Hartmarx Corp. is believed to have confidentiality agreements in place with seven potential bidders, all of whom have either submitted, or are in the process of submitting, bids for parts of the bankrupt firm’s assets, according to financial and market sources.
The deadline for submitting bids was late Monday. There are at least three financial players and three strategic buyers. Hartmarx officials declined comment.
The three financial players include Mistral Capital Management, Versa Capital Management and a financial group led by designer Joseph Abboud. Bids from Versa as well as Mistral, a special purpose acquisition company connected to Andrew Heyer, but separate from the Mistral entity that bid previously for Hartmarx before the stalking horse was named, have already been submitted. Mistral is believed to be interested in Monarchy, Exclusively Misook and Christopher Blue brands. It could not be determined what labels Versa, which specializes in distressed situations and has in its portfolio Polartec and Bob’s Stores, is interested in.
The group led by Abboud includes a Chicago-based private equity firm, and is said to involve a Florida-based financial investor as well. At press time, Abboud’s group had not yet placed a bid, according to sources. His group is believed to be interested in Hickey Freeman, and possibly Hart Schaffner Marx. Calls to Abboud were not returned by press time.
On the strategic side, bids have been received from Affliction Holdings, Perry Ellis International and Western Glove Works. Affliction Holdings is affiliated with Affliction brands, according to sources, who said it is interested in Monarchy. Perry Ellis is said to be eyeing golf brand Bobby Jones, and possibly one other label. Western Glove is a Canadian firm based in Winnipeg, Manitoba that is believed to be interested in Christopher Blue. Western Glove manufactures Victoria Beckham’s dVb line.
Sources said there was at least one other possible bidder for the men’s brands Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx.
An auction is set for Wednesday. The stalking horse bid from London-based Emerisque and its investment partner SKNL at $128.4 million is for the entire firm. Depending on the course of the auction, there is the possibility of a breakup of the brands under the Hartmarx umbrella.
“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