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Gabor is a German company known for affordable, quality shoes. The company was founded in 1949 by Joachim and Bernhard Gabor as B. & J. Gabor Damenschuhfabrik in Barmstadt, near Hamburg. Their father had owned a shoe and leather goods shop that he had opened 1919 in Gross-Strehlitz Upper Silesia (current day Poland). He and his wife were killed during WWII after having evacuated their children to relatives, and the shop was lost.

The company first produced simple, every day shoes with whatever materials were available in times of shortage, sometimes selling them, sometimes bartering them for food. With the upturn of the German economy, the types of shoes they produced became less desirable and the company stood on the brink of closing. However, Bernhard had travelled to the United States and had seen the “California method” of producing fashionable and comfortable shoes without needing too much mechanized work. Meanwhile, Joachim had been studying the latest shoe fashions and had developed the right vision of what would sell. They started producing fashionable, affordable shoes using the new method and gradually built up the company and its distribution network. In 1952 they built their own factory, and in the next years, more factories in Germany and further in Europe followed. In 1966, the company moved to Rosenheim in Bavaria. The Gabor credo was “we make shoes for millions, not millionaires”.

The company is still in the family’s hands today and is one of Europe’s largest shoe manufacturers. Whilst headquarters are in Rosenheim, the shoes are produced in Slovakia and Portugal and exported worldwide. Besides shoes, they also produce handbags, socks, hosiery and shoe care products.

Written by Midge

from a pair of 1960s evening shoes  - Courtesy of Midge

from a pair of 1960s evening shoes

Courtesy of Midge