Roland Barthes was born in 1915 and studied French literature and classics at the University of Paris. After teaching French at universities in Romania and Egypt, he joined the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, where he devoted himself to research in sociology and lexicology. He was a professor of the College de France until his death in 1980.
"Barthes's treatment of fashion in "The Fashion System is his most elaborate attempt to reveal the little worlds of meaning enclosed in each nuance of social life. . . . In a magisterial effort that has been superbly translated by Matthew Ward and Richard Howard, Barthes certainly draws our attention to some fascinating aspects of fashion. . . . One is able to hear the voice of a sensitive and sensible critic who was alive to the symbolic vitality of the world."--Flint Schier, "New York Times Book Review