JOSEPH & FEISS CO., an important part of Cleveland's garment
industry, came from Meadville, PA, in 1845 as Koch & Loeb and set up a
wholesale clothing store at 82 Superior St. The firm, run by Kaufman Koch, sold
a general line of men's and boys clothing as well as piece goods to tailors. The
company also sold its own brand of clothes, but manufacturing was contracted out
to small ethnic shops. When the company began an internal manufacturing
operation in 1897, the small shops were absorbed and their proprietors were
employed as foremen and operators. After changing partners several times, the
firm stabilized as Joseph & Feiss Co. in 1907. Isaac and
In subsequent decades, the company diversified its lines of clothing. Joseph & Feiss merged with Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. in 1966 but retained its name and Cleveland operations, where it continued to produce and sell tailored men's apparel under the Cricketeer and Country Britches label. In 1980 it added tailored clothes for women to its line. Joseph & Feiss was acquired by Hugo Boss AG, a West German clothing and accessory firm, in 1989 and was made a division of its subsidiary, T.J.F.C. Inc. of New York.
In 1995 the company had 800 workers in the Cleveland area and plants on W.
53rd St., Tiedeman Rd., and a distribution center on Tiedeman Rd. The company also operated an outlet store at its W. 53rd St. location. The following year, facing stiff competition from lower-priced imports and a growing acceptance among Americans for casual clothing, Joseph & Feiss annouced that it would be discontinuing production of its Cricketeer and Country Britches labels and laying off over 200 workers. In 1997, Joseph & Feiss moved its remaining manufacturing operations from its W. 53rd St. plant to its distribution center on Tiedeman Road in