Words like standard of excellence, uncompromising quality, the best there is, continue to proceed the Hickey Freeman name. For almost a hundred years the Rochester New York-based company has maintained a reputation as the finest tailored clothing manufacturer in the country. Even the name implies steadfastness, some say it sounds like a law firm. Consistently fine quality is how Hickey-Freeman grew.
Founded in 1899, Jeremiah G Hickey, Jacob L Freeman and George A Breayer left their employer to organize a new company with their lifetime savings of $25,000.
In 1908 the Hickey and Freeman Company consolidated with another Rochester clothing manufacturer the Beckel-Baum company. From that time on the company has been known as the Hickey-Freeman Company. The new corporation decided that it's great opportunity was in the production of a quality product dash one that would compete favorably with the custom tailors work. Ready-to-wear clothing have been available for many years but the consumer who wanted to dress will continue to have his clothes made to his individual measurements feeling that the economy would support a much larger proposition of fine clothing the Hickey Freeman group set this as its idea and begin to work towards it
In those earlier years, a portion of the clothing was handmade on the premises and the rest through contract shops, a common practice in that era. It was not until 1912, after many years of accumulating capital out of retained earnings, that the Hickey Freeman company erected a new building at the corner of Avenue D and Clinton Avenue North in Rochester New York. This permitted a great step forward towards quality idea - the gathering the other of all workers Under One Roof. Hickey Freeman continued to grow steadily each year as it perpetuated its reputation for quality. As a result, the firm competed more and more favorably for the custom tailors’ clientele. In 1923 the company added 52,000 square feet to the factory. Six years later Hickey - Freeman's business had grown to 100 times the volume done in 1899.
The Hickey Freeman brand of tailored clothing was the label offered until 1928 when the Walter-Morton line of men's clothing was added to meet demands for high-quality tailored clothing in larger markets. Hickey-Freeman Company was family owned and operated until 1964 when it became a subsidiary of Hartmarx Corporation, the Chicago based apparel manufacturer and retailer known at the time as Hart Schaffner & Marx. Through its association with Hartmarx, Hickey Freeman was able to expand further.
In 2012 authentic Brands group, an intellectual property corporation with a mandate to acquire, manage, and build long-term value in prominent consumer brands, purchased Hickey-Freeman along with HMX’s other properties.
In 2013 Grano Retail Investments Inc, also owner of luxury tailored men's wear brand Samuelsohn LTD, acquired the assets of Hickey Freeman including the Rochester, New York Factory. Today Hickey Freeman tailored clothing continues to be made in the same storied Rochester facility as it has been since 1899.
- Bill Walker Team