PARIS — Charles Jourdan, the troubled French luxury footwear and accessories brand that filed for bankruptcy protection in September, is being liquidated by the French commercial courts.
The disclosure Monday came after the American group Omniscent, which was the last candidate for the purchase of Jourdan, stepped away from the negotiating table.
Rick and Kathy Hilton — the parents of Paris and Nicky — are investment partners in Omniscent and were interested in the luxury shoe brand to launch a Kathy Hilton by Charles Jourdan line of shoes.
"After gathering up all the information by the forensic accountant, we decided to withdraw," said Lucien Lallouz, president of Omniscent. "There were too many uncertainties as to who really owns the brand."
Jourdan had sold the rights to its brand name in North America, Lallouz said, without discussing details. Earlier this month, Lallouz said he was optimistic about a resolution. Omniscent was deciding whether to buy the company for a symbolic euro, or $1.44 at current exchange.
Last month, French shoe firm Repetto retracted its offer to buy the company because of the uncertainty.
Founded in 1921 by French shoemaker Charles Jourdan, the firm opened its first store in Paris in 1957 and reached its zenith in the Seventies, when Jourdan's platform shoes were an integral accessory to the disco scene.
Financial troubles in 2002 led to the shuttering of several Charles Jourdan stores, the layoffs of one-third of its workforce and the hiring of designers (Patrick Cox, who left in December 2004, and Joseph Thimister, who departed in May). But those moves failed to bring the brand back. Its latest collection, unveiled at the Premiere Classe trade fair here in September, was designed by an in-house team.
Although Jourdan executives did not disclose numbers, industry sources estimated the company carried a debt of 2 million euros, or about $2.9 million.
"Charles Jourdan is dead. It's a catastrophe," said Bénédicte Jourdan, granddaughter of the house's founder. "We fought for many years. Charles Jourdan was the leader. To see all its savoir-faire and history vanish is a total shock."Jourdan blamed the decline on a competitive high-end footwear market dominated by major luxury houses such as Jimmy Choo, as well as on management.
The brand's last owner, Yannis Bilquez, was arrested by Swiss police this month for alleged "disloyal management." He had purchased Jourdan two years ago via a Luxembourg holding company called Finaluxe.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)