Inspired by the favourable beginning, Diana and Lachezar met the new season with 16 new models. After intense research they succeeded in developing their own fabric, stamped with fancy up-to-date original patterns. The orders increased and Diel Sport outfits appeared in Stambouli’s shops in Bulgaria’s big cities and winter resorts.
Lazar Glavinov, as he became conscious of the gravity of his wife’s and son’s enterprise, took the decision to leave his position as the managing director of Cavalier shoe factory and to join Diel. His professionalism and precious experience as a manager of 1000 persons set firmly in place the steady base of Diel Sport brand.
The interest for Diel grew and a lot of retail dealers revealed concern in distributing their apparel. It became necessary to use external sewing facilities in order to meet the increased demand.
The first participation in an international exhibition – ISPO Munich, world’s biggest for winter sports goods – turned out to be a great success. Diel took part together with other Bulgarian companies, but was the only one of them with a genuine brand and product.
This year Diel took an important step – taking a loan and buying their own factory. This should eliminate the difficulties in quality and deadlines control when producing in different points of the country and enable the growing company to meet the increasing errands. The serious decision was motivated also by Diel’s ambition to penetrate the European market.
The most suitable site was concluded to be in the Rhodopes, an area with traditions in light industry and diligent and qualified people. The quest wound up in the endmost village before the border with Greece – Chepinci, 9 km from the town of Rudozem. The people of the village welcomed heartily the long-awaited news that the factory will work again. The mayors of Chepinci – Ismet Sadakov and Rudozem – Nikolai Boyadjiev were enthused about the project and helped and supported Diel ever since that first moment.
On the 2nd of June 1996, after a thorough renovation, Diel’s own factory was officially open.
Diel were prepared for new challenges and higher goals in 1997. The new factory had 1250 sq. meters built-up area and was furnished with up-to-date automated cutting and sewing machines. 50 employees, well-trained in the making of winter sports and working clothes, operated on two well organized production lines. The first international order for the company was manufactured this year. The client was the Slovene Matias Kranic. Diel met him at ISPO Munich and are still working with him since then. This first move abroad was quite successful and Diel’s apparel is excellently known and accepted in Slovenia up to now.
Many things were done for the first time this year. A catalogue with a professional photo shooting was issued, featuring for the first time in public Lachezar’s old friend Julian Vergov, a renowned actor nowadays.
1998 was a successful and dashing good year for Diel. The orders increased and so did the capacity. One more European distributor was signed up – Sport Donisch, Germany. Diel won the contest of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee and became sponsor and exclusive supplier of the official sports apparel of the Bulgarian Olympic delegation for the XVIII Winter Olympics in Nagano 1998. This meant prestige but also a lot of effort and resources. The outfits were made to measure for each contestant individually. In the century’s last Olympic Games Ekaterina Dafovska triumphed on the Olympic ladder dressed in Diel’s outfit. She won the 15km biathlon race and became the first Bulgarian athlete to conquer the White Olympia.
The Olympians were charmed and very pleased with the apparel and the work with Diel. This led to the quick signing of official sponsorship contract for the next two Olympics – XXVII Summer Olympics in Sidney 2000 and XIX Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City 2002.
On the 26th of September Lachezar and his girlfriend Anna got married, but this remained the only happy news for the family. On the 8th of October something irreversible happened. Lazar Glavinov died in a car crash. This disaster shook up radically both the family and the company. Until then the business had been administered entirely by family members – Lazar, Diana and their two sons, and soon rumours began to spread about the end of Diel. But there were contracts to be fulfilled regardless of the grief and the tragedy. The youngsters Pavel, 21 and Lachezar, 26 had to grow to manhood overnight. They stood by their desolate mother and together the three of them took the responsibility to continue in spite of the grievous loss. They decided to incorporate in the company’s management two more persons and still to keep it in the midst of their family. These were Anna, Lachezar’s wife – a Marketing graduate from the University of National and World Economy with seven-year experience in advertising, she concentrated on Diel’s development in this field, and Stanislava, Pavel’s then girlfriend and present wife – she graduated Textile engineering in the Technical University and successfully implanted the new tailoring technologies and systems in Diel’s manufacture in the following years.
This season Diel levelled up to the higher expectations of the world users. The new collection was manufactured of the high-tech materials KAYOKU with JUMP TEX coating, breathing together with waterproof, revolutionary innovative at the time. Diel started developing separate style lines, directed to different segments of the audience and marketed four distinct collections differing by the employed technology, materials, fashion in skiing and snowboarding. In the summer of 2000 Diel clothed again the Bulgarian Olympic delegation for the XXVII Summer Olympics in Sidney. The response was more than good and letters of grateful acknowledgement and good press from the management of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee, sports federations, eminent sportsmen and journalists showered on Diel.
Five Bulgarian Olympic champions rejoiced with Diel’s outfits – the marksmen Maria Grozdeva and Tanio Kiriakov, the jumper Theresa Marinova, the weight lifter Galabin Boevski, the wrestler Armen Nazarian. Five vice-champions: Serafim Barzakov (wrestling), Alan Tsagaev and Georgi Markov (weight lifting), Rumiana Neikova (rowing), Peter Merkov (two silver medals in kayak). Jordan Jovchev won two bronze medals in gymnastics.