How the Founder Started Jack Wolfskin in ’81
Adventurer, Polar Explorer, and Witness of Climate Change
Jack Wolfskin Brand Ambassador
Finding Balance in the mountains
Guardian of the Wolves and Woods
282 Munros in 1200 Days
The hidden life of trees and the indestructible sleeping bag
The Possibility of Change
Hospitality as a Life Philosophy
Riding at Their Own Pace to the End of the World
“I was looking for a name that sounded gritty, strong and worked internationally.”
How it All Began
A business-savvy student and former boys scout supplied Frankfurt’s university community with affordable outdoor gear from Taiwan. He advertised his tents and sleeping bags as adventure gear and a real alternative to what was available on the German market in the early 80s.
JACK WOLFSKIN FOUNDER
From flea market merchant to large-scale manufacturer: Ulrich Dausien talks about how he founded Jack Wolfskin in 1981 and why he quit the company 13 years later.
Christoph Promberger Guardian of the Wolves
In 1988, a handwritten letter with a request for top-rate gear to embark on a grand adventure led to the first contact between Christoph Promberger and Jack Wolfskin. It was the start of an extraordinary relationship…
A Journey Through 40 Years of Product Development at Jack Wolfskin
Long-standing product developers Gerold Ringsdorf and Dirk Hondrich take fashion editor and model Veronika Heilbrunner on a tour through the brand’s archives. What did the product range look like when the brand was founded in 1981? How did the process of product development change over the years and what role does vintage design play today?
BOLD COLORS – IN THE EARLY 1980s, OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT WAS MOSTLY GREY, GREEN, OR BEIGE.
THANKS TO THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW MATERIALS, IT BECAME POSSIBLE TO USE COLORS AND BOLD COMBINATIONS THAT WERE CONSIDERED UNUSUALLY INTENSE BACK THEN.
WITH ITS BOLD DESIGNS, JACK WOLFSKIN STOOD OUT FROM ALL ITS COMPETITORS IN THE NORTHERN EUROPEAN MARKET.
WITH THE START OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM, FASHIONS RETURNED TO BEING MORE SUBDUED. PRODUCTS IN MUTED COLORS OR BLACK AND GREY TONES, IN PARTICULAR, ENJOYED AN ENORMOUS TURNOVER.
IN RECENT YEARS, HOWEVER, THE JACK WOLFSKIN PRODUCT RANGE HAS BECOME MORE COLORFUL ONCE AGAIN, ESPECIALLY HIGHLIGHTING BRIGHT CONTRASTS.
Fans in Action
Decades before the concept of “social media” even existed, we included a section in our catalogs called “Fans in Action” where customers shared their special travel moments. So-called “Friends of the Paw” were asked to send in a photo (or slide) of themselves in Jack Wolfskin gear and thereby make it into the catalog, our most important communication tool at the time.
Adventurer and Polar Explorer
When it comes to developing functional equipment, input from experienced outdoor enthusiasts is essential. Arved Fuchs is one of the great adventurers of our time and a longtime friend. His expertise has been invaluable to Jack Wolfskin.
Wind Tunnel Tests
This stunt was widely reported: In 1997, Jack Wolfskin tested polar tents in the luxury car manufacturer Porsche’s high-tech wind tunnel. During the test, the enthralled engineers gathered and watched in awe, waiting for the breaking point. The insights from the test were the basis for our REAL TUNNEL SYSTEM, which we patented and won a red dot award. The test set new standards for tents and – although it was meant for extreme conditions – uplifted the whole product category.
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THE FIRST SHOE COLLECTION
In the late 90s, Jack Wolfskin launched the first shoe collection. Developing an entirely new product category was no easy feat and required years of research and preparations to meet the high-quality standards. The first model to hit stores was the Volcano, a classic mountain boot. Lighter hiking shoes and sandals were introduced the following year. Over time, the product category grew and improved, and today, “shoe” is among the most searched terms in our online shop.
THE WOLFSTOCK FESTIVAL MARKS THE 20TH ANIVERSARY
We celebrated Jack Wolfskin’s 20th anniversary with the three-day Wolfstock Music Festival. Brand founder Ulrich Dausien and the staff have always had a great passion for rock music and used song titles like “Born to be Wild”, “Purple Rain,” or “Perfect Day” for slogans and products. It came as no surprise when Manfred Hell, CEO at that time, announced a big, family friendly campout with music performances, outdoor activities, and workshops. Many employees and customers still talk about this experience that brought so many people together. The Wolfstock festival laid the foundation for Jack Wolfskin as a music sponsor for many other festivals and events such as Rock am Ring.
A CINEMATIC VISION FOR JACK WOLFSKIN
Wim Wenders is one of the few German filmmakers who achieved a highly respected career in Hollywood. In his films, the landscape is not just a backdrop; it’s the star. In 2003 Wim Wenders worked with Jack Wolfskin and let Montana’s breathtaking nature play the leading role in the brand’s cinema advertisement.
SUSTAINABILITY – ROOTED IN JACK WOLFSKIN’S DNA FROM THE VERY BEGINNING
A deep respect for the environment has always been just as important as the desire for sustainability, decades before it became marketable. Protecting nature and being in close connection with nature still represent the successful company’s philosophy today. Find out about the many steps we have taken in the last 40 years to protect our planet.