WHERE IS FRANCIS? Last season, Christian Francis Roth returned to the fashion week schedule with the Francis by Christian Francis Roth collection, but the designer is missing from this season’s schedule.

The reason?

His financial backer, the Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China garment manufacturer Gold Palace Corp., decided not to go forward with their support.

“We had a disagreement about where to develop samples, and another regarding overall operating capital, but I suspect it had mostly to  do with the state of the economy,” Roth explained. “Thankfully, I had the right product at the right price and my bookings and distribution were solid,” he added.

Roth still owns 100 percent of the company, and plans to continue his line, which was picked up for spring by Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Holt Renfrew, Macy’s and about 35 small specialty stores.

“I’ve been self-financing the line since my backers left, which has been challenging to say  the least, but now that spring is shipping, my receivables will allow me  to carefully move forward until I find the right investor,” Roth said.

He will start previewing the fall collection to select press and retailers on Feb.23, and hopes to do a presentation next month.

“It’s my plan to be back on the fashion week calendar in September for spring 2010, either with a show or presentation,” Roth said.

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