Stealth Style

Far from the fashion fray, designer Albert Kriemler and his president brother Peter have quietly made Akris a best-selling brand

IT COULD BE A RECIPE for how to go broke in the fashion business: establish yourself somewhere far off the style map, target women over 35, ignore the current accessory-driven business trend, and insist on using luxurious fabrics so that your clothes become prohibitively expensive. And don't forget to make sure your heritage is as unhip as possible, something along the lines of your grandmother's founding the family company with an apron business.

Despite all these odds, Akris (an acronym from the name of the above-mentioned grandmother, Alice Kriemler-Schoch), based in the Swiss town of St. Gallen, has elegant women across...

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