200 years with Leather and gloves
We know that the founder of Randers Handskefabrik, O.C. Kellermann, as his first priority, wanted to restore Randers as the city of glove manufacture. For centuries production of gloves was the main occupation in the area and the quality products were known and valued in many parts of the world.
Not only local history, but national- and in modern time international history and evolution has influenced the development of the enterprise, counted amongst the oldest glove companies in the world.
Through all those years Randers Handskefabrik has been the token of high quality, whether it be in the selection of raw materials as well as in every corner of the production. The “savoir faire” is everywhere from the raw skin to the finished product as well as our professionally based service to our customers.
Welcome to a world of leather and gloves for more than 200 years.
The story of Yvette Guilbert
One day in October 2012 a customer in our retail shop in Copenhagen noticed that our well-known poster, by many called “The Old Lady”, our trademark for more than 100 years, could be seen in a painting by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec at Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen. Our poster, a lithograph made in Berlin in the late 1890’ies, was always thought as a contemporary picture of a young girl wearing long Black gloves, but not a particular person.
Our customer was eager to find out and already on the next day, she could inform that “The Old Lady” in fact was Henri de Toulouse Lautrec’s favourite model by the name of Yvette Guilbert, a very well known cabaret singer in Paris, who never entered the stage without wearing long Black gloves. This amazing and fantastic information came to us at the 200-year anniversary of the foundation of Randers Handskefabrik. Further investigations revealed the photograph, which, beyond any doubt, is the basis of our trade mark. The photograph originates from New York and was taken during Yvette Guilbert’s tour of the States in the 1890’ies. The 4 pictures show the story of Yvette Guilbert and she can be heard singing a selection of her songs on YouTube.
Yvette Guilbert was born in Paris in 1865 and died in Aix en Provence in 1944.
An article appearing in Randers Amtsavis (local newspaper) on the 30th of November 1811 in the very same year as the start of the company. This article is held in old and antique Danish language and a translation would be neither fair, nor would it give the right understanding to the reader. We prefer to give you a summary of the content as follows:
Life was difficult and Europe was at war, Napoleon Bonaparte was facing his last battles and the article tells how people were selling eggs even while still in the hen. Readers are informed about the opening of a glove factory which, only a few months after the start, has some 20 workers under daily leadership of a skilled and able professional. It ends by stating that it would be most welcomed if other men of pioneering spirit would follow this initiative to the benefit of the town and its population.
A long History in brief
1811 – 1817:
The initiative to start a glove factory was taken by O.C. Kellermann, a merchant with experience from working also internationally. From France he succeeds in gathering a group of skilled glove cutters and tanners.
1817 – 1848:
The French glove cutter and tanner C.L.F. Mattat who joined from the start in 1811 as daily leader, takes over in 1817.
1848 – 1886:
Charles L.F. Mattat’s 2 sons, Carl Christian and Joseph Prosper continues together.
1886 – 1893:
Joseph Prosper’s son Prosper Mattat runs the company as 3rd generation Mattat.
1893 – 1927:
Marinus Thomsen, a glove manufacturer from Copenhagen, takes over until 1927.
1927 – 1962:
In 1927 Ejnar Vejrum, with a banking education and several years in France and England in banking and diplomacy, takes over until his 2 sons Erik and Arne enters in a partnership. Erik after commercial studies and completed education as glove cutter in Randers and in France. Arne after practical and theoretical education as tanner in Sweden, England and France.
1962 – 1987:
The company continues as Private Partnership owned by Ejnar- Erik- and Arne Vejrum until Ejnar Vejrum’s death in 1987.
1987 – 2006:
Erik- and Arne Vejrum continues in Private Partnership.
2006 – i dag:
On Erik Vejrum’s retreat in 2006, activities are now run by Arne as Private Limited Company.