About 20 shareholders attended the annual meeting of embattled American Apparel Inc. in Los Angeles Tuesday, but Dov Charney, the company’s chairman, chief executive officer and principal shareholder, wasn’t among them.
In response to a WWD query, Charney sent a text message saying he was in Japan on company business. Glenn Weinman, senior vice president and general counsel, presided at the brief meeting, which was closed to the press.
Although Charney’s absence was unusual, his presence was by no means required. Charney holds or controls 54.3 percent of the shares outstanding, and, in the company’s definitive proxy, had indicated his intention to vote in the affirmative on all company proposals, including provisions that would increase the number of shares, prevent his stake from being diluted and reduce the exercise price of Lion Capital warrants. These details had been hammered out in previous rounds of refinancing but required shareholder approval.
Whether he did so in person or through a proxy was a technicality, for purposes of corporate governance. Still official results of the votes weren’t available immediately after the meeting.
Following an earlier rescue by Lion, a group of investors led by Canadian financier Michael Serruya bailed out American Apparel in April by buying 15.8 million shares at 90 cents each, giving the company $14.2 million to shore up its finances and the investors a 27 percent discount on the company’s stock at the time.
The investors also received warrants for the right to purchase an additional 27.4 million shares at 90 cents apiece within 180 days. It is unclear when and if those additional investments will roll in since the stock has traded below the 90-cent mark during seven days this month.
“I’m confident the warrants will be exercised and that will give the company an additional $30 million,” Serruya told WWD in April. “That means American Apparel will have $45 million in cash to open new stores and for capital expenditures and to pay off debt.”
The company’s shares fell 4 cents, or 4 percent, to 96 cents Tuesday ahead of the company’s annual meeting as the S&P Retail Index had its best day in almost seven months. It gained 11.74 points, or 2.3 percent, to 519.39 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 109.63 points, or 0.9 percent, to land at 12,190.01.
Although lifted by renewed optimism about the severity of the Greek debt crisis, specialty retailers were among the big winners on Wall Street Tuesday. Among the retailers gaining strongly were Destination Maternity Corp., up 8.8 percent to $18.77; Ann Inc., 4.4 percent to $27.56; Guess Inc., 4 percent to $43.24, and Limited Brands Inc., 3.1 percent to $37.48.
“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