A historic home - with new history in the making
Since 1894, a beautiful granite-clad building has graced the street of Torvegade in the central city of historic Randers. Known to only a few, this building once - and now again - contained the flagship store of one of Denmark’s oldest companies: RHANDERS. In fact, it served as a flagship during three family ownerships; from 1894 to 1971 and again from 2022 and onwards.
Found in the attics of the company, stacks of glove envelopes bear the address Torvegade 12. These envelopes were used for handing in gloves for winter-keeping; a testimony to the historical boutique, but certainly also to the fact that the owners of the business have always (and still do) practised a zero-waste policy.
Glove boutiques and the family tree
Soon after O.C. Kellerman officially founded ‘Handske-Fabrikke’ (‘Glove Factory in old Danish’) in 1811, the Mattat family took over the business in 1817 and ran it for three generations as ‘Mattat Handskefabrik’. We know that the third generation, Prosper Mattat, had at least one boutique in Randers before the Torvegade store was opened. This was around the corner, in Slotsgade 7.
In 1893 the glove factory was sold to the skilled businessman Marinus Thomsen, and he moved ‘M. Thomsen Handskefabrik’ boutique into the majestic, newly built Torvegade 12 as neighbours to the “Lion Pharmacy”, whose heritage is culturally safeguarded due to the ornamented ceilings, featuring medical herbs and flowers.
The third family owner, Marinus Thomsen, played a vital role in the history of the brand, as he introduced “Yvette - the Randers girl” as a trademark, broadened the collection to include bags, belts, clothes and leather interiors for cars, and opened stores in Copenhagen, London and New York.
In 1971, the ‘Randers Handskefabrik’ boutique was moved to Brødregade 14, as the 4th family owner, Vejrum, purchased this building. The Lion Pharmacy integrated the previous glove boutique into their business and later moved further around the corner to a pharmacy with automated logistics.
And so, history repeats itself. In the Spring of 2022, the 5th family owner, Hansen, moved back into the historic location of Torvegade 12 - just 2 kilometres away from our glove atelier, where all the designs come to life.
New history made
With our bold move to the 240m2 stunning location, we wish to explore and share the history and traditions of glove-making with you throughout three dedicated experience zones:
The delicate blue colour of the divine ceilings acts as the perfect companion for the historic signature colours of Randers Handskefabrik - the mint and teal colours. These, together with sustainable Danish made furniture, have been the main source of inspiration for the interior design and retail elements of the store. Most elements are actually made at the glove atelier by our designers and artisans; the Glove Bar, the velvet puffs and cupcake table, as well as the gold, plated Kalmus handles. Hand in hand, they facilitate the tale of traditions and craftsmanship through both classic and new designs.
The history of glove-making in Randers begins in the 13th century. It is an exhilarating tale of kings, queens and Catholic monks that in one of history’s intricate twists unsuspectingly played an essential role in making Randers the most important glove city in Europe. Visitors can experience why Marie Antoinette would only sleep in gloves from Randers, explore the gloves worn during the World Wars and the Spanish flu - and see the gloves we created for the police force and FBI - and much much more.
All stories will be told in our Heritage Area through historic gloves, artifacts and exciting tales.
We love sharing our passion for the craftsmanship of glove making and the techniques behind it. Our craftsmanship area will invite visitors into a world of original gloving tools, sewing machines, raw materials and knowledge - and we’re delighted to invite in both individuals and larger groups for a stroll through the rich history and honoured traditions of RHANDERS.
We look forward to welcoming you into our spectacular retail and historic universe at Torvegade 12, Randers.