The locality of Stadtilm in Thüringen gets its name from the River Ilm that flows through it. This is where Paul Hoffmann founded his shoe factory in 1898. Paul Hoffmann & Co. began focusing on sports shoes in the 1930s, at the same time deciding to change its rather unwieldy name and looking to the river for inspiration: ilmia®.
ilmia® survived the Second World War, as well as the ensuing American and Russian occupations. As an official people-owned enterprise, ilmia made cleated footwear for East Germany’s football teams. In 1998, though, one hundred years after its founding and nine years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the shoe manufacturer on the River Ilm decided to call it a day.
- Christian D. Gafner
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