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‘Business as usual’ at Escada after rescue

German luxury womenswear brand Escada has vowed that spring 10 deliveries will hit stores on time after it was rescued from administration and its spiralling debts last week.

Escada was acquired by Megha Mittal, daughter-in-law of steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, via a family trust for an undisclosed sum.

Escada UK managing director Denise Shepherd told Drapers it was “business at usual” at the brand following the deal.

Shepherd said that all spring 10 orders would be delivered on time to the brand’s 45 UK stockists and added that there were no plans to change the label’s strategy. However, some reports indicated that while Mittal was keen to maintain the brand’s luxury positioning, she may revisit some entry-level pricing. Mittal has been interested in investing in fashion for some time and was linked to a bid for Italian designer label Gianfranco Ferré last year.

Shepherd added that initial shipments of Escada’s cruise collection began two weeks ago and that spring 10 deliveries would begin in January. “Cruisewear is actually as big as spring/summer for Escada,” she said.

Escada will continue to be run from its German headquarters in Munich by chief executive Bruno Salzer, who joined the business in June, and its existing UK management structure will remain in place.

Salzer, who was previously chief executive of Hugo Boss and who has fought hard to bring Escada out of insolvency since August, said in a statement: “I am relieved for our employees, customers and suppliers that the time of uncertainty is finally over. We have found our ideal partner in the Mittal family. Now all that counts is to look forward.”

Separately, Escada sold off its Primera stable of brands comprising Laurèl, Apriori and Cavita to German private equity firm Endurance Capital last week after a planned sale to German private equity company Mutares fell through at the final hour. Endurance Capital has a history of backing fashion brands such as More & More. The deal was well received by the brands’ UK agents.

Glynn Alwyn-Jones, partner at Parkers Fashion, the UK agent for Laurèl, said: “The situation is going to be a lot better [under the new owners] than it was previously. The management is not going to have to deal with the problems that were there when Laurèl was part of Escada. In the round, everything is looking very good.”

Apriori and Cavita together have about 100 UK stockists, while Laurèl has 35.

Michael Hellin is the UK agent for Apriori and Cavita.

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