17 January 2020

Country/region: Switzerland

It’s a success story as we love them. A story built over 260 years, retracing the extraordinary ability of a company to evolve through innovating and staying a step ahead of the needs and desires of the fashion marketplace.

Founded in 1759, Union AG was first and foremost, for nearly a century, a fine linen fabric maker. The company turned to mechanical embroidery in 1854. They then decided to tie its destiny to fashion. From this pairing came their motto and name: in Union with fashion. Back then, their embroideries were made for outerwear and shirting. In the 1950s, Haute Couture discovered the beauty and grandeur of their embroidery work. Thirty years later, the arrival of a new generation of machines allowed Union to embroider on delicate grounds. The firm thus turned its attention to the lingerie and corsetry market. This market now represents most of their business.

The 1990s marked a turning point in the modern history of the firm: Union was the first embroiderer to create a vertical unit that included production and dyeing, in Qingdao, China. The company’s headquarters, its design department, and part of its production are based in St. Gall, Switzerland.

The 2020 decade may very well signal a new stage in the firm’s history: last September, Union successfully relaunched a collection of embroideries for ready-to-wear and luxury, markets they had so frequently worked with between 1960 and 1970.

An innovative enterprise, Union pursues its efforts to develop new techniques and products, such as its range of “sustainable” embroidery made from recycled materials.

Today, Union offers a multifaceted range of products, from ribbons measuring just a few centimeters wide to bands and all-overs. Union is justifiably proud of some of their ultra-popular designs. The embroiderer modestly recognizes having produced, for just one design, as many meters of embroidery as the distance between St. Gall and the Northern Cape!

It’s for all these reasons, and more, that Interfilière Paris has decided to award on January 2020 this title to UNION AG, highlighting their truly exceptional, expert craftsmanship.


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