Halston is looking for some more cash or a new home.
The storied brand of the Seventies jet set, which counts Sarah Jessica Parker as president and chief creative officer, has hired an investment bank to explore its options, which could range from a cash infusion to a sale of the whole company, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Halston was acquired by Hilco Consumer Capital and Harvey Weinstein’s The Weinstein Co. in 2007. With the help of Tamara Mellon, founder and president of Jimmy Choo, the investors looked to reenergize the brand. At the time, Weinstein, co-chairman of the multimedia firm, boasted, “Our company has already had tremendous success turning the hit fashion show ‘Project Runway’ into a global brand and we see the same potential with Halston.”
And the brand did make a splash by hiring Parker who, in a twist for a celebrity-fashion tie-up, took both a key management position and an equity stake at the firm.
Parker’s high-profile and hands-on role raised some eyebrows in the industry and the actress acknowledged she’d have to learn the business as she went. “There is a huge amount I don’t know and I am very candid about that, and I am excited to learn,” she said. “There are going to be things that come up that I am equipped to deal with and answer and respond to, and there are things that I will be happily mentored on by [chief executive officer] Bonnie [Takhar]. I have no allergy to learning.”
But Parker’s association with Takhar doesn’t appear to have lasted. By November, it emerged that Takhar was leaving the company.
Ever since the days of its namesake designer, who died in 1990, the brand has struggled to regain its luster. The most recent incarnation has been no different, though the launch of Halston Heritage gave the business a new sense of promise.
The contemporary Heritage brand, sold in department stores, revisits some of the label’s most iconic looks, harkening back to the heyday of Studio 54.
The source said Heritage was getting traction and “was definitely a viable business,” but that the company needs growth capital and the investors don’t want to put more money in after four years.
But it could be a tough deal. “It’s a very complicated structure and dynamic at the board level,” the source said.
Richard Kaye, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Hilco Trading, Hilco Consumer Capital’s parent company, had no comment on the company’s future plans for Halston.
Hilco Consumer Capital is a private equity firm that has investments in a range of consumer firms, including Ellen Tracy, Caribbean Joe, Frederick’s of Hollywood Group, Polaroid and The Sharper Image.
The deal market has been heating up with the economy settling and credit easy to find. In January, Kellwood Co. bought contemporary sportswear brand Rebecca Taylor, and Perry Ellis International Inc. acquired Rafaella Apparel Group Inc. from Cerberus Capital Management.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews