PEGASUS TALKING TO MATT NYE

Byline: Eric Wilson

NEW YORK — Sportswear designer Matt Nye is the latest name to have been approached by Pegasus Apparel Group, the fashion financing company that’s trying to set up a conglomerate of designer brand businesses.
Nye, the 1999 Council of Fashion Designers of America award winner for new men’s wear talent, said from Milan that he would not comment on negotiations with any company, but added, “We’re talking to a lot of people right now.”
Stephen L. Ruzow, chairman and chief executive officer of Pegasus, said he had held meetings with Nye and company executives, but that those discussions were preliminary.
Pegasus, which is patterned after luxury conglomerates like LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Gucci Group in Europe, acquired Pamela Dennis’s eveningwear business two weeks ago and is looking to buy a total of about 10 brands over the next two years. Daryl K, Cynthia Rowley, John Bartlett and newcomer Miguel Adrover are other companies that have been identified as potential deals for Pegasus.
In February, Matt Nye formed a business partnership with Stephen Fairchild, who was previously design director of men’s wear and licensing at Valentino, naming him co-designer and co-chief executive officer. Nye and Fairchild are currently setting up production for their fall collection in Milan, a move made to bolster the company’s European distribution and to take advantage of Fairchild’s prior knowledge of manufacturing and design there.
Nye, who worked at Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein before launching a signature business in 1998, currently sells his women’s apparel to Bloomingdale’s, Henri Bendel and Scoop, and men’s wear to such accounts as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Louis Boston.
Ruzow said he was interested in Nye’s company after attending his fall presentation in February. “We thought the clothes were very interesting and that he sent some great looks down the runway,” Ruzow said. “We are also very interested to see how his collaboration with Stephen Fairchild shapes up.”