Entries in Garment Industry

Boyle, Gertrude
In 1970, when Gert Boyle became the president of Columbia Sportswear, the company was a small, struggling organization with low profit margins. Five years later, Columbia went international and was expanding at an impressive rate. Continue Reading »
Hirsch, Max
Max Hirsch and his son Harold Hirsch were responsible for building one of Portland’s most famous businesses and helping to create a sportswear industry. Max Hirsch was a first-generation German Jewish immigrant to Portland who in 1907 purchased Willamette Tent & Awning from a Portland businessman and turned it into the Hirsch-Weis Company. Building on the success of his father's company, Harold grew his skiwear line into White Stag, one of the largest skiwear companies in the world. Continue Reading »
Oberlaender, Gustav
Gustav Oberlaender, a Rhinelander who spent his adult life in the United States, became a dominant figure in the full-fashioned hosiery industry. He and his partners, fellow immigrants Ferdinand Thun and Henry Janssen, used skills acquired in Germany to establish textile machinery and hosiery firms in the United States, undercutting their birth country’s exporters. Continue Reading »
Oppenheimer, Henry
A successful retailer and wholesaler and longtime president of Hutzler Brothers Company, Henry Oppenheimer used family connections to establish and further his career in the United States after emigrating from Baden. Continue Reading »
Schaffner, Joseph
The founders of the clothing firm Hart Schaffner & Marx (HSM) belonged to a small network of Jewish migrants from a few villages just outside of Worms. Soon after establishing the business in 1887, the lead partners Joseph Schaffner and Harry Hart turned HSM into a top brand for stylish, high quality men’s suits. Continue Reading »
Strauss, Levi
The name Levi Strauss is famous worldwide, and will be forever linked to the world’s first blue jeans, a product he helped to create. But Strauss was more than just the manifestation of his various denim products. He started his business when San Francisco was a raw, rowdy town and when he was only in his early twenties. The man and the city grew up together, as Strauss helped to make it the commercial capital of the West. Continue Reading »