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24/08/2015 — auf Deutsch lesen

Book Tip: The German menswear industry

Photo: Wilvorst

Photo: Wilvorst

Dr. Karl-Wilhelm Vordemfelde

Dr. Karl-Wilhelm Vordemfelde


The industrialisation of menswear occurred in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Resourceful entrepreneurs focused on developing perfect manufacturing systems. After 1945, numerous reputed menswear companies came into being, creating clothing with technical precision for millions of people, as well as an abundance of jobs. As wages continued to rise, Germany’s menswear industry struggled to compete internationally. More and more companies and valuable expertise were moved abroad, first to Europe and later to Turkey and the Far East. Today, only the heads remain in Germany.

In his new book, author Dr. Karl-Wilhelm Vordemfelde entertainingly describes the ups and downs of Germany’s menswear industry, starting in the mid-19th century up to the present day. An exciting, informative and worthwhile read for German speakers! A must for industry insiders...

Aufstieg und Niedergang der deutschen Herrenbekleidungsindustrie. Ein Rückblick auf Herrenmode aus Deutschland im 20. Jahrhundert, 1. edition, June 2015, 160 pages, hard cover, 170 x 240 mm, Deutscher Fachverlag GmbH, ISBN 978-3-86641-304-7, Order-No. 41304, EUR 39.80

The history of our industry and my family are of great importance to me. Given that we’re celebrating our centenary next year, it seemed like the right time to write a book about an industry in which my family played an important role – and still does. And – I have to say, I really enjoy writing books.

There were several: Just how much an industry’s competitive edge depends on wage levels, not only in Germany but also in southern Europe. How little government support the German clothing industry received compared to countries like France, and Italy, and also to other industries. How quickly the exodus of the clothing industry was completed. The entire sector was transferred abroad in the space of just 15 years. Last but not least, that Wilvorst is still a successful market contender despite paying high wages – thanks to the strength of the brand and many innovative ideas.

That’s easy! I’d wish for more government support for our industry!

Dr. Vordemfelde, many thanks. The questions were asked by Iris Schlomski on behalf of textile network.