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Industryclothing industry
FoundersMargaretha Ley
Wolfgang Ley
HeadquartersMunich, Germany
Key people
ProductsWomen's Fashion
OwnerRegent, L.P.

Escada SE is a luxury women's designer clothing company headquartered in Munich, Germany. The company is owned by Regent, L.P. an international private equity firm led by investor Michael A. Reinstein.[1]

The company was founded in 1978 by designer Margaretha Ley. It currently retails fashion accessories and ready-to-wear. As of 2017, Escada SE operates in 80 countries with 600 points of sale worldwide. The luxury fashion label employees around 1,500 employees with international locations in Milan, Paris, Tokyo, London, Beverly Hills, and New York City.


Escada was founded in 1978 by Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley in Munich, Germany.[2] Being a former model and having a solid education in tailoring from the Royal Court in Stockholm, Margaretha Ley became known for her bold, feminine designs. 1978 saw the first presentation of the Escada womenswear collection, which featured exquisite inlays and appliqués. 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 1995, the company launched the Escada Sport label,[3] 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 was the acting CEO with responsibilities for design, marketing, and sales.

In 2009, Escada sold its subsidiary Primera AG, based in Münster, Westphalia which comprised the brands apriori, cavita, and Laurèl, as well as BiBA. On 11 August 2009, Escada filed insolvency at Munich Local Court, as an exchange offer for the outstanding bonds of €200 million was not accepted by the necessary 80% of all bond holders.[4][5] In November 2009, it was acquired by India's London-based billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, whose daughter-in-law, Megha Mittal, is the owner and Director of the Board. She is married to Aditya Mittal.[6] Megha Mittal sold the business in October 2019 to Regent, L.P. a global private equity firm in Beverly Hills, California.

On 20 February 2014, according to Women's Wear Daily, Bruno Sälzer stepped down as CEO of Escada by December 2014.[7]

On 1 September 2016, Iris Epple-Righi joined as the CEO of Escada after 13 years with Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. She left the company in 2019.

Niall Sloan joined Escada as the Global Design Director on 1 August 2017 after designing for luxury label Burberry and Hunter.[8] Sloan presented his first runway collection for Escada at New York Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 19 to celebrate the company's 40th anniversary. [9] The event was held at the historic Park Avenue Armory. For the Fall / Winter 19 season Sloan presented his next collection, inspired by the life and legacy of Hedy Lamarr Hedy Lamarr, during Paris Fashion Week in February at the Institut de France. [10]

Escada announced British singer Rita Ora as the brand's new ambassador and face of their spring campaign on 14 January 2019. [11] Ora released a version of the ESCADA Heart Bag which she helped co-design on 27 March 2019 at a launch party at the Public Hotel in New York City. A portion of proceeds from the sale of the design was given to Women for Women International, a charity helping rebuild the lives of female survivors of war. [12]

Corporate affairs[edit]

ESCADA store panorama inside

Escada divides its business activities in three segments:

  • Fashion with the brands Escada Mainline[13] and Escada Sport.[14]
  • Accessories consisting of bags, shoes, and small leather goods. [15]
  • Licenses which utilizes the Escada brand for fragrances, eyewear. [16]

Notable clients[edit]

ESCADA Store front

Diana, Princess of Wales was a customer of Escada, famously wearing an Escada coat for a formal visit to Berlin in 1987. Kim Basinger was awarded the Oscar in 1988 in an Escada gown. 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. Sarah, Duchess of York, wore Escada to Elton John's White Tie and Tiara Ball in 2011.


On 18 October 2007, the group "Global Network Against the Fur Industry",[17] 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 18 October, there were 40 actions against Escada in 14 countries.[18] On 6 October 2007, Escada headquarters were vandalized by the Animal Liberation Front.[19] 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.


  1. ^ Escada Owner in Advanced Talks to Sell Brand – WWD. (30 October 2019). Retrieved on 2020-02-05.
  2. ^ "Escada – Fashion Designer Encyclopedia – women, men, shoes, style, new, body, history, collection, designs". Archived from the original on 20 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Escada". Vintage Fashion Guild. 17 July 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  4. ^ vgl. Modekonzern Escada muss Insolvenz anmelden Archived 28 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 11. August 2009
  5. ^ Sarah Gilbert (13 August 2009). "Escada out of fashion, declares bankruptcy". Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  6. ^ "404. Page Not Found – Bloomberg". Cite uses generic title (help)
  7. ^ Drier, Melissa (20 February 2014). "Bruno Sälzer to Step Down at Escada". WWD. Archived from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  8. ^ Hays, Kali (14 June 2017). "Niall Sloan joined Escada as the Global Design Directora". WWD. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  9. ^ Blanks, Tim (14 June 2017). "Rebooting Escada for a New Era". Business of Fashion. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  10. ^ Ellie, Pithers (27 February 2019). "Meet The Ultra-Glamorous Muse Behind Escada's AW19 Collection". Vogue UK. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  11. ^ Ma, Fiona (14 January 2019). "Rita Ora Is Escada's New Brand Ambassador". WWD. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  12. ^ Scott, Catherine (28 March 2019). "Rita Ora's Got a Brand-New Bag, and She Designed It for Escada". Vogue. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Escada Mainline Online Store". 25 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Escada Sport Online Store". 25 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Escada Accessories Online Store". 25 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Escada Fragrances". 25 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 November 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "BITE BACK Magazine". Archived from the original on 27 November 2007.

External links[edit]

Media related to Escada at Wikimedia Commons