The Wilsons Leather Story

Berman Buckskin, Co. building image

The company you know today as Wilsons Leather originally started as Berman Brothers Fur, Wool and Hides. Founded in 1899 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, brothers David, Ephraim and Alexander Berman began buying deer pelts and fur at the Mississippi River's edge from Minnesota's indigenous people and local frontiersman. In 1946, it was reinvented as Berman Buckskin, Co. and became known for its fringed deerskin jackets shirts.

In 1988, the 163-store chain is sold to CVS New York Inc., (previously Melville Corp.). Melville merges Berman Buckskin, Co. with its Wilsons House of Suede. Wilsons House of Suede was founded in the late 1940's in Southern California and was known for its affordable suede and leather apparel. Together, the company became Wilsons the Leather Experts Inc. The best elements of each company are drawn upon, making it the largest leather specialty retailer in the nation.

Never losing sight of our frontier heritage, Wilsons the Leather Experts Inc. acquires several other retailers during the 90's including Snyder Leather and Georgetown Leather Design.

In July 2008, Wilsons Leather was purchased by G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (NASDAQ: GIII). Wilsons Leather is now under the AM Retail Group, Inc. umbrella and operates over 180 Wilsons Leather mall and outlet stores throughout the United States, WilsonsLeather.com and a Wholesale division.

AM Retail Group, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. which operates multiple retail concepts including Wilsons Leather stores, G.H. Bass & Co. stores and Calvin Klein Performance stores.

Wilsons Leather store image