The Heritage-Creativity Interplay. How Fashion Designers are Reinventing Heritage as Modern Design: The French Case


  • Ornella K. Pistilli Independent Researcher



Heritage, Creativity, Fashion Design, Sartorial Imagination


In recent years, several historical fashion houses have been relaunched with great success often getting a completely new spin in the process. Drawing inspiration from their own history, while looking at the future, these companies have turned their heritage (archives, ateliers, values and imaginaries) into a competitive tool for brand identity, capital to spend in the highly competitive context of the global fashion industry. At the core of the process, the heritage and creativity interplay is strategic. It operates at all levels and involves all components of the chain, integrating creation, design, production and communication. It sparkles the sartorial imagination to write new stories and visions. Fashion designers are reinventing sartorial archetypes along with aesthetic canons, values and brand imaginaries. They are proposing new visions and meanings, experiencing new processes and approaches, putting social, political, and cultural issues into design’s philosophy, injecting new savoir-faire into the design process. In doing so, they reinvent heritage as modern design. The purpose of the article is to profile and analyze this heritage and creativity interplay in the French fashion houses of Christian Dior — designed by Raf Simons, Saint Laurent Paris — designed by Hedi Slimane, and Balenciaga — designed by Demna Gvasalia.


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How to Cite

Pistilli, O. K. (2018). The Heritage-Creativity Interplay. How Fashion Designers are Reinventing Heritage as Modern Design: The French Case. ZoneModa Journal, 8(1), 77–95.