Leeds launches major initiative on fashion business history

A major project looking at the history of the post-war fashion business will be launched at the University next week.

Professor Regina Blaszczyk


The Enterprise of Culture: International Structures and Connections in the Fashion Industry Since 1945, is a three-year European collaborative research venture led by Professor Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Chair in the History of Business and Society at Leeds.

A €1 million grant from the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) will fund the project’s exploration of the relationships between fashion as a cultural phenomenon and a business enterprise.

It will also examine how fashion as a cultural form crosses international boundaries and involves intermediaries such as educational institutions, the media, advertisers, branders, trend forecasters and retailers.

Its public launch will take place on Thursday 5 December, with a series of talks by European experts, fashion professionals, curators and archivists. Offering an insight into the business history of fashion, the event will also give a glimpse of what we will be wearing in the future.

The day’s events will end with Professor Blaszczyk’s inaugural lecture, The Colour Revolution, tracing the relationship of colour and commerce, from haute couture to interior design.

Open to anyone with an interest in the business history of fashion, the events are particularly aimed at academics (e.g. in history, business, fashion), students, curators, archivists, fashion designers, textile-related organisations and wider public audiences.  Themes for the launch event include transnational fashion, trendsetting and business archives.

The launch will also mark the culmination of a sustainable fashion competition among University of Leeds students, with a presentation to the winners at the evening lecture, and provide a chance to explore the Marks in Time Exhibition at the M&S Company Archive.

Read more about the project.

To find out more about the events on 5 December and to book a place, visit the Enterprise of Culture website.

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