Chinese Remake the “Made in Italy” Fashion Label

An influx of Chinese to Prato transformed the Italian city into a center of low-end garment manufacturing. Trading in on the cachet of “Made in Italy,” Chinese firms increasingly connect to global production chains, quickly and cheaply meeting changing tastes, creating the “fast fashion” now so popular in Europe. Throughout Prato, new signs and specialty stores cater to the immigrants. Organized crime is rampant among new and old. Job competition between Chinese and Italians and criticism of Chinese remittances propelled a conservative mayor into power, along with initiatives on preserving traditional values and stepping up raids of illegal businesses or immigrants. Concern about Prato’s fate extends across Italy, with even China’s ambassador acknowledging the conflict. Both Italians and Chinese bemoan the lack of an economic plan – yet that might require an attitude change in fickle consumers. Demanding the latest styles at the lowest prices, shoppers seek aura in labels. – YaleGlobal.

Chinese Remake the “Made in Italy” Fashion Label

Rachel Donadio
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gaia Pianigiani contributed reporting.

Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

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