May 3, 2009

Leave The Stores, Take The Oilily: Founding Family Buys Back The Brand

Well that's interesting and a little complicated. The government-appointed trustee overseeing the sale of the bankrupt Dutch luxo-moppet fashion chain Oilily has announced a deal, of sorts.

Turns out it's the family of Willem Olsthoorn, the hippiepreneur who founded the company back in the early 60's, and who sold it to ABN Amro & Friends in 2003. Only according to Textilia, a Dutch rag trade journal, the Olsthoorns are only buying the brand and trademarks, not the 70-plus retail stores.

Interestingly, Olsthoorn's daughter runs a more traditional children's clothing and bedding company called Room Seven. At least that's what it's called for now.

Despite the pre-Queen's Day hype, there were apparently no real bidders for the whole company, so the stores will close. What will happen to the rest of the 50-euro psychedelic children's tights industry is anyone's guess.

update: Buys back? Or gets back? According to this 2008 interview with Olsthoorn, they only sold a controlling interest, 55%, in 2003. Which could mean that there were no bidders at all, and that the Olsthoorns are just picking up 45% of the pieces and taking them home.

Familie Olsthoorn koper van het merk Oilily / Family Olsthoorn buyer of the brand Oilily [textilia, google translate, via dt's dutchman on the street, jan]

2 Comments

Our store sold Room Seven for awhile. It was inventive and cute, but on the west coast everyone wants surfer or pink and brown in their crib. We still have a few boxes left over that we are saving. We even sold quite a bit on eBay back in the day. At one point we were the only US retailer that had their furniture. Shipped directly from Poland.

I just found a press release on the Oilily website (dated May 5 - after your post) saying that the US stores will remain open.

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