How Dirk Schönberger wants to turn the fashion label into a billion-dollar empire

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Munich This is the story of two brands that are often underestimated by laymen. One is a company, the other a human. It's about MCM and Dirk Schönberger, although MCM probably causes more spontaneous reactions, albeit allergic ones.

Was not this Bussi Bussi brand from Munich, the one with her cognac-colored leatherette bags in the eighties Louis Vuitton Wanted to compete? Exactly! If the luxury goods industry is a good-going cocktail bar, MCM was already the Hugo when the drink was not invented.

The company was founded and conducted by the splendidly grandiose Michael Cromer, a native of Krefeld and occasional actor (“Dr. Fummel and his playmates”), who named his young company after himself and his adopted home: Michael Cromer Munich.

MCM's bags and suitcases became an accessory for the young fancy crowd between Gärtnerplatz and P1 and soon in the rest of the republic for all housewives and administrative assistants who wanted to be a bit fancy. At its peak Cromer allegedly ruled over 240 branches worldwide and a turnover of several hundred million euros.

From the middle of the nineties it went downhill steeply: Ads for tax evasion, escape to Switzerland, return, conviction, turnover slump – the whole program. Cromer died in 2007 after living the remainder of his now barren life in a suburban row house. Since MCM has been sold several times, most recently to a former licensee, the South Korean Kim Sung Joo.

Actually, MCM seemed mousetot at the time, in terms of future prospects, finances and image. But together with the German designer Michael Michalsky, Ms. Kim then managed to reanimate the entrepreneurial corpse within a few years – interestingly enough, as a quasi-Asian brand, with which we are slowly coming to the second important name in this story: Dirk Schönberger. Dirk who?

Almost exactly a year ago, it is now that Ms Kim has made the native of Cologne the “Gobal Creative Officer” of MCM. And you can only compliment the entrepreneur on the choice, because Schönberger has a wide range of success and has remained very down to earth, as he sits now in his purist studio on the roofs of Potsdamer Strasse in Berlin.

Eight years at Adidas

It's the first time he talks about his MCM ideas. He is polite, quiet, attentive, open. Just talking is maybe not his thing. He prefers.

After graduation from high school, armed forces and one year in Florence, Schönberger studied fashion design in Munich. His parents in Leverkusen – mom housewife, daddy lawyer – luckily have always supported him, he says. Also when he moved to Antwerp, worked for some years with the designer Dirk Bikkembergs and finally started his own label, which brought a lot of experience but little money.

So he was drawn back home and there to Joop !, where it was already necessary to recharge a run-down brand after the departure of its founder. He learned a lot there about the licensing business with accessories, perfumes, jewelery – and certainly also which mistakes one should avoid.

It became even more important that Schönberger spent eight years afterwards adidas worked. The brand was finally world stage for him, despite sports business and roots in Franconian Herzogenaurach what Adidas pursued long as the Hautgout in a multipurpose hall boys changing room. Schoenberger's collaborations with such great designers as Raf Simons, but also music stars like Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, his consistent development of the Adidas Originals brand and the reintroduction of sneaker classic Stan Smith – all this has greatly increased the fashion credibility of the sporting goods giant – the sales anyway ,

. (tags) Tagblatt (t) Agenda (t) MCM (t) Fashion (t) Dirk Schöneberger (t) Billie Eilish (t) Clothing and fashion (t) Fashion (t) Adidas (t) Joop ! (t) LVMH (t) Business of Fashion (t) Meta (t) Bundeswehr (t) Cafe Einstein (t) Dirk Schönberger (t) Michael Michalsky (t) Clothing (t) Branded goods and luxury item (s) Accessoire

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