Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley founded Escada in 1976 in Germany. The first label was Escada Sportliche Eleganz by SRB, but it was soon shortened to Escada. This line featured high-end knit sportswear, but by the 1980s Escada had branched off into other areas of women’s clothing, such as separates and evening wear.
In 1982, Escada began to branch off into other markets, including the United States and Hong Kong. Throughout the 1980s, they expanded until they were considered to be one of the largest fashion companies in the world. More lines were added, including a more youthful and lower priced line, Laurel. A bridge line, Apriori, was added in 1991 and in 1995 Escada Sport was added.
Margaretha Ley died in 1992. Until that time she had been the primary designer for the label. After her death, there have been several different designers for Escada, the latest being Bettina Hammerl.
Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com