Felina - One of the oldest corsetry factories in Germany
The beginnings in the capital of swimwear - Bad Rappenau
In 1885, Eugen Herbst began producing corsetry and corsets in Bad Rappenau. 10 women found work here before the company moved to Mannheim in 1889. There the corsetry factory Herbst moved into its first factory building at the turn of the century and was renamed "Felina" in 1917. In the 1930s Felina expanded with corsets and bras and founded manufacturing branches in Milan, Paris, Zurich and London. A few years later Felina was the second largest corset factory in Germany.
Seizure of power by the National Socialists - Aryanisation and deprivation of rights of the founding Herbst family
The National Socialists' seizure of power in 1933 meant massive restrictions for the Herbst family, the Jewish founding family, such as the refusal of export licences and the ban on taking part in trade fairs. Although a trustee was appointed for the company during this period, Eugen Herbst continued to run the business until 1936, before the family fled into exile under political pressure. The manufacturer Richard Greiling finally acquired Felina at well below market value. After the Aryanization the company was called "Korsettfabrik FELINA Mannheim" and produced not only corsetry but also the so-called war important articles. In summer 1944 large parts of the factory were destroyed by an aerial mine. Most of the machinery had already been outsourced at this time.
Reconstruction and internationalisation - the rebirth of a war-torn company
After the end of the war, reconstruction began. With the opening of a further branch in Kaiserslautern in 1955 Felina became the second largest corsetry company in Germany and was represented at the Brussels World Fair in 1958. By the end of the 1950s the products were already being sold in over 50 countries. From 1969 Felina began producing swimwear, which has since been characterised by high wearing comfort, figure-shaping fabrics and elegant designs. This introduction was achieved primarily through innovative developments, such as the use of the elastic Lycra fibre as a means of production. This enabled the company to offer its customers a choice of well over 250 models. This expansive and customer-oriented course was continued in the following decades.
Felina in the present: high quality, innovation and the European Lingerie Group
In over 130 years Felina has developed from a small corset manufacturer into a global lingerie and swimwear company. Operating throughout Europe, Felina continues to create collections for women from all over the world at its design centre in Mannheim. Since 2017 the company with its high-quality designs and products has been part of the European Lingerie Group. Together we will build on our strengths, develop innovative highlights and continue the Felina success story.
Visitors to the BikiniARTmuseum can look forward to a doutzen swimwear pieces from the early days of Felina's swimwear production.