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224-228 Queen Street

One of the most enduring brands in the New Zealand clothing industry had its origins with the arrival here of the impressively named Bendix Hallenstein.

He was born in 1835 in Germany, where his parents owned a mill producing new woollen cloth from rags. In 1857 Bendix, along with brothers Isaac and Michaelis, followed a well-worn path to the goldfields of Victoria, Australia before moving on to New Zealand.

The Hallenstein brothers were more interested in selling goods to miners than in gold panning and by 1863 they were operating a wine and spirit merchants and general importers in Dee Street, Invercargill. This was soon followed by others elsewhere in the region. Prompted by the difficulty of sourcing working men’s clothing for their stores, the brothers established the New Zealand Clothing Factory in Dunedin in 1873.

Three years later they opened the first dedicated menswear store and by 1900 there were 34 Hallenstein shops around the country. In 1906, the year after his death, the firm of Hallenstein Bros. and Co. became a limited company and the HB letters on buildings around the country bear witness to their ubiquity.

In 1987 they merged with Glassons, to become part of New Zealand’s largest clothing company, ensuring that Hallensteins remains the oldest clothing brand in New Zealand.

Read more at http://www.nzfashionmuseum.org.nz/hallensteins/

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