The company Knize was founded in Vienna in 1858. The fashion tailor J. Knize was appointed K & K court supplier shortly after. At the turn of the century, many personalities, heads of state, artists and industrialists were among Knize’s select clientele.
In 1902 the banker Albert Wolff acquired the Knize company. His wife Gisela later ran the Knize company. The architect Adolf Loos, who was known in Vienna for his pioneering construction, came to Knize through Gisela Wolff. In 1909 he designed a new shop facade for Knize made of black marble and glass and redesigned the interior.
Last but not least, Adolf Loos’ avant-garde architecture created a close connection between the progressive trends in Vienna’s cultural life and the Knize company, which became Vienna’s most sought-after fashion address.
After the end of the First World War, Fritz Wolff returned to Vienna and took over the management of Knize in 1918. Three years later, Ernst Dryden came to Knize as a designer. Dryden had studied with Gustav Klimt at the school of applied arts and worked as a poster artist, designer and illustrator.
Today Dryden is known as the star designer of the 1920s. Dryden’s avant-garde fashion gave Knize a designer image and gave it the highest international reputation outside of Vienna. Dryden also designed the timelessly elegant Knize company logo, which was also inspired by English trademarks, and was responsible for advertising the Knize company. Together with Fritz Wolf, he created the first complete men’s series Knize in Paris in 1927.
The “Knize Ten” collection came onto the international markets. “Ten” is known as the highest standard for polo. Polo, the sport of the English nobility, was the symbol of elegance for Wolff and Dryden. Dryden designed the packs of the “Knize Ten” fragrance line, which still exists in the same timeless design.
The men’s line Knize Ten and the noble women’s line Lady Knize have become real fragrance classics in decades and still embody charm and exclusive elegance. The novelist Hans had once said that if the fate of the deserted island threatened him, he would take Knize Ten with him, because the purpose of a scented water was in no way to shake the morale of a beautiful woman, but to strengthen his own morality. This is also the motto of Knize: “You can recognize a man’s intelligence in conversation, but his style can be seen in Knize.”