Portrait

Jakob Schlaepfer has been enriching the world with fabrics for more than 100 years.

Each collection starts with textile visions for fashion and architecture. The unique combination of meticulous handiwork and industrial production leads to a luxurious product that captivates with its exclusivity and beauty. Martin Leuthold’s design team creates more than 1200 new fabrics every year – always with the aspiration to impress customers worldwide with innovative ideas and high-quality workmanship. The fabrics are conceived, tested and realised in St. Gallen. The in-house production and close cooperation with local partner firms enables Jakob Schlaepfer to work experimentally and to respond flexibly to the constant changes in fashion.

Originally an embroidery company, Jakob Schlaepfer has continually adapted technological developments for the company’s own purposes. Today, for instance, the firm uses laser cutting, digital printing and state-of-the-art embroidery machines. This has made the fabric processing options more comprehensive and multifaceted.

Jakob Schlaepfer’s fashion fabrics, interior fabrics and accessories are diverse, while remaining distinctive. The company is not bound to any one style. Instead, it is characterised by the combination of local culture and textile tradition with future-oriented design.

Jakob Schlaepfer is an inspiration to couturiers, architects and fabric enthusiasts all around the world.

History

2016

Jakob Schlaepfer becomes part of the St. Gallen Forster Rohner Group. Creative Director Martin Leuthold and all the staff will carry on the long-established brand in the newly founded Jakob Schlaepfer Ltd.

2013

The 50th anniversary of sequin embroidery.
Jakob Schlaepfer wins the Design Prize Switzerland in the Textile Design Market category for the “Slow Light” collection.
Creative Director Martin Leuthold is presented with the Swiss Grand Prix of Design for his life’s work.

2010

Adaptation of laser technology for engraving textiles.

2009

Year of awards:
Red Dot Design Award: Best of the Best for “Phantom”
Highest Distinction for Design Quality for “Glinka”
Robb Report: Best of the Best in the Decor category Design Prize Switzerland in the Textile Design category for “Secret Garden”
Première Vision: Imagination Prize for “Korsakow”

2008

Worldwide launch of the Jakob Schlaepfer interior collection for direct sales.

2006

Development of a laser unit for embroidery machines.

2004

Jakob Schlaepfer centenary: publication of the book ”Blendwerk”.
Exhibition “Bling Bling – dream fabrics from St. Gallen” at the Swiss National Museum in Zurich, using Jakob Schlaepfer as an example.

2001

The inkjet section is set up.

1998

New company management consisting of the heads of the Creation, Sales and Production departments.
The laser section is set up and developed.

1997

Sale of all Jakob Schlaepfer business operations, including foreign subsidiaries, to the textile group Filtex AG, St. Gallen. The firm Jakob Schlaepfer is maintained as an independent division.

1996

Relocation to Fürstenlandstrasse 99, St.Gallen

1995

The firm Jakob Schlaepfer is sold to von Meiss and Bolte.
Jakob Schlaepfer wins the following awards:
The Textile Designer Award from Cotton Incorporated, USA
1st Prize for International Textile Design, Stuttgart
Design Prize Switzerland for Special Merit
1st and 2nd Design Prize Switzerland

1993

Launch of the first Jakob Schlaepfer interior collection, which is marketed in cooperation with Création Baumann.
Development of metal fabrics for fashion.

1989

Opening of the sales office in Munich.

1988

Opening of the sales office in Osaka.

1986

Development of one of the first graphics programs for digital design.
Jakob Schlaepfer Ltd. is founded in London.
Development of the Marvel printing technique.
Opening of the production plant in Los Angeles.

1984

Jakob Schlaepfer Inc. is founded in New York.

1983

Purchase of the world patent for a transfer application machine from Akira Kurihara.

1980

Jakob Schlaepfer SA is founded in Paris.

1978

The integrated IT organisation is set up.

1975

Development of thermo-fixable paste gems in cooperation with Swarovski.

1968

Introduction of the first computers.

1966

Jakob Schlaepfer is converted into a joint stock company.

1965

Industrial sequin embroidery production begins.

1964

First haute couture collection for Paris and Rome.

1963

The firm relocates to Teufenerstrasse 11, St. Gallen.
Acquisition of Arnold Ochsner’s world patent for industrial sequin embroidery on shuttle embroidery machines.

1962

Death of Jakob Schläpfer.

1961

First trip to Asia.

1957

Robert Geisser designs the company logo, the Jakob Schlaepfer peacock.

1955

Robert Schläpfer marries Lisbet Bucher. The pair run the Creation department together.

1950

First prêt-à-porter collection.

1945

His son Robert Schläpfer joins the business.

1934

Jakob Schläpfer buys Vogel & Co. and maintains the company under his own name (Jakob Schlaepfer with ae instead of ä) as a one-man operation at Schützengasse 5 in St. Gallen.

1924

Jakob Schläpfer becomes minority shareholder of Vogel & Co.

1920

The name is changed to Vogel & Co.

1911

The firm is renamed Vogel & Séquin.

1908

Jakob Schläpfer joins the company.

1904

Rudolf Vogel establishes an embroidery business in St. Gallen.