We look back on a tradition that has lasted more than 100 years. A great deal has happened since our foundation in 1907. Find out all about the most important milestones in KUNERT FASHION GMBH’s company history here.
Cheers to Seventy!
In 1913 Fritz Seifart from Thuringia came to New York and founded his first stocking factory at the Hudson River in New Jersey in 1926. After the Second World War, the “rich uncle” from America supported his family in Germany. The story of the Hudson stockings began on August 3, 1949 in Stuttgart.
KUNERT celebrates 111 years
Only a few succeed in building and establishing permanently an internationally renowned brand. The fact that the Maria Kunert knitting mill, founded in 1907, has become the KUNERT brand, which is known worldwide today, is a unique success story. KUNERT took the anniversary as an opportunity to bring a collection on the market which is showing the entire expertise of the last decades by using special processing details such as lace and velvet.
A world first: KUNERT BLUE – fashion that respects the circle of life
We prove our sustainable philosophy with the launch of the KUNERT BLUE collection. Quality, an awareness of trends and a sense of responsibility towards the environment are combined together in accordance with the motto “Fashion that respects the circle of life”.
Launch of the KUNERT MOMMY TIGHTS
We introduced the innovative MOMMY TIGHTS. They are pregnancy tights that can be adjusted to fit the growing baby bump. As a result, we have created a tights collection that accompanies pregnant women perfectly through this special time in their life.
Launch of the KUNERT MEN line
The exclusive KUNERT MEN line was successfully launched and replaced the previous Julius Kunert brand. The brand combines craftsmanship with exquisite materials and meets the highest standards that suit both a business outfit and a sporty, casual leisure look.
Planned insolvency and re-establishment of KUNERT FASHION GMBH
The KUNERT AG executive board filed for insolvency for the companies KUNERT AG, KUNERT Fashion GmbH & Co. KG and KUNERT Fashion Verwaltungs-GmbH on 21 February 2013.
The Austrian entrepreneur Dr. Erhard F. Grossnigg joined the company. The operating business was integrated into the newly established KUNERT FASHION GMBH. This made it possible for KUNERT FASHION to relaunch with a newly formed executive board.
KUNERT’s innovative FRESH UP, WARM UP and FLY & CARE ranges
The FRESH UP collection is refreshing in the summer thanks to an innovative composition of materials. The WARM UP range supports thermal insulation for pleasantly warm legs in winter. The KUNERT FLY & CARE collection includes support hosiery that prevent legs from getting tired, for example on long flights or everyday in the office.
Launch of the non-run CHINCHILLAN range
KUNERT launched the non-run CHINCHILLAN range on the market making many women’s dreams of tights without ladders come true.
Entry into e-commerce
Focus on the core business
The company focused on its core business of the KUNERT, Julius Kunert and Hudson brands. The German production and sales companies were consolidated into KUNERT Fashion GmbH & Co. KG.
100 years of KUNERT
The traditional company celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Takeover by a consortium of investors
A consortium of investors joins KUNERT after significant drops in sales as a result of drastic changes to the market.
Julius Kunert passed away
Julius Kunert died on 7 February 1993 at the age of 93.
Highest annual turnover
KUNERT achieved its highest annual turnover in the company’s history with almost 700 million German marks.
KUNERT AG IPO
KUNERT AG was floated on the stock exchange in 1988.
Factory founded in Morocco
Foundation of the production plant in Tétouan in northern Morocco.
Europe’s largest hosiery producer
KUNERT moves up to become Europe’s largest hosiery producer.
Acquisition of the Hudson brand
The KUNERT company expands its range of products by acquiring the Hudson brand. Hudson meets the demanding needs of all age groups and still complements the KUNERT company today.
Rainer Michel becomes the 2nd CEO
In 1971 Julius Kunert appointed his nephew Rainer Michel as his deputy and he managed the operating business from then on. Julius Kunert deals with strategic issues.
The Chinchillan yarn
The yarn is the hosiery’s soul. Julius Kunert knew this. KUNERT had developed a hosiery yarn that had unique product properties: extremely elastic, supple, transparent and with a silky shimmer. Chinchillan tights dominated the market for many years.
KUNERT profits from the economic miracle
Roughly 1,300 employees produced approximately 240,000 pairs of stockings a week in 1959. KUNERT impressed the fashion-conscious clientèle with constantly new materials, forms and colours – not just in Germany but throughout Europe.
The changing KUNERT logo
The KUNERT logo had a striking bow added in June 1950.
The nylons cult in Germany: on a successful path with Mariana
Mariana was launched on the market at the start of the 1950s. Mariana were the first stockings from Immenstadt advertised under the brand name KUNERT again. It was the right product at the right time as nylons had developed into a real cult in post-war Germany.
1945 – 1947
Dispossession and redevelopment
The Kunert family was dispossessed at the end of the Second World War, which is why they fled to the West. Julius Kunert jun. took a chance on the redevelopment in Immenstadt in Allgäu together with a few employees from Warnsdorf in 1947.
Juliana – the first natural silk stockings
With KUNERT having popularised fine stockings, the company successfully turned its focus to the luxury segment. As a result, KUNERT launched stockings made from the finest natural silk on the market in 1937. They were named after Juliana, the newly wed crown princess back then and Queen of the Netherlands later on.
Marlene Dietrich promotes KUNERT
Elite were the first Bemberg silk stockings, an artificial cupro silk. They became the best selling stockings in Europe in the 1930s. Even Marlene Dietrich seductively promoted these special stockings.
The qualified businessman Julius Kunert. jun. recognised the potential abroad and focused on export. The company rose to become Europe’s largest hosiery producer with roughly 5,000 employees.
KUNERT – a synonym for elegant, fashionable legwear
KUNERT was the first producer to print the company name on packaging in 1924 so that with their next purchase satisfied customers could specifically ask for KUNERT stockings. The KUNERT brand became synonymous with elegant legwear.
Foundation of the Wirkwarenfabrik J. KUNERT & Söhne GmbH
The invention of the cotton machine made it possible to produce stockings in the shape of legs. The Kunert family purchased cotton machines and founded the “Wirkwarenfabrik J. KUNERT & Söhne GmbH” in 1924. Production began in October with 18 employees. To start with this amounted to roughly 300 pairs of stockings per day.
Julius Kunert joins the company
Maria’s husband Julius Kunert sen. (*1871 †1950) joined and expanded the knitting factory at the start of the 1920s along with their two sons Heinrich (*1899) and Julius jun. (*1900 †1993) later on. The two sons in particular brought new life to the business and recognised the signs of the time, as fashion was astonishingly liberal after the First World War: women were showing off their legs and there was a huge demand for elegant legwear.
Foundation of a knitting factory
Maria Kunert, née Worm (*1873 †1950), registered a knitting factory in Warnsdorf in Sudeten Germany (Varnsdorf in the Czech Republic today) to commercially produce stockings and other knitwear on her hand knitting machine. The foundation stone was laid for the KUNERT global brand.