Bill Blass Couture closed Friday and laid off all of its 60-plus employees without any severance.Staffers spent most of Friday packing up and saying goodbye. Hardest hit were the more than 20 sewers and workers who first punched the clock when the company’s namesake called the shots for decades, including some who were with Blass on his opening day in 1970.“It’s been a crying-fest up here,” said one employee. “I never wanted to go through something like this again.”Management at parent company NexCen Brands Inc. spread the word last week, but did not commit to severance. Some were told they may be eligible down the road, a Bill Blass staffer said.A few former Bill Blass staffers speculated Sunday that any severance may be contingent on the sale of the Bill Blass brand and its ready-to-wear component. NexCen is said to be negotiating a deal to sell Bill Blass to Peacock, a company that specializes in men’s neckties, and is eager to finalize one by the end of the year, due to financial incentives established by an undisclosed bank. NexCen executives declined comment Sunday. However, last week they confirmed talks were under way with more than one non-financial company.Rather than hope for the best, the displaced Bill Blass workers planned to collect unemployment immediately, according to sources at the company.Highlighting how strapped the company is, sources noted that NexCen plans to sell the no-longer-needed office furniture in Bill Blass’ Seventh Avenue showroom. With his debonair style and steadfast support from well-heeled friends and longtime clients, Blass built the company into a multilicensed enterprise, with $500 million in annual sales in the late Eighties and early Nineties. That is a far cry from recent sales, which were said to be $500,000.
To celebrate Pride 2018, @themarcjacobs released the #GratefulNotHateful campaign, a social media initiative aimed at extending Pride beyond the parade. Inspired by Jacobs’ everyday outlook, the campaign features Jacobs along with a group of models and social media stars who are members and supporters of the LGBT community, all seen wearing @marcbeauty’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayons in colors of the rainbow. Head to our Instagram stories to see close-ups of the liner. #wwdbeauty
Virgil Abloh’s dad Nee and Don Crawley, cofounder of RSVP Gallery, were some of the hometown crew at the Chicago-born designer’s debut show for Louis Vuitton. (📸: @jdiderich ) #wwdmens #louisvuitton #virgilabloh
About last night: @marycharteris and @adwoaaboah hit up Hyde Park for the Serpentine Galleries’ annual summer party held in partnership with @chanelofficial. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
“This is Paris, my first show. I’m all about democracy. If some kid shows up, flew from New Jersey to just be around, let’s get him a seat.” — @virgilabloh tells WWD’s @jdiderich ahead of his first show for @louisvuitton men’s. (📸: @alfredo_piola ) #wwdmens #virgilabloh #louisvuitton
“Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy,” said Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of @katespadeny. The Kate Spade Foundation announced that it will be donating $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness in tribute to the recent death of Kate Spade. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @chinseephoto)
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim