Today I am not going to write about real estate, watches or cars. Today, I am going to take you to two exceptional places on the map of Warsaw – to old Warsaw companies producing luxury fashion goods. These are factories whose history began at the end of the 19th century and which still make bespoke shoes and suits for their customers. Meet Jan Kielman and Edward Zaremba!
Jan Kielman 1883
This old Warsaw company appeared in 1883, when the young Jan Kielman opened his own shoemaking workshop at number 3 Chmielna St. Thanks to a dowry brought by his wife, the young master shoemaker was able to develop his workshop.
In time, the father was joined by his son, who in 1921 sewed the boots for Charles DeGaulle himself. These were the first jackboots sewn by the company, but so successful that the cut became a permanent part of the range. The inter-war period was very good for Kielmans in every respect, but prosperity ended with the outbreak of war, and the change of regime that followed posed completely new challenges for the factory.
Today, Kielman’s workshop not only sews beautiful bespoke women’s and men’s shoes, but also – under the Malton-Kielman brand – creates beautiful leather goods. Among the company’s illustrious clients are General Władysław Sikorski, actress Sophie Marceau and star Donald Sutherland. The cost of custom-made shoes can be as much as several thousand zloty. If you would like to have such shoes in your wardrobe, head to ul. Chmielna 6.
The firm was established only a dozen years after Jan Kielman’s workshop and, like it, became a permanent part of the city’s luxury landscape. Initially, Edward Zaremba received his clients in the building of the Grand Theatre, and his fame as an outstanding tailor reached Paris, London or Vienna.
During the crazy 1920s and 1930s, Edward’s sons Tadeusz and Adolf developed the business they inherited from their father into a thriving enterprise. By this time, they not only had a workshop, but also a showroom where the brothers’ sewn clothes could be admired. The Second World War temporarily halted the company’s growth – the salon was robbed by the Gestapo and then burned down during the uprising.
The post-war years, followed by the period of stabilisation of the new regime, brought the company orders from Jeremi Przybora and Jerzy Wasowski, Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz or musicians of the National Philharmonic. Today Zaremba 1894 is one of the most famous bespoke tailoring workshops in Poland. The company also offers made-to-measure collections, i.e. partially machine-sewn with a large number of hand-made trims according to the client’s measurements. The cost of a made-to-measure suit starts at approximately PLN 13,500 – you can order it at Nowogrodzka 10.