The founder of ESCADA, a beautiful Swedish woman named Margaretha, was a top model for the firm Jacques Fath. She not only modeled the new collections, she took the time to think and learn about the fashion world. Wolfgang Ley was a young, dynamic, ambitious entrepreneur who loved to improvise. When their paths crossed 23 years ago, they fell in love and became an unbeatable team. Dividing up the work was easy, Margaretha Ley was in charge of the creative part while Wolfgang took care of “rest” – finances, sales, marketing and production. The company soon became a major success. What were the reasons? How did ESCADA differ from its competitors? This can be explained in four words: color, elegance, quality and fit. ESCADA shares were first listed on the stock exchange in 1986. An era came to an end with the death of Margaretha Ley. Turbulent times followed. After the crisis was resolved, ESCADA became successful once again and evolved from a fashion label to a luxury goods brand. Incidentally, people often wonder whether there is some unexplained abbreviation behind the name ESCADA. The truth is more interesting: ESCADA was the name of an Irish thoroughbred.