empowering women since 1973

Some stories end with a full stop, ours starts with a comma

The self-sufficient, self-confident, independent woman has conquered the world’s big stages – in society, business and politics. The history of comma is inextricably intertwined with the evolution of emancipation over the past decades. What started in a house in Düsseldorf 50 years ago has since grown into a well-known premium brand from Rottendorf. But comma is more than a brand. comma is a friend, ally and partner. From the beginning, the focus for the comma team was on one thing: female empowerment. As traditional gender roles break down, this change also has to manifest itself in fashion. At comma, we are proud of supporting self-confident women in expressing their self-image through clothing for 50 years.


The foundation stone for an exclusive premium brand for independent women is laid in a house in Düsseldorf. With dedication and creativity, Hans Beisel created a brand that combines avant-garde with classic. We say goodbye to a pioneer of German fashion who passed away in July 2023. His legacy lives on, inspiring and timeless.

THE 1970s

In 1975, the International Year of Women, the United Nations holds the first World Conference on Women in Mexico City. It strengthens women’s rights globally and is a milestone in the history of emancipation. Thousands of women march on the streets of Munich for the mini skirt. Traditional family roles in a marriage where the wife takes care of the household are abolished in Germany and replaced by the partnership principle. Marriages are now no longer subject to a statutory division of responsibilities. Driven by the wind of change, comma creates the independent, cosmopolitan woman look. “Utility Chic” combines the collection’s fashion appeal with functionality and suitability for everyday wear. The world of business is also being conquered, floor by floor, by women, and comma creates the modern business woman’s look.

THE 1980s

Sally Ride goes aboard the Challenger as the third woman in space and is seen by many women as a role model for independence and equality. The “Women’s Policy” department is created in the Federal Ministry of Youth, Family and Health. Women and men must be treated equally in the workplace and paid equally – this is the first time that this has been set down as a legal right. Individuality becomes more and more important in the 80s – the wide choice of clothes gives women the chance to express their own personality. Anything goes! The woman of this decade presents herself as equal and independent. The fashion world’s focus is also developing in the direction of individualism. The comma style of the decade is characterised by fashionable highlights that underline precisely this uniqueness.

THE 1990s

Heide Simonis becomes the first female Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein. In its final report, the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing adopts the following sentence: “Women’s rights are human rights”. Work–life balance is increasingly becoming an important issue. The young generation no longer lives just to work, but works for a good life. This guiding principle is reflected in fashion. With the “Ultimate Look”, the focus is on styling options and style contrasts: business in the morning – relaxed striped jumper in the evening. In the 90s, comma celebrated each new season at its own fashion shows in Düsseldorf.


Together with photographer Holger Eckstein, Hans Beisel managed to breathe soul into comma. In 1996, they shot the new autumn collection in New York with the model Tasha Tilberg. Holger Eckstein still remembers it to this day: “Those were different times. The idea was to stage Tasha on the streets of New York in such a way that you could see the comma lettering behind her in the picture, like a random poster hanging there. Today you would do that in Photoshop, back then we mounted the posters on columns, level crossings and bridges. Due to the size of the lettering, this was sometimes extremely complex and difficult to master and could only be done with the help of additional fitters.”


In 2005, Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany and this shaped an entire generation. At the turn of the millennium, comma also announces a significant change. In this new era, the brand realigns itself after being taken over by fashion entrepreneur Bernd Freier. A systematic change in thinking makes the iconic designs available to a wider public with 12 collections per year. Our long-time comma designer Anita also remembers this time fondly: “Until then, I had always just looked at comma fervently. comma was something like Jil Sander, anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s knows what I mean. The designers seemed so aloof... Then suddenly, I was on team comma and everyone was surprisingly normal and nice.”


Parallel to the launch of our online shop, comma moves into the new headquarters in Rottendorf. comma becomes its own brand within the s.Oliver Group.


We launch comma casual identity. The comma brand comprises two product lines: comma and comma casual identity. Both reflect the mentality and versatility of modern women. From simple business looks at comma to casual, spontaneous outfits at comma casual identity: comma bridges the gap between the 30 and 50+ generations with these two brands. From chic and timeless to casual and spontaneous, comma is always authentic, passionate and self-confident.


Further flagship stores open in Hamburg and Vienna, while the first comma store opens in Slovenia.


There’s a lot going on at comma. We open our first flagship store in Würzburg and further stores follow in Hamburg, Vienna and Slovenia. In 2012, comma expands into the Benelux countries and Croatia. In the coming years, we continue to grow. More and more stores open in Germany, Austria and France. The influential business magazine “TextilWirtschaft” distinguishes us as a top brand.


Within the scope of our new online shop design, more comma stores are opened in Germany, Austria and France. The online shop now works seamlessly on smartphones, tablets and PCs and improves the shopping experience.


In the 2000s, the discussion around the proportion of women in German management became increasingly louder. With Sonja Balodis as the CEO of the comma family at the time, we continue to grow and increase our brand presence. The Sonja blouse, which was named after her, becomes a classic and to this day counts as one of our best sellers.


We continue to build on our sustainability strategy and announce the successive adoption of resource-friendly production processes for our collections.


The first shoe collection complements the comma looks – from feminine heels to casual trainers.


Digitalisation progresses: comma opens the first “Hybrid Fashion Studio” in Düsseldorf, a showroom that uses digital elements in modern meeting rooms to enable a new way of presenting collections. Equipped for the digital future, we start the COMMA FOR WOMEN DIGITAL WORKSHOPS. Together with inspiring experts, we invite our customers to attend a digital workshop series.


We react to the needs of our customers and launch comma active: stylish active wear and sportswear made of breathable materials for women with an active lifestyle.


In collaboration with LIEBESKIND BERLIN, we present an exclusive bag collection. Timelessly casual design from the brand from the capital comes in the feminine, elegant comma look.

and we move on – 50 years of comma

We are celebrating our 50-year anniversary. Strong women continue to be the focus of our collections. Today’s world allows playful designs and bolder elements, with colours becoming more colourful. Compared to the beginnings of comma, so much has changed for women over the past decades. Yet society is still far from being truly equal. Women in particular still have to master the balancing act between career and family. The “Female Empowerment” mission still has a long way to go. comma is positioning itself to continue to support women in the next five decades.