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We’re proud to be a part of fashion’s rich history

Caroline Nodder

Following last weekend’s Jubilee extravaganza, this week we are celebrating our own special anniversary as Drapers turns 125, making it one of the world’s oldest business publications.

Following last weekend’s Jubilee extravaganza, this week we are celebrating our own special anniversary as Drapers turns 125, making it one of the world’s oldest business publications.

When the very first issue of Drapers was published in 1887, work on the Eiffel Tower in fashion capital Paris had just begun, and life was very different for those working in the industry. Designs that dared to show a bit of ankle would probably have made the front page at that time, UK manufacturing was booming and there was nothing fast about the fashions.

Times have moved on apace since then, but what was brought home to all of the Drapers team when we were researching our birthday issue was that the fashion business is fiercely proud of its history and heritage, and indeed elements of design throughout the 125 years that Drapers has been published are still influencing the fashions of today.

Fashion has proved its resilience over the past century and a quarter and has shown itself to be one of the driving forces behind cultural change during that time.

Not only did it form a big part of the move by women to reinforce their independence in the early days, but it has also been intrinsically linked to almost every key cultural movement over the decades – from the flapper girls of the 1920s to the psychedelia of the Swinging Sixties – playing a crucial role in the evolution of Western society. Often dismissed as ‘fluffy’, fashion is in fact a serious business, contributing millions of pounds to UK coffers, employing hundreds of thousands of people across the country and making a name for Britain abroad.

Through their irreverent refusal to conform, fashion designers have set the agenda for the youth of every generation and so it is also apt that we are celebrating our birthday in the same week as the 2012 Graduate Fashion Week showcases the talent that will help shape the next 125 years in fashion. Fashion has never been a sector to stand still and events like this are essential in championing the next generation of fashion leaders who will bring their own unique ideas to the table.

A relative newcomer myself, I arrived at Drapers last year to be welcomed by an industry that is incredibly passionate about everything it does and has enthusiastically supported and helped to influence the content in Drapers over the past century and a quarter.

It was an honour to take up the baton at a title so embedded in the industry it covers and with so much history and emotional connections to its people.

We certainly couldn’t do our job without this kind of support, so I’d like to thank each and every one of our subscribers, contributors and columnists for their help, advice and input over the years.

Here’s to another 125 years in fashion!

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