The world of Etienne Aigner



The great fashion designer Etienne Aigner was born in Hungary in 1904. More than half a century ago he presented his first handbag collection in New York – and caused a major sensation.

The reason that people in 1950 were so excited about Aigner's exclusive leather creations was that ever since the invention of the "steamer trunk" for the legendary transatlantic liners or the Orient Express, there had been no real innovations in travel luggage.

A few years later Etienne Aigner met Heiner H. Rankl, a businessman with a keen feel for the future and an equally strong sense of tradition – and the cult brand of AIGNER was born. That was in 1965, in Munich.


At that time Munich was the best place to found a new, leading German fashion brand. In the mid 60s and 70s Munich was full of excitement: there was a euphoric belief in progress, and the future held no threat. Certainly not in Munich, a city so close to Italy that has always been more in tune with the "dolce vita" than anywhere else in Germany. At that time nobody needed to invent an attitude because everyone had a natural feel for the lightness of life: Flower Power! Parties! Love! Discos! The Jet Set!

The design of the 60s and 70s reflected this great freedom. It was young, streamlined and futuristic, with an emphasis on the colour orange.

It was that freedom, the special feel of that time, which inspired the young brand AIGNER. Wild horses were best suited to those wild years with their wild parties. The AIGNER Racing Days, an event organized by the prestige brand just outside Munich, soon became a firm fixture in a society still unaccustomed to such events.

AIGNER gave its products a rural, countrystyle feel. There was always a sense of the racecourse, a feeling of being by the fireside. A phenomenon that can still be felt today.

The company history of AIGNER


The characteristic AIGNER "A" in the form of a small horseshoe combined with the AIGNER-typical Antic red colour was soon not only a striking feature of the best handbags, belts and expensive travel luggage but also leather-encased cigarette lighters, corkscrews, pipesmokers' accessories, and even backgammon boxes.

It was more intuition than calculation that created an AIGNER brand world which reflected and enhanced a life of pleasure, savoirvivre and sheer style.

They've become a part of the lives of the company's sophisticated customers: true leather and handbag classics that were designed in the 70s and that made AIGNER world-famous: The distinctive Saddle Bag and the unmistakable Doctor's Bag.

Throughout the decades, AIGNER has retained its claim to creating true classics.

During the 1980s AIGNER extended its product range by awarding licences for watches, jewellery and eyewear. In 1990 licences were awarded for the womenswear and menswear collection.

The prestige brand AIGNER continued to successfully bridge the gap between tradition and innovation long after its two original founders were no longer able to personally steer the company's fortunes. In the year 2000, Etienne Aigner died in New York at the age of 96.

But the success story of the AIGNER company continues...

In 2003 AIGNER celebrated a spectacular debut at the Milan fashion shows. The relaunch of the company's brand architecture was a success.

In 2005 AIGNER opened over 20 new stores, rapidly expanding its business activities in the Near and Far East and embarking on a highly effective quality offensive in the leather sector.

Today the brand is a symbol for unique craftsmanship, highest quality and perfection. A brilliant combination of German precision and Tuscan tradition.

AIGNER – a German brand with an Italian soul.