Is there no place for Thom Browne's $5,000 shrunken suits in this economy? The New York Post reports that the extremely influential menswear designer may have to file for bankruptcy if he can't find a financial backer. Browne has reportedly been looking for financing for more than a year, though that hasn't stopped him from spending "lavishly" on pricey tailors and fashion shows, like his recent 40-model spring 2009 spectacle in Florence. Retailers are also shrinking orders for his suits, which no one could afford before everyone really became broke.
Sources say Thom's company netted $5 million in sales last year and that he's talking to a number of potential partners about selling a majority stake in his business, but no one wants to commit. A source tells the Post, "[I]n this climate, no one is going to invest equity in that business ... There's a concern about the long-term potential of the brand. People are just worried that it's a fad." Just a fad? Don't listen, investors! He's inked deals with Harry Winston and Moncler. His multi-million-dollar deal with Brooks Brothers was just extended to 2011. If those don't fly in the face of fad-ism, we don't know what does! Besides, there will always be men of short-to-moderate height who can and will try to pull off his signature flood pants. As a matter of fact, the short-pants-bare-ankles look has really grown on us over the past year or so. (Again, for guys approximately six one and under. Otherwise you might look like you got lost on the way to hurricane season.)
So, investors, we implore you, save Thom Browne. For us. Fashionable or not, short pants are funny. And the world can never have enough funny pairs of pants.
A FASHION WEDGIE [NYP]