It may not be totally over for Bill Blass yet. However, Bill Blass as we know it will be gone forever. According to WWD, Peacock Apparel Group, a men’s dress shirt and neckwear firm, is
closing in on a deal to acquire the Bill Blass brand from NexCen Brands
Although NexCen was seeking more than $25 million for the designer brand in September, it is believed the
asking price may have fallen to less than half that amount.
Sources said the two parties were close to a deal
and that an announcement might come as soon as today if there were no
Based in South Korea and founded 18 years ago by Cin Kim, Peacock,
which holds men’s furnishings licenses from Colours by Alexander Julian
and Haggar, among other brands, is a midtier supplier that specializes
in shirt-and-tie gift sets and innovative packaging. Should it ink a
deal for Blass, Peacock is expected to move the brand in a more
moderate direction (read mid-end ties and shirts).
The designer’s target market, “the Ladies Who Lunch,” didn’t appear to
be buying the brand, even at trunk shows. The question of the potential of the Blass brand
was also clouded by the lack of a creative director. Peter Som departed
as creative director of Bill Blass women’s wear two months ago. Michael
Bastian remains creative designer for men’s wear. Since Blass’ 1999
retirement (and death in 2002), Steven Slowik, Lars Nilsson, Michael Vollbracht and Som tried and failed to fill his shoes.
Read "NexCen Close to Bill Blass Sale" here.