Situated in the middle of the Ravensberg countryside at the foot of the Teutoberger Wald, and close to the 'linen' city of Bielefeld, lies the small town of Werther.
For centuries, the local people manufactured linen and clothing from flax grown in the broad fields surrounding the town.
On 1st August 1899, Heinrich Wilhelm Meyer founded the clothing company HW Meyer of Werther. The number of employees who produced uniforms and working attire increased rapidly to twelve. Shortly after the turn of the century, the firm installed its first electrically powered sewing machines which, together with modern production methods, yielded a regular output of garments.
In 1922, Meyer's son Wilhelm took over the responsibility of the running of the firm, steering it with much élan through the financial and industrial crises of the time.
In 1942, Wilhelm Meyer zu Erpen died at the age of 49. His wife Utta Meyer zu Erpen took over the management of the company throughout the difficult war period. Her youngest son Franz- Heinrich returned in 1945 from internment as a prisoner of war and succeeded his late father.
In the commemorative publication on the occasion of the firm's 50th anniversary in 1949 it reads: "The H.W. Meyer company and its subsidiaries fulfil all demands of the approaching competition. Their products, working clothes, sportswear and uniforms, have obtained a recognized high standard of sound workmanship and well-fitting garments."
Shortly after, the firm began trading under the label ERPINGA.
A passionate equestrian himself, Franz-Heinrich Meyer zu Erpen founded the firm Haefner & Co in 1957. Based at Uchte in the district of Nienburg, the firm produced 'made-to-measure' riding wear.
Since 1960, young men were clothed in modern coats and jackets marketed under the label LUXADOR, the manufacture of which took place in the firm's subsidiary in Cavaion, Italy. Later, increased production was expanded to Malta and the Far East.
1964 marked the year when the firm Haefner & Co traded under its new name of PIKEUR Reitmoden GmbH. Equestrian wear has been successfully marketed under this label ever since.
Since 1968 WERTHER INTERNATIONAL is the label under which overcoats and jackets are produced for the German Olympic teams and national football teams. Since 1970, the so-called Inter-City -Coats, travel coats featuring many extra pockets of different shapes and sizes, were a real money-spinner in the collection.
It is question of standard. Werther coats (MADE IN GERMANY) have not only conquered Europe but are worn the whole world over.
This year witnessed not only the landmark of 75 years of historical achievement, but also the completion of new premises. The occasion was celebrated in true Westphalian tradition.
Michael Meyer zu Erpen, the eldest of four children, founded the firm ESKADRON Reitausrüstung GmbH. Also situated in Uchte, the company specializes in the manufacture of riding equipment - PIKEUR (clothing for the rider) and ESKADRON (equipment for the horse), both of which are market leaders in the equitation world today.
Following the unexpected death of Franz-Heinrich Meyer zu Erpen in June 1982, Margret Meyer zu Erpen succeeded her husband as managing director.
Their son Michael Meyer zu Erpen introduced the 'WELLINGTON of BILMORE' collection onto the market. It specializes in the Anglo-American style of sports and leisure wear.
In the meantime, leading gentleman's outfitters , both at home and abroad, have been supplied by the Wellington clothing firm. Since 1990 its headquarters is situated in Bielefeld.
The Anglo-American sports and leisure wear style produced by WELLINGTON of BILMORE became so successful that a women's range was also introduced.
The year 2002 saw the opening of the first Wellington of Bilmore retail outlet in Bielefeld where much experience was gained in this new field of direct marketing.
In 2009, two further shops were opened, one in Bielefeld's old quarter and the second in Steinhagen.
2011 witnessed the opening of two further branches. One opened in Minden in March and is situated in Kleiner Domhof. The second store in Bielefeld opened in October at number 230 Detmolderstraße.