This is the story of a Swabian family business, founded 1920, before the scenes of an eventful century. Participation in the industrialization of the region,
considerable growth during boom times of the industry and survival – as one of the few – during times of war, crises and globalization.
Of course, there were setbacks and blows, but visionary entrepreneurship, openness towards technical innovation and strategic redirections are the criteria for success.
With 2000 Marks, a couple of used knitting and sewing machines and a lot of courage, the knitting specialist
Karl Conzelmann and his wife Emilie have started with the production of men’s shirts in their private home.
The geographic position of the company is well chosen. In this region, manufacturers of knitting machines
as well as a needle company are already situated.
Started in their own home (private residence), the company flourishes and needs more space.
In the new premises in the Kleine Straße in Tailfingen, the product range already consists of underwear for ladies, men and children.
Karl Conzelmann was not a party member of the NSDAP. In 1942 the company was shut down.
Only after the war, under severe difficulties and the surveillance of the French Occupation Army, the company can be reconstructed and reopened in 1947.
A time for new beginnings and changes, not an easy time, but also a time that holds many opportunities.
Walter Conzelmann reads the signs of the time and offers his goods in 1952 also to department stores.
In 1953 Karl Conzelmann has to retire from his management position, due to health problems, but keeps an advisory role for many years.
His son Walter, 22 years at that time, takes over the management of the company. He considerably reduces the product range and
since 1956 concentrates on the production of fashionable underwear for ladies and children.
He also expands the export business to France, Switzerland and the Benelux States.
In the 60ies the region of the Swabian Jura knows an economic boom and prospers: In Tailfingen alone, there are around 100 textile companies,
among them the company Karl Conzelmann. The decisive advantage against bigger competitors is, that in the small family business
decisions can be taken and carried out very quickly. In 1967 the founder Karl Conzelmann dies aged 82.
Walter Conzelmann continues directing the company together with his brother Hans and since 1969 also with his sister Anna Kißling.
For the company Karl Conzelmann the first part of the 70ies is characterized by more than average growth
and respective investments in a highly modern production. Starting 1970 the production is partly automated.
In 1971 the company builds a new logistic centre and a knitting department at the Reislebach.
Together with other textile companies Karl Conzelmann establishes a textile finishing company and a textile printing mill.
Also in the field of production techniques the company is ahead of times. Changing the bleaching agent from chlorine to peroxide in 1971
Karl Conzelmann shows its’ interest in environmental issues on a very early stage.
As a first company worldwide, Karl Conzelmann offers fine knits in gauge E20 (20 meshes per inch).
Besides all these technical innovations the strategic marketing decision to register the own
brand name “NINA von C”, in 1979 is another major step to long-term success.
In the late 70ies textile business in Germany is getting more and more difficult. Growing imports from low-cost countries invade the market.
Export for Karl Conzelmann is getting more and more important. The company’s share of exports is 55% of turn-over.
Turn-over growth brings about new buildings. The purchase of a CNC cutter and a punching press in 1986 incur further
investments in up to date cutting technology.
In 1991 the company Karl Conzelmann establishes for the first time a wholly owned production entity in Portugal.
In 1994 the third generation moves up to join the management with Doris Biedermann.
Karl Conzelmann faces market strategic decisions due to the change of the image of women in the 90ies,
the brand Nina von C. is repositioned in 1999 fundamentally.
Due to the relaunch of the brand Nina von C., brand shops and corners, as well flag-ship spaces are established in different retail channels,
supported by bill-board campaigns. The brand recognition of Nina von C. rises constantly.
In 2002 the company opens its’ second production facility abroad in Romania.
A new CNC cutter for tubular and open-width fabric is a further serious investment in 2004.
Nina von C. adds lounge wear to the collection.
In 2005 Matthias Conzelmann joins the management as a further CEO.
The company launches the young label like it!.
Martina Bandte completes the Management Board as a team of 3 persons
of the third generation. Senior Partner Walter Conzelmann still serves as consultant.
The brand Nina von C. is strategically reorganized. Nina von C. is getting more emotional and likeable.
The claim “a part of me” demonstrates the loyalty of the employees to the company on the one hand and
it emphasizes the unique comfort of the lingerie on the other hand. The patented collection pure by Nina von C. is relaunched.
The company can celebrate its 100th anniversary.