Schöffel was founded in 1804 in Bavaria, Germany and has over the past seven generations prospered by combining innovation and technology with a passion for superb styling and outstanding quality in their countrywear. Schöffel's gillets are standout, but as a specialist brand Schöffel focuses on the latest fabrics and techniques to produce superb clothing across the range which is lightweight, technical, comfortable and specifically designed with the discerning country customer in mind.
Schöffel (pronounced “ʃœfl” or "shur-ful" as it contains the German umlaut character “ö”) was founded over 200 years ago in 1804 in Schwabmunchen, Bavaria by stocking salesman, George Schöffel. The town was already well known for its knitting expertise and George started off selling, among other small pieces, stockings and hats. It has remained a family business to this day, currently run by CEO Peter, a 6th generation Schöffel, and still based in the town of Schwabmunchen. The company has approximately 200 workers and two main lines: men’s and women’s countrywear – the world-renowned range stocked by A Hume – as well as professional wear.
George Schöffel starts his own small company in Schwabmünchen, Bavaria, selling nightcaps, stockings, socks and hats. Schöffel quickly makes a name for high-quality merchandise.
George’s son Josef is sent to war and while away saves the life of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig. Josef receives a silver medal of bravery and a lifetime annuity which he puts into keeping the company going through the war. Ludwig I then goes on to marry Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen and they celebrate by throwing what will become the first official Oktoberfest celebration.
Post WWII, Hubert Schöffel takes over the company when heir Ludwig Schöffel passes away in Russia, and has great ambitions to modernise the clothing shop as it officially reopens in 1960.
The greatest success for Schöffel is the Ptarmigan coat, launched in the 60s. It became known as the quintessential ‘shooting jacket,’ both fashionable and functional with a flexible, larger shape in the shoulders, deep pockets for carrying cartridges and hidden zippers to not scratch the rifle. The success of this jacket helped to launch Schöffel’s gilets and jackets countrywear range for it is most known to this day.
A local Lederhosen factory shuts down in Schwabmunchen and Hubert Schöffel decides to act quickly to take advantage. The company begins sewing outdoor outdoor trousers and breeks for men and children, with this eventually evolving into offering full outfits suitable for new trends in skiing, hiking and other outdoor activities.
During a decade of great technological advances in textiles, Hubert was intrigued as to how he could use these advances to better his garments. He was keen to keep the classic styles and tailoring but hoped to blend these classics with modern technology. In the mid to late 70s Schöffel began to experiment with a new textile breakthrough called Gore-Tex, as the windproof and waterproof durable membrane sounded perfect for the target conditions of the jackets.
Due to technical issues in the first release of Gore-Tex the company almost had to close down. The market no longer believed in the Gore-Tex technology and there were only a select few companies who stuck with it - one being Hubert Schöffel. He worked closely with Thorger Hübner, development manager of Gore, to create a vision and plan of great opportunity but even greater risk.
Continuing his vision for Gore-Tex, Hubert places an order for a 24,000 jacket capacity to be available without a single order made. A trial number of mountain anoraks called "Tibet" are first produced, 70 of which are purchased for sale by Sport Schuster in Munich. By noon on launch day all anoraks were sold, helped by an advertising campaign from Gore. With thousands more on order the risk paid off for Schöffel and Gore. With the introduction of Gore-Tex to the already popular shooting jacket, it created the quintessential lightweight staple of many hunting wardrobes to this day.
Peter Schöffel, who runs Schoffel to this day, takes over the company and spearheads the brand's internationalisation. The company has now expanded to 15 countries including the UK and Taiwan.
This year marked the 200 year anniversary of Schöffel. By this point and beyond, Schöffel has proven itself to be a market leader in premium products at a premium price. Its countrywear ranges are world-renowned and the top choice for many here in the UK.
Schöffel is still headquartered in Schwabmünchen, Germany, and maintains a strong presence in the UK thanks to its sought-after gillets, jackets and outdoorwear collections. These lines of clothing continues to find favour with a sophisticated audience looking for high-performance quality that can last a lifetime.