Paul & Franz-Otto Falke
Falke is an internationally renowned brand that was founded in 1895 and owes its origins to the Falke family from Germany who continue to operate the business to this day. The Falke brand has grown from a small knitting business, producing two dozen socks daily to a worldwide fashion phenomenon with the collection offering quality hosiery, tights, socks, leggings, underwear and sportswear.
The range is now exported to over 30 countries with millions of people now able to appreciate the superior range of products that have evolved from a century of experience and product innovation and designed to consistently deliver comfort and beauty to the customer.
Franz Falke-Rohen has worked as a knitter befor funding his won knitting label in 1895.
His eldest son Franz jun., trained umbrella manufacturer, took over the management of the small knitting mill in 1902 and guides it successfully through the turmoil of the First World War.
Franz Falke-Rohen and his son purchased the “Wool- an Hair-Yarn Spinning Mill Carl Meisenburg” in Schmallenberg in 1918, now known as FALKE Yarns, thereby laying the foundation for the further development of today’s Falke Group.
In 1920 a new factory was build in Schmallenberg with the acquisition of new sock manufacturing machines and the first telephone connection. This same location still functions as the company’s headquarters today. Eight sewing companies branched all the way to Thüringen, was commissioned to aid with the production process.
Franz Falke Senior’s handicraft business of 1895 has turned into a successful industry with approximately 800 employees. Franz Falke Senior dies, leaving behind a considerable lifetime achievement.
In 1939 the Falke Group acquired the “Salomon Stern Knitwear Company”, founded in 1810 in Schmallenber, where Franz Falke-Rohen formerly worked as a knitter. Today the Salomon Stern Company operates under the name Falke Fashion.
The Falke trademark was developed in 1946 and used in the legwear area for the first time. The pictorial image logo was registered and patented as a trademark in 1950.
Sons Paul and Franz-Otto Falke took over the business after the death of their father Franz Falke junior in 1951. Their main aims include strategic brand marketing for all products and the expansion of the export trade. In the ensuing decades sales and production units are established in Europe and abroad.
Falke continue to make a good name for themselves by introducing women’s knitwear thought the 60s and 70s. however, in 1985 the women’s range was discontinued in favour of a stronger preference for a menswear.
Parallel to the concentration of production in Schmallenberg and Lippstadt, the establishment of foreign Falke production companies begun in 1974 in Portugal, Austria and Hungary as well as a location in South Africa.
In 1976 the Corporate directors Paul and Franz-Otto Falke receive the German Mareketing Award.
Falke received its creative impulses through close cooperation with international designers. The licensing partners included Armani, Lagerfeld, Christian Dior and Paul Smith. Additional licensing partners were Moschino, Jeff Sayre, Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo, Boss, Esprit, JOOP! and Camel.
In 1990 Paul Falke sen. dies at the age of seventy. His son Paul and his cousin Franz-Peter, son of Franz-Otto Falke, took over the management of the Group.
In 1992 the first Falke flagship store for outerwear is opened in Cologne.
On 1 July 1997 Falke Group took over the Leinefelde Textile Works GmbH in Leinefelde/Thüringen. With this addition to the Falke Group, not only is the supply of top quality specialized yarns ensured but also the further development of specialized yarns for the clothing industry.
In 1997 and 1998 Falke concentrates its sponsoring activities on the Williams Formula 1 team with Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen as drivers.
In Germany, 81 shop-in-shop systems have been implemented in cooperaton with the trade industry so far. In 1998 Falke was represented with its products in 20 shop systems internationally in Europe’s fashion centers in.
In 1999 Falke Hosiery in Lippstadt and Franz Falke-Rohen Socks were merged under the Falke KG umbrella brand and will thereafter operate as a clothing enterprise.
Since 2005 Falke was a successful full-range supplier of functional sportswear. As a supplement to the existing range of sport socks, basics and second layers Falke Ergonomic Sport System offers a uniform – optimally coordinated product portfolio.
For its perfect combination of high-tech functionality and innovative design the Falke Ess collection was presented the Best Running Clothing Award in 2006.
With effect form 1 April 2008, the Falke Group has burchased the Burlington brand. With this strategic decision, Falke has acquired the right to manufacture and distribute clothing, leather goods and jewelry in the most important international markets. Burlington will remain as an independent brand within the Falke Group.