Just as some credit sources last week began speculating about the future of J. Jill and whether it could be put up for sale, given the bankruptcy filing of its parent in March, Moody’s Investors Service on Monday placed the retailer’s ratings on review for a possible downgrade.
About $115 million of rated debt is affected, and there is now the possibility of a default rating.
Arcapita Inc. is a U.S. subsidiary that was formerly known as Crescent Investments, which invests in American firms for between $200 million and $1 billion. It includes among its holdings women’s apparel retailer J. Jill. None of Arcapita’s operating subsidiaries nor its portfolio firms are parties to the filing.
That didn’t stop credit analysts from wondering last week whether J. Jill at some point might be put on the auction block due to the bankruptcy filing of Arcapita.
Moody’s said its reason for the review is because the firm “has not provided audited statements as of Jan. 28, 2012, as required under its loan agreements,” as well as an agreement with lenders stating they would hold off enforcing certain obligations due to some technical defaults under the same lending contracts.
The ratings agency said the review for downgrade will focus on the firm’s ability to obtain a permanent waiver and amendment under its loan agreements, as well as the operating performance of the company.
Private equity firm Golden Gate Capital acquired J. Jill from The Talbots Inc. in 2009, and sold the operation to Arcapita in 2011.
“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