The Steve & Barry’s business model officially collapsed on Wednesday, the victim of razor-thin margins squeezed even more by tight credit and the reluctance of shoppers to either drive or spend.
The troubled retailer of low-priced chic apparel and footwear and 63 of its affiliates filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition in Manhattan bankruptcy court after a cash crisis highlighted by its default on a $197 million asset-backed loan from GE Commercial Finance Corporate Lending. A feverish search for $30 million in needed financing ensued and apparently failed, despite talks with potential buyers and investors, among them Sears Holdings Corp. financing ensued and apparently failed, despite talks with potential buyers and investors, among them Sears Holdings Corp.
Even if the company can emerge from bankruptcy in some fashion, it will likely bear little resemblance to the way the firm has operated since it was founded 23 years ago.
In their first public statement about the chain’s difficulties, the founders and co-chief executive officers, Steve Shore and Barry Prevor, said, “High costs of materials and fuel prices have increased our cost of goods and cost of operating. At the same time, our customers are not in a position to pay higher prices, impacting our operating margins.
“Our customers are feeling the pain of high food and gas prices and declining home values, and many of them are being forced to shop closer to their homes and cut back on discretionary purchases,” their statement continued.
Yet, even with these challenges, the pair said their 276 stores in 39 states had registered a 70 percent increase in total sales this year through the end of May, along with a 15 percent increase in same-store sales and a 25 percent increase in average store sales.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia