Our company is the result of an idea that my paternal grandparents, Mario and Irma, had in 1923, when they decided to change the course of their destinies forever by leaving their jobs to enter the captivating world of self-employment.
They went on to found Manifattura Mario Colombo, a company that produced men’s hats and gaiters, which were all the rage in those days and a particular specialty of Monza’s clothing industry.
That is how more than 90 years ago the “propiaggia” of Chigneu – my grandfather’s surname, as well as the dialectal term for the wooden wedge used to cut less compact felt cones used for gaiter making – made its debut.
The name COLMAR came about when grandpa Mario was tossing some ideas around for the brand name with his friends, writing random words on a cigarette pack. In the end, the first three letters of his last and first name won out.
Between 1923 and 1936 our company went from strength to strength, employing hundreds of talented and skilled workers. When the 1929 global financial crisis hit, we fared fairly well and even picked up customers from far-away countries, such as Iran and Egypt.
The colonial ambitions of the Fascist regime forced Italy into war with Ethiopia, with subsequent sanctions levelled by the United Nations, which, in essence, restricted exports and, above all, impeded companies from collecting revenues made abroad.