Feminism and the Politics of Creative Labour: Fashion Micro-enterprises in London, Berlin and Milan

McRobbie, Angela; Strutt, Dan and Bandinelli, Carolina. 2019. Feminism and the Politics of Creative Labour: Fashion Micro-enterprises in London, Berlin and Milan. Australian Feminist Studies, 34(100), pp. 131-148. ISSN 0816-4649 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article makes a case for fashion, as part of the creative industries and as a major employer of women, as well as a significant space for self-organised work, to attract more sustained attention on the part of feminist scholars with a view to developing a stronger policy lobby for the sector with priority being given to issues which focus on the quality of livelihoods in the sector. Drawing on interviews and observations carried out within the course of a three year study which investigated working lives of fashion designers (predominantly female) in London, Berlin and Milan, the argument presented emerges from an analysis which focused on two key factors: the impact of adverse economic circumstances following the euro-crisis of 2008 and the role of urban cultural policies in the ability of designers to establish a creative practice. With the help of three provisional, indeed tentative, concepts, each of which relies on questions of space/place, we suggest that this expansive sector contains potential to become a more equitable and socially engaged field, particularly with reference to women’s working lives and through the development of regionalised centres with an emphasis on doing fashion differently.

Item Type:



Gender and creative economy, fashion spaces-of-labour, fashion-human-capital, female-led ‘post-Fordist place-making’ (Colomb 2012), urban cultural policy

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


13 July 2019Accepted
14 August 2019Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

17 Jul 2019 15:02

Last Modified:

10 Jun 2021 07:43

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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