genres: culture, industry, fashion, non-fiction
Fred Wilkinson (1933-2017) spent more than forty years working in the Australian clothing trade. His father, George Wilkinson, spent more than fifty years, starting in the late 1800s when he joined Sidney Myer as one of Myer's first employees in Bendigo, Victoria, when Myer was still a hawker.
Fred's own career in sales and sales management included time with leading Australian menswear companies such as Anthony Squires, Levi Strauss, Keith Courtenay Clothing, D & W Murray and Sutex.
After retiring and seeing the demise of a great industry with local manufacturers and retailers forced to close, unable to compete with the minority of large conglomerates flooding their stores with imported merchandise from cheap labour countries in their chase for huge profit margins, Fred decided to document the industry before the Australian clothing trade's rich history was forgotten.
The result is My Life in the Ragtrade.
My Life in the Ragtrade is the story of the famous Australian brand names, many developed from humble beginnings yet made in clothing factories employing thousands of people, and the grand retail stores and clothing shops that stocked those brands. Come, join Fred on a walk down memory lane through Australia's rich textile, fashion and retail history.
Fred Wilkinson in 5AA Radio Adelaide
Fred Wilkinson says he is still "upset completely" over the way Australia's manufacturing industry was killed ... read more
Fred Wilkinson in Australia All Over, ABC Radio
Macca sat down with Fred Wilkinson to talk about 'My Life in the Ragtrade', and the fascinating history of Australia's ... read more