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Rising Sun, Setting Trends: Fashioning Britishness In, And For, Japan

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the links between fashion, identity and performance. It examines the performance of identities via fashion products, focusing in particular on Anglo-Japanese export practices. The chapter explores this through an examination, first, of export directives issued by national trade organizations, and, second, of the specific practices of the British retailers Mulberry and Paul Smith. Japanese retailers and Japanese consumers covet British fashion. The chapter shows how the imaginative geographies of Britishness go a considerable way in influencing the shape and form of British fashion exports from agents within Japan. The mythologies of Britishness inscribed onto fashion exports are prized over and above their basic value for money. The degree of a product's intrinsic Britishness would seem to be its major appeal. In playing up its Britishness when exporting to Japan, Mulberry foregrounds several traits long viewed as hallmarks of British style.

Keywords: Anglo-Japanese export practices; British fashion exports; fashion products; Mulberry; national trade organizations; Paul Smith



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