ROTH CANCELS FINANCIAL LINK TO LINDEMANN
Byline: Lisa Lockwood
NEW YORK — Christian Francis Roth has severed his financial ties with Sloan Lindemann, whose family has been financing the designer’s business for a year and a half.
“We’re sort of not working together at the moment. I’m working on my new collection,” said Roth on Monday. He added that he’ll finance the business himself.
The Lindemanns, will maintain their 50 percent stake in Roth’s firm even though they won’t be putting additional money into it, said Roth.
Roth and Lindemann became partners in February 1993. At the time, Sloan Lindemann became president and chief executive officer of the firm, while her brothers, George Jr. and Adam, became directors.
Roth said Lindemann will be paying the bills through the production cycle for fall, as well as the rent for the next few months. Starting with the overhead for the spring season, including the fashion show, Roth will pay.
Sloan Lindemann, an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.
“She was there when I needed her and gave a jump-start to the business,” said Roth, who said his current fall collection has been very well-received, something he felt would be a boost for spring business.
He said Lindemann’s participation in the business was mainly in the administrative end.
“She never really worked here,” he said. “She was not particularly involved in the business. She stayed on the sidelines and financed things. What it meant was we had a cushion.”
He said Lindemann was involved in personnel matters, including hiring and firing.
Roth, who is best known for his well-constructed, witty sportswear, launched his first collection for fall 1988. After experimenting with the grunge look two years ago, he returned to his strength: spirited, young, upbeat sportswear.
Overall, Roth’s price points are about 30 percent lower than when he first launched his collection. Jackets retail between $500 and $600, compared with $800 to $900 six years ago.
“There were discussions that I should do a less-expensive line, lower than bridge. It’s a good idea, but I’m not ready to do that now. I still want to keep it funny and simple and not that much hand labor,” said Roth.
Roth said he initially met Lindemann in 1990 when she and her mother became his clients.
“They’d buy and I’d make it made-to-measure. She graduated from law school and approached me to become her partner and I said, ‘Sure.’ I’m not sure my relationship with her is over, but I’m assuming that it is. I’m working on a new collection, which is the best it’s ever been.”
Sloan Lindemann is the daughter of cellular telephone magnate George Lindemann, whom Forbes magazine has cited as one of the 400 richest people in America.
In February 1993, Roth said the infusion of capital would allow him to double his volume to at least $2 million within a year.
“We increased business, but it wasn’t such a large increase,” said Roth Monday. “It will take some time to get to $2 million. We have a way to go before we get there.”