The Most Beautiful Job in the World: Lifting the Veil on the Fashion Industry

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Bloomsbury Academic, Aug 6, 2020 - Design - 288 pages

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.

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About the author (2020)

Giulia Mensitieri has a doctorate in social anthropology and ethnology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, France. Her research focuses on globalisation, the transformations of work, and the coveted imaginary worlds produced by contemporary capitalism.

Natasha Lehrer is an award-winning writer and translator. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement and The Nation, and elsewhere. She has translated books by Nathalie Léger, Chantal Thomas, Georges Bataille, Robert Desnos, and the Dalai Lama, among others. She won a Rockower award for journalism in 2016, and in 2017 her co-translation (with Cécile Menon) of Suite for Barbara Loden, by Nathalie Léger, won the Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize.

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