Welcome to the world of FWS

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1910-1919

1913: Company founded by Mr. Friedrich W. Schneider

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1920-1939

1921: The son of Friedrich W. Schneider, Heinz Schneider, starts working for FWS; first export – to the Netherlands 

1928: Fritz Heemeyer starts working for FWS

1930: Friedrich W. Schneider quits his job (dies in 1937), his son Heinz Schneider takes over the company 

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1940-1949

1947: Fritz Heemeyer becomes partner and executive director of the new “Friedrich W. Schneider KG”

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1950-1959

1950: Beginning of the import of the brands “Cervo” (Italy), “Dobesch” (Vienna, Austria), “Christy” (England), “Valensy” (Belgium)

1957: Executive sale of “Flechet Paris” until 1972; FWS sells first fabric hat (nylon and poplin) 

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1960-1969

1962: New brand “MISTRAL”; Hartwig Heemeyer starts working for FWS

1963: Beginning of import from USA (Henschel St. Louis – Triboro New York)

1965: Foundation of “Schneider & Heemeyer GmbH“, new company name: “Friedrich W. Schneider GmbH & Co. KG“; distribution of “Pierre Cardin” hats (until 1972)

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1970-1979

1970: Heinz Schneider dies; executive sale of “Kangol England” (men’s collection)

1971: Hartwig Heemeyer becomes executive director and partner

1972: Beginning of import from China (Canton) 

1975: Fritz Heemeyer stops working for FWS; new hat brand “Polaris”

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1980-1989

1980: Rüdiger Bigus starts apprenticeship at FWS

1986: The company moves to Steyler Str. 21 in Köln Holweide where it is still located today

1988: Extension of the "Balmoral" collection

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1990-1999

1990: Foundation of „Horst Zins GmbH“, executive director: Rüdiger Bigus

1995: Beginning distribution of “Bollman” hats (Lite Felt) in Europe (until 1998)

1996: Klaus Kirschner starts working for FWS

1997: Fritz Heemeyer dies; Hartwig Heemeyer becomes sole executive director

1997: Rüdiger Bigus becomes executive director and copartner 

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1990-1999

1998: “STETSON” licence for Europe; Beginning of new production in Hartha, Saxony, in a new environment

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2000-2009

2005: Klaus Kirschner becomes copartner and executive director

2008: Hartwig Heemeyer stops working for FWS and sells the enterprise; the executive directors Rüdiger Bigus and Klaus Kirschner take over the company