)

May 10, 2021

Read more about the seminar

2021 Business History Conference Virtual Meeting

The Decoupling of the French Textile Industry and Haute Couture in the 1950s and 1960s

March 13, 2021

Read the abstract ( 

McCord Museum Public Lecture

Christian Dior: Couture and Diplomacy

February 17, 2021

Read more about the lecture (musee-mccord.qc) 

Video of the lecture (YouTube, in French)

Published Sep. 22, 2020 8:22 AM - Last modified May 4, 2022 4:37 PM