“Keep the Quality Up,” the motto displayed throughout our Rochester factory for over 110 years, embodies the story of Jeremiah Hickey and Jacob Freeman.
Jacob Freeman and Jeremiah Hickey became good friends while working together at a men’s luxury clothing company in Rochester, NY. When they were both offered promotions that would take them to a different city, the two rejected the offer so they could stay in their hometown. With two friends and $25,000 in investments, the men established Hickey, Freeman and Mahon company, which would later become Hickey Freeman.
Freeman and Hickey dreamed of producing the finest men’s suits. During that time period, it was customary for clothing companies to rely on a small group of tailors who would each create full suits on a piecework basis. In a move that revolutionized the handmade clothing industry, the two young entrepreneurs opened a 77,000 square foot building where each suit was hand sewn by tailors who specialized in one skill, such as stitching collars or rolling lapels. This factory became known as the “Temple of Fine Tailoring.”
The idea turned into an epic American success story. Today, Hickey Freeman remains the luxury clothier made in America that men rely upon for business wear, formal wear and sportswear. A balance of skilled handwork and technological innovation combined with silhouettes of contemporary style and elegance make the Hickey Freeman name synonymous with superior quality.
Rochester used to be the home of “fashion park,” a neighborhood of clothing companies. Today, Hickey Freeman is the only one that remains. This is representative of a nationwide trend: since 1990, the American clothing industry has lost 788,300 job. We have detailed the facts for you in our Made in America Report below. We are proud of our American heritage.