Back in its heyday, Strenesse, a premium German fashion label, had a famous fan. Joachim Löw, coach of the German national soccer team, wore a blue cashmere V-neck sweater at every international match. And the entire German team was photographed wearing suits by the brand. But those times are now past.
Today, the country’s soccer stars wear Hugo Boss — and in April, Strenesse filed for bankruptcy. Restructuring is now the focus, and the company is desperately seeking outside help.
“What is needed is not a financial investor, but a strategic entrepreneur who takes over the majority,” said lawyer Michael Pluta, who will join the management board at Strenesse as chief restructuring officer, alongside the founder’s son, Luca Strehle. “We have been contacted by a few investors who would be a good fit. But they want to see new figures.”
Financial auditors are examining the company’s 2013-14 business year, which ended June 30, along with the first quarter of the new year.
Strenesse is not an isolated case. Many small German fashion firms are doing badly and earning less and less money. From 2010 to 2012, the average profit share before interest and taxes among German clothing manufacturers fell from 7.5 percent to 4.2 percent.