Global Investing

Germany’s answer to Armani and Versace bids farewell

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.

Bankers’ ball binned, a step towards appeasement?

The storm raging through financial markets has already cost bankers much of their business, bonuses and public esteem. But now they won’t even be able to drown their sorrows in their usual glass of bubbly at one of the most cherished events in Frankfurt’s social calendar.

The glitzy, champagne-laden black-tie gala that usually closes Frankfurt’s annual Euro Finance Week and hosts the VIPs of Europe’s banking and insurance industry, has been cancelled.

Top German banks, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank and Dresdner Bank concluded that such a show of opulence was not “suitable for the times”, writes Spiegel magazine.