“For 100 years, Freed & Freed has been a manufacturing mainstay in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The family-operated business has an eponymous outerwear brand that was created by the fourth-generation president of the company, Marissa Freed”.
- Fashion Magazine
Historic, Canadian garment manufacturers, Freed & Freed International Ltd. is a 100-year-old brand, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Today, Freed & Freed stands as one of the few remaining Canadian, 4th generation, and family run businesses in the garment industry. Long known for creating Ladies’ & Men’s fine apparel, Freed & Freed uses its depth of experience and its unique understanding of design, construction and manufacturing of ladies’ and men’s tailored goods and outerwear with leading textile and manufacturing innovation and technology. The result is beautifully crafted, comfortable and stylish coats and jackets and now masks.
David Freed began manufacturing knee pants and selling to T. Eaton Company. In 1921 Morris Freed became his partner and they incorporated Freed & Freed International Ltd.
Freed & Freed was now well known for quality manufacturing and by 1925 required more space and moved to a 12,000 sq foot building.
In August 1940 Morris passed away suddenly at the age of 58. In 1941 his son Joseph left law school and joined his father David in the business.
In 1950 Freed & Freed moved again. Now manufacturing both trousers and jackets, Freed & Freed found that their new building still didn’t avail enough space so they rented a second space.
In 1958 a local designer was hired to help develop a line consisting of mainly wool coats. The outerwear was a huge success and London Fog of Baltimore was born. Before long and yet again, there was a shortage of space so 10,000 sq feet was found in the exchange district. In 1969, the company began to manufacture dress uniforms for the Canadian Government.
In 1971 Stephen Freed joined the company. In 1975 Stephen Freed became President of Freed & Freed. In 1981 Freed & Freed purchased 1301 Ellice Avenue, the premises consisted of 160,000 sq feet.
In 1990 Freed & Freed employed over 750 people in Manitoba and supplied over 1500 people in other parts of the world through its import division.
In 1994 the company entered into a partnership with Ego Fashions, an importer and manufacturer of ladies sportswear and outerwear based in Montreal.
In 1995 Freed & Freed acquired the Canadian license for the Pacific Trail brand of men’s and ladies outerwear. In 2000, the right to the Equinox brand of men’s outerwear was acquired. Freed & Freed was now doing business in Canada, the U.S.A. and Mexico.
Arriving, Marissa Freed. Propelling this exciting and bright company today is President and 4th generation owner Marissa Freed. Ms. Freed has been in the industry longer than most. Having been born into a garment family, her father, Stephen Freed, tutored Marissa from a young age ensuring she lived and breathed fabrics, the industry and most importantly, garments.
When Marissa was a child Mr. Freed would bring her on trips to retail stores in various cities to assess the current markets and forecast upcoming trends. To further expand her knowledge she later completed a degree in fashion marketing and merchandising followed by a MBA.
In 2014 Marissa launched a collection praising the Canadian company’s luxurious heritage collection. The collection was based on old English tweed she found in the office and chose to incorporate technology innovation.
With the launch of the new Mommy & Me collection of faux furs and aMASK by FREED, Marissa has proven that Freed & Freed is here to stay. The company is not only innovative but has successfully pivoted during an extremely challenging time and has incorporated a give-back component she feels very proud of.