Willy Bogner Sr.

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Willy Bogner Sr.
Willi Bogner 1942.jpg
Bogner in 1942
Full name Wilhelm Bogner
Born (1909-02-07)7 February 1909
Traunstein, Germany
Died 27 July 1977(1977-07-27) (aged 68)
Hausham, Germany
Ski club Münchner Skiläufer Vereinigung

Wilhelm Bogner Sr. (7 February 1909 – 27 July 1977) was a German Nordic combined skier who competed in the 1930s. He and his wife, Maria, co-founded a ski apparel company that bore their name.

Personal life[edit]

Bogner was born on (1909-02-07)7 February 1909 in Traunstein, Germany and died on (1977-07-27)27 July 1977 in Hausham, Germany. In 1937 He married Maria Lux, an athletic woman who joined his company to design sports apparel in 1932. Together, they had three children, Rosemarie, Michael, and Wilhelm (Willy Jr.)[1] They established a clothing line led to outfitting the German national ski team at the 1936 Winter Olympics.[2]

Skiing career[edit]

Bogner won a pair of medals at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships with a silver in the 4 x 10 km event in 1934 and a bronze in the nordic combined in 1935. Bogner Sr. also finished 6th in the 4 x 10 km event and 12th in the Nordic combined at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where he also took the Olympic Oath. During his career, Bogner Sr. was an eleven-time German and five-time nordic skiing champion. In 1933, he participated together with Matthias Wörndle and Gustav "Gustl" Müller at the first Trofeo Mezzalama event, where they placed third.[3]

Ski apparel company[edit]

Bogner's success as a skier allowed him and his wife, Maria, to establish a clothing line in 1932, that included outfitting the German national ski team at the 1936 Winter Olympics.[2] Following his stay as a POW during World War II, Bogner Sr. returned to their business in 1947. His wife's development of stretch pants in the early 1950s led to their adoption by such celebrities as Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Ingrid Bergman and contributed to the prosperity of the firm.[4]


His son, Willy Bogner Jr. (born 1942), was a successful alpine skier in the late 1950s and 1960s who competed for Germany at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley and the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. Bogner Jr. would later go into filmmaking in 1967, then follow into Bogner Sr.'s footsteps and start his own ski collection in 1971.

Bogner Sr. died in 1977. Bogner Jr. took over the line and oversaw further growth and marketing success until 2014 when its costumes for the German Winter Olympics team drew unfavorable review[5] and the company was seeking a buyer.[6] As of 2018, sales were in decline and the company had not found a new buyer.[5]


  1. ^ Terrell, Roy (February 6, 1961). "They Make the Pants". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2018-03-14. 
  2. ^ a b Editors (1995). "Maria Bogner – For changing the look of skiing forever". Skiing. New York: Ziff-Davis (Skiing for Women): 50. ISSN 0037-6264. Retrieved 2018-02-17. 
  3. ^ Storia della Valle D'Aosta (in Italian)
  4. ^ Masia, Seth (September 2002). "The 50th anniversary of stretch pants". Skiing Heritage Journal. International Skiing History Association. 14 (3): 35–6. ISSN 1082-2895. 
  5. ^ a b Steinkirchner, Peter (January 31, 2018). "Luxury skiwear maker Bogner heads downhill fast". Handelsblatt Global Edition. Retrieved 2018-05-25. 
  6. ^ Editorial Staff (August 12, 2014). "German fashion group Bogner seeks buyer–sources". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-05-25. 

External links[edit]