Horween Leather Company (Part 1)
Chicago’s Horween Leather Company was founded in 1905 by Ukrainian immigrant Isadore Horween. At the time there were hundreds of commercial leather tanneries in the Unites States, but today Horween is one of about a dozen still in operation. The company is currently run by Skip Horween and his son Nick who represent the fourth and fifth generations of this storied family business. Horween has built and maintained its success around traditional techniques and uncompromising quality. Many of their signature products, such as Aniline Chromexcel and Genuine Shell Cordovan, have become industry benchmarks and are sought out internationally by luxury manufacturers. In addition to footwear and leather goods, Horween supplies exclusive leathers for the NBA, NFL and MLB.
Here at Viberg, Horween accounts for about half of all the upper leathers we use. Not only does Horween provide us with a superior product, but they allow us the flexibility to experiment and customize their offerings to suit our needs. Over the last decade our companies have formed a strong bond based on a mutual respect and shared ideals. Late last year we had the opportunity to visit their nearly 200,000 square foot production facility and get the full tour from Nick himself. Part 1 of our visit takes a look at the Horween offices and basement where the initial stages of leather processing take place.