Fatto in Italia: Refashioning Italy

Tiziana Ferrero-Regis


Abstract

This article discusses how the Made in Italy brand helped Italy to recover from economic recession in the 1980s, but also how it redefined the country's identity after the traumatic years of terrorism and especially after the murder of the Christian Democratic Party Secretary, Aldo Moro, at the hands of the Red Brigades. In this period cinema as a form of artistic achievement declined, while fashion and industrial design moved at the centre stage of economic and creative success. The rampant consumerism of the 1980s, fuelled by tax reforms that favoured a wider urban middle class, the retreat of unionism, the abandonment of collective bargaining in many industrial sectors, industrial restructuring with the consequent growth of black market economy in the provincial areas of the so-called Third Italy first and the South later, were all factors that contributed to a social and economic shift within Italy itself.
Commercial consumption, propagated by the proliferation of local commercial television networks, hedonism and a re-articulation of identity through appearance replaced the 1970s' political activism and ideological opposition to fashion. Ultimately, 'Made in Italy' was a multidimensional phenomenon that presented itself as a new cultural model for the country’s political tribes of the 1970s.

Keywords

Italy; fashion; made in Italy

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