A story from Munich
LODENFREY is like no other brand in Germany for style and tradition. The company, based in Munich, is now in the 6th generation of the family. It is our goal to inspire future generations with our iconic products that are based on natural materials.
The year Lodenfrey was founded. The young Johann Georg Frey came to Munich as a trained weaver and acquired a "weaver's right", his first license, at the age of 21 for 250 guilders. With 10 looms he begins to manufacture simple and smooth woolen fabrics.
The water-repellent loden brought him the gold medal for this world first at the Paris World Exhibition in 1855.
A mechanical sheep's wool spinning mill, cloth and wool goods factory in Dianabad in Munich's English Garden is built. The existing hydropower of the Schwabinger and the favorable location offer everything desirable for the production of loden. The washed and milled loden can be air-dried here.
The foundation for the factory in Osterwaldstrasse in Munich was laid. The international career of the natural product loden can no longer be stopped. The German and Austrian nobility, headed by Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830-1916), wore the loden to hunt and thus made it acceptable.
In 1872 his son, Johann Baptist Frey, developed the bar loden (Strichloden). This is the first really water-repellent loden, a roughened and impregnated fabric. The loden coat was born, which becomes an iconic classic.
Georg Frey joins the company in the third generation. This year, construction of the Bavarian Zugspitzbahn begins on Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze. Against the harsh weather and the cold wind, the men wear loden coats by Lodenfrey. The construction of our own clothing factory enables the industrial production of loden coats.
They can be passed on to resellers. Thanks to the expansive business policy, it is possible to steadily increase sales despite the onset of the economic crisis at the beginning of the 1930s.
In addition to working at Lodenfrey, Georg Frey mainly devoted himself to his hobby, collecting beetles. He traveled all over the world and built up the largest private collection of beetles in the world with 3 million beetles from 97,000 species. He exhibited these copies in his museum in Tutzing. He also advanced to an honorary doctorate from the Ludwig Maximilans University in Munich and honorary consul of Guatemala. Today the beetles are a focus of the entomological collections in the Natural History Museum Basel.
The Lodenfrey story in the years of National Socialism is presented in detail in a separate and independent historical report. We can provide you with a copy on request.
Lodenfrey conquers the world market. Second companies are founded in the USA and France, and sales offices are opened in the Empire State Building in New York and Boston. There are also sales branches in Dresden, Vienna, Brussels and Stockholm. In the 1950s Lodenfrey was already exporting to over 40 countries.
Herbert and Georg Frey take over the management as the fourth generation and continue to drive the expansion policy. There are 600 points of sales worldwide and Lodenfrey products are sold in Chile, Syria, Lebanon and even to King Hussein in Jordan.
In 1964, the construction of a spacious factory in Bad Ischl in Austria began. In a short time, the Austrian subsidiary is one of the most modern equipped companies in the world.
The benefits for employees are improved: Germany’s first company kindergarten including an infant station is opened in the Loden factory in Munich, a company health insurance fund is developed, a works library is opened and living space is created for employees.
There is a Lodenfrey ski hut that all staff could use for excursions. A legendary carnival ball was organized there every year and a visit to the Oktoberfest was and is always popular.
Lodenfrey employs 2,000 people and enables 60 apprentices to train every year. We are pleased that our team still consists of many of the former apprentices.
1970 - the seamstresses in Munich become scarce, the requirements become stricter and production becomes more expensive. Bavarian loden coats are now sewn under palm trees in a dedicated production facility in Malta.
Another generation change at Lodenfrey. With Dr. Sabine Frey and Dr. Dr. Peter Frey is the 5th generation to take over the company.
In 1995 the fifth generation brings the fashionable Country Frey lifestyle collection onto the market. The house is now ready for the turn of the century. In addition to classic function and costume, Lodenfrey is also setting trends in the new era.
In 1996 the traditional Bavarian company Zeiler, which specializes in leather clothing, is taken over. Lodenfrey builds a development and logistics center in Garching near Munich and relocates the company headquarters there.
The exclusive costume collection "Poldi" is launched together with his KH Prinz Leopold von Bayern .
This is followed by other new brands. "Wearable electronics" is developing a multimedia costume that can be used to listen to music and make calls, as well as a heated loden coat. Lodenfrey received an innovation voucher from the Free State of Bavaria.
2011 the toboggan legend "Schorsch Hackl" is the godfather for a new collection consisting of loden and knitted jackets.
With Antonia and Leonard von Pfister, the sixth generation joins the family company.