Enrique Loewe Roessberg
The story of Loewe dates back to 1846, with the founding of a leather goods workshop in Calle Lobo (now known Calle Echegaray) in the heart of Madrid. In 1872, German artisan Enrique Loewe Roessberg came to the Spanish capital Madrid and set up in partnership with the workshop. Twenty years later in 1892, now known as E. Loewe, the firm opened a shop in the cityï¿½s Calle Prï¿½ncipe. Its huge advertising poster became an icon of its day and this budding leather goods business finally caught the public eye.
In 1905, when Enrique Loewe Hilton headed up the Loewe business, King Alfonso XII awarded it the title of Purveyor of the Royal Household. Five years later, in 1910, Loewe opened its first shop in Barcelona. It was not until 1923 that Loewe began to open more shops in the capital, starting at 7, Calle Barquillo. In 1934, Enrique Loewe Knappe took over during a period that was to see further expansion, with a series of openings, including a boutique at 8, Gran Vï¿½a in 1939, which even today bears all the trappings of its original style.
In 1945, designer Pï¿½rez de Rozas created the boxcalf bags that would soon become the companyï¿½s greatest classic. In 1959, Loewe opened a shop on Madridï¿½s Calle Serrano which was to upturn the stereotype associated with luxury goods shops. The year 1963 saw the beginning of Loeweï¿½s international expansion when a shop opened in London.
With the arrival of the 70s, Loewe started to create its own womenï¿½s ready-to-wear and designed its first scarves. The same year, Vicente Vela created the legendary Loewe anagram. The brandï¿½s first perfume ï¿½ L by Loewe ï¿½ arrived in 1972. A year later Loewe opened its first shop in Japan, marking the beginning of its expansion into Asia.
In 1974, Dario Rossi designed the Suede-Gold collection which marked an era and one year later, Loewe launched its Loewe pour homme fragrance which swiftly took the lionï¿½s share of the market. Nappa, designed by Renzo Zengiaro, appeared in 1979, replacing reinforced bags with a virtually structure-less version. The Aire by Loewe fragrance soon became a Spanish market leader when it was launched in 1985, a position it still maintains today. Loeweï¿½s first shop for men opened on Madridï¿½s chic Calle Serrano in 1986.
In 1987, Loewe struck a deal with luxury goods group LVMH to boost international expansion. It launched Esencia by Loewe the same year. Since 1988, Loewe has also had its own foundation. The initiative came from Enrique Loewe, building on the consolidated position of this established business. Every year, the Loewe Foundation awards an international poetry prize.
In 1996, Loewe celebrated its 150th anniversary, the same year it took over LVMH. One year later, designer Narciso Rodrï¿½guez took charge of womenï¿½s ready-to-wear and Loewe fashions featured on the Paris Catwalk for the first time. Shortly afterwards, Josï¿½ Enrique Oï¿½a Selfa took the reins, making his debut with the autumn-winter 03/04 collection. Now, Loewe is in the midst of an ambitious modernisation plan with a new creative director. Designer Stuart Vevers will take up his post in January 2008.
Dita Von Teese,