Lodenfrey was founded in 1842 by Johann Georg Frey, a young skilled weaver. Frey, at the age of 21, moved to Munich and purchased his first weaving license for 250 gulden, a “Webergerechtsame.” Frey was awarded the first prize at the Vienna trade exhibition for the production of simple and smooth woolen clothes on 10 looms. Frey continued to adapt his methods of production to the needs of the time and thus gained mass recognition. In 1854 frey received a gold medal for the world’s first water- repellent loden cloth from the world exhibition in Paris.
1862 plans were made for a mechanical spinning mill for sheep wool in a cloth and woolen factory at “Dianabad,” in the english garden of Munich. The location and availability of water-power provided everything needed for the production of loden, the washed and fulled loden left out to dry in the open. The war against France began and a recession is overcome with the help of the bavarian royal court.
In 1870 details are arranged for a factory in the Osterwaldstrasse in Munich. The popularity of loden cloth has grown internationally with the nobility in Germany and Austria, especially Franz Joseph I (1830-1916), leading the trend. In royal courts, loden cloth is now worn during hunting parties and thus making it court acceptable.
In 1872, the founder’s son, Johann Baptist Frey, develops the first truly water-repellent loden cloth called the “napped loden,” a cloth that is raised to form a nap and is impregnated. This marks the birth of the loden coat that will ultimately become a classic and is manufactured by hand still to this day.
In 1928 Georg Frey becomes the third generation to join the family enterprise. This same year marks the beginning construction of the “Zugspitabahn,” a rack-railroad leading to Germany’s highest mountain, the “Zugspite.” The rack- railroad workers wear the loden coats of Lodenfrey to protect themselves against the rough climate. The construction of the Lodenfrey’s own clothing factory enables the mass production of ready-to-wear loden coats that are later supplied to retailers. Due to an expansive business policy, the Lodenfrey’s turnover increases despite an economic crisis on the rise in the early thirties.
Lodenfrey conquers the market across the world in 1948. Lodenfrey opens a branch in the United States and shortly afterwards opens another branch in France. During the fifties, Lodenfrey is exporting merchandise to more than 40 countries.
In 1950 the fourth generation joins the company, Herbert and Bernhard Frey. Following in 1956, a Lodenfrey branch is opened in Austria.
In 1964 construction begins for a large-scale factory in Bad Ischl in Austria. Shortly afterwards, the austrian branch is one of the most advanced operations of its kind in the world.
Lodenfrey receives the “ComitÃ¨ du bon goÃ»t franÃ§aus” cup, the coveted Oscar of the fashion world in 1968.
In 1977 a Lodenfrey is opened in malta.
The company is awarded the city of Munich fashion prize in1979.
Lodenfrey makes a fashion statement in 1983 with its recognized yet casual dresses and transforms a tradition into a fashion.
The years between 1991 and 1995 mark a change of generations for the Lodenfrey company. Dr. Sabine Frey (1991) and Dr. Peter Frey (1995), the fifth generation, take over the management of the company. In 1995 the new management introduces “Country Frey,” a trendy lifestyles collection. Lodenfrey is ready for the turn of the century with the combination of classic functionality and tradition with modern trends.
In 1996 Lodenfrey takes over the traditional bavarian company “Jakob Zeiler” in Geisenhausen. Zeiler is the ideal compliment to Lodenfrey’s traditional loden collection with specialization in the production of high quality leather clothing in a casual, yet traditional dress style.
2003 marks the creation of “Poldi,” an exclusive collection created jointly with h.r.h. PrinceLaunch website