Sure, it sounds like the end of an era — but not all is over for Nine West.
When Nine West Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, longtime and supportive fans of the shoe brand took to social media in droves to express disappointment about the Nine West, Anne Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt owner’s demise — particularly directed toward the former, a brand that continues to bring about millennial nostalgia.
However, their sentiments might be premature, as the company announced plans to sell its shoe business to Authentic Brands Group. That means the label will not necessarily stop selling shoes as indicated in customer reactions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but continue to live on — only this time through another parent company.
In its statement, Nine West said it would adjust its capital structure around its more profitable apparel jewelry and jeanswear divisions, including One Jeanswear Group, The Jewelry Group, the Kasper Group and Anne Klein. It has also entered into a “stalking horse” asset purchase agreement with ABG for the purchase of Nine West and Bandolino that is subject to a competitive sale process.
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Speculation that Nine West would go bankrupt had been in industry discussions for months. With this news, the 40-year-old brand — founded by shoe industry legends Vince Camuto and Jerome Fisher — became the latest in a list of fashion and footwear firms such as Payless, Aerosoles and The Walking Co. that have taken the Chapter 11 route amid a rapidly changing retail environment.
In some ways, Nine West’s situation is not dissimilar from that of Aéropostale, which last year landed in the hands of ABG after its parent company filed for bankruptcy. Under ABG, the brand has been able to keep hundreds of stores open and continues to sell its wares.
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