Meet Matthaeus Schwarz And The World's First Fashion Book

Meet Matthaeus Schwarz And The World's First Fashion Book

A resident of Augsburg, Germany in the 16th century, Matthaeus Schwarz was both a shrewd accountant and a fashion connoisseur. From 1520 to 1560, he commissioned a total of 137 portraits of himself and his outfits, and compiled them into what's known as the Schwarz Book of Clothes. He appears to be one of the first people to document fashion in this way, and went to great lengths to obtain his custom ensembles.

08:33

from Cambridge University

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Matthaeus Schwarz compiled 137 portraits of himself and the outfits he wore from when he was a child to when he was a man in his 60s. (0:50)

  • 2

    In the 16th century, customers would have to bring fabrics to their tailors, embroiderers, and other artisans in order to have an outfit made. (2:54)

  • 3

    See a reconstruction of one of Matthaeus Schwarz's outfits: (6:56)

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