Something unique emerged in the heart of Berlin in the nineteenth century: a creative centre for fashion and ready-made clothing. The hundreds of clothing companies that were established here manufactured modern clothing and developed new designs that were sold throughout Germany and the world.
This industry reached the height of its success in the 1920s. Freed from their corsets, sophisticated women of the time dressed in the “Berlin chic” sold by Valentin Manheimer, Herrmann Gerson, or the Wertheim department stores. After 1933, however, most Jewish clothing industrialists were confronted with hatred and violence. Many of their companies were “Aryanized” while they themselves were robbed, displaced, and murdered. Under new Aryan management, these companies created conservative clothing that represented an entirely different image of women.