BCBG Max Azria Group is in transition mode.The company has been trying to restructure its $685 million in debt for nearly a year. Guggenheim Partners holds about $475 million of the debt, with $230 million on a first-lien term loan and $245 million on a second-lien term loan. The balance was drawn down from a revolving credit facility. Talks last year included a refinancing that would convert the debt into equity, and that would have Guggenheim taking control of the company.Those discussions have continued into 2014, with a resolution expected shortly. Sources said that discussions include Max Azria becoming a minority shareholder and taking on a narrower role, such as heading up design. That would also mean hiring an executive to oversee day-to-day business operations, as well as hiring others to deepen the management bench.BCBG and Guggenheim both declined comment on any specifics related to the finances or debt restructuring.The company declined to reveal its annual volume. Sources pegged it at around $950 million in 2010, but sources said revenues are currently below that.The company’s brands remain highly regarded in the industry, but there’s now increased competition in the contemporary market, and more fashion-forward brands emerging in the fast-fashion sector, where prices are lower.BCBG Max Azria has battled against financial pressures on and off in recent years. In 2001, market sources said that the company had some financial constraints from its attempt to exit unprofitable leases that were the result of an aggressive expansion plan. To Azria’s credit, in 2004 and in 2011, he found ways to resolve the firm’s financial pressures.Ten years ago, in December 2004, the company orchestrated a $53 million bond offering via a private placement. The investment-grade bonds were backed by the securitization of BCBG’s trademarks. At the same time, BCBG entered into a new $100 million working capital credit facility.The bond offering also helped the company pay down its debt to its longtime lender, GMAC Commercial Finance.Shortly after the 2004 deal closed, plans at BCBG included further retail expansion and consideration of a men’s line. In an interview with Azria at the time, he was already visiting Madrid and London to explore potential footholds for European expansion of the company’s brands.In 2006, BCBG acquired the Max Rave chain, which it liquidated in 2011. Also that year, it inked a deal to sell a ready-to-wear line called Tex by Max Azria at Carrefour in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Greece. That program was ended in 2009.In May 2011, BCBG refinanced its debt again with a $230 million term loan from Guggenheim. Now the company is said to be looking for further ways to restructure its debt.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast