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Lahco Acquires Fogal Preserving ‘Swissness’

Renate Millauer-Lang, CEO of Lahco, the new owner of Fogal hosiery.
Renate Millauer-Lang, CEO of Lahco, the new owner of Fogal hosiery.

(Filed Under wholesale Hosiery News). Lahco, a Swiss swim and beachwear producer, has acquired Fogal, the Swiss hosiery and leggings firm.

In a letter to “business partners” on November 16, Philippe Gaydoul, chairman of the Gaydoul Group, Fogal’s previous owner, wrote, “We are happy that the team of Fogal as well as all existing Fogal stores will continue and also that the company will remain in Swiss hands. The executive board will be taken over by Mrs. Millauer-Lang, CEO of Lahco of Switzerland, all other of the team will remain.”

Departing Fogal is Doris Armellini, who had been elevated to CEO in February of this year. Prior to that she had been a product director at the firm for over a decade.

Gaydoul pointed out that the Fogal hosiery business, which is focused on the colder months, would be “complementary in their seasonal business” to Lahco’s swimwear and that “both premium brands see a lot of potential together for the future.” A source close to the company added that Lahco could now also be sold in Fogal stores. There are Fogal stores in Switzerland, Russia, Hong Kong and New York. The company website lists Saks and Barneys as U.S. retailers of its products.

When it was purchased by Group Gaydoul in 2009, Fogal operated about two dozen of its own stores and claimed to sell its products in high end retailers in about 22 countries. In the years following, Gaydoul, which owns the luxury brands Navyboot and Jet Set, first added new stores and enlarged the size of some new locations. More recently Gaydoul adjusted its approach, closing some of the larger stores and cutting back on the number of company-owned locations. While there were once three Manhattan boutiques, a recent closure in Soho left just one in the U.S., a Fogal shop on Madison Avenue.

Lahco was founded in 1922 and makes all of its women’s and men’s swimwear in Switzerland. Millauer-Lang took over the management of the company in 2003. Its latest one and two piece swim collection ranges in retail price on its website from 179 Swiss francs ($176) to 219 Swiss francs ($215).

In his letter Gaydoul expressed his pleasure that Fogal’s “Swissness will be guaranteed also under the new ownership.”

more wholesale Hosiery News >>

Published 11-19-2015 by Nick Monjo

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