How did Italy start to become a reputable country of origin for couture and fashion merchandise? Scholars seem to agree that a Florentine commissionaire, Giovanni Battista Giorgini (1898-1971), was chiefly responsible for the "birth" of Italian fashion in 1951. But what if there was more to it than that? This dissertation de-mythicizes what has been written about Giorgini so far, and historicises his contribution in the larger context of those organizations and individuals that, immediately after World War II, were striving to promote and export Italian fashion in the United States. By critically discussing primary sources from Italian archives, US newspapers, fashion magazines and a series of oral testimonies, the dissertation challenges the mainstream historiography of postwar Italian fashion and unravels a complicated scenario of actors and events. Here the earliest characterizations of Italy as a non-derivative fashion market are retraced against the backdrop of the political and cultural reconfigurations of Europe, at the outset of the Cold War.