President Barack Obama may heart Hartmarx, but it still hasn't saved the company from falling victim to the bad economy. We know we rarely report on men's fashion…but we are talking the President and a Chicago firm here. According to WWD, late last Friday, the President’s favorite Chicago tailor, and one of the oldest and best-known names in men’s wear, Hartmarx Corp., filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection.
The Chicago-based firm which was founded in 1872, whose Hart Schaffner Marx clothing label was President Obama’s brand of choice for his inauguration and campaign, has secured a $160 million debtor-in-possession credit facility from its pre-petition lenders, which include Wachovia Capital Finance Corp.
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The company’s Canadian affiliate and other non-U.S. holdings have not sought bankruptcy protection.
Hartmarx said on Friday that it will continue to operate its business as management focuses on developing a restructuring plan, which “may include the sale of substantially all of its assets.”
Hartmarx’s profile — a Chicago-based, moderately priced brand with a long history of manufacturing in union shops in the U.S. — was compatible with Obama’s political message and background. However, the costs of producing domestically cut into margins and ultimately made it difficult for the company to maneuver through the recession.
Read "Hartmarx Corp. Files for Chapter 11" here.