The wave of privatisation
Companies like Moda Polska and Cora Garwolin, Telimena, Jarlan S.A., Dana and Hoffland – state-owned powerhouses of the fashion industry – began to go private. They maintained their national sales network, while working to release a new collection each season.
At the same time, mainstream brands from the West began to trickle in, along with their modern marketing strategies. ZARA (in Poland since 1999) was on top, its styles following the hottest trends of the moment. It was even considered a ‘premium’ brand at the time. For local manufacturers, it served as a prime example of a fine-tuned approach to production, distribution and promotion.
Such shops were considered on par with luxury boutiques. For its owners, they were a goldmine because the market absorption rate was quite high for the era…
In the meantime, some of the fashion giants that had thrived during socialism began to falter. There were a number of big mistakes made on the road to privatization. Restructuring meant that some people lost their jobs, mostly those involved in the manufacturing process. Many companies also lost track of a clear-cut vision for their products that could compete with foreign brands – on their own market, no less.