Don’t all great things start that way?
Roofer Franz Falke-Rohen worked as a knitter during the winter months, then just a few moons before the turn of the century, the impulse came: he made up his mind to set up his own knitting mill in Germany.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Our founding year
Roofer Franz Falke-Rohen, who worked as a seasonal knitter in the cold winter months, founds his own knitting mill.
The second FALKE generation
His oldest son Franz Jr., a trained umbrella maker, takes charge of the small knitting mill and leads it through the turmoil of the First World War.
Franz Falke-Rohen and his son purchase the “Wool and Hair-Yarn Spinning Mill Carl Meisenburg” in Schmallenberg (later FALKE Yarns], thereby laying the foundation for the development of today's group of companies.
Establishment of company headquarters
A new factory is built in Schmallenberg featuring new hosiery machines and its first telephone system. The headquarters of the FALKE Group is still at the same location today. Eight sewing subsidiaries reaching all the way to Thuringia were added as contract manufacturers.
FALKE on the way to expansion
Franz Falke Senior's handicraft business founded in 1895 has become an impressive industrial company with approximately 800 employees. This is the year Franz Falke Senior passes away, leaving behind a considerable life's work.
Acquisition of the “Salomon Stern Knitwear Company”, founded in Schmallenberg in 1810, where Franz Falke-Rohen formerly worked as a knitter. Today the “Salomon Stern” company operates under the name FALKE Fashion.
The FALKE trademark was designed in 1946 and first used for legwear. The word-image logo was registered and protected as a trademark in 1950.
The third FALKE generation
Sons Paul and Franz-Otto Falke take over the group after the death of their father Franz Falke Jr. Their goals include consistent brand management for all product lines and the development of foreign markets for export. In the ensuing decades, sales offices and production facilities are established in Europe and abroad.
Purchase of the Uhli hosiery plant, founded in 1948. This is where the first nylon stockings were made and the first tights were finished on a cotton machine. With this purchase, FALKE was able to tap into both the fine and knitted hosiery markets.
FALKE women's fashion
In addition to hosiery, FALKE makes a very good name for itself with women's knitwear. However, the women's line was discontinued in 1985 in favour of a stronger focus on men's fashion.
Along with concentrating production in the Schmallenberg and Lippstadt parent plants, FALKE begins establishing foreign production facilities in Portugal, Austria and Hungary as well as a location in South Africa. www.falke.co.za
In this year, the corporate directors Paul and Franz-Otto Falke receive the German Marketing Award.
Strong licensing partnerships
FALKE is inspired by collaborating with international designers. Licensing partnerships are worked out with Armani, Lagerfeld, Christian Dior and Paul Smith. Other licensing partners include Moschino, Jeff Sayre, Yves Saint-Laurent, Kenzo, Boss, Esprit, JOOP! and Camel.
The fourth FALKE generation
Paul Falke Sr. dies at the age of seventy. His son Paul and Paul's cousin Franz-Peter, son of Franz-Otto Falke, take over the management of the Group.
Cologne flagship store
The first FALKE Flagship Store for outerwear is opened in Cologne.
Introduction of ESS
FALKE is the first supplier of functional sports socks for running, skiing and trekking. The anatomically shaped footbed - socks for the right and left foot - is patented. In the same year, FALKE established a partnership with the Austrian Ski Association and has been equipping athletes with products ever since.
FALKE Yarns receives the German environmental protection award in the category “Environmentally-friendly Products” from the BDI (German Union of Engineers]. The award is presented for the development of “Clima Wool”, an insulating material made of sheep's wool.
Leinefelde Textilewerke GmbH (LTW] in Leinefelde, Thuringia is acquired on 1 July 1997. With this commitment, FALKE not only ensures its own supply of high-quality specialised yarns, but also expands LTW to be a specialised innovator in the development of yarns for the textile and clothing industry.
In 1997 and 1998, FALKE concentrates its sponsoring on the Williams Formula 1 team with Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen as drivers. In 1997, Jacques Villeneuve wins the Formula 1 World Championship. Heinz-Harald Frentzen takes second place and the Williams team reaches 1st place in the World Constructors' Championship.
Shop-in-shop systems and flagship stores
By now, 81 shop-in-shop systems have been implemented in Germany in cooperation with the trade industry. On an international level, FALKE presents its company's products in 20 shop-in-shop systems in the fashion centres of Europe. FALKE has opened its own flagship stores in the best locations in select fashion capitals: Berlin and Ascona.
FALKE Hosiery in Lippstadt and Franz Falke-Rohen Socks are merged under the FALKE KG umbrella brand and will operate thereafter as a clothing enterprise.
Full-range supplier for activewear
FALKE successfully markets itself as a full-range supplier of functional activewear. As a supplement to the existing range of sport socks, basics and second layers, FALKE Ergonomic Sport System offers a comprehensive product portfolio with items that coordinate perfectly with each other.
Runner's World Ispo Award 2006 for FALKE ESS
The FALKE ESS collection was presented the Best Running Clothing Award thanks to its perfect combination of high-tech functionality and innovative design.
Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany
FALKE – which was the only textile company to be nominated – received this award for its highly innovative athletic pullover for active sports on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economics.
Purchase of the Burlington trademark rights
The FALKE Group purchases the Burlington brand, effective as of 1 April. With this strategic decision, FALKE has acquired the right to manufacture and distribute clothing, leather goods and jewellery in key international markets. Burlington will remain as an independent brand within the FALKE Group.
Flagshipstore in Ascona
In Ascona, Switzerland, the FALKE Group opens another flagship store in a top location, which will represent the company's brand identity in the future.
Opening of the production site in Serbia
The new factory in Leskovac starts production. Knitted legwear and fine hosiery are manufactured here for the global fashion market going forward.
Opening of the FALKE store in Zurich
FALKE opens its first store in German-speaking Switzerland in an exclusive location at Rennweg 2 in Zurich.
This winter is the first time FALKE has outfitted the German National Ski Teams Ski Alpine and Ski Cross with performance underwear and ski tights from FALKE Ergonomic Sport System.
Launch of the innovative FALKE Impulse Running
This new type of activewear helps to optimise your running style and prevent health risks and injuries. In order to do so, silicone nubs up to four millimetres high stimulate the fasciae in our connective tissue.
Leg Aesthetics & Life Performance Solutions
Introducing the new support line for women's and men's legwear.
Launch of the FALKE 4Grip
Always a millisecond faster than your opponent. Winning the game thanks to better grip: a fast start and rapid changes of direction, whether for sprinting to the outline, in a defensive battle or when hitting the goal – FALKE 4Grip makes it possible. Silicone naps at the inside and outside of the socks create a direct link between the foot and the shoe, thus ensuring optimum grip.
Opening of the FALKE store in Shanghai.
Opening of the FALKE store in Beijing.
The place where the values of more than three thousand years of history meet with the urban lifestyle of a modern metropolis. This attractive city is just the right place to showcase the 122 years of manufacturing tradition and the unique FALKE style.
FALKE presents the re-launch of its “Seidenglatt” range
The new quality and the improved, more regular mesh pattern highlight the stylish glitter design of the sheer tights. With the comfortable waistband, the socks specialist ensures optimum wearing comfort.
FALKE opens first sports store in Hong Kong
With more than 7 million inhabitants, Hong Kong, the fascinating metropolis at the Chinese south coast, is one of the most important cities in Asia. In addition to various sights, Hong Kong first and foremost stands for an equilibrium between Western and Eastern culture. The perfect location to make the world of FALKE even more tangible in this city.
Launch of the new FALKE Oxford.
Elegant, two-tone business socks with a jacquard pattern. The colours get a special brilliance and radiance form the high-quality, mercerised cotton.