Founded over 134 years ago, FELINA has developed from a small corset factory to a global lingerie enterprise.
Eugen J. Herbst laid the foundations of the company when he established a corset factory in Bad Rappenau with 10 employees in 1885. This was a novelty in Germany where, until then, corsets usually came from France.
After five years success and expansion, the company moved to Mannheim, which has remained the company’s headquarters to this day. FELINA, with its feline connotations becomes the official company name.
By the end of the 1920s, the company has 660 employees. The businessman Richard Greiling takes over the company from the Jewish founding family Herbst, who are forced to leave the country in 1936. The company survives the war and despite the destruction of the production factories is financially robust.
FELINA expands internationally and by the end of the 1950s, the company is exporting to over 50 countries!
The lingerie industry in West Germany experiences a huge upswing at the beginning of the 1960s. It has over 25,000 employees, 2,000 of them at FELINA. The miracle fibre Lycra and the advent of tights herald the decline of the traditional lower foundation garment. Other companies fall at this hurdle, but FELINA adapts and continues to expand realising that the future lies in well-fitting upper foundations.
A Swiss investment group takes over FELINA in 1981 and establishes FELINA INTERNATIONAL AG in Wettingen near Zürich. FELINA GmbH is a 100% subsidiary. Production takes place in the company’s own factories in Hungary and Poland.
In the 1990s, shapewear starts to become fashionable and more young women place greater value on a well-fitting bra.
FELINA expands into North America, Scandinavia, the United Arab Emirates and Russia. Production in the company’s own factories in Hungary guarantees the highest quality standards and social responsibility for all employees. Some 6,500 retailers and 1,000 employees across the globe, 130 based in Mannheim, belong to the international FELINA family.
In 2015, FELINA International AG was taken over by the Palero Group and the success story of FELINA continued with its focus on modern lingerie for everyday needs, sensual lingerie accented with lace and embroidery, and functional shape wear.
The Felina Royal we see here both in advertised form and the genuine article. As always, empty girdles look rather sad to me.
Satin brassieres, deep suspender belts, girdles and corsets were all supplied. Note the inverted horseshoe boning so beloved by the Germans.
Stage shows were organised (this one is from 1955) to demonstrate their products and some sumptuous satin gowns.
There was even a motion picture advertisement run along the lines of 'what lies beneath'.