Oh the drama! After months of speculation, Peter Som has decided to leave Bill Blass. Sources say Som left about a week and a half ago when his contract expired. Som told WWD that it was an “extremely difficult decision” and he plans to focus on growing his own namesake label. Som was reportedly frustrated that NexCen, which owns Bill Blass, couldn’t financially support the Blass line the way he envisioned. Making a collection wasn’t easy when NexCen hadn’t paid fabric vendors and embroiderers. And NexCen didn’t seem to have an excuse for that, either. In May we learned the company was broke when it announced it must sell assets to help pay off a $30 million loan it took out to acquire Great American Cookie from Mrs. Fields, but late payments occurred before then. (If we may: Cookies over fashion? Who does that?)
Back to NexCen selling assets: The company has been having difficulty selling Bill Blass (good morning, economy!). Bids started rolling in last month, but it was unclear if they included the Bill Blass line designed by Som. It was also unclear if NexCen would even insist on making the Som-designed line part of the package, since the Blass business is more profitable without it.
This is sad news for Bill Blass. Anna Wintour supposedly convinced Som to stay on these past few months for the sake of the label. Indeed, the label isn’t as attractive without his talents. But we guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. (We couldn’t resist.)
Peter Som Parts With Bill Blass [WWD]