Stephen Granovsky, head of Grano Retail Investments, the investment and advisory company that purchased the Montreal-based brand in 2010, told WWD, “We are in discussions for at least two different acquisition opportunities that would be complementary to Samuelsohn.”
He declined to name names but acknowledged Hickey Freeman “is a great fit with Samuelsohn.” He said Grano was interested in purchasing the luxury men’s wear label during the bankruptcy proceeding of its former parent, HMX Group, and since then has been “actively” discussing how to “find a way to participate. Jamie, Doug and I go way back.”
James “Jamie” Salter is the chairman and chief executive officer of Authentic Brands Group, which purchased the assets of HMX last year. Authentic operates under a licensing model and negotiated a long-term licensing deal with Doug Williams, the former ceo of HMX, to handle the day-to-day operations of Hickey as well as the remaining former HMX brands, which include Hart Schaffner Marx, Bobby Jones, Christopher Blue, Exclusively Misook and Jag Jeans. There are no plans to sell the Hickey brand but its license could be transferred. Salter said Authentic is “exploring all options.”
“We’re an investment firm and we’re looking for deals,” Granovsky said. “I have no doubt we will close one deal — or more than one. We believe in this industry. We believe in luxury and men’s wear and domestic manufacturing.”
He said he expects to be able to reveal one deal within the next few months. “We are in advanced discussions with both companies,” he said.
But Granovsky stressed that “any interest in Hickey or its factory, or any other brand,” would not impact the Montreal production for Samuelsohn. “We are not at overcapacity in Montreal,” he said. “We had high-capacity issues in the past, but we’ve addressed those. We’re very careful to protect what we’ve built with Samuelsohn, and it is critically important to our customers that Samuelsohn continues to be produced in our factory in Montreal.”
Sources had said that Samuelsohn was considering moving some of its excess production to the Hickey Freeman factory in Rochester, N.Y.
Granovsky did not deny that JA Apparel and its Joseph Abboud label may be on the short list of possible acquisitions. “It’s not the only domestic manufacturer, but it’s the one with the greatest size and it’s been for sale for a while, so it’s an obvious candidate, but it’s not the only one,” he said.
Granovsky said Grano is “very aggressive and inquisitive” and has had good success since acquiring Samuelsohn. Last year was a record year for the 90-year-old brand that produces private-label suits for Paul Stuart and Harry Rosen and sells its own Samuelsohn-label goods to 250 upscale specialty stores in the U.S. and Canada. Projections are for a 20 percent increase in 2013.
Grano Retail Investments focuses on small to midsize firms in retail, wholesale and manufacturing with volume of between $2 million and $15 million.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)