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]


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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