The Frankfurt Fashion Office


The Fashion Office of the City of Frankfurt was founded in 1933. On the initiative of the National Socialist Mayor Friedrich Krebs, who wanted to change the City profile, it was planned to make Frankfurt the German fashion metropolis and the centre of the German fashion industry. The expulsion of Jews from the clothing industry, from production, manufacture and trade was one of the cornerstones for Frankfurt’s new identity as »City of German Handicrafts« The Fashion Office together with the fashion class of the Städelschule under the direction of Margarete Klimt, were designated to bring new and even greater glory to the ostensibly established tradition of dressmaking in Frankfurt. Created initially was a wardrobe for the lady of higher society. The Fashion Office created fashion in international style, because surprisingly the fashion industry was not subjected to conformity to the same extent as art and music. But nonetheless the fashion sector was also hit by the shortages of the war economy. Following the outbreak of war the fashion students experimented with substitute materials, due to the shortage of raw materials, and from then on designed modern working apparel for the working woman.

In 1944 the Fashion Office building, the so-called »Schloss der Mode«, in the Neue Mainzer Strasse was bombed out. The Office’s female students moved to the barracks of a quarry in the Westerwald. In August of the same year the Frankfurt Fashion Office was closed down. Although the designs created by the Frankfurt fashion students could indeed stand up to international comparison, they never went into series production.

The Archive Frankfurt Fashion Office documents the work of this institution between 1933 and 1945 with objects, photography and printed material. It is located in the Historische Museum Frankfurt.