The Dutch clothing label Kings of Indigo has a new owner. The brand is making a new start with the German entrepreneurial duo Kathrin and Sebastian Proft, Mariska Stolwijk confirmed over the phone with FashionUnited. Stolwijk, who was previously responsible for product development at Kings of Indigo, will become general manager of the company in the Netherlands next to the acquisition. Founder Tony Tonnaer will leave the brand.
Kathrin and Sebastian Proft both have a background in finance and 'green' fashion. Before the acquisition of Kings of Indigo, they already owned the German-Austrian retail chain Dollinger and the Feli & Hans and Stapf brands. All three companies, like Kings of Indigo, have a strong focus on sustainability. Both Dollinger and Feli & Hans operate at the intersection of more sustainable fashion and traditional clothing, also known as 'Trachten', particularly in Austria and the southern German region of Bavaria. Sebastian Proft will play an important role within Kings of Indigo: he will be responsible for the company's finances and sales.
Stolwijk called the acquisition "a very nice combination", adding: “The takeover party comes from Germany, and Germany is Kings of Indigo's largest market at the moment. They are concerned with sustainability. That's nice." Sebastian's financial background is also valuable, she noted. “Although Kings of Indigo is a sustainable brand, it must also be looked at from a commercial point of view if the company is to be profitable. Only in this way can we really have an effect on the world with sustainable clothing.”
German entrepreneurial duo takes over Kings of Indigo
Within the Kings of Indigo team, "the emotions still have to fall into place," said Stolwijk. “The restart has taken a while - we are now five weeks on since the bankruptcy - so the news feels overwhelming. But everyone is very happy that the brand is making a new start. Not only the Kings of Indigo team, but also suppliers and customers. It really is a nice Christmas present.”
The entire Kings of Indigo team was offered a new contract with the acquisition. A few decided to leave themselves in the weeks between the bankruptcy and the restart. Tonnaer is also leaving the company. “I will continue to deal with the bankruptcy of KOI International BV and then take a break, reflect and then see where I will put my passion for denim, innovation and sustainability,” he wrote in an email to FashionUnited.
Stolwijk was offered the position of general manager and accepted it. “Very exciting, but I really believe in the work and the values we stand for. I have faith in it."
Kings of Indigo's B2B sales are currently live again. "We are still working hard on restarting the brand's B2C webshop," said Stolwijk. “We hope to be back on the air next week.” The production team is currently working hard on the spring/summer 2023 collection, the first goods of which will be delivered next week. Furthermore, efforts are being made to produce samples of the autumn-winter collection 2023, because Kings of Indigo has also applied for scholarships again. The registrations for Modefabriek and Seek have already been confirmed, and Neonyt is also planned.
Kings of Indigo was declared bankrupt in mid-November. At the beginning of this week it was announced that the appointed curator was in favor of a restart. Several parties expressed interest in taking over the brand.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest information since publication.
This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.NL. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.