Add women’s footwear retailer Aerosoles to the list of mall-based retailers unable to stay above water as the market shifted. The 30-year-old comfort footwear brand, which operates about 80 retail locations mainly in U.S. malls and sells with a number of retail partners, filed for Chapter 11 in Delaware bankruptcy court under its formal name AGI HoldCo Inc. on Friday.“This restructuring will enable Aerosoles to become a stronger, more vibrant brand and position the company for future growth,” said interim chief executive officer Denise Incandela.The filing will allow the company to complete a “significant reduction” in its retail store operation as part of a broader effort to “realign the business with the changing marketplace environment.” At least some Aerosoles stores have already begun store closing sales, the company said. As of now, its flagships in New York and New Jersey are slated to stay open and the web site will remain operational. Incandela said that “by improving our financial structure and right-sizing our retail footprint, we will be able to refocus our business efforts on the execution of our turnaround strategy.” She also alluded to the brand being much more focused on e-commerce and wholesale, including through international stores, going forward.The restructuring is expected to take about four months, the company said.It’s biggest shareholder is private equity firm Paladin Partners LP. A number of private equity-backed retailers have struggled with being over leveraged and eventually forced to file bankruptcy, including The Limited, Rue 21 and others. In its initial bankruptcy filing, Aerosoles estimated its assets to be between $10 million and $50 million and its debts to be between $100 million to $500 million.It’s largest creditors are mainly manufacturers and distributors, like ICB Asia Co. Ltd., which is owed $7.5 million in trade debt, and Rival Shoes Design Ltd., which is owed $1.8 million.For More, See:Pressures Mount for Many RetailersWhat to Watch: BankruptcyGlobal Brands Group to Pay $27.4 Million for BCBG's Operations
“I think what’s so interesting about the #MeToo movement and this whole new wave of feminism in general, is that women are finally seeing, ’Oh I can start my own company, oh I can lear to code, oh I can leave my nine-to-five job and do the thing I want to do,” said @brooklyndecker ahead of her @sxsw talk for @createcultivate. The former model took the stage to share wisdom about networking and female-driven entrepreneurship. #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.