NEW YORK — Hartmarx Corp.’s bankruptcy appears ready to claim the Hickey Freeman flagship at 666 Fifth Avenue here.
Hartmarx Corp., Hickey Freeman’s parent, filed for bankruptcy in January and needs to pare expenses as it puts together a reorganization plan. As part of the Chapter 11 proceedings, the company has closed or plans to close three Bobby Jones-Hickey Freeman outlets as well as one full-price Bobby Jones store in Honolulu.
Real estate sources say the 4,300-square-foot unit on 52nd Street “can be made available” and is being quietly shopped around for $2,500 a square foot. The building was purchased in 2007 for $1.8 billion by Kushner Cos., which is working to recoup its significant investment.
Brooks Brothers had operated a 24,000-square-foot, two-level store in the building until January, and Abercrombie, the children’s wear division of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., has signed a lease for about half the space.
A company interested in getting a prime Fifth Avenue presence can cobble together about 10,000 square feet by renting the remaining Brooks Bros. street-level space as well as the Hickey Freeman store. One source familiar with Hartmarx’s reorganization efforts said A&F was interested in the remaining space as well. Although there is an Abercrombie & Fitch store just north of the location, at 720 Fifth Avenue, the available space is just slightly more than the average footprint of stores in A&F’s upscale Ruehl division, which operates an accessories-only store on Bleecker Street but no other Manhattan locations.
“There are a lot of lookers,” said one source. “Yes, business is difficult, but there’s only one Fifth Avenue and the location is still desirable.”
Executives at Hickey Freeman and Abercrombie & Fitch didn’t return phone calls seeking comment. A spokesperson for Kushner declined comment.
“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