MONTREAL — A weak Christmas season has forced two of Canada’s women’s clothing chains to seek court protection from creditors and another to lay off workers.
Cotton Ginny, a Toronto-based retailer of plus-size casual clothes that operates 300 stores under the banners Cotton Ginny and Tabi, has obtained court protection from creditors who are owed $30.4 million, including about $10 million to suppliers. All figures have been converted from Canadian dollars at current exchange rates.
The company intends to close about 100 outlets as part of a restructuring plan. The insolvent retailer will seek a buyer for the remaining stores or try to remerchandise them. The retailer has lost more than $13 million in the last two years.
"We are convinced that beginning this restructuring process is the best way to protect the valuable franchise we’ve spent more than 20 years building," the company said in a statement.
Au Coton, another women’s casual clothing retailer based here with 69 stores across the country, has also filed for protection for the second time in less than a year. It owes about $5 million. It first filed for protection last April when it operated 140 outlets. Now, it is being squeezed by other casual clothing retailers, notably Gap, Wal-Mart Canada and Zellers.
Au Coton’s U.S. subsidiary sought protection from creditors in 1993 before pulling out of the American market.
Les Boutiques San Francisco here also is faced with slumping sales and announced it was cutting 60 jobs in its headquarters and overhauling its high-profile downtown Les Ailes de la Mode department store.
The 184-store retailer, which operates under the San Francisco, L’Officiel, Bikini Village and West Coast Banners, said it will review all of its operations in the coming months.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast