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March 26, 1988 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-03-26

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BELGIUM'S ""'""'


nvaded by suc-
cessive armies,
divided by two
languages, and
home of the
Parliament, the
small country of
Belgium has
never even
come close to the status of a
glamour capital. That's why the
most recent national develop-
ment is so surprising. Reliable-
but-dull Belgium is quickly gain-
ing international attention for its
youthful design talent and
fashion creativity.
The "sudden" appearance of
young Belgian designers is the
result of an intensive campaign
by the Belgian government to
rebuild its apparel and textile in-
dustries on which so many
Belgian livelihoods depend, ac-
cording to Michel Baecker,
Director General of the Belgian
Institute for Textiles and Apparel
(ITCB). In the 1970's, a
devastating trade imbalance
caused numerous Belgian com-
panies to go bankrupt, and
employment in the textile and
clothing sector was halved.
In 1981, ITCB made its move,
launching a massive two-part
image-building campaign with
the theme "Made in Belgium."
First, prominent photographers
and designers were hired to
present Belgian fashions at an
international level. Second, in

Hand-knit Masai-patterned cotton
sweater has red, yellow and white
accents, by Walter Van

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