The German clothing trade
Germany has been home to a long tradition of tailoring, weaving and cloth making for hundreds of years and experienced its first industrial boom towards the end of the 18th century due to the developing textile industry. The ready-made clothing that was introduced at this time made it more affordable and further fueled the development of the industry. This flourished well into the 20th century and employed a large part of the population in many regions of the country. Since the 1960s, more than 400.000 jobs have been lost in Germany because clothing companies have been producing in cheaper and more distant countries for cost reasons. A decline in quality and price took its course. German production companies have almost disappeared from the clothing industry. The remaining clothing companies are struggling with the decline in quality and have to compete with large vertical corporations.
My family, the Hildischs from Neustadt an der Orla in Thuringia have been part of this special German history for almost 400 years, the history of a precise and sensitive craft full of feeling and dedication. You need this to have the patience to produce fabrics and clothing. You need that when you look at the vanishingly low wages that were paid in this trade for a long time. My great-great-great-grandfather Christof Friedrich Hildisch, born in 1798, himself the son of a master cloth maker, was a master cloth maker and even married the daughter of a master cloth maker. Up until my grandfather, who died in 1969, every generation of the Hildischs had been cloth makers, weavers and shoemakers. I didn't know much about this long tradition because my father was a soldier. It wasn't until I completed an apprenticeship as a tailor with the desire to become a fashion designer that I realized that I had a lot in common with tailoring.
At the end of the long working days in the Miltenberger clothing factory, where I sewed jacket patterns for Daniel Hechter and Karl Lagerfeld, I went to my parents' basement, where I continued to sew my own collections. I myself was the last apprentice in this company. The sewing shop no longer exists. My vocational school no longer has a tailoring class. In the Aschaffenburg region, as in many other regions of the country, the tailoring trade is on the brink of extinction. However, the quality and fit of German clothing should not be forgotten. Of course we could never compete with the Italian tailors. The German clothing industry had only grasped something like great design when the ship was almost sinking. Ready-to-wear was perhaps never cool and the voice of the quality manufacturers back then was never as loud as that of those who sell their junk from overproduction in the pedestrian zones today, but this quality should not and must not go under. it deserves a second chance, as a faithful companion, as a favorite piece, as a story that has become material...
as HiDDEN ACES jacket.