It has been a very busy couple of months for Triumph International, the leading lingerie business. In August the company announced it was entering the US market, while September saw the launch of the Seductive Collection in South Africa.
Triumph International has a long and remarkable history. Its name was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, although the company itself has its roots in Germany.
The story started back in 1886, when Johann Gottfried Spiesshofer, a corsetiere, joined forces with a merchant by the name of Michael Braun. They founded a corsetry firm called Spiesshofer & Braun, with 6 sewing machines and half a dozen employees.
The fledgling business operated out of a barn in Heubach, southern Germany, but within a few years had grown to 150 employees.
The entrepreneurs however recognised that they needed a brand for their products and in 1902 the name Triumph first came into the consumer conscience – and its popularity saw the swift ascent of the company, to become the leading lingerie manufacturer in Europe.
The 1930s saw the company expand into Switzerland and celebrate its first 50 years of business. Triumph by this time had already earned a good name for innovation and launched the corselette, the first strapless corset, and further innovations such as first bras with front fastenings and changeable straps, during this decade, before the Second World War halted production.
Having resumed business in 1948, the company changed its name to Triumph International in 1953 and true to its new name, the company expanded across Europe, opening branches in Belgium, UK, Sweden, Italy, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands.
By 1986, the company was celebrating its Centenary and a good measure of its success could be judged by its 19,000 employees around the world.
Today, the multinational manufacturing and marketing organization is reported to operate in 120 countries and in 2010 the company had an annual turnover of 2.2 billion Swiss Francs and a reported workforce of over 36,500 employees.
Triumph is a family owned business and owns a number of brands, including Horn, Sloggi, Triumph and Valisere; the latter brand was acquired in 1990.
In South Africa, the Triumph name has built up a loyal customer base since March 1960, and a wide range of underwear, lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear can be found in large retailers like Edgars, Foschini, Stuttafords & Truworths.
The brands themselves have their own unique appeal; Triumph is based around seductive styles that combine quality fabrics with special occasions; Sloggi happens to be the highest-selling branded brief in the world and its products are designed with high quality and comfort in mind.
The Triaction range offers soft comfort for non-impact sports to maximum support for peak athletic performance; while Valisere was acquired by Triumph International to add a high class range of superfine lingerie and intimate apparel to the company’s portfolio.
Of course the market in South Africa has become highly sophisticated in recent years and the customer demands more from a company. Environmental considerations are very much at the heart of operations for Triumph International, which states on its website:
“As a global company we act responsibly with respect to our environment. And the application of ecological standards often turns out to be a source of innovations, both in the products themselves and in the manufacturing process. This is why we are constantly testing our environmental protection measures and rapidly implementing any new findings we make.
“Numerous programs integrate studies of environmental compatibility as well as the separation and recycling of waste, and we are also constantly looking into how we can make do with less packaging material. We also implement energy-saving concepts at all Triumph International locations in order to reduce CO2 emissions. As early as 2003, we were given the prestigious German B.A.U.M. Environmental Award for our many years of consistent commitment to environmental and consumer protection issues.
“We also offer our consumers the chance to wear their environmental awareness next to their skin. We use the latest, ecologically certified materials for our collections. In addition, in 2008, the Triumph brand presented the first lingerie collection in biodegradable elastane. There is also a sloggi range in which the fabric has not only been medically tested for body compatibility and freedom from pollutants but is also manufactured from certified organic cotton – for our customers this means that quality of life is truly within their grasp.”
Such attention to detail has been one of the foundations to Triumph’s success for almost 130 years now and is a driver for the company’s latest creation: the Seductive Collection, set to hit South African retailers this Spring.
The collection has been designed locally and comprises of 25 separate garments which have been aimed at creating tailored lingerie to suit the everyday lifestyles of South African women.
Among the features incorporated are bust-boosting innovations like Memory Foam padding, which moulds to the bust and provides extra comfort and shaping, while Air-Filled Removable Inserts for push.
The range also allows for supportive non-padded styles available up to a DD-cup size, that draw on Triumph International’s 125-plus years of technical fit experience.
Styling is fashion-forward and ultra-feminine, with superior fabrication in alluring mesh, shimmery satin and soft eyelash lace, and intricately tailored details like textured embroidery, rouching and delicate crystal embellishment.
Commenting on the range, Triumph SA Merchandise Director, Belinda Reid, stated: “We’ve poured our hearts and souls into this collection, scouring the globe for inspiration, and re-interpreting international lingerie trends for the local market. The result is a range that’s rich in attention to detail, chic and on-trend, yet easy to wear every day, under anything.”
Triumph International remains at the forefront of innovation when it comes to lingerie, emphasizing a name worth celebrating.