>> Billionaire Lakshmi Mittal's 33-year-old daughter-in-law Megha Mittal, who has been looking to make an investment in the fashion industry for the past year and previously expressed interest in Gianfranco Ferre, will acquire Escada for an undisclosed price. Mittal won the bidding war against Sven Ley, son of Escada founder Wolfgang Ley.
The management board and the new investor "have agreed to cooperate on the basis of the business strategy launched in mid-2008 securing continuity of the operative business," according to a statement released; the previous board of management will stay intact. Mittal supports Escada CEO Bruno Saelzer's intentions to turn Escada from the eveningwear legacy of its heyday into more affordable daywear.
>> Escada, which has floundered in recent years and ultimately filed for bankruptcy in August, is expected to have a new owner by the end of this week, sources told Reuters today. Three bidders are in the running — among the most serious are Sven Ley, son of Escada founder Wolfgang Ley, who teamed up with former Gucci head Giacomo Santucci and Italian investment group Borletti (which also recently made a bid on Christian Lacroix) and Megha Mittal, daughter-in-law of billionaire Lakshmi Mittal.
If Ley's group wins out, they plan to replace current Escada CEO Bruno Saelzer with Santucci, whereas Mittal supports Saelzer's approach of turning the brand away from its evening gown legacy and repositioning it in affordable luxury.
It's been a while since we last saw Olivia Wilde, but like the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. The actress looked nothing short of stupendous wearing a gray silk draped Escada dress and textured Jimmy Choo sandals at the Escada fragrance presentation in Spain today. I like that she kept her accessories to a minimum by adorning her wrist with a bold black and gold stone cuff. Sometimes, a little pizzazz goes a long way.
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>> Escada was considered one of the world's premier fashion labels in the '80s, but the German luxury label has since become downtrodden among design flops, weak sales for many seasons, and management upheavels. Last month, the company's chairman Bruno Saelzer indicated that if the debt restructuring plan the company put forth to stockholders was not approved this month, the business would have to be dissolved.
A month later, Escada has failed to reach the required stockholder acceptance level for its bond exchange plan and is meeting today to discuss plans to file for insolvency. Under German law, planned insolvency is the closest procedure to bankruptcy, as the country does not have the equivalent of Chapter 11. Saelzer had wanted to avoid insolvency out of concern for the brand’s image, and tried to keep up appearances in the last month by releasing a Fall 2009 campaign with Eva Herzigova photographed by Peter Lindbergh and last week, images of the brand's Spring 2010 collection. The management was to meet today to discuss further steps.
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>> The fate of embattled German fashion house Escada has taken a turn for the worse. The brand has suffered from weak sales for several seasons and the company collapse projected in May is currently looking probable, according to an interview with Escada chairman Bruno Saelzer published yesterday in German newspaper Welt Am Sonntag.
Saelzer confirmed the Escada group is in a difficult situation, indicating it had enough liquidity to last until August but not beyond; if an alternative solution is not found, the business will be dissolved after that point. The company has put a debt restructuring plan to its creditors which must be approved by 80 percent of them before July 31; otherwise, Saelzer said it would be “inevitable” that Escada cease trading because “98 out of the 99 possible measures” to save the company had already been taken.
The Escada Fall 2009 collection, designed by Damiano Biella, was inspired by legendary opera singer Maria Callas. As WWD points out, this led to plenty of dramatic flair. Our favorite aspect of the collection is the trim layering which adds dimension and shape to the outfits. Above, the technique applied to both day and nighttime looks.