The Manz brand has had a very long and chequered history in Germany. The founder Heinrich Manz initially established a shoe upper making factory at Bamberg in the early 1880’s. His younger brother Franz Joseph Manz joined him in 1887 and his older brother Wilhelm Manz in 1894. During that year the Manz brothers also set up a modern mechanised shoe factory. They also started the construction of welted shoes which were held in high regard. The Manz brand was registered in 1898, making it one of the oldest footwear brands. In 1899 the Shoe Upper & Shoe making factories were formally integrated and merged into an incorporated company.
In 1906, the second expansion was carried out and in 1910 when the factory was further modernized the company employed 300 persons. The factory started the Ago construction system which helped it in making ever increasing numbers of good quality shoes. After World War I during the reconstruction period the factory specialised in the famous Goodyear Welted construction for exclusive high quality footwear and Manz became associated with good fitting and quality footwear, for which it remains known till today. During this period production rose sharply and shoes were exported to Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Austria & Switzerland. A strong sales network was established to cater to independent retailers allowing the organisation to flourish and thrive under the management of Ernst Manz – son of the eldest brother Wilhelm Manz and nephew of the pioneer Heinrich Manz. Ernst Manz was instrumental in reorganising and reconstructing the company based on modern mechanical production systems.
After World War II, the company grew from strength to strength on the basis of several new products which had been launched – Dry Feet Boots, waterproof shoes as well as shoes for hunting, sports and driving shoes. But as always the Classic lines were given great importance and Manz became known for great quality Business & Dress shoes.
The last quarter of the 20th century saw rapid expansion and the acquisition of the Fortuna Shoe Factory, Höchstadt in 1989. The Fortuna brand was registered in 1923 and was well known as one the foremost brands of good quality leather house shoes, a position it maintains till today. Following this takeover Manz was also shifted to Höchstadt the next year. In 1991, Manz GmbH and Fortuna Shoe Factory GmbH were merged into Manz Fortuna Shoe Factory GmbH and in 1999 the company was converted to Schuhfabrik Manz GmbH.
In 2008, Schuhfabrik Manz GmbH was acquired by Mr. I.S. Paul, with backward integration of his Tanneries, Footwear Factories, Design & Development Centres and the company was registered as Manz Fortuna GmbH. Mr. Paul is a footwear technocrat with vast experience and knowledge of leather tanning and footwear production made to exacting world class standards. As a result the iconic Manz & Fortuna brands continue providing their customers with exquisite leathers in well fitting, superb quality footwear for both men and women. The over one and a quarter century’s tradition of serving their customers only the finest footwear continues with passion, dedication and a deep understanding of the needs of their customers.