Stephen Granovsky, head of Grano Retail Investments, the investment and advisory company that purchased the Montreal-based brand in 2010, told WWD, “We are in discussions for at least two different acquisition opportunities that would be complementary to Samuelsohn.”
He declined to name names but acknowledged Hickey Freeman “is a great fit with Samuelsohn.” He said Grano was interested in purchasing the luxury men’s wear label during the bankruptcy proceeding of its former parent, HMX Group, and since then has been “actively” discussing how to “find a way to participate. Jamie, Doug and I go way back.”
James “Jamie” Salter is the chairman and chief executive officer of Authentic Brands Group, which purchased the assets of HMX last year. Authentic operates under a licensing model and negotiated a long-term licensing deal with Doug Williams, the former ceo of HMX, to handle the day-to-day operations of Hickey as well as the remaining former HMX brands, which include Hart Schaffner Marx, Bobby Jones, Christopher Blue, Exclusively Misook and Jag Jeans. There are no plans to sell the Hickey brand but its license could be transferred. Salter said Authentic is “exploring all options.”
“We’re an investment firm and we’re looking for deals,” Granovsky said. “I have no doubt we will close one deal — or more than one. We believe in this industry. We believe in luxury and men’s wear and domestic manufacturing.”
He said he expects to be able to reveal one deal within the next few months. “We are in advanced discussions with both companies,” he said.
But Granovsky stressed that “any interest in Hickey or its factory, or any other brand,” would not impact the Montreal production for Samuelsohn. “We are not at overcapacity in Montreal,” he said. “We had high-capacity issues in the past, but we’ve addressed those. We’re very careful to protect what we’ve built with Samuelsohn, and it is critically important to our customers that Samuelsohn continues to be produced in our factory in Montreal.”
Sources had said that Samuelsohn was considering moving some of its excess production to the Hickey Freeman factory in Rochester, N.Y.
Granovsky did not deny that JA Apparel and its Joseph Abboud label may be on the short list of possible acquisitions. “It’s not the only domestic manufacturer, but it’s the one with the greatest size and it’s been for sale for a while, so it’s an obvious candidate, but it’s not the only one,” he said.
Granovsky said Grano is “very aggressive and inquisitive” and has had good success since acquiring Samuelsohn. Last year was a record year for the 90-year-old brand that produces private-label suits for Paul Stuart and Harry Rosen and sells its own Samuelsohn-label goods to 250 upscale specialty stores in the U.S. and Canada. Projections are for a 20 percent increase in 2013.
Grano Retail Investments focuses on small to midsize firms in retail, wholesale and manufacturing with volume of between $2 million and $15 million.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews