Kansas City Garment District Pieces the Past Together

Authored by Ann Brownfield, David W. Jackson


We Were Hanging By A Thread is a book about fashion history. Specifically, it highlights Kansas City, Missouri’s once world-renowned textile and garment manufacturing industry.

The book focuses on individuals that clothing designer and co-founder of the Historic Kansas City Garment District Museum, Ann Brownfield, has known in her career and retirement. This book honors a diverse workforce – from native Kansas Citians and minority first and second-generation Americans. They came to Kansas City from all backgrounds and countries around the globe to make their livelihood in the garment district.

Anyone living, working, or visiting downtown Kansas City, the “Heart of America,” will find this book of interest.

Architectural historians will find the built environment of the Garment District notable. Even barbeque enthusiasts will savor learning that Henry Perry, “the father of Kansas City-style barbecue,” got his start in 1908 from a stand in an alley in this historic neighborhood.

Through this book, you will gain an appreciation for an art form and way of life that is no more.

Available in two Versions: Black & White, and Full Color

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Book Event: Sunday, September 15 @ 2:00 pm

Ann Brownfield, curator of the Kansas City Garment District Museum, examines this important piece of local industry in a discussion of her new book We Were Hanging by a Thread at the Kansas City Public Library, 14 W. 10th St. A recording of the event is available here: