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Exceptional Individuals Define a Brand

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The mid-1920s found both Europe and the United States in a dynamic period of change. The First World War had been won and economies and society were redefining themselves. This decade would go down in history as the golden Twenties. The era gave birth to new female role models and interpretations of femininity and a whole new world of fashion. Women emancipated themselves in society, in the workplace and in fashion. A designer called Coco Chanel arrived on the scene and liberated women once and for all from the constraints of the corset, creating clothing that allowed freedom of movement without scrimping on elegance.


It was in 1921, at the dawn of this dynamic era of upheaval and change, that Léon Fogal, son of a sock knitter, established the FOGAL brand. In 1923, in the Limmatquai in Zurich, the first hosiery shop was opened under the family name. Shortly thereafter further stores in Basle and Bern were opened. The brand soon became synonymous with high-quality hosiery. Léon Fogal not only proved exceedingly apt at choosing his wares, but was also able to skilfully respond to the needs of his customers – soon the FOGAL shops were also offering repair services. The invention of Nylon stockings (1938) ushered in a boom time at FOGAL. As the first importer of this revolutionary leg wear, Léon Fogal once again proved his fine-tuned sense of innovation and elegance. Women often queued up in long lines in front of FOGAL shops to get their own pair of the new “Nylons”. The faces expressed that much more disappointment when after just a few hours the stock was sold out and the shop had to close for business.

 

The Fogal Logo

The 90-year history of the FOGAL brand is reflected most remarkably in the incisive brand logo. It was developed in the 70s from the handwriting of company founder Léon Fogal, Which was adapted slightly to appeal to the feminine core customer group. The FOGAL logo has become a distinct symbol of high-quality, innovative hosiery and knitwear and will continue to signify these brand values in the future.

 

 

After the death of Léon Fogal in 1968, ownership of the company was transferred to the Zurich banking family of walter Meier. One of his two sons, Balthasar Meier, temporarily took over the directorship. The interim solution was to become an over 40-year-long success story. Out of the first six Swiss shops grew a company with worldwide operations. In 1982, the first international store was opened in New York. This was followed by venues in Paris, London and Tokyo, to name just a few of the boutique locations around the globe. Collaborations with renowned artists and product innovations elevated FOGAL to become one of the cult brands of the 1980s.

 

 


A new era began for the FOGAL brand in 2009 when Balthasar Meier decided to sell the company to Philippe Gaydoul and the Gaydoul Group. Philippe Gaydoul is one of Switzerland’s most outstanding entrepreneurs. At the age of 28 he had already taken on the top management post at denner, eventually increasing the company’s profits by billions. He is chief executive of the Gaydoul Group, which takes an active, long-term part in developing companies in the premium and luxury segment of the consumer goods sector that possess strong future viability. Philippe Gaydoul’s involvement picks up the ball of existing FOGAL success and runs with it – to take the brand, in strong capable hands, into a promising future.

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