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Industrial districts, magic circles and the restructuring of the Italian textiles and clothing chain

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  • G0001 Geography (General)
  • Design


This article identifies the way in which a firm-centered, value-chain approach to studying the distinctive structure and evolution of the geography of the Italian textile and clothing industries (TCI) offers important insights that qualify the results of district-centered and commodity/value-chain research. Analyses of the functional profiles of textile and clothing companies and of the roles of design, distribution, and services help explain recent trends in industrial concentration and in the national and international fragmentation of value chains. These analyses also give rise to a view of districts as parts of an interdependent geographic division of labor that includes magic circles and delocalized zones of dependent manufacturing. An appreciation of these features of the system is vital for understanding recent trends in the performance of the TCI and the Made in Italy industries more generally.

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