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.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion