Global Investing

Germany’s answer to Armani and Versace bids farewell

August 12, 2009

When I walked into the dome of Berlin’s Bode Museum in July for Escada’s Pink Party at the Berlin fashion week, it seemed no one was quite sure whether we were celebrating the resurrection of Escada or whether this was a bombastic way of saying good-bye.

Today, we know it was the latter. Escada failed to get the support it needed from its bondholders to restructure its debt, which was a precondition for further capital injections from shareholders, like the Herz brothers — owners of coffee franchise Tchibo.  

Escada admitted defeat late on Tuesday and said it would file for insolvency this week. Is this the end of an era, the end of Germany’s sole glamorous answer to Armani, Chanel and Versace? 

Escada’s Pink party clearly made an impression. The broad staircases to the left and right of the museum’s entrance were draped with mannequins wearing outfits from all stages of the company’s 33-year history.

 

Brightly-coloured duvet jackets, diamond-studded jeans, fur coats, lavishly embroidered evening gowns and eighties-style leather jackets dazzled fashionistas and enraged anti-fur protestors outside the swanky soiree, which drew guest such as actress Diane Kruger, super model Nadja Auermann and designer Wolfgang Joop.

 

Escada has left its mark in the global fashion industry and continues to inspire today’s designers from Paris to Tokyo. Even if Escada fails to crawl back from insolvency, the spirit will live on.

 

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