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Fashion for the People: a history of clothing at Marks & Spencer

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Recently at Chelsea library they had a wonderful talk about Marks & Spencer (or M&S, Marks & Sparks as it is also known!)

Do you have a story to tell us about Marks & Spencer? The best thing you bought there? or a memorable trip there with somebody special perhaps? We would love to hear your stories!

RBKC Libraries blog

Reference librarians Karen and Gillian write:

Recently, Rachel Worth, Professor of Dress and Fashion at Arts University Bournemouth, delivered a presentation on the history of Marks & Spencer at Chelsea Library. This post is based on what we learnt about the high street giant from Rachel’s fascinating and insightful lecture.

From very humble beginnings in a Penny Bazaar stall at Leeds Kirkgate Market in 1884, Michael Marks and – from  a partnership that began in 1894 – Thomas Spencer together built a company that would become Britain’ s biggest clothing retailer.

From the archives

Today, Marks & Spencer is a company synonymous with quality, reliability and customer care, but do we associate it with fashion?

Well – yes! Marks & Spencer was at the forefront of bringing accessible and fashionable clothing to the masses, at the same time being a pioneer in using new textiles, displays techniques and marketing methods – including the use of “supermodels”…

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