Sally Weller, ARC Future Fellow, Geography and Environmental Science
Abstract: Urban studies often celebrate the role of special events in constructing entrepreneurial cities of consumption. Events are promoted because economic gains accrue to cities by bringing consumers into city precincts. This literature tends to view events as isolated occurrences and to ignore their effects on local industries and economies. In contrast, this paper examines the role of events in wider processes of economic development. It explores Fashion Week events in relation to global flows of fashion knowledge and authority, competitive processes in the retail sector and the viability of the local fashion production sector. This alternative perspective highlights the relationship between events and the conditions in underlying industries and reveals that events like Australian Fashion Week may well undermine rather than enhance local creative industries. The conclusion considers the implications for long term development of the city.
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