Escada is an international luxury fashion group in women's designer clothing. The company has a presence in about 60 different countries. Its main sales markets are North America, western and eastern Europe, and Asia. It filed bankruptcy in August 2009, and was acquired by Megha Mittal in November 2009.
Escada was founded in 1978 by Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley in Munich, Germany. The company soon stood out, with its distinctive creations featuring unusual combinations of colors and patterns, exclusive embroidery, and elaborately designed knitted fashions. Escada saw a rapid upswing and continually extended its collections and its creative work.
In the course of its international expansion, Escada SE went public in 1986. In 1994 the company launched the Escada Sport label, established its own accessories collection including bags and shoes and granted major licenses, collaborating with such partners as Procter & Gamble.
In 2007 the artist Stefan Szczesny created a new Escada collection in Saint-Tropez, France. Since July 2008, Bruno Sälzer is the acting CEO with responsibilities for design, marketing, and sales. On August 11, 2009, Escada filed insolvency, as an exchange offer for the outstanding bonds of €200 million was not accepted by the necessary 80% of all bond holders.
Escada comprises the segments Fashion (Escada Couture and Escada Sport), Accessories (bags, shoes, and small leather goods) and licenses (fragrances, eyewear, and children's fashion).
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden is a regular Escada customer. In 2010 she wore Escada to the pre-wedding party at the wedding of Prince Nikolaos of Greece. In 2011 she wore Escada to the Monaco royal wedding, the pre-wedding dinner for the British royal wedding, as well as the state visit to Germany.
Controversy over fur
On October 18, 2007, the group "Global Network Against the Fur Industry", which is made up of organizations such as Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade or Offensive gegen die Pelzindustrie, launched a campaign against Escada, in the form of a day of action, in hopes of getting Escada to stop selling fur. According to their website, on October 18, there were 40 actions against Escada in 14 countries. On October 6, 2007, Escada headquarters were vandalized by the Animal Liberation Front. Since that date the campaign against Escada continues with regular pickets in front of Escada-outlets worldwide. In October 2010, Frank Elsner, the representative for press and business communication, confirmed to the campaigners that Escada will go completely fur-free, starting January 2011.