International Women's Day 2024

In our anniversary year, we are dedicating International Women's Day to a special STRONG WOMAN from HANRO:
In our anniversary year, we are dedicating International Women's Day to a special STRONG WOMAN from HANRO: MADELEINE Kriesemer-Handschin, granddaughter of the company founder and the first iconic HANRO designer. With her unique style and her flair for new trends, she has had a lasting influence on the brand. At the same time, MADELEINE Kriesemer-Handschin symbolises the central role of women, who have been the focus of HANRO for 140 years. One of our anniversary collections is dedicated to her:

All other anniversary collections are also a tribute to STRONG WOMEN, who have played a pioneering role in society, fashion, politics, science and culture.



Born in 1915, Madeleine Kriesemer-Handschin knew the textile industry from an early age. She was the first and only woman from the founding family to work for HANRO. In the early 1930s, she took on a demanding job as designer in the family business.

She travelled to the French Riviera with Charles A. Ronus, son of the company founder, for research purposes for a beach-dress collection. The women there wore a light summer uniform consisting of wide sailor trousers and broad striped jersey jumpers on the beach, on the promenade, in restaurants and on the tennis court. "The women have a light and beautiful summer uniform: wide sailor trousers, round caps and wide-striped jersey jumpers." Madeleine Handschin on her trip to the French Riviera in the 1930s; extract from "Das Buch der Riviera", Klaus und Erika Mann, Kindler Verlag, p.42. Original edition 1931.

Inspired by this fashion, Madeleine Kriesemer-Handschin developed the so-called “beach pyjamas” in just 14 days. A speciality for the time, as most women wore skirts rather than trousers. Nevertheless, the fashionable chic of HANRO beachwear achieved the best sales in the most elegant shops on the French Riviera. 

Inspired by the social trend of liberating women from the corset and modern femininity, she also created a world-first: ultra-light bras that revolutionised the fashion world as invisible underwear. Recommended by Coco Chanel, worn by Marilyn Monroe and Nicole Kidman and photographed on famous models.

Further interesting information can be found at:

HANRO was already creating trouser suits for modern women in the 1930s.



Inspiriert von der Strandmode der 30er Jahre ist das Highlight der 'I AM MADELEINE' Jubiläums Kollektion entstanden: ein Jumpsuit mit passendem Gürtel.



Inspired by the beach fashion of the 1930s, the highlight of the 'I AM MADELEINE' anniversary collection was created: a jumpsuit with matching belt.

In addition to the trendy trouser suit, the range includes a T-shirt, shorts and long trousers as well as a comfortable blazer-style jacket. All styles are finished with fashionable, decorative woven bands in a colour-blocking look. Ideal for travelling, at home or in the office.


The anniversary collection is a tribute to women, who have always been centre stage at HANRO. The jubilee styles are named after strong women who were heroines then and now, or after famous men who supported and promoted women.


In 1884, Albert HANdschin and Carl ROnus founded a knitting factory under the name HANRO in Liestal, near Basel in Switzerland. The HANRO archive is still located there today.

The archive provides access to over a hundred years of textile history and presents an extensive collection.

Over the years, we have collected many valuable designs that are still an inexhaustible source of inspiration for our designers today.

Fashion designs by MADELEINE Handschin, undated, probably 1939/40.

HANRO archive curator Madeleine Girard is passionate about ensuring that everything has its place.

A journey through time reveals private flashbacks from MADELEINE Handschin's life.

From the private photo album: MADELEINE (left) and friends are inspired by the glamorous beach life on the French Riviera in 1933.