The glitz and glamour of New York Fashion Week is a long way from the garment factories of Indonesia or the tanneries of Bangladesh.
But as models parade their way through the city this week wearing silk (Yves Saint Laurent), leather (Coach), and wool (Chanel), it’s worth remembering that these clothes have often traveled great distances and been touched by many hands on their journey to the runway. From Scottish weavers working out of their homes to women sewing in large factories in China, a globalized supply chain has become integral to the fashion world (with wildly varying wages and conditions for those who pick the cotton, dye the wool, and tan the leather that will eventually become hot new outfits).
Here, in the midst of fashion's biggest week of the year, Foreign Policy brings you a look at some of the people and places that may have helped produce the outfits currently making their way down the runway.
Above, a farmer from Henan province picks cotton in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, Sept. 22, 2007. China Photos/Getty Images