NEW YORK — Seven For All Mankind and its chief executive officer, Andreas Kurz, have parted, said market sources.
The highly regarded Kurz was hired last March, following the sale of 50 percent of the company to Bear Stearns Merchant Banking by Seven For All Mankind owner Peter Koral. The new ownership team has ambitious plans to grow the label into a global lifestyle brand and brought in Kurz to spearhead that effort.
At the time of the deal, Bo Arlander, senior managing director at Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, cited Kurz’s experience in growing brands and cultivating licensing deals as key assets to Seven For All Mankind. However, sources said he was not a perfect fit at the company, which is now being run by Koral, chairman and president of Seven For All Mankind LLC.
Repeated calls to the company were not returned; neither were messages left on Kurz’s cell phone.
Prior to joining Seven For All Mankind, Kurz was president of international licensing at Polo Ralph Lauren, and earlier in his career, he held ceo positions at Diesel USA and Hugo Boss USA.
Under Kurz, Seven For All Mankind expanded its nondenim assortments, growing its tops and outerwear businesses. The company also partnered with other premium names, such as Great China Wall, Ron Herman and Zac Posen, to create co-branded merchandise.
Kurz’s exit from Seven For All Mankind may have stemmed from conflicts with Koral, who has aggressively butted heads with business partners in the past, including the brand’s founders, Jerome Dahan and Michael Glasser.
Koral’s knitwear firm, L’Koral Inc., provided the original financing to Dahan and Glasser in 2000, but the two men left in 2002 following a bitter legal battle with Koral. Dahan and Glasser went on to found rival denim label Citizens of Humanity.
Seven For All Mankind bowed its men’s line in 2002 and has been a market leader in the premium denim segment.