Escada is an international luxury fashion group in women's designer clothing
Designer clothing
Designer clothing is clothing that bears the logo of a recognizable fashion designer.The 'designer' whose name is on the label may be:* A European couturier, e.g. Chanel, Christian Dior* A European luxury goods house, e.g. Armani, Gucci, Louis Vuitton...

. 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 by Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley in 1978 in Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

. 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
Stefan Szczesny
Stefan Szczesny is a German painter, draughtsman, and sculptor.He is best known for co-founding the Junge Wilde movement by, among other things, organizing the exhibition "Rundschau Deutschland" in 1981...

 created a new Escada collection in Saint-Tropez.

Since July 2008, Dr. Bruno Sälzer
Bruno Sälzer
Dr Bruno Sälzer is the CEO of Escada, the international luxury fashion group. He was born into a solid farming family. He has always been interested in fashion more than fertiliser, and has been quoted in saying, "I can't explain this. There was no one in my family like this. I have checked back...

 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 Euro 200 Million was not accepted by the necessary 80% of all bond holders.

In November 2009 it was acquired by India's London based billionaire Lakshmi Mittal
Lakshmi Mittal
Lakshmi Narayan Mittal is an Indian steel magnate. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaking company....

 whose daughter-in-law Megha Mittal
Megha Mittal
Megha Mittal is the Chairman and Managing Director of the German fashion luxury brand Escada.She graduated from the Wharton School of Business in 1997, with a B.S. in Economics with concentration in Finance. She subsequently joined the investment bank Goldman Sachs as an analyst in the research...

 is the owner and Director of the Board. She is married to Aditya Mittal
Aditya Mittal
Aditya Mittal is a CFO, Responsible for Flat Americas, Mergers and Acquisitions , Investor Relations, Strategy and Communications of the world's largest steel firm ArcelorMittal, which is controlled by his father Lakshmi Mittal, who was ranked the fifth richest person in the world by Forbes in...



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).

The subsidiary Primera AG based in Münster/Westphalia comprises apriori, cavita and Laurèl as well as the retail chain BiBA. It was sold in 2009.

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
Animal Liberation Front
The Animal Liberation Front is an international, underground leaderless resistance that engages in illegal direct action in pursuit of animal liberation...

. 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.
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