PEGASUS, ANGELA AMIRI SPLIT
Byline: Marc Karimzadeh
NEW YORK — Pegasus Apparel Group is parting ways with Angela Amiri.
Confirming reports in these columns, a spokesman for Pegasus said that the company’s majority equity will revert to the handbag designer. Although Pegasus will maintain an equity position in the firm, Amiri, with the help of a separate company she has not disclosed, will be responsible for all design, production and distribution of the line.
The fall 2001 collection will be skipped, returning to the market for spring 2002, Amiri said.
It’s been a bumpy few months for Pegasus, whose brand portfolio includes Judith Leiber, Miguel Adrover, Daryl K and Pamela Dennis. There has been growing speculation about financial constraints, and rumors are percolating that some designers are disillusioned with Pegasus’s tight control over its brands.
In effect, Amiri’s firm is the second business that Pegasus is spinning off since the group was formed by investment managers to target fashion acquisitions in March 2000. Pamela Dennis struck a deal with Pegasus and took control of her signature eveningwear collection as a licensee, while Pegasus retained control of a new joint venture for a lower-priced eveningwear line.
Pegasus also ran into troubles with its Daryl K business, which was forced to skip production this fall. Pegasus is said to currently be looking for new production facilities in an attempt to restructure that line.
Pegasus had planned to widen Amiri’s distribution, which currently includes stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, Bloomingdale’s and Fred Segal. The company moved production to Italy in order to lower the wholesale starting price point to $90 from $110. At the time of the purchase, Amiri, whose line focuses on simple silhouettes in leather, vintage and vintage-inspired textiles, had sales estimated between $500,000 and $750,000. While distribution is said to have increased by approximately 50 percent since, sources close to the companies said that Amiri’s business was simply too small for Pegasus. The group is said to be focusing mainly on building Judith Leiber, Daryl K and Miguel Adrover, banking on their visibility and growing recognition among consumers. “Given the direction of each business, it was really the right decision and a very well thought-out and structured transition,” said the Pegasus spokesman.
Amiri said that she will maintain the pricing policy introduced by Pegasus and she is planning to continue to work with the production facilities in Italy. The line will be distributed out of Los Angeles and the designer plans to expand her reach into more categories, starting with clothing.
“For spring 2002, we are launching a small women’s sportswear collection, which is very colorful, going back to roots with eclectic vintage silk toile,” she said.