The Birth of fashion as an industry
- With the emergence of the industrial and commercial revolution near the end of the eighteenth century, fashion trends started to drive the "fashion industry." A new world market, driven by Europe, Asia, and the British colonies in America, started to expand at unprecedented rates due to worldwide advances in trade, science, and technology. A new economic prosperity, the birth of new textiles, an increase in garment manufacturing capabilities, and better communication methods all spurred a greater interest in fashion.Paris became the hub of fashion in the eighteenth century as French kings promoted French fashion in an effort to create dominance in this new emerging industry. The British followed and competed with the French by creating new textiles and steam-powered engines and perfecting the art of tailoring. Many believe that fashion became a global industry with the opening of the first couture house in France, founded by the Englishman Charles Frederick Worth in 1856. OtherFrench designers followed, including the Callot Sisters (Marie Callot Gerber, Marthe Callot Bertrand, Regina Callot Tennyson-Chantrell, and Joséphine Callot Crimont), Jacques Doucet, Jeanne Lanvin, and Jeanne Paquin. Ordinary tailors, who catered to the lower class, were copying "name designers." In response, these designers gradually produced their own ready-to-wear collections and created their own sales operations.Although Barthélemy Thimmonier invented a chain-stitch machine in France in 1830, it was not until 1846 that Elias Howe's foot-treadle sewing machine made it possible, for the first time in history, to mass produce clothes.
Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle.
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