NEW YORK — It looks like P. Diddy isn’t the only hip-hop apparel mogul getting a backer.
Russell Simmons, founder and chief executive officer of Phat Fashions, has signed a deal with Kellwood Co., industry sources said. As reported, Simmons has been on a quest for backing for quite some time and has been negotiating with Kellwood and Tommy Hilfiger during the past few months.
In the end, the issue came down to money — something Kellwood has apparently come up with. Although Simmons could not be reached for comment Monday, sources in the past have said he would not consider taking any less than $300 million for his $260 million clothing empire, which includes the Phat Farm and Baby Phat brands.
Officials at Kellwood declined to comment on any Simmons agreement on Monday, saying the company has no news to report. “We cannot confirm or deny that rumor,” a spokeswoman said.
While Simmons is sure to stay on as chairman and ceo of Phat Fashions, a linkup with Kellwood would give both Phat Farm and Baby Phat significant resources to grow — something Simmons has major plans to do.
“I’m still looking to partner,” Simmons told WWD in March. “I also need more distribution. A rich white kid in Greenwich, Conn., needs to be able to go out and buy some Phat Farm pants, and until that happens I still have room to grow.”
A Simmons/Kellwood deal would be the second major investment in an urban brand this week, following the reported agreement between Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and L.A. billionaire Ron Burkle. As reported exclusively in WWD Monday, Burkle is said to be pumping $100 million into Combs’ Sean John label with the goal of turning it into a $1 billion global brand.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)