Iconic Designer | AIGNER
Famed for its detailed leather craftsmanship, AIGNER is a brand synonymous with luxury, travel and quality of product. Widely recognised across the globe thanks to its iconic A-shaped horseshoe logo, the distinctive branding has been with the label since its inception.
While the history of the brand lies in exquisite leather goods - handbags, travel luggage and accessories - AIGNER is also an esteemed fashion label with menswear, womenswear and, more recently, childrenswear collections.
Hungarian born Etienne Aigner started his career in Budapest as a bookbinder, working with leather and even making his own paper to perfect his craft. In the 1930s, he and his brother Lucien relocated to Paris where his skills as a bookbinder led him to focus more on leatherwork; his talents evolved and he began making handbags and belts for Paris’ elite.
After completing various apprenticeships with none other than Dior, Lanvin, and Balenciaga, Aigner moved to New York in 1950 in search of new opportunities. It was here that he presented his first handbag collection to high applause. In 1959, he opened up his first showroom in Manhattan selling luxury leather goods, however after creative differences caused tension between Aigner and his manufacturer, he left New York for Munich. Embarking on a new venture in Germany, he founded Etienne Aigner AG in 1965. Although Aigner sold the business in the late 1960s, the brand continues to pay homage to his superior craftsmanship and vision.
Developing the brand
The following decades saw the brand grow both its product line and global presence. The 1970s saw the introduction of silk scarves, perfume and the first fashion collection – items that were perfect to don at the highly anticipated Aigner Racing Days that quickly became prestigious societal fixtures.
Aigner Racing Days were an event introduced by the brand which gained tremendous popularity amongst the people of Munich. It was the perfect event for the label to continue to sponsor given the association of the AIGNER brand with horses. These animals represent strength, grace and beauty, characteristics closely aligned with the design house – not to mention the label’s iconic horseshoe logo.
Product evolution followed in the 1980s with licenses issued for watches, jewellery and eyewear. Womenswear and menswear collections were introduced in the 1990s, as well as a collaboration with Volkswagen where AIGNER designed the interior for a special edition version of the iconic 1991 Golf Cabriolet.
The story today
The 2000s saw continued success with global expansion. In 2013, Creative Director Christian Alexander Beck designed the first Cybill Bag and dedicated it to the CEO, Sibylle Schön, to honour her contribution and dedication to the brand. Every season a new Cybill Bag is released with a design reflecting the theme of each collection. The Cybill Bag has become an iconic AIGNER bag with each new release hotly anticipated by fans.
Today, AIGNER is still known for its quality craftsmanship, and self-describes as “a German brand with an Italian soul,” having combined “German precision with Tuscan tradition”. This is followed through in the childrenswear collection; modern styles with a focus on quality are combined with traditional heritage elements such as the horseshoe logo, creating a fun and practical collection that exudes luxury.
All images by Aigner Kids
Discover the latest collection HERE
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