Bill Blass New York, the direct sales apparel firm, has stopped taking orders and is liquidating.
A spokesman for investment firm Angelo Gordon & Co, which owns the direct marketer, said, “Angelo Gordon & Co. on Nov. 14th filed to liquidate Bill Blass New York, a wholly owned direct seller of women’s clothing, under Chapter 7.”
It could not be immediately determined which bankruptcy court the petition was filed in. A spokeswoman for Bill Blass New York did not return calls for comment by press time.
The direct-to-consumer seller in March hired Ann Acierno as its chief executive officer. At the time the operation did about $1 million in sales, sources said.
Since then, other industry sources said the trunk show customer, who favors the personalized service one gets from the direct sales approach, has pulled back sharply on spending, particularly after the stock market volatility that began in September.
Bill Blass International in 2006 licensed Bill Blass New York and became what is purported to be the first direct-sales designer collection. The operation typically offered four collections a year, with prices above bridge and below designer.
In the past year, however, the Bill Blass brand has lost some of its luster. The brand and its ready-to-wear counterpart, Bill Blass Couture, are owned by the financially troubled NexCen Brands Inc. and are currently for sale.
Last month Peter Som left Bill Blass, ending the designer’s role as creative director of Bill Blass women’s wear. Other sources close to the operation also said last month the sale process has taken longer than expected. That delay has caused some retailers that previously had supported the brand to pass on the spring 2009 collection because of uncertainty over ownership, said a source close to the Blass operation.
Financial sources said the lack of spring orders doesn’t bode well for NexCen, which had hoped to attract bids in the mid-$20 million range. They said the brand will likely sell for below $20 million.
Executives at Bill Blass could not be reached for comment Thursday.
NexCen in May said it likely had to sell assets in order to generate enough cash to meet a $30 million loan payment as part of its acquisition of Great American Cookie. The brand management firm sold home furnishings brand Waverly to Iconix Brand Group for $26 million in cash and the assumption of future liabilities last month.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye