Designer License Holding Co. LLC, the Bill Blass licensee partially owned by apparel entrepreneur Arnold Simon, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection.

This story first appeared in the January 20, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The voluntary filing was on Dec. 31 in a Manhattan bankruptcy court. The petition listed total assets of $18.7 million and total liabilities of $15.5 million.

The petition listed Israel Discount Bank as a secured lender holding a $6.7 million claim. Among its 20 largest unsecured creditors, Sterling Factor Corp., New York, is listed as holding a claim for $534,580.

Equity holders of Designer License include: Jubilee Limited Partnership, holding a 27.8 percent stake; Simon, 24.5 percent; Timothy Fullum, 24.5 percent; The Leiber Group Inc., 16.6 percent, and Daniel Gladstone, 6.6 percent.

In an affidavit filed by Simon, the managing member of the firm, he said Designer License is the licensee of men’s and women’s jeans and sportswear under the Bill Blass label pursuant to an agreement penned in 2007.

The Bill Blass licensing business was sold by NexCen Brands Inc. in December 2008 to the Bill Blass Group, formerly known as Peacock International Holdings, in an all-cash deal valued at $10 million, substantially below the $54.6 million in cash and stock NexCen paid for the designer brand in December 2006. Simon’s company had bid as much as $26 million for the brand when a seller was being sought, banking sources said at the time.

Other unsecured creditors include: Yiyang Kaida Textile Import & Export Co., Hunan China, owed $6.5 million; Shanghai Maritex Non-Ironi, Shanghai, China, $305,679; EZ Apparel, New York, $150,000; E-Lo Sportswear Inc., Harrison, N.J., $149,247; Young Boy Garments Industry, Ajman, United Arab Emirates, $114,719, and TKO-Evolution Apparel, North Miami, Fla., $20,000.

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