NEW YORK — The financial crisis is being felt on Seventh Avenue, and many fashion companies are being proactive to minimize its impact.

This story first appeared in the October 24, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

On Thursday, Elie Tahari confirmed it was eliminating 35 positions in its New Jersey and New York headquarters. The cuts are being made across the board.

“Like every company, Elie Tahari has been carefully observing the incredibly challenging retail environment that is affecting the U.S. and global economy,” Tahari said. “Although current sales remain within projections, it would be irresponsible of us not to prepare for an uncertain future so we have reduced our workforce by 35 people, which will not affect the vitality, creativity and efficiency for which we are known.”

The layoffs come after years of growth for the designer, who sells his collection in 600 U.S. stores, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman. Tahari recently acknowledged that much of the additional growth activity has been coming from overseas.

Earlier this year, the company opened shops at Harvey Nichols and Selfridges in the U.K., and similar in-store environments in Seoul, South Korea, with plans to open a stand-alone boutique there. There are also plans for Elie Tahari-branded stores in Turkey and Romania. “We are performing very well internationally,” Tahari told WWD earlier this month. “We are present in over 40 countries, and those are the stores that are calling for more product, more reorders and the sell-throughs are incredible. Our overseas business will triple in the next year.”

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