Beloved designer brand retailer files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Luxury designer retailers incurred economic hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic beginning in 2020 with some forced to file for Chapter 11 protection to reorganize their debts and others liquidating and closing their stores.

Luxury department store Lord & Taylor filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020 closing all of its stores, but it still operates e-commerce sales. Tailored Brands, operator or Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Banks stores, was also forced to file for Chapter 11 in 2020 because of the Covid pandemic, but that company rose from the rubble and continue operating brick and mortar locations today.

Related: Popular craft beer brand files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

High-end retailer Neiman Marcus filed for Chapter 11 in May 2020, eliminated $4 billion in debt, emerged from bankruptcy in September 2020 and continues operating 36 stores nationwide, according to its website.

More high-end retailers file Chapter 11

Another high-end brand retailer Century 21 filed for Chapter 11 the same month Neiman Marcus was emerging from bankruptcy in 2020. The retailer shuttered 13 stores in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania but had a goal of making a comeback. Less than three years later, the retailer opened its new flagship store in May 2023 in Manhattan and now offers four floors of apparel and fashion accessories from brand names like Versace, Givenchy, Fendi, Chloe, and Hugo Boss.

Luxury apparel chain Brooks Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020 and was sold to Authentic Brands and mall operator Simon Property Group out of bankruptcy. The chain of luxury fashion stores currently operates about 150 locations nationwide.

The designer and manufacturer of such brands as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Under Armour, Centric Brands, also felt the crunch from the Covid pandemic as it filed for Chapter 11 in May 2020 to reorganize its debts, received plan confirmation in September 2020 and emerged from Chapter 11 in October 2020.

Anne Fontaine store atmosphere during Gotham Magazine’s Celebration of The 30th Anniversary of Miracle on Madison Avenue on Dec. 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for Gotham Magazine)

Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

Anne Fontaine files bankruptcy in U.S.  

Anne Fontaine USA, the U.S. affiliate of the Paris-based luxury boutique chain, on Jan. 16 filed for Chapter 11 Subchapter V bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, asserting that the company has not been able to recover from financial distress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Law360 reported.

The New York-based affiliate in its Chapter 11 petition listed about $11.4 million in assets and $6.44 million in liabilities, which were mostly unsecured debts owed to landlords for rent. Its largest unsecured creditors included landlords Geary-Market Investment Co., owed $620,000; RB ATLT LLC, owed $410,000; and SL Green Realty, owed $239,025.

Anne Fontaine operates 17 luxury boutique locations in the U.S., but globally, the parent company also has 19 in Europe, three in the Middle East and three in Asia, according to its website . The retailer also has an e-commerce presence on its website, offering its Parisian-inspired luxury fashion apparel, shoes, handbags and other accessories.

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly reduced the affiliate’s gross revenue in 2020, as it reported $9.1 million in gross revenue that year compared to $18.1 million in 2021 and $20.3 million in 2022, according to the company’s petition. The company did not list revenue figures from 2019 or 2023.

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