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Featured in Drapers: 50 years ago this week

In the third of our four-part series where we look at what Drapers was reporting on 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago, today we take you back 50 years to our October 30 issue in 1965.

The sixties are in full swing in the October 30 edition in 1965, with the signature trends of the time such as miniskirts captured throughout the edition’s pages, almost like a time-capsule from the decade.

By this time the Drapers Record had moved offices to 258 Gray’s Inn Road and the masthead had gone through yet another redesign, while the cover is full colour. However, the cover-image is still given over to advertisers. This time around just one, women’s coat and suit brand Miss Smith, with an illustration showing one of its spring 66 fur-lined outerwear pieces (below).

Drapers 1965 1

The cover is followed by 10 back-to-back pages of advertising, from labels including womenswear brand Tricel (below).

Drapers 1965 2

This is finished with a double page spread feature on ’Buyers Guide To - Brand & Trade Names’, where suppliers are broken down by product category (below).

Drapers 1965 3

Only then do the news pages start. One of the top stories is about the ’Non-flam law extension’, and would be certain to send modern health and safety officials, retailers and brands alike into a flap. It reports that following a reduction in accident figures since the introduction of flame-proof nightdresses for children, “it seems almost certain that the regulations will be extended to nightclothes for the elderly” (below).

Drapers 1965 4

The news pages also carried a story on which products were selling up and down the country, much like Drapers’ weekly Indicator feature does today. Women’s outerwear was the top selling product in the Family Expenditure Survey for 1964, and families in rural districts were spending just as much as those in Greater London. It also reports that the average household income was £23 and 12 shillings (below).

Drapers 1965 5

One of the features that the magazine regularly ran around this time was on people moves. These included a Mr K. C. B. Mackenzie, a director of British Home Stores, being appointed as the chain’s deputy managing director (below).

Drapers 1965 6

Synonymoys with the 1960s, Mary Quant is the first designer pictured on the trend pages, with a white double-breasted crushed simulation leather trenchcoat designed for Alligator Rainwear, which Drapers said had an “element of fun”. The facing page reports ‘They’re sailing today - For New York’. The story is about a expedition of British fashion brands, including Burberry sailing from Southampton to New York aboard the Cunard liner the Queen Elizabeth, on which they then held a fashion show for US buyers upon arrival. Drapers reported ’The aim is export orders totalling at least one million dollars’, adding that it is ’reckoned to be the largest single operation ever undertaken overseas by the British fashion industry’. Seventeen firms showed to a fully booked-out audience of buyers, with then Drapers Record editor Leslie Beckett travelling with them (below).

Drapers 1965 7

Advertisers within the issue include Harris Tweed, one of the UK’s enduring suppliers to this day.

Drapers 1965 8

Meanwhile, businesses such as Mothercare used Drapers’ jobs pages to scout for the best talent.

Drapers 1965 9

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