SALAMANDER takes its first steps

Nothing is easy at first. And it was no different for 23-year Jakob Sigle when he set up shop as a shoemaker in Kornwestheim, near Stuttgart, Germany, in 1885. Six years later he is joined by Max Levi, a leather merchant from Stuttgart. Under the name J. Sigle und Cie, they soon have some 125 employees and, by 1897, they occupy a four-storey workshop. In 1904, SALAMANDER is born – complete with its own font, logo and patent. Shortly after, a larger shoe factory is built in Kornwestheim.

The idea of establishing a network of stores in addition to selling via independent sales people seems perfect. And it soon becomes a reality: by 1909 there are 26 dedicated SALAMANDER outlets. In 1914, 2,880 employees produced over 2 million pairs of shoes. In 1925, Max Levi – a key influence in the company’s success – died. By 1927, the SALAMANDER brand was registered in over 123 states. And the Sigle Group owned a number of additional companies. In 1930, these organisations were consolidated to form SALAMANDER AG, a publicly traded company. Five years later, Jakob Sigle died, age 73.


Jakob Sigle
Max Levi
Jakob Sigle (centre) and the first employees
Store in Tauentzienstrasse, Berlin, around 1910
The shoe factory around 1930