Our Story

Himelhoch's ™ - A Detroit Tradition Since 1907

In the 1870s, Wolf Himelhoch and his four sons settled in the thumb of Michigan from Latvia. The family sold goods on a push cart that they transported between Caro and Bay City, Michigan, often sleeping in the same barn in which they stored their merchandise. They opened their first store in Caro in 1876. Wolf Himelhoch formed a close relationship with the Marshall Field organization during buying trips to Chicago.  In 1907, with the backing of Marshall Field’s, Himelhoch's™ opened its first store in Detroit. This first store was located on Woodward Ave. on the block that later become the J.L. Hudson's flagship store.  Himelhoch's™ prospered as the automotive industry grew. To accommodate its growth, Himelhoch's™ sold its building to Hudson's, for their building that many mid-century Detroiters remember so fondly. Himelhoch’s™ then moved into the famous Washington-Arcade building, just south of Grand Circus Park, with its arcade between the fashionable Washington Boulevard and Woodward Avenue. Himelhoch's™ department store conducted business there and in seven branch stores through 1979, which is why Himelhoch's™ is recognized as a Detroit tradition since 1907. As Detroit undergoes its fin de siècle, the family is pleased to once again serve Detroit lovers all over the Internet through distinctive collections that represent the best of Detroit.

Himelhoch's™ is proud of its tradition of helping to launch the careers of many successful fashion designers for almost 100 years. Herman Himelhoch created the famous steamer coat for Henry Fredericks in the 1920s when Herman recognized a need for its fox collar, tweed fabric, and tubular silhouette during one of his steamship crossings to the Paris market. Himelhoch's™ carried the steamer coat, and its enormous success nationwide made Fredericks a wealthy man. Chuck Himelhoch, later CEO of Himelhoch’s™, helped to launch the early career of Calvin Klein when Klein was designing coats and suits. Chuck featured his coat collection across Himelhoch's™ stores. As Estee Lauder was launching her cosmetics line in department stores across the country, she spent a week in each store (including Himelhoch's™ Detroit flagship store), meeting customers and training salespeople to understand her line deeply. We have had a tradition over the years of supporting the careers of fashion designers. We fourth-generation Himelhochs are excited to continue this tradition, contributing to the current growth of Detroit's fashion design movement and providing opportunities for fashion-forward designers.