EP History

The world of Eclair Prym

Founded in 1924, Eclair Prym was at the very heart of the creation of the zip fastener: La véritable FERMETURE ECLAIR® … THE REAL ONE.  Yet not a century later, the zip fastener has become an integral part of our day to day life.  We invite you to discover the world of the zip fastener…Welcome to the world of Eclair Prym.

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The beginnings of the Eclair zip fastener

That famous zip fastener was invented in the United States in the 19th century, but first arrived in France in 1924. Whitcomb Judson, today regarded as the inventor of the zip, made the first prototype that closed with hooks and eyelets in 1891. At the beginning the zip was very simple but it has been improved over the years to become a highly sophisticated product, fit to all kinds of applications. It has grown into an accessory of essential need, not only in clothing or leatherwear, but also in furniture, and in many innovating fields of activities.

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The cradle of fashion

France has always been worlds fashion center. Designers and fashion houses always found, and still find here a rich support of their inspiration and creativity. It is no coincidence that the groupe Eclair started conquering the world from France. The production site near Rouen was one of the largest in the world. All great labels have been using and still use Eclair zips.

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FERMETURE ECLAIR®... The real one

FERMETURE ECLAIR® made itself such a quality reputation that it became a sales argument. The brand name appeared in advertising campaigns and even the French group ‘Les Rockers’ praised Eclair zips, the true one, in their song ‘Les Pantalons Johnny Hallyday’.

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The birth of a brand

The first records of activities date back to 1530, when Wilhelm Prym settled in Aachen as a goldsmith.  It is there that William Prym was founded.  In 1642, the Prym family moved to Stolberg, where the company is located nowadays.  Today Prym is the oldest family owned company in Germany.

After obtaining a first patent for its press buttons in 1885, the company expanded its activities over the years to become a worldwide established group, with sales and production units all over the world.  The company Eclair Prym was founded in 1999 when a joint-venture was created between the Prym Fashion Group and Bonduel Industrie.  

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The history of the zip

1851 - Elias Howe applies for a patent in America: his invention however was never marketed. The concept of his invention was a series of clasps united by a connecting cord running or sliding upon ribs. The basis of a zip fastener was born.
1891 - Whitcomb Judson makes the first prototype that closes with hooks and eyelets. He is considered nowadays as the inventor of the zip fastener.
1913 - The young Gideon Sundback finds a solution to exclude the hooks which improves the use of the zip fastener et which opens doors to all kinds of applications.
1917 - Zips first introduction into the world of fashion
1924 - Foundation of ‘Éclair’, to run the Sundback patent in France.
1960 - Birth of the nylon zip. As metal became scarce after the Second World War, this new solution is no less than a revolution
1970 - Jumbo 747, the largest nylon zip fastener

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The history of Eclair Prym

1530 - Wilhelm Prym settles as a goldsmith in Aachen
1885 - First patent for press studs
1924 - Foundation of the company Éclair near Rouen
1989 - After merging with Prestil, to become Éclair-Prestil, the company is taken over by the Belgian group Bonduel Industries
1998 - Joint Venture between Prym Fashion and Bonduel Industries: Eclair Prym is born
2001 - Eclair Prym integrates 100% into the Prym Fashion Group
Today - Global player

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