There are many different types of zippers and they help put the “luxury” in designer fashion
Have you ever examined your zippers? On denim, trousers, jackets, luggage, and leather accessories, we may use them fifty times a day to fasten and secure our outfits and precious possessions but have never looked more closely. Not all zippers are the same.
In the luxury designer fashion realm, there are three types of zippers to know: Riri, Lampo, and Raccagni.
Founded in 1936, Riri is a Swiss-Italian brand of zippers closely associated with designer brands across the world. The group produces metal and plastic zippers under the brand Riri, with myriad options for chains, executions, body sliders, pullers, tapes, and finishes—the kind of options a design team loves. The group also owns brands Meras, known for nylon and non-polished metal zippers, and Cobrax, which creates interesting and intricate buttons and rivets for the fashion industry.
Lampo is a brand of The Lanfranchi Company, which has been in continuous operation since 1887, starting with buttons. Today, only 30% of their business is exported, meaning a majority stays within Italy and is applied to the many beautiful garments and accessories made in Italy by the world’s best designers, tailors, seamstresses, and leather artisans.
The company is especially advanced in its sustainability efforts, having fully vertically integrated, committed to ethical and environmental standards for its workforce and raw materials, which may be one reason why it is well-aligned with the modern fashion community.
Raccagni may be the most revered zipper brand, having secured its position producing some of the highest-end zippers in fashion today. You may know Raccagni without realizing, as it has been the strategic partner of Tom Ford since the eponymous brand was launched in 2004 by designer Tom Ford.
The company was founded in 1983, but since the beginning has committed itself to a focus on quality, research & development, and positive social policy. Raccagni zippers operate seamlessly and are individually hand-polished and brushed to ensure ultimate operability over their lifetime and can be found on items from brands like Rick Owens, Lanvin, MCM, Brunello Cucinelli, and Alexander Wang.
Indicator of Authenticity
Among other tell-tale signs like leather hide quality, stitching, and label fonts, zippers are another reference point that expert authenticators check when verifying the authenticity of an item. Here’s what Sabina Jacobs had to say:
“Zippers are a big indication of whether something is authentic or not. Zippers on authentic items will usually be branded (Balenciaga will have Lampo or “B.”, Dior will have ‘DIOR’, and Gucci will say ‘GUCCI’ on the back of the zipper heads) and will be of higher quality—overall they run more smoothly and feel more substantial.”
Long Live the Zipper
Several engineers and scientists are credited with the invention of the commercial zipper, which was iterated and improved over the last half of the 19th century before being applied on apparel in the early 1920s. Schott was one of the first brands to use the zipper on its leather jackets, followed by wider industry adoption and editorial coverage in publications like Esquire.
Today, it’s a staple we take for granted, but one that helps identify a garment as high-quality and luxurious, in addition to other design and construction aspects that justify the higher price of luxury designer fashion. There are many types of zippers, but only a few make designer fashion truly luxurious.
Discover more practical tips, like how to find great deals on designer luxury fashion from Stacie over at the Luxe Hunt blog.
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