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Aenne Burda Died · 2005-11-05

I'm late with this post, but I did have a hard time backing the information given here. Today I managed to find a second source: Anna Magdalene Burda died last week at the age of 96. She was head of the biggest publishing house specialising in fashion in germany.

How did she become head of this enterprise? Well, her husband, publisher Franz Burda, had a long term liason with a certain lady. He financed a little fashion publishing house for her to provide her with a hobby. This enterprise was not run very well at all.

When in 1949 Aenne found out about the liason and that there was a child from this liason, just the same age as her youngest son, she offered the following. She would only stay with him1, if this woman would disapear from their live without trace and(!) if Aenne would get the publishing house. With her hostile takeover the rise of Burda Moden began. This is the founding story of one of the big publishing houses in germany and, by the way, the first western firm to publish fashion magazines and sewing patterns in Russia in 1987.

Next to the story of the founding of Burda-Moden there is a second interesting point. It is the large scale publishing of sewing patterns, which brought independence from tailors to german females. It is actually an early open source business case that worked. Got my point?

Let's remain silent for a moment. A great woman left.

1 note that we are in the fifties, one would not divorce quickly. It could have damaged the careers of both.

(via dradio)

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