Seafolly appoints DKNY commercial head as new CEO

Australian swimwear brand Seafolly has appointed Paul Kotrba, the former commercial head at DKNY, as its new CEO.

Originally from Vienna, Austria, Kotrba is an experienced global retail executive with over 15 years spent in New York City at Donna Karan and DKNY during the period of ownership under LVMH.

There, he successfully built brand equity by leading the execution of the groups’ commercial growth strategy across the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

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Kotrba, whose start date is yet to be confirmed, said: “I am very much looking forward to joining the Seafolly team and for us to expand this powerful Australian brand across the globe. It is impressive what the founders and the management team have accomplished and to experience the loyal following the brand has, especially here in Australia.

“I believe there is now a real opportunity to build Seafolly into the world’s number one iconic swimwear and beach lifestyle brand.”

Commenting on the appointment, chairman and managing Partner of the majority shareholder private equity group, L Catterton Asia, Ravi Thakran, stated: “Paul’s appointment is another significant step in our journey in continuing to expand the brand that Peter and Anthony Halas have successfully built over the last four decades. Paul’s leadership and experience will be a huge asset to Seafolly in the next stage of growth and bring us closer to becoming the world’s most recognized brand in this exciting category.”

Founded in 1975 by Peter and Yvonne Halas, the Seafolly brand was led by Anthony Halas since 1998 when he became CEO, and subsequently grew the business across several international markets in Europe, North America and Asia.

Anthony Halas, who remains a non-executive director and shareholder stated: “Paul’s extensive commercial acumen and experience building brand equity in established and emerging markets is second-to-none. His international experience combined with Seafolly’s unique history is a success formula for the brand’s future.”

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