Abstract

Typically, fashion has been associated with the large urban centers that are considered the hubs of contemporary culture, or “fashion’s world cities,” to borrow from the title of an oft-quoted edited volume; however, in the twenty-first century, fashion may play a role at a local or regional level, even in relatively isolated contexts such as that provided by Dunedin, located in New Zealand, at the bottom of the South Island. The work of Dunedin designers such as Margarita Robertson and Sara Munro, creative directors for their respective clothing lines, NOM*d and Company of Strangers, illustrates Walter Benjamin’s conceptualization of fashion as expressing utopian desires, in this case a form of “rooted cosmopolitanism,” to borrow from Kwame Anthony Appiah, while furthering an economic system dependent on commodity fetishism.

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