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A quick poorly-written and ill-thought-out musing:

I've been thinking about traditions of clothing manufacture in America, England, and Italy.

Now hopefully, one won't think I am comparing disparate things -- RTW and bespoke, varying degrees of handwork, etc etc.

My question is thus:

Why do you think that Italy remains a place where one sees a wide range of quality clothing being made despite the fact that the standard-of-living is high, that workers receive many benefits, etc. Are they simply selling to Americans who are in the midst of an orgy of credit spending, or are there other reasons, economic and cultural?

There was a time when the US and England had more wide-spread manufacture of clothing, but as we know these companies have moved off-shore. Few high-quality manufactures remain. At the high-end, you see still see Oxxford and Saville Row. You've got the middle-brow Southwick and Alden and Allen-Edmonds, etc etc. England continues to make shoes in Northhampton which are relatively inexpensive but of very high-quality. But a lot of the rag & shoo trade in England and America has disappeared. I've been told the reasons, but I want to know why Italy appears to be immune from those reasons. Why you still get relatively high-quality goods for very little money. Is it because the South of Europe still has a low-standard of living relatively or ???

Any thoughts?
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