Luhta 110 Years – An International Finn
For Luhta, the passing year has been a celebratory year for two reasons.
In 2017, Finland has been celebrating its 100 years of independence and Luhta its
110-year-old history. Over the years, the company has grown from a small sewing
workshop to an internationally successful business that operates on multiple
In 1907, Vihtori Luhtanen founded his own company in Lahti with his wife Jenny. The business idea was to combine Jenny’s craftmanship skills with Vihtori’s sales talent. Vihtori started off By doing business at the market square in Lahti, selling men’s and women’s underwear and aprons embroidered by Jenny. Sales were successful and the Luhtanens broadened their selection to cover new products. To accompany the aprons, there were now cotton work shirts, moleskin, nanking and everlasting pants, and regatta shirts, the fashion items of their time. Soon the smaller room in the Luhtanens’ home was converted into a shop.
Luhta’s first sewing workshop was set in Anttilanmäki, Lahti, from where the operations moved to the centre of Lahti, where also a shop was opened. From downtown Lahti, the main office moved to a new business building in Asemantausta for the years 1989–1992. Today, the headquarters of the company is still located in its original birth place, Lahti, now in a spectacular 12-storey high-rise building next to the motorway to Helsinki, with good connections to the airport. In the past 110 years, the company has grown from a small sewing workshop to an international clothing business.
Growth as an Outerwear Manufacturer
For more than one hundred years, the company has mastered the upward and downward phases of the economic cycle and, at the same time, the world around it has changed and the operating environment has gone through a revolution. In the 1960s, a clothing line was created that was modern, compared to the previous one technically lighter, and suitable for everyday use. When the consumers started to have more money and choice, they quickly learnt to demand more and better products: always new and fashionable, high-quality, easy-care, well-fitted and comfortable clothing. Luhta fulfilled these wishes and the supply was created to meet the demands of the consumers. An up-to-date offering of products and collections to the consumers has been the prerequisite for operations year after year – the combination of an unbeatable price-quality ratio and modern design and look, in turn, the key to success.
Finland is where the designing and marketing of all the brands of the Group, as well as the leading of the corporation, happens. The manufacturing of products has moved away from the domestic market to China where the subsidiary is responsible for production.
Visibility through Sponsoring
Luhta has sponsored many renowned top athletes and public figures with great success, for instance the Formula 1 world champion Keke Rosberg, race car driver Ari Vatanen, ice hockey player Jari Kurri and American movie star Don Johnson. Luhta is also known as the outfitter of winter competitions since the 1960s. Sports events will be the surroundings for the company’s brands in the
future as well – the Finnish Olympic team will represent Finland in apparel designed and manufactured by Luhta in PyeongChang in 2018, in Tokyo in 2020, and in Beijing in 2022
Retail business has grown into an inseparable part of the Group’s operations during the 21st century. At the turn of the millennium, one of the most significant decisions in the company’s history was made at Luhta: the traditional industrial clothing company entered the retail business. Vihtori Luhtanen started off as a market vendor at the beginning of the 20th century,
now retail business is part of all the divisions of the company – we have come full circle.
- Luhta 110 Years – An International Finn
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