Abstract: When Clothes Create People: The Federation of Danish Textile and Clothing Industries and the Marketing of the Danish Clothing Industry, 1955-1960

Birgit Lyngbye Pedersen

Abstract

This paper examines the Danish employer organization the Federation of Danish Textile and Clothing Industries' strategic marketing effort in the last part of the 1950s, which had the purpose of creating and maintaining a market. From 1951 onward the Danish clothing industry experienced strong competition when among other things, import restrictions fell away under the liberalization, and import thus increased considerably. Even though research interest in the Danish clothing business has increased in recent years, only a few have examined how the trade has reacted strategically to challenges over the decades. The Federation of Danish Textile and Clothing Industries' marketing effort initially directed itself at manufacturers and retailers in order to influence the consumers and create an increased consumption. The journal <em>Clothes Create People</em> was the first initiative in 1955, and the year after an exhibition by the same name followed. In 1958 the Danish men's fashion council was established, and in 1959 it was the women's turn with the establishment of the Danish women's fashion council. This paper shows that in the last part of the 1950s the Federation of Danish Textile and Clothing Industries was able to adapt to a new reality through a network with other intermediaries, where competitive parameters like fashion, design, and branding became strategic answers to the challenges faced by the industry.