Corf-bags – the newest chapter of a long family tradition in leather.
The tradition starts with Jacob Offermann. In 1838 he is mentioned as tanner in a document of a notary as a tanner, and in 1842 he started a small tannery on his own.
When his sons Friedrich and Jacob joined the company the tannery quickly developed and was registered as Friedrich Offermann oHG.
In 1922 another son – Mathias – started to produce and sell leather goods in Cologne and founded the Mathias Offermann oHG in 1923.
The first catalogue of 1926 shows the range of bags, suitcases and accessories.
The supply of leather by the family owned tannery proved to be a great advantage. Therefore all leather goods could be sold at very competitive prices.
Even in those days the means of transport determined the size of the suitcases. As nowadays the overhead compartments of the planes decide about the length and width of a case in those days the racks in the trains had to be considered, and suitcases were offered as "Kupeekoffer".
Due to the lack of zippers travel bags were closed with frames and locks. The bags therefore were quite heavy, but the wide opening made opening and packing very easy.
In order to meet with the growing demand in 1928 the production moved into newly built premises next to the tannery in Bensberg where bags and suitcases could be produced in bigger series and at lower costs.
The production now continued legally as a department of the Friedrich Offermann & Söhne oHG, and the number of workers quickly increased to more than 200. Great importance was attached to a continuous training of young apprentices to improve the skill of the workers. Hubert Offermann, the youngest brother, took over as commercial director.
Wilhelm Offermann – another brother – took over the retail shop in Cologne which he later transferred to the Hohe Straße, a prime location for retail in Germany.
Mathias Offermann was not only an excellent craftsman but he also knew how to focus the collection on the demands of the consumers, and his bags and cases were sold in all leading leather goods shops and department stores as for example the KaDeWe in Berlin.
After the second World War the availability of leather due to the connection with the own tannery again proved to be a decisive advantage, and the production of bags and cases quickly recovered. Already in 1948 the company was invited to show its products during a leather goods exhibition in New York.
Between 1950 and 1970 the production concentrated more and more on suitcases and travel bags. Mathias Offermann developed a garment case which was very well accepted and the production of leather suitcases grew up to 40 000 pieces a year.
During the last years the distribution in Germany is marked by the growing competition between retail, department stores and internet companies. The location in the top area of a city became decisive for the success of a leather goods shop. The rental cost of such a position was very high and led to growing retail prices. That was the chance of the internet shops which did not have to consider such costs and could offer their products at much lower prices.
Therefore in 2016 Hubert F. Offermann decided to create a new brand with the Offermann Handelsgesellschaft, a company already founded in 1998 for the then existing shops. The name of the new brand – CORF – consists of the first tree letter of "corium", the word for leather in Latin, and the "F" as a reference to the former generations in the family. The Logo is an old symbol of tanneries and shows the blades used for the cleaning of the hides.
The collection concentrates on business bags, lady bags and accessories which are distributed only through the web shop, the flagship store in Düsseldorf and the shop at the factory.
The shop in Düsseldorf always shows all products in all available colours. In both shops the customer has the opportunity to have a close look at the bags and cases or he can take advantage of a quick service.
Top class leather, perfect workmanship and a classic design characterise the products of the Corf collection. The collection aims at business people which look for quality and perfect function, and at ladies who besides a classic-“chic” design prefer a bag they can still carry in a second season. As accessories purses and card cases complete the collection.