By  on August 16, 2005

NEW YORK — B. Michael is shopping around for a new chief executive officer and investors.

The designer is negotiating a private placement memorandum, but said he plans to remain the majority shareholder of his six-year-old business. During an interview last week at his West 40th Street showroom, Michael declined to identify the interested party, other than to say the group consists of friends, business associates and friends of friends.

As for the ceo search, talks are under way with "a well-known executive with a great track record," he said, although he declined to divulge the name. If approved, the candidate being considered plans to focus on B. Michael's made-to-measure business, work toward opening a flagship and get into licensing three years down the road, Michael said.

Wayne Demar resigned as B. Michael's ceo in April. Demar previously worked as a logistics specialist, and he left to pursue that again, Michael said.

The designer expects to announce a new ceo and financial backers before his Sept. 12 show at the Altman Building here. "I'm happy to have a plan in place and I get to be a designer again," Michael said.

In other news, B. Michael has created eight outfits for the actress Lynn Whitfield to wear in Tyler Perry's upcoming film, "Madea's Family Reunion." Whitfield's character favors "fitted modern suits and dresses with plunging necklines."

"She's a temptress," the designer said. "It's a demanding task, but fun, even though I am in the midst of designing my collection."

Lions Gate Entertainment is shooting the flick in Atlanta and plans to release it in February.

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