It all began in a barn: The transformation of Triumph International from a tiny Southern German corset factory back in 1886 into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of lingerie and underwear is a global success story.
Triumph today enjoys a presence in over 120 countries all across the world. For its brands Triumph and sloggi the company develops, produces and sells underwear, lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear, fusing excelling quality in workmanship, unrivalled fit and the latest in fashionable design.
The corsetier Johann Gottfried Spiesshofer and the merchant Michael Braun found the corsetry firm Spiesshofer & Braun. With six sewing machines and six employees, they begin corsetry production in a barn in Heubach (southern Germany). Within a few years the firm expands to already 150 employees.
Belle Époque – every woman wants to look like the Empress
Royal lacing. The Bust and the bottom are accentuated, the waist and the hips are tightly pulled into shape, in line with the ideal of regal beauty during the time of the German Empire.
Spiesshofer and Braun recognise the need for a memorable brand name that will be understood wherever it is used. Inspired by the Paris Arc de Triomphe – “Triumph” becomes the new brand name. The company quickly reaches the position of the leading lingerie manufacturer in Europe.
„Golden Twenties“ – Chic and Sophisticated
The “Golden Twenties”. Lighter corsets are modernised and the success story of the bra begins. Triumph successfully manufactures products with ever-fewer seams. Fashion becomes more affordable and more natural.
Triumph establishes its first branch abroad, in the Zurzach region of Switzerland. In the Olympic year of 1936, the company proudly celebrates its 50th birthday.
Stylish Elegance – a return to form and tradition
Goodbye to the bob and the boyish figure. After the global economic crisis of 1929, the zeitgeist changes. Stylish elegance replaces sophisticated chic. Triumph launches the corselette, the first strapless corset, and further innovations such as first bras with front fastenings and changeable straps.
A new beginning: production is restarted, the company reinitiates its extremely dynamic development and from 1953 begins trading under the name “Triumph International”. From 1954 to 1959 Triumph expands throughout Europe, opening branches in Belgium, the UK, Sweden, Italy, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands.
Years of the Economic Miracle – Celebrating the new prosperity
“New Look” – an emphasis on feminine forms. Corsets make a comeback, with Triumph International setting the pace and becoming market leader. In 1954, Triumph introduces a bra strap manufactured with stretch yarns. 1956 marks the beginning of the long-lasting collaboration with the renowned German couturier Heinz Oestergaard. Triumph International establishes fashion shows in which for the first time the models wear no leotards under the corsetry. In 1959, the Berlin Hilton is the location for the largest lingerie fashion show held to date.
Triumph International expands into Asia, opening branches amongst others in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, China, and India over the next few decades. By the mid-60s, Triumph is one of the three leading manufacturers in Japan. European business is expanded into Spain, Greece, France and Portugal. By 1965 Triumph International is selling lingerie in 92 countries.
Swinging Sixties – Revolutionary Development
In 1959 “Lycra®”, the first elastane fibre, revolutionises lingerie fashions with fine, light fabrics and improved characteristics in terms of both washing and wearing. In 1966, Triumph launches the “Doreen“ lingerie range, made of polyamide with 15% elastane. In 1967, Triumph is the first to use the molded cup technique to eliminate the need for seams. Triumph begins production of bikinis and swimsuits in 1962. Advertising also moves in a new direction directed at the self-assured woman.
The factories in Austria, Germany and Hong Kong cement Triumph’s reputation as a high-tech fashion company. They become information centres for textile technicians and clothing experts from all over the world. In 1972 Triumph buys into Brazilian, Australian and South African markets.
The wild seventies – a new lightness
The glamorous “Triumph 70 Fashion Show” – the biggest fashion show ever seen at that time – tours through Europe and Asia. Social changes go hand in hand with flower power and the miniskirt. Again as an industry leader, Triumph develops extremely thin and light fabrics using Lycra® and nylon. At the end of the 1970s the “sloggi” brand introduces “The Cotton Revolution”, thanks to an innovation in fabrics, the brief is particularly soft, figure-hugging and wrinkle-free. Youth and sexual freedom become important advertising themes: beauty, sexuality and sensuality are depicted realistically. A fully transparent bra is advertised in Germany with the slogan “So what? – The body is in fashion”.
Triumph International celebrates its 100th birthday. In the year of this celebration the group employs 19,000 people worldwide and achieves a total turnover of more than CHF 996 million. The company takes over the exclusive French men‟s underwear brand HOM. In 1988 franchising agreements are reached with Uruguay and former East Germany. 1989 sees the further expansion into Canada, New Zealand and South Korea.
The return of the waist – the bustier and the cult of the body
The aerobics craze sweeps the world – the sports active woman requires a special bra and Triumph International offers just the right models: with secure support and a high level of wearer comfort. The zeitgeist is difficult to summarise, with each trend accompanied by a counter-trend. Designers suddenly turn refined lingerie into fashionable outerwear, worn confidently as bodies and bustiers underneath jackets. Luxurious bodies, bustiers, tops, bras and panties are in great demand again and Triumph International understands just how to make dreams come true.
With the purchase of the exclusive lingerie brand Valisère in 1990, Triumph International broadens the diversity of its range. The Nineties stand for constant expansion into Eastern Europe and with new production plants in Thailand, in the Peoples Republic of China and in India. The company expands its number of employees to more than 35,000.
The Feel-Good Decade – A Longing for Nature
Within the Nineties consumers again long for more naturalness. Triumph International already banned the excessive use of chemicals in production processes in the seventies. Now, high-quality organic cotton, along with nickel-free hooks and eyes, come into use. While shoulder pads disappear the push-up bra flourishes: In Germany, a proud and sensual top model Naomi Campbell is shown on three metres high posters. The message: „For the Body – for the Senses“. The turnover reached with push up bras multiplies by the factor six. In 1998 Triumph launches the globally innovative “Simply Soft”: a bra without seams in which the wearer’s body heat causes the material to adapt to her shape.
The trademark “Triumph” has been in use for 100 years that year and the firm carries on along its path of constant growth in the new millennium. Triumph stores are opened in major European cities. Engagement in Asia, particularly in India, is strengthened with sales networks in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore. In 2001 in Eastern Europe a state-of-the-art Triumph production unit is opened in Hungary‟s Dunaujvaros.
Hotly desired – the new millennium
“Dreams on Stage” – the lingerie fashion road show takes place in 2001 in China, with a total of 200 shows in 30 cities! With the Minimizer bra Triumph reacts to the wishes of a steadily growing group of women. These bras optically reduce the bust by one cup size and are especially comfortable to wear. In 2001 the “Soft Secret” – a moulded bra made from opaque microfibre and undetectable under-wiring – is completely smooth and snug fitting. In 2003 the “Form & Beauty” introduces the telescopic under-wiring for the highest level of comfort when moving.
Introduced in 2008, a new modern Triumph logo is at the core of a completely new corporate design with which Triumph engages more directly with its consumers and their wishes and desires. Current advertising campaigns, shot by internationally reknown photographers, show the self confident Triumph woman in natural and realistic life situations.
Triumph doesn’t take inspiration for its designs from within its own ranks alone: The „Triumph Inspiration Award“ gives talented young hopefuls the chance to make a name for themselves in the world of fashion. The Award recognizes the promising young designers of tomorrow from all over the globe and in doing so creates a dialogue between Triumph and creative young consumers. In 2009, first place went to young British Central Saint Martins student James Nolan for his stunning design „Odette and Odile“. In 2010, the Triumph Inspiration Award’s international final was held in London.
Today, 1,650 Triumph Stores across the world are not only true showplaces for Triumph International’s products but also provide a great platform for personal contact between the brand and its consumers.
125 years of innovation and dedication
In 2011 Triumph celebrates 125 years of creativity, innovation and dedication by continuing to set industry standards in its core competence of best fit, derived from a deep knowledge and understanding of the female body.
Following this tradition, Triumph presents a multitude of landmark innovations and exciting new concepts. Triumph’s sensational new shape concept fuses highly effective shaping performance with cutting-edge fashion appeal, creating a niche in its own right.
Triumph Essence – The Luxury Collection, launched in 2011, represents a new definition of remarkable design, luxurious material and perfect fit.
Leading the global intimates market, Triumph will continue its global success story, producing and marketing desirable, fashionable and state-of-the-art innovative lingerie in countries all across the world.
With its market entrance into the United States of America and Mexico in 2013, Triumph International further increases its global presence. By acquiring two successful lingerie retailers – Journelle (US) and Vicky Form (Mexico) –, Triumph expands its presence in these new markets, while additionally announcing plans for growing with controlled Triumph shelf-space in the US. Together with its existing business in Canada, Triumph now has business stakes in all North American markets, continuing its success story with fashionable quality products, supreme fit and excellent service to style seeking consumers.
In 2014, Triumph introduced the “Magic Wire” concept, a new technologically advanced bra innovation that shapes and supports women’s breasts with a soft, flexible feature instead of metal wires, setting a new trend within the lingerie industry. “Magic Boost”, the concept’s expansion into the push-up segment, will hit markets in spring, 2016. “DYNAMIC LITE®”, a new 3D POWERTEC® sports bra range with extreme support and innovation for everybody’s shape and size, will launch in autumn, 2016.
In 2015, Triumph launched “Find the One”, one of the largest marketing and communication campaigns in the lingerie business. The campaign supports women in their quest to find the one bra right for their body, given that over 75 % of them wear the wrong bra size. A magical, animated TV commercial carries the message across Europe in a charming and innovative fashion.
From autumn 2014 to the end of 2015, brand sloggi teamed up with much-loved, chart-topping Kylie Minogue as the brand’s face and limited edition collection curator.
The “Cotton Revolution” started by sloggi back in 1979 takes a giant step forward in autumn 2015: The specially sealed, long-lasting cotton material developed for sloggi “EverNew” underwear is of such high quality that all “EverNew” come with a lifetime guarantee*.
With its launch in Mexico the same season, sloggi brings this fine quality and supreme comfort to new fields. sloggi men sets off to complete sloggi’s presence in the Australian market. The roll-out of a new sloggi shop in shop system in Europe starting in 2015 ensures a phenomenal new shopping experience.
Going forward, Triumph International continues to build its position as one of the world´s leading intimate apparel companies. Around for 130 years, the company has become larger and more international by the decade. Such a long period of success is only possible with a keen sense for fashion and excellent insights into the desires and needs of consumers. Beautiful designs, advanced textile engineering and unparalleled innovative power have always been achieved with an experienced and motivated community of employees around the world – they are the true “Makers of Lingerie”.