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Published: 20 April 2019

By Andy Ross

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'Berlin chic': the Jewish fashion industry

For more than a century Berlin was a centre for ready-made fashion, mainly led by Jewish innovation. Everything changed between the Wars.

'Off-the-peg' clothing revolutionised the fashion industry of Berlin. People could purchase, for a fixed sum, trendy and elegant clothes from the late 1830's. These new businesses were led by Jewish enterpreneurs who were targetted in the 1930's by the new regime, losing their companies, homes and possessions. In the process, fashion too was changed, from emancipated sophistication to conservative. In a new book entitled Fashion Metropolis Berlin 1836 - 1939, Uwe Westphal explores this history - the rise and destruction of the Jewish fashion industry is now in the collection at the studio.

If you are in London and interested in this history, the author will be giving a talk on 12th June at The Wiener Library in Russell Square. You can book tickets for the event here. 

The library at the studio is open to the public. We have a reading area and now a desk for study. Internet access is provided free of charge, and we have coffee and tea for visitors. To make an appointment please contact us. The library is open every day during studio hours - 11-5 Monday to Saturday, 2-5 Sunday, or by arrangement.