While Thom Browne continues his search for a financial partner, the controversial designer denied that he is having cash-flow problems or considering bankruptcy.
“I would love to find an investor who would be able to inject some funds into my company so that I can further grow my business,” said Browne, responding to media reports Wednesday. “But the conditions and the fit have to be right. Thom Browne Inc. is not having a cash-flow problem and has no intention to file for bankruptcy.”
In fact, because of the exposure he recently enjoyed in Europe — including a presentation at Pitti Uomo in January and a dedicated space at Colette during the Paris men’s shows — Browne said he picked up an additional 10 doors in Europe and Japan, and the wholesale business as of January was up 117 percent.
“He shipped spring on time, and the momentum and excitement about the collection continues to grow,” said Tommy Fazio, fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman Men, a strong supporter of the designer.
Like every independent designer in the luxury market, Browne’s business is feeling the effects of the retail slowdown. A backer could inject the capital required to broaden the scope of his business, which was founded on suits with shrunken proportions.
Browne has been open to potential backers for about three years. He has had discussions with about five suitors in that period, including Japanese distributors who were deemed unsuitable because the designer wants to maintain control of his distributors in that key market, according to Miki Higasa, Browne’s spokeswoman.
The latest potential backer is New York-based Individualized Apparel Group, whose Oxxford Clothes, Gitman Bros. and Holland & Sherry divisions already produce suits, shirts and fabrics for Thom Browne. The two parties have talked, but no terms have been broached and they are nowhere near a deal, according to Higasa.
“We have a great relationship with IAG on the production side, and that will continue. Never say never, but at this point I’m just looking forward to continuing our production relationship,” said Browne.
Browne is unwilling to sell a majority stake in the eight-year-old business.
“The right partner understands what the collection is and what the potential of the business is. I don’t want to partner with the wrong person, because I want the partnership to be forever, with someone who has the same vision for the business as I do,” Browne said.
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)