Fun fact – My love for Escada began when I worked at their store in Las Vegas. It remains the most fun job I ever had. Sorry, Jennifer. Another fun fact – My relationship with Jennifer began when she hired me to work for her, hence the apology. But a little bit about one of my favorite brands first.
In 1978 Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley presented their first collection under the name “Escada & Sporty Elegance“. This event laid the foundation for a new business idea that was as simple as it was successful: the democratization of elite haute couture. Escada offered: top quality in fabrics, fit, and workmanship at affordable prices; sophisticated, imaginative design and extremely comfortable wear; a coordinate system with individual components that were perfectly color-coordinated to allow mixing & matching through several seasons.
Margaretha, a former Swedish model, had a solid education in tailoring and ample experience with demanding customers. But she also had an exquisite feel for colors, a devotion to detail, and a sure sense for what many women desired – feminine elegance that does not shy away from bright contrasts and striking elements. Bold color combinations, opulent embroideries, combinations of patterns, and leopard prints endowed Escada’s early creations with a touch of the irrepressible extroverted spirit of the 1980s.
Today Escada has interpreted its brand values in a new, updated way: cool glamour, sensual femininity, and modern elegance are the hallmarks of the brand line. Escada stands for fashion dressing women appropriately for every occasion. The brand offers a lifestyle concept filled with everything from must-have everyday items for business and leisure to red carpet occasions.
Back to the job….before that, my retail experience was at places like Wet Seal and Contempo Casuals (raise your hand if you remember either store). I had access to an occasional designer piece in the form of a thrift score or hand-me-down from family, but this was the first time I got to experience this brand – a brand that I fell in love thanks to being the only 13-year-old with a subscription to Elle that I lovingly poured over every month – in great details. I learned about all the work that goes into producing a line at an actual fashion house, as opposed to the trendy teen stores where I previously worked. And even with a great employee discount and access to wearing select pieces for sales reasons, working at Escada was the best personal style boot camp EVER. Any talent I had for making my Buffalo Exchange and fast fashion finds look like designer outfits were put to the test BIG time. (Plus working retail for many years also helped me develop all of the “soft skills” recruiters look in corporate leaders, but that is a whole other post).
Besides having fond memories of such a fancy job for a not-so-fancy college student, another reason I love Escada is that it is easy to find on the secondary market, at all price points, whether that is consignment, thrift, or vintage. I have found a lot of Escada at estate sales. And since they have been around for over 40 years, you can find one-of-a-kind vintage pieces from any era to spice up your wardrobe and inject your personal style.
I have already posted pics of this one-shoulder, yellow dress. Made out of a tee-shirt material, the athletic stripes down the side, this dress is from the late 80’s early 90’s. I had been saving this dress for a special occasion, but that occasion became meeting a girlfriend for coffee once lockdown was lifted. I wore it with converse for our actual meet up, but since she happens to be a photographer as well as a friend, I brought the shoes, purse, and jewelry I would pair it with if I had a reason. This dress was $12.99 at Goodwill.
The beaded yellow cami top was an Etsy find for about $15 and it was in pristine condition. This is another piece that could have waited for the right occasion, but as a big believer in sequins for daytime, I decided to pair it with jeans and high heel sandals for a look that would be great for drinks with my ladies. I do look forward to wearing this top again, styled in different ways including white wide-leg dress pants or a white dress suit. It would look great peeking out from under a blazer.
I posted this cardigan outfit the other day for the Fall in Love with LTK fall trends promotion as them theme was cardigan craze. This gold studded Escada cardigan was perfect for showcasing #LTKFall trends and transitional outfits as it made two of summer’s biggest trends – tie-dye and balloon jeans – appropriate for colder temperatures. I styled it here with gold sandals but change those out for booties and we have a perfect fall look.
But perhaps my favorite look was created around my vintage Escada Bermuda shorts that I found on eBay for $20. While a white crop top and gold mules are great for summer, the addition of another Escada piece. This vintage navy knit blazer makes this outfit perfect for everything frigid office temperatures to crisp fall days.
Which look is your favorite?
Images by Breezy Ritter Photography