Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tiger of Sweden History

We've just started receiving some new stuff from Tiger of Sweden, and we're very excited about this season. It's going to be amazing. 
Today, we'd like to talk about the history of this brand since some of you might not be too familiar with this line, yet. Tiger of Sweden is still new to a lot of the customers at Lark, but this company is actually more than 100 years old, and has a great history behind it. 

Tiger of Sweden History : The Beginning

The manufacturing of ready-to-wear suits in the beginning of the last century was extremely rare, if not to say revolutionary. It was an idea that would become a key factor in the success story I am now am about to tell. This is the first part in the history of Tiger of Sweden.

The history of Tiger begins in 1903 when Marcus Schwartzman and Hjalmar Nordström founded the company in Uddevalla ( a rather small town on the Swedish westcoast) that would later become known as Tiger. The company was first named Schwartzman & Nordström, who specialised in making top quality tailored suits.

At the time gentlemen went to a tailor when buying a new suit, often visiting the tailor several times while the suit took shape. Schwartzman decided to do the opposite.

At first he travelled around the country, taking the measurements of his customers in their homes. Nordström his partner, who was more reserved oversaw the production at the small factory back in Uddevalla.

In 1905 Nordström left the company due to a conflict of interest between him and Schwartzman of how the company should evolve. Schwartzman wanted to start making ready-to-wear garments, and that’s what happened.

The idea of making ready-to-wear suits was brand new, and was an immediate success. The public demand was enormous and lead to a rapid growth of the company. After having production in a series of small venues,the construction of a large-scale factory began in 1928. In 1929 thefactory opened and staffed a 1000 people.
Marcus Schwartzman

How Tiger got its name
There are quite a few stories of how Tiger got its name. The truth actually lies in a series of well liked suits.

At first Schwartzman & Nordström had given their suit models different numbers. Later on they decided to give them names instead. In 1926 the model Tiger 1 saw the light, followed by Tiger 2 and Tiger 3. The model Tiger was extremely popular from the start. It led to a massive success to the point where the workers at the factory put a big Tiger sign up on the roof. From this day on people started calling the company Tiger.

The building of a new factory
After the opening of the factory in 1929 Schwartzman soon realized that it wasn’t enough.

The plans for a new factory began. When it opened in 1949 it was marked by Schwartzman’s utmost consideration for his staff, being one of the most modern factories in the whole of Europe.
A shipment of fabric arrives in the beginning of the last century.

In the spring of 1939 Schartzman purchased the lot where the factory later was to be built. When the Second World War broke out later that year, the plans had to be put on a hold. Tiger had to reorganize and started producing garments for the Swedish Armed Forces instead.

When the war ended in 1945, the construction of the new factory began. In 1949 the factory was finally ready.

For a long time Schwartzman had prioritised the well-being of his staff. For instance he had purchased a recreation home, started a day nursery, built homes, introduced 17 days of vacation and Christmas bonus for all employees. The new factory was marked by the same amount of consideration. The suits Malte and Randon featured in the spring lookbook of 1952
It had air conditioning, a speaker system with music shows, a staff diningroom, an electrically heated sauna and swimming pool. It might sound something that you would take for granted today, but back in 1949 it truly wasn’t.

In 1955 Marcus Schwartzman died at the age of 77. This was the beginning of turbulent time in the company’s history…
A drawing of the new factory built in 1949

The suits Malte and Randon featured in the spring lookbook of 1952

No comments: