The Importance of Heritage and Authenticity in Triumph's Growth Story
Triumph International is a lingerie manufacturer and retailer with a global presence, operating stores across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and the United States. It was honoured as ‘one of the best brands’ in 2013 and received the Red Dot Design Award for its Magic Wire bra in 2015. Despite its humble beginnings it remains one of the most popular brands globally, driven in no small part by its unique and rich heritage.
It all started in a small barn in the heart of Europe - specifically Heubach in Württemberg, Germany. A businessman called Michael Braun and a corset maker by the name of Johann Gottfried Spiesshofer set up a small corset factory, calling it Spiesshofer & Braun. They employed only six staff members and held the same number of sewing machines, and it was here that they began to design, create and craft corsets by hand. It was only after the company had its first major successes, expanding to 150 employees and exporting their corsets to England, that the founding fathers decided they needed a trademark that would transcend borders and support their plans for global expansion. The name Triumph was coined, taking inspiration from the Arc de Triomphe, the famous Parisian monument which Spiesshofer was visiting when inspiration struck, to which ‘International’ was later added.
‘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.’ - Triumph.com / Today
Following the rebrand to ‘Triumph’, their success skyrocketed, and with the changes in fashion and beauty ideals through the 1920s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s all the way up until today, that growth has continued. Triumph has often been ahead of its time with ‘trendsetting communication, visionary product innovations and an international orientation;' they were the creators of the first piece of underwear made entirely without sewing thread, one of the first to launch in the Asian market, and hosts of the first fashion show to present lingerie against bare skin instead of over body stockings.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s not uncommon for big brands to be caught cutting corners, whether that be acting unethically or creating convenient ‘throwaway’ products to compliment our flat-pack lifestyles. In this context, we should celebrate real authenticity when we find it. Still in the hands of its founding families, it is a huge success story for craft, ethics and dedication. Its history as well as its motif, to strive for women’s self-confidence, can also be seen in its many retail presences, which aim to create warm, feminine, authentic and engaging environments, ‘where consumers may breathe in this craftsmanship and heritage’, complemented by clean ceilings, wooden floors, quality fixtures and curated single pieces.
In 2013 Triumph opened a pop-up store in London's Seven Dials, Maison Triumph, which was launched alongside a campaign they were running at the time entitled 'Women In Making'. The campaign aimed to support women working in business, staying true to its motif and craft heritage by celebrating women working in the creative sectors. The store hosted workshops by famous female icons such as Paloma Faith, Gizzi Erskine, Roksanda Ilincic and Grace Woodward to mentor a group of women to help grow their businesses, which included an illustrator, a mosaic and multi-media artist, a furniture designer, a jewellery designer and a chocolatier. They also hosted free workshops which were open to the public. To see more on this pop-up, watch 'Maison Triumph' on Vimeo here.
‘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.’ - Triumph.com / Shaping the Future