Nine West, at 40, Sold Off as Parent Company Exits Shoe Biz

Nine West West Holdings Inc., the parent company of American fashion footwear retailer Nine West and fashion brands including Anne Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt, filed for bankruptcy on Friday and has decided it will exit the shoe business.

The once-leading footwear, accessories, women’s apparel and jeanswear company owns a portfolio of brands and is a wholesale partner to major U.S. retailers, with licensing agreements around the world. Now it’s selling off footwear brands Nine West (now celebrating a 40th Anniversary Capsule collection of “iconic silhouettes and trends from the late 1970s to today”) and Bandolino in a bankruptcy fire sale.

Going forward, the company has decided to focus on jewelry and clothing, and so it will sell its its Nine West and Bandolino shoe and handbag lines to Authentic Brands Group, which owns brands including Aeropostale and Juicy Couture, according to court documents filed at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York on Friday. Nine West, which turned 40 in February, also operates stores in Canada and Hong Kong, among other markets.

According to a press release, “This action was taken to facilitate the sale of its Nine West and Bandolino footwear and handbag business and to right-size its capital structure around its profitable and growing businesses, including One Jeanswear Group, The Jewelry Group, the Kasper Group and Anne Klein.”

“This is the right step to address our two divergent business profiles,” stated Nine West Holdings CEO Ralph Schipani. “We will retain our strong, profitable and growing apparel, jewelry, and jeanswear businesses and continue to operate them under a new capital structure so that we can leverage their existing strengths to drive even greater growth. Once we complete the reorganization process, our Company will have meaningfully reduced debt and interest costs and be well-positioned for the future.

“At the same time, we are initiating a process to sell our Nine West and Bandolino footwear and handbag business and have a purchase commitment from a dedicated owner with the resources and know-how to support these businesses for long-term success.”

Nine West Holdings’ parent company, private equity firm Sycamore Capital, acquired the company four years ago after Nine West closed 170 stores and cut 10,000 jobs across the country. Now, however, Sycamore Capital owes more than $1 billion to more than 50,000 creditors.


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