by John Russel Jones

WSG Brands has acquired Von Dutch, the Hollywood-based fashion and lifestyle brand. Under its new ownership, the brand will be headed by longtime industry veterans Jack Cheika and Marc Benitez, WSG’s CEO and COO. Von Dutch boasts a significant international presence in regions including the USA, Europe, Indonesia, Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand.

WSG Brands, a newly formed brand management firm, is set to elevate Von Dutch to new heights; starting with a focus on the United States market and prioritizing brand integrity, sustainability, and long-term vision, WSG will ensure that each Von Dutch piece, from classic trucker hats to its spirited, rebellious ready-to-wear, will stay true to the authenticity and heritage of Von Dutch as a symbol of dynamic self-expression and bold individuality.

As part of its refocused investment, former owners Groupe Royer and its subsidiary Royer Brands International (RBI), advised by Brandthinktank Group, have transferred ownership of the iconic American brand Von Dutch to WSG as of June 2024.

“Only WSG Brands had both the cultural understanding of Von Dutch and the ambition and resources mix required to further deploy the brand going forward”, stated Jacques Royer, Executive chairman of Groupe Royer. Olivier Mercier, Managing Director of RBI Sàrl, added, “We are delighted to see this legendary American name, to which we imbued a touch of French fashion, land in the right hands.”

Marc Benitez, COO of WSG Brands, brings over 25 years of diverse industry experience, having held influential roles at ABG, CAA-GBG, Kenneth Cole, and Coach. With a proven track record of managing hundreds of millions in royalty revenue, Benitez’s expertise will drive Von Dutch’s growth.

In a joint statement, Benitez and Cheika said, “We are excited to channel Von Dutch’s storied legacy, led for several years by Groupe Royer and now by WSG, into innovative designs that resonate with today’s fashion-forward consumers. Our vision is to make Von Dutch not just a brand but a movement that celebrates individuality and bold expression globally.”

Jack Cheika, CEO and Founder of WSG Brands is a seasoned expert in product and branding, retail and licensing, and identifying white space opportunities. Cheika’s deep understanding of the industry and unique perspective on creating memorable brand identities will be pivotal in Von Dutch’s evolution. WSG Brands specializes in acquiring and managing a diverse portfolio of iconic brands, preserving their legacy while driving innovation, bridging brands to new audiences, and expanding their reach.

Academie NBD LLC/New Castle Brands LLC, a New Jersey-based advisory and consulting firm specializing in brand licensing, development, IP consultation, and acquisitions, together with Brandthinktank, were the co-originators of the Von Dutch transaction between White Space Group and Groupe Royer.


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