ESCADA was first introduced in 1978, created by Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley to offer a combination of top quality fabrics, fit and workmanship at affordable prices. The first collection from the label debuted under the name ‘ESCADA – Sporty Elegance’ and immediately garnered praise from the fashion pack. At that time ESCADA offered covetable separates within a reasonable price point, something that proved especially popular at a time when haute couture reigned supreme. The basis of the ESCADA label was comfortable yet stylish pieces which were perfectly colour coordinated, allowing the wearer to mix and match across several seasons. As a former model, Margaretha used her experience of tailoring, her feel for colours and her attention to detail to create pieces that she knew women would appreciate. The result was a combination of bold colours, plush embroideries and vibrant prints that would see ESCADA become a perfect fit for the extroverted Eighties, with the brand burgeoning in popularity during this period.
By the late 1980s, the world’s most sought-after manufacturers were working on ESCADA’s designs, with elaborate knitwear and leather prints providing the basis of subsequent collections. Having forged relationships with the best craftsmen in the industry, ESCADA would go on to forge its own area of expertise within glamorous cocktail and evening wear. An extensive accessories range followed and the ESCADA brand soon began to attract the attention of the rare and beautiful 1990s breed known simply as ‘The Supers’. It was a golden age for fashion and supermodels including Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell were brought on board to bring ESCADA’s glamorous look to life in a series of ad campaigns on the pages of the glossy magazines. Thanks to its overtly elegant appeal, film stars and celebrities were lining up to wear ESCADA’s creations on the red carpet.
1994 saw Brian Rennie appointed creative director of ESCADA following the death of founding partner Margaretha Ley, bringing with him a fresh take that reflected the low-key aesthetic that came to define the 1990s, whilst also introducing the ESCADA SPORT diffusion line to the brand’s portfolio. When Kim Basinger wore ESCADA to collect her Oscar for L.A. Confidential in 1997, it proved once and for all that the brand was officially back on the fashion map.
In recent years, ESCADA has continued to embrace a combination of cool glamour and modern elegance, merging simple shapes and styles with the same impeccable craftsmanship on which it has built such an immaculate reputation. Feminine pieces focus on timeless colour palettes and classic fits, and each collection merges everyday pieces with embellished gowns and luxurious accessories, making it unsurprising that the fashion industry continues to remain faithful to an old favourite. As was first introduced in the early stages of the brand, ESCADA continues to offer modern separates with an encouragement to mix and match, taking you through from everyday to red carpet. Silk, fine knits, beaded embellishment and Swarovski accents set ESCADA apart from the rest, cementing the brand’s position at the forefront of fashion. Miranda Kerr, Jessica Stam, Coco Rocha, Poppy Delevingne and Camila Alves have all rocked ESCADA’s feminine designs on the red carpet in recent months, providing further endorsement to its long-standing star status.