The Enterprise of Culture: The European Fashion System Around the World

Date: 10th June 2016

Venue: V&A Musuem, South Kensington, London

Fashion is often studied from a purely theoretical perspective, from a costume history or dress history viewpoint or from a popular media-driven vantage point.

The Enterprise of Culture: international structures and connections in the fashion industry since 1945 breaks new ground, using the fashion business to examine how various types of cultural encounters – between ‘core’ fashion cities such as Paris and London and ‘peripheral’ areas such as Sweden and Scotland, between style labs and the high street, and between fibre makers, clothing manufacturers and retailers – stimulated innovation and created a new and competitive industry.

This one day event showcases exciting new research undertaken by the Enterprise of Culture project team and offers an insight into the European fashion industry around the world, looking at topics such as influential brands from Biba and Mary Quant to today’s H&M, Italian fashion and the role of the department store buyer, Scottish tartan and tweed, the international reach of British textiles, and global luxury brands such as LVMH.

We welcome speakers from the V&A, the Centre for Business History Stockholm, archive collections, the fashion industry and researchers from the universities of Leeds, Oslo, Newcastle, Erasmus Rotterdam, Heriot Watt and St Andrews.

Guest speaker Edwina Ehrman, Curator of the V&A’s exciting new exhibition, Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear, will take a close look at the creation and marketing of a luxury lingerie brand, Janet Reger.


Fashion journalist, Lou Stoppard, will chair a roundtable discussion made up of representatives from the fashion industry to consider the conference themes in more depth and open the floor for debate.
Open to anyone with an interest in the business history of fashion, this event will bring together academics, fashion industry practitioners, students, archivists, museum curators and wider public audiences. It is free to attend but registration is required as places are limited. Please book your place here.


The conference begins with registration and refreshments from 10.00am, with the sessions starting at 10.30am. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.


Full information including the programme can be found here.

The V&A will be open until 9.45pm, allowing participants the opportunity to explore the museum collections (please see here for more information: charges apply to some of the temporary exhibitions).

See the project website for more information: www.enterpriseofculture.leeds.ac.uk or email Fiona Blair at enterpriseofculture@leeds.ac.uk

Event – The Enterprise of Culture: The European Fashion System Around the World, 10th June 2016, London

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