Strong Fashion Brands Under One Roof

Interview with Anna-Lena Schulte-Angels, CEO and Raphael Heinold, CEO as well as Mairin Wehage, Marketing & PR Manager of R.Brand Group GmbH

R.Brand Group Headquarters Herford

The fashion industry is a fascinating universe that encompasses not only clothing and accessories, but also trends, creativity, and identity. For centuries, fashion has significantly influenced the way people express themselves and present. Yet behind the glamorous scenes lies a complex industry characterized by creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial skill. The R.Brand Group GmbH, based in Herford, brings together the brands BALDESSARINI, pierre cardin, PIONEER JEANS, and Pionier Workwear under one roof.

In an ever-changing industry, the R.Brand Group, founded in 2023, strives for innovation and flexibility to quickly respond to the needs of the markets and customers. "Following a phase of realignment, we are now focusing exclusively on wholesale and optimizing our processes to achieve the best possible results," says CEO Anna-Lena Schulte-Angels. "We want to leverage synergies between the brands and develop them according to market needs."

New Strategy

The R.Brand Group was newly established in 2023 when Michael Röther took over the insolvent predecessor company Ahlers and recognized the potential in the extensive brand portfolio. Reasons for the insolvency included the challenges faced by some major customers like Galeria and Peek & Cloppenburg, as well as internal challenges, since too many sales channels were being served at the same time.

Anna-Lena Schulte-Angels, Managing Director R.Brand Group GmbH
Anna-Lena Schulte-Angels, Managing Director
Raphael Heinold, Managing Director R.Brand Group GmbH
Raphael Heinold, Managing Director
Mairin Wehage, Marketing & PR Manager R.Brand Group GmbH
Mairin Wehage, Marketing & PR Manager

Under the direction of former Esprit manager Raphael Heinold, the R.Brand Group has started to modernize and orient itself more towards the end consumer and the market. "Our brands are at different stages of development, but all share a high level of quality, style, and reliability," explains CEO Raphael Heinold. "We are continuously working on styling and branding to expand our target groups and strengthen our brand presence."

The brand PIONEER JEANS is already benefiting from good distribution and very loyal customers. This customer base is to be expanded by extending the brand, which today is known mainly for jeans and trousers, into offering a complete outfit. pierre cardin is the brand for the fashionable man, suitable for various occasions with its Smart Casual style.

R.Brand Group Showroom
R.Brand Group GmbH, based in Herford, combines the brands BALDESSARINI, pierre cardin, PIONEER JEANS, and Pionier Workwear under one roof
R.Brand Group Meeting Room
Four completely independent brands position themselves under the roof of the R.Brand Group as one group

BALDESSARINI, as a brand in the premium segment, stands for a modern, fashionable, and somewhat extroverted look, and is deliberately more progressive than other brands. In the future, the brand is to be equipped with a certain commerciality and consumer-friendliness to better exploit its potential.

Focus on Wholesale

One of the strengths of the R.Brand Group is the wholesale business, which should form the core of the company's DNA. "Our goal is to create a tighter link between brand, product, and marketing to strengthen the DNA of each brand," notes Mairin Wehage, Marketing & PR Manager. Raphael Heinold adds: "Currently, we are still very much in the push model. However, we want to create more pull, i.e., move the retailer somewhat in the direction of engaging with the brand."

Showroom of the R.Brand Group in Düsseldorf
In the showroom of the R.Brand Group in Düsseldorf, the latest collections can be viewed

Another focus is on strengthening international presence and increasing digitalization. The company aims to expand its market entry into new regions and establish the brands on a global level.

The employees of the R.Brand Group are spread over two locations, with the main location having about 180 employees and the second headquarters in Opole having about 150 employees. Additionally, the company operates a large production in Sri Lanka. The corporate culture of the R.Brand Group is strongly influenced by change.

R.Brand Group - new collection
The collections of the brands aim to accompany the customers from Work to Weekend
R.Brand Group - Production
All brands of the R.Brand Group share a high degree of quality, style, and reliability
R.Brand Group - Production
The collections are perfected with great attention to detail

"After the bankruptcy, we took various measures to position ourselves as a group and actively involve our employees," says Anna-Lena Schulte-Angels. "We started with four completely independent brands and initiated various measures to position ourselves as a group, exchange ideas, and learn from each other. In doing this, we focus on transparency, openness, and a modern, agile way of working. For the future, we are aiming for ambitious sales targets and are continuously working to improve our collections and our offerings for the trade. With a strong ownership structure and a clear focus on innovation and quality, we are confident that the R.Brand Group will continue to grow successfully and establish itself as a leading player in the fashion industry."