Last year was relatively quiet on the bankruptcy front, given the volatility in the equity markets and global financial issues. That may change in 2012. British lingerie retailer La Senza late last month filed a notion of intention to appoint administrators, the U.K. equivalent of entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Here are the more notable filings in 2011.
ANCHOR BLUE: The Corona, Calif.-based teen specialty store operator was the first retail casualty of 2011, and has since shuttered its doors. The chain had survived a three-month stay in bankruptcy beginning in June 2009, but couldn’t compete in what was an increasingly promotional teen retail market. The company was owned by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners.
CHADWICKS OF BOSTON: The catalogue firm’s parent, Women’s Apparel Group, was forced into an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy by three creditors in July in Boston. The petition was converted to a Chapter 11. Women’s Apparel Group operated the business under the name Boston Apparel Group. An affiliate of Chevy Chase, Md.-based private equity firm Blackstreet Capital Management LLC has acquired Boston Apparel’s equipment and brands. Boston Apparel was formed in 2008 after Monomoy Capital Investors bought Redcats USA’s Misses division that included Chadwicks and MetroStyle. In 2010, Boston Apparel acquired multichannel women’s apparel firm Casual Living USA.
D2:The British men’s wear retailer entered administration last month and BDO LLP was appointed as the administrator of the business, which is registered under the name A&J Menswear (Retail) Ltd. So far 19 stores have been closed, and the balance of 28 sites remain in operation as BDO eyes selling all or part of the company as a going concern. D2 carries denim and streetwear brands such as Kickers, Firetrap and Nike. Sir Tom Hunter founded the chain in 1999, which he sold to management in 2008. The chain is in its second tour of administration. Its first tour was in December 2009, when 32 stores were closed and management bought out the remaining stores.
DEB SHOPS: The 325-unit juniors chain, owned by Lee Equity Partners since July 2007, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in June. In September, the company received bankruptcy court approval to sell itself to its senior lenders. Lee Equity retains a 3 percent stake in the new equity of the restructured firm.
HART STORES INC.: The company petitioned for restructuring in August in a Quebec superior court, and was to have closed 32 of its 92 stores in Eastern Canada by the end of 2011. The midsize discount department store chain operates under the Hart, Bargain Giant and Géant des Aubaines nameplates. The retailer plans to restructure operations.
NO FEAR: The brand known for its action-sports apparel and accessories was popular with teens in the Nineties. It had shifted merchandise more recently to revolve around surfing and motocross themes. It also operated 41 stores at the time of its voluntary Chapter 11 filing in February in a San Diego bankruptcy court. The company emerged from bankruptcy court protection in August under new ownership. Ryderz Compound Inc. was the successful bidder in a bankruptcy court-approved auction.
SYMS CORP./FILENE’S BASEMENT: The company filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition in Delaware in November and will liquidate both of its nameplates. Syms, best known for the motto “an educated consumer is our best customer,” was founded in 1959 by Sy Syms. It acquired Filene’s Basement in 2009. Filene’s, the oldest off-price retailer in the U.S., was founded in 1909 by William Filene. The latest filing is the third time Filene’s has been in bankruptcy.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion