ZMJ Call For Papers. Activating the Archive: Uses and Reuses of the Historical and Cultural Heritage of Fashion Companies


For long-lived fashion companies, the archive serves as a means of preserving and, when necessary, activating historical memory for strategic and operational purposes. It is a valuable resource that preserves the company's history and ensures the transmission of assets to future generations. It provides access to a tangible and intangible heritage increasingly used as a key input for projects. Generally closed to public consultation, the archive of fashion houses stratifies heterogeneous and polymaterial objects with high symbolic value, repositories of expressive qualities, styles, technical skills, knowledge, shared experiences, and meanings that can be exploited to define innovative products, processes, and services.

Together with garments and accessories, this type of archive usually preserves sources that reconstruct the process of creating and producing specific iconic pieces and entire collections. In addition, it includes a wealth of material that tracks brands' strategies and communication codes, allowing luxury companies to trace the events that shaped their history and prestige. Correspondence folders, invitations, posters, press kits, lookbooks, corporate catalogues, brochures, periodicals, newspaper cuttings, institutional monographs, as well as large sets of photographs and audiovisuals, allow to document and maintain the links with unique and inimitable past, which is a decisive factor in distinctively positioning the brand. Although the list is not exhaustive, it provides a glimpse of the range of objects that fashion houses preserve. When properly reformulated, updated, and contextualised, these objects may have an unanticipated strategic value, contributing to a sustainable competitive advantage. To achieve this goal, companies have recently started organising their heritage through product archives, leading to a series of connected enhancement actions. Viewed from this perspective, the archive functions as an 'active agent': not only ensuring the preservation of a tangible and intangible historical legacy, but also facilitating its utilisation and creative repurposing in the development of new products or collections, as well as in the storytelling and displaying practices of the brand.

This Call for Papers aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion on empowering the enhancement of historical and cultural heritage preserved by corporate fashion archives – a topic that has gained renewed attention through the new opportunities offered by digital transformation. More specifically, it aims to encourage reflection on initiatives focused on heritage communication and promotion, highlighting actions a company can take to make it strategically accessible beyond the narrow circle of professionals. In this direction, ZoneModa Journal is currently accepting proposals for a monographic issue dedicated to the analysis of practices of presentation, incorporation, replicability, recombination, revisitation and transformation of these peculiar archival sources, exploring the following possible, but not exclusive, points of reflection:

  • Re-edition of historical products: physical and digital remixes and remakes
  • Heritage merchandising and iconic product replicas
  • Corporate publishing to support the consolidation and dissemination of brand heritage (institutional and biographical monographs, exhibition catalogues, photo books, etc.)
  • From the corporate website to social media: digital storytelling as a resource for know-how, traditions, and memories transfer
  • Advertising campaign, corporate videos or fashion films: audiovisual narratives on the history of the brand, its founder and iconic products
  • The narrative potential of gaming in the transmission of brand heritage
  • From shop window to pop-up store to heritage boutique: installations, setups and retail spaces to evoke the brand's history and values
  • Exhibitions and celebrations of historical and cultural heritage as means for brand mythopoesis
  • Corporate fashion museums: typologies, functions and displays
  • The opportunities offered by the metaverse to enhance the heritage of fashion companies


Abstracts of no more than 1000 words + 5 bibliographical references (word *.docx format), written either in Italian or English, must be sent to  

Abstract acceptance does not guarantee publication of the article, which will be submitted to a double-blind peer-review process. 

Key deadlines

  • abstract submission: May 20, 2024 
  • notification of acceptance/rejection:  June 3, 2024 (notice of acceptance might include comments and requests of explanations).  
  • full-length paper (6000/7000 words) submission: August 18, 2024.  
  • comments of the reviewers will be conveyed together with the editor's decision (approval with no changes, approval with major/minor changes and/or rejection): September 19, 2024.  
  • authors shall send the reviewed article to the editorial staff by October 3, 2024.  

ZMJ 14.2 is scheduled to be published by December 2024. 


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