By  on November 10, 2004

NEW YORK — BM USA Inc., the U.S. arm of Italian firm Bruno Magli SpA, received confirmation of its reorganization plan from a Texas bankruptcy court in Plano.

The company is expected to complete its reorganization and emerge from Chapter 11 protection by Dec. 8.

Aaron Schwartz, president of Bruno Magli North America, said in a telephone interview, “This begins a new chapter for us as we continue to work on dedicating [resources] to our core business, as well as provide [our retail] customers with the best product.”

The company will focus on its wholesale operations for the immediate future. As a result of the filing, BM USA closed all seven retail locations. Court documents attributed the need to file for Chapter 11 to liquidity issues owing in part to several lease agreements.

Still, Schwartz wouldn’t mind expanding back into retail at some point. “Certainly, there is a desire on our part to open stores again in key markets, but right now that’s on the back burner until 2006,” he said.

Meantime, the Bruno Magli brand will be showcased in its first “shop-in-shop” concept store in footwear retailer Arthur Beren in Beverly Hills, on Wilshire Boulevard.

Bruno Magli products for wholesale distribution, although primarily men’s and women’s footwear, include a line of handbags for women and leather jackets and belts for men. While a small collection of ready-to-wear items had been available in the U.S. at company-operated retail stores, that line is not available as part of its U.S. wholesale business.

However, when its shop-in-shop opens this month, the concept store will feature both product from its wholesale business as well as exclusive items available only at Arthur Beren. That exclusivity could include both rtw and new test merchandise.

“We’re very proud of our 17-year partnership with Arthur Beren. While it is possible that we may expand the shop-in-shop to other locations, this first concept will serve as our prototype and laboratory,” Schwartz said.

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