The West-German Apparel Industry from 1970 to 2000

Beginn des Projektes: October 2021

PhD project
Project of the Postgraduate Research Group of the Hans Böckler Foundation
Social Consequences of the Transformation of the World of Work in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century

The West-German clothing industry was going through radical changes in the 1970s. Many companies went bankrupt or disappeared entirely. But in contrast to the employees in production, who mostly lost their jobs, the need for professionals in management grew, also because some companies were lacking general proficient management structures. At the same time a lot of enterprises expanded their production into other European countries or even further beyond. Those developments were intertwined with one another, especially because well-trained employees with commercial, creative or technical qualification became more and more important for the garment industry and still are to this day.

This project aspires to follow the steps of these highly qualified professionals who were responsible for the organisation and outsourcing of production into other European countries as well as, later on to the Far East. Apart from this, the project will also look at the work of creative executive staff who helped to satisfy the demands for modern stylish clothes of an increasingly diversifying society. The West-German market for apparek was saturated by the 1970s at the latest. Thus, only the newest fashion trends could motivate consumers in continuously buying more clothes. This led to an increasing importance of the advertising industry with regards to apparel. Most companies still relevant to this day only started to engage in marketing and advertisement of their products by the end of the 1970s or even as late as the 1980s. Of course “management staff“ is a diverse group of office employees and their field of work differs drastically from one another, still they will be thematically connected in this project. But the fact that these fields of the apparel industry developed further from the 1970s onwards and laid the basis for today‘s global working world connects them to one another. This is the reason why this project looks into what connects, resembles or distincts the work of these professionals. In the end this project will seek to answer the question how singular fields of the management in the apparel industry helped to cope with global challenges and thus shaped the working environment of today.

The PhD project is supervised by Prof. Dr. Frank Bösch (first supervisor) and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Winfried Süß (second supervisor).

Christina Häberle

Leibniz-Center for Contemporary History Potsdam (ZZF)
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

office: Am Neuen Markt 1, room 0.19
phone: 0331/28991-35
E-Mail: haeberle [at] zzf-potsdam.de

Forschung

The West-German Apparel Industry from 1970 to 2000

Beginn des Projektes: October 2021

PhD project
Project of the Postgraduate Research Group of the Hans Böckler Foundation
Social Consequences of the Transformation of the World of Work in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century

The West-German clothing industry was going through radical changes in the 1970s. Many companies went bankrupt or disappeared entirely. But in contrast to the employees in production, who mostly lost their jobs, the need for professionals in management grew, also because some companies were lacking general proficient management structures. At the same time a lot of enterprises expanded their production into other European countries or even further beyond. Those developments were intertwined with one another, especially because well-trained employees with commercial, creative or technical qualification became more and more important for the garment industry and still are to this day.

This project aspires to follow the steps of these highly qualified professionals who were responsible for the organisation and outsourcing of production into other European countries as well as, later on to the Far East. Apart from this, the project will also look at the work of creative executive staff who helped to satisfy the demands for modern stylish clothes of an increasingly diversifying society. The West-German market for apparek was saturated by the 1970s at the latest. Thus, only the newest fashion trends could motivate consumers in continuously buying more clothes. This led to an increasing importance of the advertising industry with regards to apparel. Most companies still relevant to this day only started to engage in marketing and advertisement of their products by the end of the 1970s or even as late as the 1980s. Of course “management staff“ is a diverse group of office employees and their field of work differs drastically from one another, still they will be thematically connected in this project. But the fact that these fields of the apparel industry developed further from the 1970s onwards and laid the basis for today‘s global working world connects them to one another. This is the reason why this project looks into what connects, resembles or distincts the work of these professionals. In the end this project will seek to answer the question how singular fields of the management in the apparel industry helped to cope with global challenges and thus shaped the working environment of today.

The PhD project is supervised by Prof. Dr. Frank Bösch (first supervisor) and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Winfried Süß (second supervisor).

Christina Häberle

Leibniz-Center for Contemporary History Potsdam (ZZF)
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

office: Am Neuen Markt 1, room 0.19
phone: 0331/28991-35
E-Mail: haeberle [at] zzf-potsdam.de

Forschung