Historic Scottish brand Crombie brought back by new owners

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Crombie, one of the oldest brands in the world, was acquired for an undisclosed sum.

After surviving for more than 200 years, the Aberdeen-based company went out of business at the start of the pandemic.

In May 2020, Crombie suspended operations until further notice. Crombie 1805 has now acquired the business and all trademarks of the company formerly known as J&J Crombie.

“Our aim is to inject new energy into Crombie, raise the global profile and broaden the perception of the brand.” says Gordon Ritchie, managing director of the new company, backed by private investors.

“We are open for business and interested in collaborations, partnerships and licensing agreements in all territories and categories.”

Most famous for the Crombie coat, the company has grown over two centuries into men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, sold internationally.

Ritchie previously led Crombie’s expansion into new categories – rainwear, knitwear, leather goods, accessories and clothing collections for the first time.

“We look forward to creating the next chapter in Crombie’s story, so that it can continue to thrive for the next 200 years,” he added.

A timeline – highlights of Crombie’s history

  • 1805 – Crombie founded in Aberdeen by John Crombie, who, believing his fabric to be of the finest quality, traveled to London on horseback.
  • 1850’s – Crombie receives awards from Queen Victoria and Napoleon III, moves to Grandholm Mills, which becomes the most famous woolen mill in the UK.
  • 1860’s – The Crombie introduced ready-to-wear clothing receiving contracts to be made for the British Army and Royal Air Force that would run into the next century.
  • 1920s to 1950s – King George VI, Winston Churchill and Cary Grant all wear Crombie.
  • 1961 – John F Kennedy wears a Crombie coat at his inauguration, and subsequent presidents would, up to and including Barack Obama.
  • 1964 – The Beatles arrive in America wearing Crombie coats.
  • From the 1960s to the 1990s – 60s modernists, 70s suede heads, 80s two-tone rough boys – through the decades, successive generations of young people wore the brand.
  • 1990 – production at the Grandholm factory ceased, moving to other factories in Scotland and England
  • 1995 – Crombie receives the Royal Warrant from Prince Charles.
  • 2000 – Crombie opens a flagship store in Conduit Street, Mayfair.
  • 2011 – Launch of Crombie in department stores in 35 countries. David Beckham, Russell Crowe, Leonardo Di Caprio and Daniel Craig are some of the famous names wearing Crombie.
  • 2020 – Crombie ceases operations at the start of the pandemic
  • 2022 – Crombie is acquired by the first new owners in over 40 years.

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