So, you didn’t like history in school? Our company history will certainly interest you. A lot has happened in the 135 years since Valentin Fraas founded the company; and the best is – it’s still happening.
An entrepreneur in every fiber of his body, Valentin fraas founds the company V. FRAAS in the Franconian town of Wüstenselbitz in 1880. Ten employees produce (among other things), neckerchiefs, head scarves, and shawls. Even then scarves were our world, but on a small scale. Then in 1894, Valentin’s son Christian takes over at the helm. With a lot of work and even more talent, V. FRAAS grows. At the turn of the century about 100 workers are employed.
After the war but before the economic boom, the brothers Arthur and Kurt are the third generation Fraas to run the company and make it grow. Despite language barriers (English was not a required school subject), the company succeeds in establishing its first important foreign contacts. Manufacturing capacity is further increased. Arthur Fraas’ son-in-law, Robert Schmidt, takes over the company as chief executive in 1980.
New ideas enrich the company: V. FRAAS grows beyond the Franconian home territory and further develops into an international manufacturer. Branches are established in New York, Toronto, London, and Hong Kong. The beginning of an innovation in textiles, the brand, Cashmink® is introduced. Manufactured from high-quality acrylic, Cashmink® is even softer than cashmere. The brand becomes the most widely sold scarf in the world. In 1991 The Iron Curtain falls, and with it, the success story is continued into Eastern Europe: V. FRAAS opens sales offices in the Czech Republic, Russia, and Poland, and still further east, in Japan and South Korea.
The weaver’s thistle cone meets the silk worm, in 1997 The well-known company Jammers & Leufgen is acquired, thereby allowing silk scarves and shawls to enhance the product range. One billion potential customers are waiting to be served, V. FRAAS opens 70 shops in China. Alexander Schmidt sets up a manufacturing location for knitted accessories in the textile city with the difficult-to-pronounce name Zhangjiagang. Manufacturing strictly adheres to western labor standards.
The FRAAS label is born, Andreas Schmidt is delighted to open the first FRAAS store in Germany in Berlin, the same year the company celebrates its 125th anniversary.
Andreas Schmidt opens five FRAAS stores in Germany. The new internet debut www.fraas.com featuring FRAAS' first online shop is open for business. Now you can also reside in our products, FRAAS starts a new line of business named “Solutions in Textile”. The product portfolio includes, for example, carbon-fiber grids used to reinforce concrete.
Happy birthday, Cashmink®:
Our top seller turns 25 and FRAAS proves that at 130 years of age, you can still be a trendsetter.
Scarves around the world, FRAAS is established at 25 locations around the world and employs a total of 600 workers, the half of which are in Germany. 2015, FRAAS goes Middle East. A market with enormous potential, two FRAAS – The Scarf Company stores have opened their doors in Tehran, Iran. In 2016 the brand starts the expansion in Middle and South America. FRAAS – The Scarf Company opened a new store in the Mall of Africa in Johannesburg. The www.fraas.com website is available in different new languages: Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish and Indian.