Launer was rescued from extinction in 1981 by Gerald Bodmer, a successful businessman who had two decades of experience in the gifts and leather goods business. His started his own company in 1968 and by 1970 had begun handbag manufacturing in Shoreditch supplying bags for Russell and Bromley, Bally and Mappin and Webb.
Gerald is the first to acknowledge that rescuing Launer was an ‘act of faith’. It was in a sorry way, it had financial difficulties, lacked management, no own label presence and existed primarily as a sub-contractor. It was in real danger of sliding into obscurity.
Investment of time and money to modernise production and the Launer name was required along with a vision; Gerald Bodmer had that vision. Whilst other brands flocked abroad to manufacture for economic reasons, Launer steadfastly remained loyal to British manufacturing and maintained its Walsall factory despite all signs indicating this was to be an uphill challenge.
He worked tirelessly in promoting the brand and keeping its assets intact. The collection changed but the distinctive Launer signature look was kept. The process of reinvigorating the Launer brand had begun. HM the Queen favoured Launer over any other brand and continued carrying Launer at each and every public and state occasion.