Only two years ago, Olivier Strelli was declared bankrupt, but it has now opened its third store in Hasselt. The store, located at the Botermarkt, follows store openings in Ghent and Antwerp and is not the end of the line. The three owners hope to get to 10 stores.
Former CFO leads comeback
"We want to become a household name in Belgian men's fashion as soon as possible. To be honest, looking at the current results, we are well on our way", Paul Malingreau told Belang van Limburg. He was Olivier Strelli's CFO between 2008 and 2010 and witnessed the once ever-so-popular fashion brand go bankrupt in 2012.
Alongside 2 friends from the art world, who are Strelli fans through and through, he decided to bring the brand back at the end of 2013. They convinced Olivier Israël, son of founder and designer Nissim Israël and owner of the Olivier Strelli brand, to allow them to use the Strelli name.
They also brought back Jacky Franco, one of Olivier Strelli's best designers for several years, and even rekindled collaborations with Spanish and Italian fabric suppliers from back in the day. The basis for a "Strelli Homme" relaunch was there.
First 10 stores, then expand abroad
Strelli Homme opened its first store in the Walpoortstraat in Ghent and it also opened a temporary store in de Steenhouwersvest in Antwerp. It is still looking for a permanent residence in the fashion capital of Belgium, but in the meantime, it has opened a store in Hasselt.
Strelli Homme wants to have 10 Belgian stores in the upcoming 4 years with Brussels, Leuven and Roeselare as possible new entries. "If we succeed, then we look abroad, but we are not rushing anything. First we want to succeed in Belgium. In fact, we are already abroad as we can sell abroad through our web shop", Paul Malingreau said. He also hasn't excluded the possibility of relaunching the women's line as well, "but that will not be anytime soon."