When the dead summer season arrived, quite a hurricane of panic swept through The Ladies’ Paradise. The reign of terror—terror of dismissal — commenced; many employees were sent away on leave, and others were dismissed in dozens by the principals, bent on clearing the shop, as no customers appeared there during the July and August heat. Mouret, on making his daily round with Bourdoncle, would call aside the managers, whom he had prompted during the winter to engage more men than were really necessary, in order that the business might not suffer; but it was now a question of reducing expenses and this was effected by casting quite a third of the shop people — the weak ones who allowed themselves to be swallowed up by the strong ones — on to the pavements again.
The Ladies’ Paradise, by Emile Zola (1883)
Assignment for Grey Magazine
Photography: Mirko Viglino & Simone Malatesta
Art direction: Valentina Ilardi
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