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University of Leeds launches €1m research project into fashion industry

The University of Leeds has launched a €1m (£836,000) research project exploring the history of the post-war fashion industry.

The Enterprise of Culture: International Structures and Connections in the Fashion Industry Since 1945, is a three-year European collaborative research venture led by Professor Regina Lee Blaszczyk, the university’s chair of the history of business and society.

With the grant from Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) the project will analyse areas such as how fashion as a cultural form crosses international boundaries and the involvement of educational institutions, the media, advertisers and trend forecasters.

To mark the project, the university is running a series of talks by European experts, fashion professionals, curators and archivists into the business history of fashion on December 5.

Professor Blaszczyk said: “This project breaks new ground, using the fashion business to examine how types of cultural encounters – between ‘core’ fashion cities such as Paris and London and ‘peripheral’ areas such as Sweden and Scotland, between style labs and the high street, and between fibre makers, clothing manufacturers and retailers – stimulated innovation and created a new, competitive industry.”

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