Where is the co-founder of Von Dutch today? Update
At the height of Von Dutch’s popularity, the company’s clothing was worn by celebrities such as Britney Spears, Dennis Rodman, Justin Timberlake, and Paris Hilton. Now, Andrew Renzi’s three-part Hulu docuseries, “The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die”, delves into the story behind the brand’s rise and fall. Mike Cassel, one of the members who was instrumental in the creation of Von Dutch Originals, is also featured in the docuseries. So if we find out more about him, okay?
Who is Mike Cassel?
In the 1990s, Michael Cassel had the reputation of being a wild card. It was known to have ties to associates of Pablo Escobar and was involved in the cocaine trade on the West Coast. Mike had also spent four years in prison for drug possession. After his release, Mike was looking for a legitimate business opportunity. By this time, he had already lost a clothing company that he had founded.
Previously, Kenneth Howard was a motorcycle mechanic and artist whose pseudonym was Von Dutch. It was later revealed that he was also a racist. During the 1950s and 1960s, his work became the hallmark of the movement known as Kustom Kulture. Kenneth died in 1992, and Mike bought the rights to Kenneth’s daughters name about four years later. Then, Mike met Ed at a trade show, marking the start of the clothing brand.
Along with Bobby Vaughn, the three envisioned the next big clothing company, and at the time, Von Dutch garnered a small number of followers. About Kenneth, Mike noted, “Kids go through a stage where they like punk rock, they like rebellious things and ‘f – k that’ anarchy, don’t they? It was that in his art, it was that in his actions, he was completely against the grain. But differences of opinion eventually led Ed to be strength of the company and given Mike’s past, it was not easy to find financial support.
At this point, Tonny Sorensen, a Danish national, agreed to invest in the company and obtained majority control of the brand. From 2000, Tonny was the CEO of Von Dutch. Over the next few years, the company raised a lot of money and gained popularity. But when Tonny called Chrisitan Audigier, another designer, into the fold, Mike was upset with the direction the company was taking.
Where’s Mike Cassel now?
Mike was then offered a deal by Tonny, who said if Mike could raise $ 2 million in two weeks, he could buy the business from Tonny. But Mike couldn’t and lost creative control of the business in 2002, as Von Dutch reached new heights. Director Andrew said: “It really sounded like the perfect example of how the cards were stacked against someone like Mike. That Mike was never meant to be successful in this world, and it’s sad. The court later ordered Mike not to use the company logo or sell its products. His appeal in court regarding the same in 2004 was unsuccessful. As to Mike’s current whereabouts, we’re not sure. He appears to have stayed out of the spotlight for the most part since leaving the company.
Read more: Where is Bobby Vaughn now?