The relation between clothes and identity is explored from the perspective of consumption and of fashion production. Both directions are illustrated by contemporary sociological debates, as well as by empirical data collected in the city of Milan through accounts, focus groups, and in-depth interviews. The decline of precise clothing distinctions anchored to social class and occupation corresponds to the fragmented nature of postmodern identity and the lack of shared models. An inquiry carried out on the clothing choices of young Milanese, some of them belonging to border-line metropolitan tribes, shows that clothing is considered as an opportunity for communicating a non-exclusive identity. This article also discusses social actors involved in fashion production, particularly small cultural businesses based in a neighborhood of Milan, in which well-rooted entrepreneurs maintain relationships based on mutual trust with their customers. In that case, clothes become a medium for a transfer of identity.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
- urban style