Origin and development
At the very beginning, in the difficult years of reconstruction after the Second World War, Edgar Held recognised the need to protect people's hands from injuries at work and in the cold at any time of the year. From the very beginning, the protective second skin had to be as pleasant and at the same time as robust as possible. Natural and resistant leathers have always been the best choice for this purpose, combined with the high demand for perfect quality workmanship, Held gloves have always offered customers maximum comfort and benefits.
The growing prosperity in the 60s increasing fashion awareness also awakened a desire for creating new process and techniques within the Held Company from a very early stage. Thanks to the growing variety of materials, new glove models were developed to respond to the changing needs of society. The motorisation and mobility of the general population in the 70s lead to Held developing the first motorcycle gloves. In the further course of time, the cooperation with renowned motorcycle racers resulted in the first high-performance models for motorcycle racing, the quality of which is reflected in the numerous styles developed.
Products of the highest performance level were then as now part of our DNA and we are honored with the many awards and top marks in numerous tests we have achieved over the decades. Our high readiness for innovation and continuous improvement paired with the flexibility and passion of a family business in its third generation create the prerequisites for this. The solidarity and loyalty of more than 150 employees and long-term cooperation with more than 3,000 dealers in Europe complete the pillars of success.
The further development from a being a motorcycle glove manufacturer to a full range supplier for motorcycle clothing is the logical consequence. With the gloves from our own production we sell probably the best products in their class globally.
"Today we work in the motorcycle clothing segment and are committed to the long-term production of quality products at the highest level. With our products we strive to improve the conditions for motorcyclists in everyday motorcycling and leisure life and support the fun of motorcycling, but always with the aim of offering the greatest possible physical protection.
We are extensively involved in motorcycle racing precisely because, in cooperation with our racers we are able to incorporate important findings into the development of collection due to the extreme stresses and the highest possible demand on materials and workmanship. For this purpose, we are also looking for strategic cooperation's with material manufacturers or suppliers of products with the same quality standards and ethos, which represent a sensible addition to the Held range. In this way we want to guarantee motorcyclists and our trading partners worldwide the best possible supply of motorcycle accessories from a single source".
After the end of WW2 and the expulsion of German citizens from Abertamy, Bohemia (now part of Czech Republic), Bruno Held and son Edgar senior founded the company HELD at their new home in Burgberg (Allgäu). Both professional glove makers, they began with the production of fashion gloves, as well as work-protection-gloves and driving gloves.
With the rising popularity of motorcycling especially in racing and leisure touring in the 70s, Held focusses on production and distribution of protective gloves, particularly designed for the special needs for motorcycling in addition to their existing collection of fashion gloves.
Now focusing solely on the production of items for motorcyclists, Held teams up with 11-time European Motocross Champion, Erwin Schmider to develop the first dedicated MX glove. By this stage the company is already a trailblazer in the riding equipment industry.
1983 is the big break through for Held: Together with Germany's most successful racer of all time, Tony Mang, (5 time's world Champion 250cc and 350cc) Held develops a totally new style of racing glove.
After the revolutionary development of world's first magnetic tankbag in 1985, the next Held milestone follows in 1991. With the development of Helds first nylon jacket, they step into the world of protective motorcycle garments; this is brought to the next level in the following year with the development of the first full kangaroo leather suit.
In the year the company celebrates its 50th anniversary. Held supplies over 3000 specialised dealers in Europe and the USA.
With a constantly growing product range, the extension of Helds customer base and the increased number of employees the need for space increases. In 1999 the administration offices as well as warehouse and logistics move to new facilities with over 7000m² in Burgberg-Erzflöße.
The legendary Held Phantom gloves are awarded test winner in the category racing gloves and set a new standard for the time. In the following year Held is awarded BEST BRAND, in the glove category by Europe's leading motorcycle magazine MOTORRAD. Since 2006 Held received this award 10 times in succession.
In 2009 Held obtains the license to develop motorcycle garments with GORE-TEX® membrane technology. The "quattrotempi" collection developed in 2010 is characterised by high-class fabrics, finest workmanship, quality, innovative details and highest functionality.
In 2015 the constantly advancing development in motorcycle garments gets rewarded by Held being voted BEST BRAND in category "textile clothing".
Held celebrates its 70th anniversary and presents an anniversary collection, combining urban-retro-styles with up to date safety features and latest fabrics. For all customers and fans of the brand, Held starts a raffle with a restored and customized BMW R75 as first prize. Besides all the festivity, Held presents numerous innovative highlights in various categories ...
- Textile suit AeroSec – world's first suit with 2in1 technology.
- High-end race suit Full Speed – uncompromising safety and comfort.
- Carese APS – the highly popular and respected adventure suit is now also available with Air Protect System
- Imola Flash –full reflective surface jacket with GORE-TEX® membrane
- 2in1 gloves Solid Dry – touchscreen ready!
Due to the steady growth and the associated increased space requirement in our logistics at the location Erzflöße in Burgberg, Held decides to purchase the new Held Logistics Centre in Kempten in 2017.
In 2018 we presented our new Navigator, which replaces our established Held catalogue. The Navigator offers a new and modern design with many great mood pictures, as well as combination recommendations from our four themed worlds.
In 2019, Held was voted BEST BRAND in the Biker Jeans category for the first time. With this award, Held wins three Best Brand awards for the second time after 2018.