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