Fred Wilkinsonculture, 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.