FATHER OF THE FATHERS
The official birth of the IMG took place on the 29th and 30th of September 1958, a protracted but significantly happy event presided over by some of the great European menswear specialists of the time who saw the need and virtue of sharing ideas and experiences. Six would-be fathers of the ‘soon-to-be born’ International Menswear Group gathered in the American Hotel in Amsterdam to talk of creating an organization made up of privately owned and family managed menswear specialist retailers, that would share information, knowledge and experience to enhance and strengthen each ones ability to consolidate and develop their businesses at a time when department stores and discounters were beginning to compete with better quality retailing.
With The Treaty of Rome in 1957, European nations became more closely aligned. But this also heralded the genesis of the ‘multi-national’ store concept with national retailers branching out into neighbouring territories and threatening previously sacrosanct boundaries.
The early IMG members took note of this trend and the decline in tailoring promoting the need for better quality ready-to-wear menswear specialists who could offer the same service and individuality as their tailoring forebears.
The ‘father of the fathers’ within this group was the celebrated and respected Mr JBWA Giesbers from Meddens of Holland whose vision it was to establish such a forum and who was unanimously called on to become the first president and secretary of the IMG in 1958.
Present at the first meeting were President Giesbers and Messrs. Fein from Switzerland, Bruun from Brødrene Andersen in Denmark, Tekenbroek of the Netherlands, Cason and Ströms from Sweden.
The second meeting of the IMG also took place in Amsterdam and included Messrs. Heinemann; Ström; Fein from Fein-Kaller; Bruun from Brødrene Andersen; Giesbers the president, young James Giesbers and Wim Saris from Meddens; Ballière from Madelios; Bengt and Sven Cason representing AB Cason-Kläder of Sweden and Jos Brans from Edsor ties, a major supplier to several IMG members and a driving force behind the creation of the IMG.