NexCen, the parent company that owns the Bill Blass brand, is coming under particularly hard times this year. The company, which also owns the Athlete’s Foot chain along with other diverse ventures, saw shares fall 77.1 percent in trading Monday after the company said
there is "substantial doubt" about its ability to continue as a going
concern. NexCen is now looking at selling one or more of its companies to stay afloat– Bill Blass, the major brand among NexCen’s portfolio, looks to be going first. And it appears that the Bill Blass brand will be selling at a "fire-sale" price, due to the fashion house’s own internal struggle. Since Blass’ death in 2002, the
brand has had problems regaining its footing. It has seen a string of designers, including Lars Nilsson and Michael
Vollbracht, generating mixed reviews that critiqued the collections as
too retro and lacking a light touch. It’s an interesting story for what was such an iconic brand in the fashion world. But if it makes it through these choppy waters, maybe Blass will come out the better.
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