Our history

It started with a knitted sweater…

In 1901 Alfred L. Wolff of Hamburg, Germany began living his dream by founding his own trading company. His son, Manfred, began importing high-quality knitted sweaters in 1959 that were met with an overwhelming response.

In 1995, Olsen emerged from this special expertise in knitwear: a successful fashion brand that is now represented in over 20 countries worldwide.

Hamburg, the gateway to the world

The northern German city has always been regarded as a trading metropolis. Olsen quickly lived up to the reputation of its hometown and expanded into numerous countries within a few years. It is
no wonder that our headquarters remain in Hamburg today, with the heritage and heartbeat of our business rooted deeply into this bustling port city.

Onwards, to North America

In 1983, Olsen’s humble North American beginnings were established in Canada. A wholesale agent in Ontario, Canada discovered Olsen’s distinct European flair, quality & styling, and soon after, boutique buyers and Canadian women began to take notice too.

By 1996, Olsen began opening independent retail stores and shops within Hudson’s Bay, expanding to over 65 locations across Canada.

Milestones of the recent past

2017: Olsen began its newest journey of North American expansion, opening 4 locations within Lord & Taylor, bringing its unmistakable European style signature to select major US cities.

2017: Under the name “Designer Choice”, Olsen now regularly launches capsule collections inspired by the latest trends in international catwalks.

2018: Opening of the first Olsen franchise store in Germany. Today, Olsen achieves a total of 75 % of all sales via its own sales areas – and the trend is rising.

Our Philosophy
Our Product
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Our History
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