2009 was the annus horribilis for the Italian fashion industry, as all its components have scored negative performance. There are many reasons behind the crisis: some have affected the economy as a whole, take for instance the intense impact of the financial crisis on the real economy, others were strictly related to the fashion industry itself: saturation of traditional markets, growing competition from Asian countries, lack of government policies and absence of a legislation able to protect the "made in Italy". The key challenge therefore is how to overcome the crisis. Several strategies have been analyzed with a particular focus on the importance of networking, the legislative process of a law regulating the Made in Italy and, last but not least, the theoretical analysis of the concept of Made in Italy itself, considered as based on the ability of making and not simply on the making . It is therefore to combine the knowledge and technique (craftsmanship) to talent, creativity and research (the artistic side). It is a winning mix that represents the main Italian competitive advantage making its products stronger and stronger and able to compete on the global scenario. In order to understand the concrete meaning of craftsmanship, a case study has been deeply analyzed: Zanotti laboratory located in Legnano, a small town on the outskirt of Milan. This small productive unit can be considered representative of the Italian productive system as a whole as it is made mostly of small firms. The analysis of this symbolic production unit has shown that the ability of making has been the winner strategy to face every kind of crisis. The case study has also demonstrated the importance of the craftsmanship for medium and large companies as well, since small firms usually produce goods for big griffes. Moreover many top fashion companies, active on the global market, have focused their business and marketing strategies on the values of artistic craftsmanship, a tradition lasting centuries which has ensured a long lasting success. The analysis of Zanotti laboratory has also shown that export is important, but small and medium firms (and even big brands) are strongly linked to the internal market as well. Thus the winning strategy to overcome the crisis is to focus on the real competitive advantage of the Italian fashion system: the value of craftsmanship. But there may be some trouble ahead: the incredible values of the Italian tradition of craftsmanship are at stake as firms are facing a worrying lack of young people willing to learn artisanal skills and work in workshops. This fact could trigger a lethal crisis, a crisis of knowledge and skills. This would lead to the end of the Italian leadership in the global fashion system and the meaning of made in Italy would reduce simply to a mere geographical indication.

Meraviglia, L., FACING THE CRISIS: "CRAFTMANSHIP", THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OF THE ITALIAN FASHION SYSTEM, in Isabel Cantista, F. V. M. P. R. E. M. H. V. B. A. (ed.), Fashion in a global world, VidaEconomica, Porto 2011: 171- 192 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/33817]

FACING THE CRISIS: "CRAFTMANSHIP", THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OF THE ITALIAN FASHION SYSTEM

Meraviglia
2011

Abstract

2009 was the annus horribilis for the Italian fashion industry, as all its components have scored negative performance. There are many reasons behind the crisis: some have affected the economy as a whole, take for instance the intense impact of the financial crisis on the real economy, others were strictly related to the fashion industry itself: saturation of traditional markets, growing competition from Asian countries, lack of government policies and absence of a legislation able to protect the "made in Italy". The key challenge therefore is how to overcome the crisis. Several strategies have been analyzed with a particular focus on the importance of networking, the legislative process of a law regulating the Made in Italy and, last but not least, the theoretical analysis of the concept of Made in Italy itself, considered as based on the ability of making and not simply on the making . It is therefore to combine the knowledge and technique (craftsmanship) to talent, creativity and research (the artistic side). It is a winning mix that represents the main Italian competitive advantage making its products stronger and stronger and able to compete on the global scenario. In order to understand the concrete meaning of craftsmanship, a case study has been deeply analyzed: Zanotti laboratory located in Legnano, a small town on the outskirt of Milan. This small productive unit can be considered representative of the Italian productive system as a whole as it is made mostly of small firms. The analysis of this symbolic production unit has shown that the ability of making has been the winner strategy to face every kind of crisis. The case study has also demonstrated the importance of the craftsmanship for medium and large companies as well, since small firms usually produce goods for big griffes. Moreover many top fashion companies, active on the global market, have focused their business and marketing strategies on the values of artistic craftsmanship, a tradition lasting centuries which has ensured a long lasting success. The analysis of Zanotti laboratory has also shown that export is important, but small and medium firms (and even big brands) are strongly linked to the internal market as well. Thus the winning strategy to overcome the crisis is to focus on the real competitive advantage of the Italian fashion system: the value of craftsmanship. But there may be some trouble ahead: the incredible values of the Italian tradition of craftsmanship are at stake as firms are facing a worrying lack of young people willing to learn artisanal skills and work in workshops. This fact could trigger a lethal crisis, a crisis of knowledge and skills. This would lead to the end of the Italian leadership in the global fashion system and the meaning of made in Italy would reduce simply to a mere geographical indication.
Inglese
Fashion in a global world
978-972-788-414-8
Meraviglia, L., FACING THE CRISIS: "CRAFTMANSHIP", THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OF THE ITALIAN FASHION SYSTEM, in Isabel Cantista, F. V. M. P. R. E. M. H. V. B. A. (ed.), Fashion in a global world, VidaEconomica, Porto 2011: 171- 192 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/33817]
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10807/33817
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact