NEW YORK--Amid uncertainty over the future of The Leslie Fay Cos., John J. Pomerantz, chairman and chief executive officer, sent a letter to employees Monday, hoping to ease their anxieties and answer some questions. He told his 725 employees that The Blackstone Group, the company's financial adviser, has been asked to explore the possibilities of selling off Leslie Fay's core businesses. Further, he said, management of the Castleberry division, a knitwear label with an estimated $15 to $20 million in sales last year, "has expressed interest in leading a buyout of the division, and is currently in the process of doing due diligence to see if a bona fide offer can be made." As reported, Sassco's chairman, Arthur Levine, is attempting to lead a buyout of that unit, the firm's largest. Pomerantz's letter, a copy of which was obtained by WWD, began on a personal note: "I am aware of the difficulties and uncertainties that working for Leslie Fay during the bankruptcy process have meant to you and I genuinely appreciate your efforts and continuing loyalty." While Pomerantz was not available for comment Monday, sources said he is trying to put together the financing to purchase a part of the company that would probably include the Leslie Fay brands. Other sources said "other apparel firms" might bid for the Leslie Fay name. The Leslie Fay Dress and Sportswear units combined for estimated sales of about $250 million last year, but are not as profitable as Sassco, which had sales of about $360 million, mostly from its Kasper for ASL label of suits, dresses and sportswear. Pomerantz also said discussions are continuing with the ILGWU over the status of the firm's main manufacturing facility in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He said a study has been conducted by Deloite & Touche "to see under what conditions, if any, can the company profitably produce dresses there and compete effectively in the moderate dress market." This study, required under the company's agreement with the union following a six-week strike last summer, should be completed by April 17, the letter said. Pomerantz also told employees that the company has retained Jay Alix & Associates, a management consulting firm, to help achieve annual savings of about $15 million. He said two such cost-saving measures under consideration are the expansion of the main distribution center in Laflin, Pa., and the consolidation of the Hanover, Pa., facility into it, and the possible merging of operations on the fourth and 10th floors of 1412 Broadway. "Despite all these distractions, I am pleased to report that business seems to have picked up in recent weeks," Pomerantz said. "Our Leslie Fay dress business at retail has been strong, with more bestsellers and reorders than I can remember... [and] our Leslie Fay sportswear, Outlander and Nipon Studio businesses are expanding their customer base."
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)