NEW YORK — As sources say that the three firms potentially interested in buying HMX Group have now signed confidentiality agreements with the company, a former bidder — Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. — is again eyeing its brands.
A spokesman for Yucaipa confirmed the private equity firm's interest in HMX. "Ron has great relationships with the unions and they asked him to take a look," according to the spokesman.
If it does enter the fray, it won’t be the first time Burkle has made a run at HMX: his private equity firm bid for certain assets when the then Hartmarx Corp. voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in 2009.
Back then, Yucaipa was only interested in the brands, such as Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, and not the firm’s factories. Financial and market sources said they expect Yucaipa to enter the bidding after a bankruptcy filing takes place.
Yucaipa is not currently in the bidding mix. The three firms that are currently in talks with HMX are Authentic Brands, Iconix Brand Group and Bluestar Alliance.
S. Kumar’s Nationwide Ltd. acquired Hartmarx during the bankruptcy in 2009 and renamed the new operating firm HMX Group.
One stumbling block, as it was in the 2009 bankruptcy, is the factories that are under HMX’s ownership. Private equity firms want just the intellectual property assets. Even strategic firms prefer just the brands. The factories are in some respects outdated and poorly configured, said one individual who requested anonymity.
Should the IP assets get sold if a bankruptcy filing were to occur, and the factories shut down, that would be a blow to HMX’s “Made in America” stance, particularly as more smaller apparel firms and fashion brands are seeing the benefits of increasing their production in the U.S.
“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