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In the 1930s, two teenage brothers, Ernest and Martin Hochster, emigrated from Germany to New York City and began learning all aspects of the fashion process – from design and production to sales and marketing. By the 1940s, they had the talent and knowledge to start their own shirt company in Minneapolis – Westmoor Mfg Co.
It was in Minneapolis that they began putting snaps on their popular “Gambler” style shirt – and where their first sales representative, Ed Gassman, came up with a brand name that personified the Texas cowboy – Panhandle Slim.
Success began to set in and the company moved to Nebraska in the 1950s, adding women’s apparel to their collection. Then in 1975, wanting to get closer to the consumer market, they made a giant leap to Texas. Whether it was because of that move, the Urban Cowboy fad, the second generation joining the family business, or of course its unique designs (perhaps a combination of all four), Panhandle Slim’s shirt business blossomed.
It wasn’t until the 21st century that the third generation joined the company and created new labels, Rock & Roll Cowgirl and Cowboy – a hip collection with fashion-forward shirts and premium denim, popular not just with cowboys and cowgirls but with people of all backgrounds and walks of life.
Today, Panhandle Slim is one of few privately owned Western apparel companies, and prides itself on creating fresh styles for customers in the ever-changing Western fashion world.
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