The Most Beautiful Job in the World: Lifting the Veil on the Fashion Industry (Paperback)
  • The Most Beautiful Job in the World: Lifting the Veil on the Fashion Industry (Paperback)
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The Most Beautiful Job in the World: Lifting the Veil on the Fashion Industry (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
£19.99
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 06/08/2020
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"A powerful expose of Parisian haute couture" - Book of the Week, Times Higher Education Fashion is one of the most powerful industries in the world, accounting for 6% of global consumption and growing steadily. Since the 1980s and the birth of the neoliberal economy, it has emerged as the glittering face of capitalism, bringing together prestige, power and beauty and occupying a central place in media and consumer fantasies. Yet the fashion industry, which claims to offer highly desirable job opportunities, relies significantly on job instability, not just in outsourced garment production but at the very heart of its creative production of luxury. Based on an in-depth investigation involving stylists, models, designers, hairdressers, make-up artists, photographers and interns, anthropologist Giulia Mensitieri goes behind fashion's glamorous facade to explore the lived realities of working in the industry. This challenging book lays bare the working conditions of 'the most beautiful job in the world,' showing that exploitation isn't confined to sweatshops abroad or sexual harassment of models, but exists at the very heart of the powerful symbolic and economic centre of fashion.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781350110168
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 378 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
[The book's] arguments are compelling. Mensitieri skilfully shows how fashion thrives on its own image of inaccessible glamour: not just selling aspirational fantasy via luxury goods, but also taking advantage of those who produce and help to sell these goods by making them feel "lucky to be here" in this world of dream-making. * British Vogue *
Mensitieri's book is a meticulously researched ethnographic study of the immaterial production of fashion ... Although fashion is its main focus, Mensitieri's book also cleverly turns its critical lens on other fields of supposedly creative endeavour - including academia - where a similarly precarious workforce props up an industry based on constant flexibility, blurred boundaries between work and life, and the promise of a fulfilling career. It is no wonder that it has troubled the French fashion industry. It should. * Times Higher Education *
A fascinating insiders' account of fashion. * Stylist *
It's no secret that the fashion world is only beautiful from a distance. [This book] provides substance and critical context to the truism. The findings are rivetingly awful ... Mensitieri's academic approach and deeper analysis stop the book from simply being a scathing tell-all or a cheap dig at terrible people who have no self-awareness. The point she makes in her wider analysis can just as easily be applied to most of the jobs across all the arts, media and culture sectors. * Bidisha, British broadcaster, critic and journalist *
Studded with lucid and chilling vignettes that will stick in your memory, Mensitieri's book is a remarkable analysis of how creative capitalism persuades people to work for nothing in the glamor industry, and why their poverty is anything but passionate. * Andrew Ross, New York University, USA *
A riveting and revelatory expose, The Most Beautiful Job takes us behind-the-scenes of fashion's phantasmagoria to highlight the precarious, oft-exploited workforce propelling the fashion industry. Mensitieri is a deft researcher, masterful storyteller, and astute critic of contemporary capitalism. Her account is a must-read for anyone interested in the harsh realities of the creative economy. * Brooke Erin Duffy, Cornell University, USA *
Marshalling interviews, observations, and history, Mensitieri's portrayal of the underbelly of Parisian fashion labor delivers a devastating critique of the brutal exploitation behind some of the world's biggest fashion houses; this is a bold critique of creative jobs under late capitalism. * Ashley Mears, Boston University, USA *

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