The Most Beautiful Job in the World: Lifting the Veil on the Fashion Industry

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Speaker : Giulia Mensitieri (IDHES Paris-Nanterre/LAMC-ULB)

Title : Presentation and discussion around Giulia Mensitieri’s book: The Most Beautiful Job in the World. Lifting the Veil on the Fashion Industry

Abstract :

Through an ethnographic study among fashion “creative” workers in Paris and Brussels the presentation will explore the fashion system by analyzing global circulations of imaginaries, products and workers, as well as productions of subjectivities and the modes of subjugation that are proper to this industry.The restructuring of capitalism of the last half century has made fashion "the dream", namely the ideal projection of capitalist imaginaries, but also a desirable perspective for the subjectivities that capitalism itself produces. 
Going beyond the imaginaries of exceptionality showcased by fashion, it appears from the research that the workers themselves combine entrepreneurial spirit, acceptance and normalisation of domination, and precarity. As in many other sectors of neoliberal production, subjectivity is used in fashion both for the creative component of the work, as well as for managing one’s body, emotions, and asymmetrical relationships.


Social anthropologist and ethnologist Giulia Mensitieri holds a Ph.D from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales de Paris. She is affiliated with the IDHES of Université de Paris-Nanterre. She is currently teaching at LAMC, (Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains) ULB. She works on the transformations of work, on the political power of the imaginaries, on exploitation and new forms of alienation. For the past decade, her field of investigation has been luxury fashion, which she considers as a paradigmatic field of contemporary capitalism in terms of material and immaterial productions, global circulations, and inequalities. She teaches the anthropology of capitalism, of labour, and critical approaches of creative industries in American, French, Swiss, and Belgian universities and art schools. She is the author of the book "The most beautiful Job in the World" Lifting the veil on the fashion industry.

  • When ?

Friday 5 November 2021 from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm

  • Where ?

ULB - Campus du Solbosch

Institut de Sociologie (building S)

Room Doucy - 12th floor - Room 123

44 avenue Jeanne - 1050 Bruxelles