EVENT: #CanYouFashionIt – Fashioning a Nation

We’re kicking of January with a new series of events:


Did you know that Berlin was the world fashion capital throughout the 1920s and into the 1930s?

The Nazi regime, however, brought all of this to an abrupt end. Berlin’s Jewish fashion designers were forced to sell their businesses or have them expropriated by the state. Fashion designers who were fortunate enough to leave Germany started again in America and other countries; those who were unable to escape met the same fate as millions of other European Jews. From once approximately 2,400 Jewish clothing firms, by 1943 only a few remained. Berlin’s entire creative fashion industry was destroyed. The effects linger on; more than 70 years later, the Berlin fashion industry searches for new talent to resume Berlin’s place in the fashion world.

Join us for the opening of the exhibition “Fashioning a Nation: German Identity and Industry, 1914-1945” followed by a panel discussion on Jews-German fashion history and a special presentation by local designer Cynthanie Sumpter and her students.

The exhibition explores the powerful history of German fashion from its international impact to its destruction by the Nazi regime. It honors the legacy of the Jewish Germans who contributed to its rise and commemorates the great cultural and economic loss of its demise.

Panelists include: Uwe Westphal, author of Ehrenfried and Cohn. Goodbye Berlin: The Last Fashion Show; Dina Gold, eyewitness and author of Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18, Berlin; eyewitness Christopher Charlton, descendent of iconic Jewish department store S. Adam in Berlin; Sarah Phillips Collins, designer, Associate Chair of Fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design. Moderator: Sally N. Levine, Executive Director, Georgia Commission on the Holocaust.

Memorable Dress

Cynthanie Sumpter, Fashion Designer and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Art and Fashion at Clark Atlanta University, will present a dress designed with her students in memory of the Jewish owners and employees of the fashion industry who were persecuted and killed during World War II. The dress will feature a mid-forties style and include the names of fashion companies located in Berlin that disappeared during World War II on strips of paper woven into fabric.

Ready to register for the start of this fantastic series of events? Here’s what you need to know:

When: Monday, January 9, 2017
Time: 7:00pm
Where: Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta
Admission: Complimentary

Register Now



Uwe Westphal

uwe-westphal-bild-2Uwe Westphal’s focus as a writer and journalist has been the Nazi era and its persecution of Jews. His master’s studies at Berlin’s University of Arts focused on the fashion industry in pre-Nazi Berlin and the huge Jewish presence in making Berlin not only one of the world’s fashion capitals, but also the origin of “prêt-à-porter.” His research has taken him beyond Berlin to London, New York, and Jerusalem. His research and writings have focused the public’s eye on Nazi confiscation or destruction of thousands of Jewish-owned textile and fashion enterprises in the German capital. He depicts some of those stories in his novel Ehrenfried & Cohn. Goodbye Berlin: The Last Fashion Show.

Dina Gold

dina-goldDina Gold was born and raised in the UK and is now an American citizen living in Washington, DC. She is co-chair of the Washington Jewish Film Festival, on the board of the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, and a senior editor at Moment, the largest independent Jewish magazine in North America. She began her career at the Investors Chronicle as a financial journalist after postgraduate studies at London University and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. She later worked as an investigative journalist and television producer at the BBC.

Christopher Charlton

christopher-charltonChristopher Charlton is a family member of the former Jewish department store S. Adam in Berlin. S. Adam developed a large retail clothing business, focusing primarily on traditional ladies’ and gentlemen’s clothing and later expanding into sportswear. S. Adam represented the English company “Burberry” in Germany and delivered to the German royal family and the Japanese Emperor at the beginning of the 20th century. The Adam family’s passion were sport, flying and scientific adventures. The Adam family also had a strong connection with the movie industry, this continued after their Berlin store closed in 1937.

Sarah Phillips Collins

Sarah Phillips Collins is a Professor and the Associate Chair of Fashion at Savannah College of Art & Design in Atlanta. Sarah teaches courses in history of fashion, computer aided fashion design, collection development, draping, pattern drafting, construction and sketching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. As Associate Chair of Fashion she is responsible for the direction and growth of the department and oversees 5 full-time faculty and 150 students. Sarah has worked on multiple projects at SPANX, including apparel design and product development, trend forecasting, and many more.

Moderator: Sally N. Levine, Executive Director, Georgia Commission on the Holocaust

img0007-sally-levineSally N. Levine joined the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust in December of 2013 from the Breman Museum in Atlanta where she served as the Specialist for Teacher and Curriculum Development. She also currently serves as a Regional Educator for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. In these roles, she has conducted workshops for educators locally and throughout the Southeast, focusing on Holocaust history and pedagogy. The new Core Curriculum Standards as well as Georgia Performance Standards inform her approach to teaching this challenging topic.

Save the Date!

Join us for a further 2 events in this series:

#CanYouFashionIt – What Shapes the Face of Fashion?

Register Now

#CanYouFashionIt – Fashioning Wellness. How Wearable Technology Improves Personalized Wellness

Register Now




Posted on December 20, 2016, in What's Going On? and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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