‘In 1997 Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong died in Vietnam while making Nike trainers. She was struck in the heart by a piece of shrapnel that flew out of a sewing machine’ (McIntyre, 2006).
In August 2006 a 22 year old Uruguayan model died of heart failure, allegedly as a result of starvation, while participating in a fashion show during Fashion Week (BBC News, 2006).
In August 2008 the summer Olympic Games will be hosted by Beijing, China. The Olympic Games are the most effective international corporate marketing platform in the world (Playfair, 2008).
In September 2008, international Fashion Weeks will take place in Milan, Paris, New York and London.
What unites these seemingly unconnected events that span continents and decades, and speak of both death and celebration, the individual and the crowd, labour and leisure? The answer is the global significance of the fashion industry and the contradictions that lie at its heart.
Louise Crewe (2008) Ugly beautiful: counting the cost of the global fashion industry. Geography 93(1), 25-33
For a longer academic reading list, please see our blog post here.