Chinese_Remake_the_Made_in_Italy_Fashion_Label_-_NYTimes.com

Chinese_Remake_the_Made_in_Italy_Fashion_Label_-_NYTimes.com...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Reprints This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers here or use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to any article. Visit www.nytreprints.com for samples and additional information. Order a reprint of this article now. September 12, 2010 Chinese Remake the ‘Made in Italy’ Fashion Label By RACHEL DONADIO PRATO, Italy — Over the years, Italy learned the difficult lesson that it could no longer compete with China on price. And so, its business class dreamed, Italy would sell quality, not quantity. For centuries, this walled medieval city just outside of Florence has produced some of the world’s finest fabrics, becoming a powerhouse for “Made in Italy” chic. And then, China came here. Chinese laborers, first a few immigrants, then tens of thousands, began settling in Prato in the late 1980s. They transformed the textile hub into a low-end garment manufacturing capital — enriching many, stoking resentment and prompting recent crackdowns that in turn have brought cries of bigotry and hypocrisy. The city is now home to the largest concentration of Chinese in Europe — some legal, many more not. Here in the heart of Tuscany, Chinese laborers work round the clock in some 3,200 businesses making low-end clothes, shoes and accessories, often with materials imported from China, for sale at midprice and low-end retailers worldwide. It is a “Made in Italy” problem: Enabled by Italy’s weak institutions and high tolerance for rule-bending, the Chinese have blurred the line between “Made in China” and “Made in Italy,” undermining Italy’s cachet and ability to market its goods exclusively as high end. Part of the resentment is cultural: The city’s classic Italian feel is giving way to that of a Chinatown, with signs in Italian and Chinese, and groceries that sell food imported from China. But what seems to gall some Italians most is that the Chinese are beating them at their own game — tax evasion and brilliant ways of navigating Italy’s notoriously complex bureaucracy — and have created a thriving, if largely underground, new sector while many Prato Chinese Remake the ‘Made in Italy’ Fashion Label - NYTimes.com http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/world/europe/13prato.html. .. 1 of 8 9/13/10 11:31 AM
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
businesses have gone under. The result is a toxic combination of residual fears about immigration and the economy. “This could be the future of Italy,” said Edoardo Nesi, the culture commissioner of Prato Province. “Italy should pay attention to the risks.” The situation has steadily grown beyond the control of state tax and immigration authorities. According to the Bank of Italy, Chinese individuals in Prato channel an estimated $1.5 million a day to China, mainly earnings from the garment and textile trade. Profits of that magnitude are not showing up in tax records, and some local officials say the
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 8

Chinese_Remake_the_Made_in_Italy_Fashion_Label_-_NYTimes.com...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online