Remember how in the ’80s Brooks Brothers was bought by a department store company, beginning its decades of downfall? Well the new owners could be even more odious: a shopping mall company.
Reported yesterday and updated this morning, CNBC writes:
A company known as Sparc LLC, which is comprised of the U.S. mall owner Simon Property Group and the apparel-licensing firm Authentic Brands Group, is making a $305 million bid for bankrupt Brooks Brothers, a court filing said Thursday.
The offer, still subject to better and higher bids and court approval, is to keep at least 125 of Brooks Brothers’ stores open for business, the filing said.A court hearing to approve the bid has been set for Aug. 3, while other competing offers are due by Aug. 5, according to the filing. A hearing to approve the final sale of Brooks Brothers’ assets is set to take place Aug. 11.
WHP Global, a rival to ABG, is also preparing a bid for Brooks Brothers, the company told CNBC.
“It’s early innings in the Brooks Brothers bankruptcy sale process,” WHP Chairman and CEO Yehuda Shmidman said in a statement. “We are big believers in the power of the Brooks Brothers brand, the global footprint and the management team.”
Moving on with our latest news update, and also in the category of gloomy tales of once-great American brands, occcasional Ivy Style contributor Eric Twardzik has done a requiem for Inside Hook on the closing of the Gitman shirt factory, writing:
As someone who’s greatly interested in menswear and occasionally writes about the subject, the existence of a storied menswear brand beloved by old-school trads and online hype beasts alike in my own backyard was a source of pride, a quasi-secret I relished in delivering. But the factory was more than a conversational ice-breaker: it featured an actual factory outlet store, where OCBDs made for The Andover Shop or the wildest of Gitman Vintage prints could be picked up for a song. It was the first place my brothers and I would visit when returning home for the holidays and proved a reliable draw for out-of-town friends.
But above all, it was a reminder of the hard-working spirit of Schuylkill County, a place built by largely Irish, Italian and Eastern European immigrants who arrived at the turn of the 20th century to work in the coal mines, and whose children went on to cut and sew at the scores of garment factories that once dotted the area.
Also at Inside Hook, though not by Twardzik (obviously), is a case for wearing athletic shorts with loafers:
There’s an old saying that goes “Don’t try this at home.” But in this case, if you’re going to try this it should probably be at home.
Speaking of home, you’re likely either still under semi-lockdown, or are thinking it might be time to move your home to somewhere remote in order to get away from all the chaos. The North and South Poles are looking rather attractive. My latest essay for San Francisco’s Nob Hill Gazette, entitled “The Eternal Return,” explores the concept of home as a state of mind more than a location, and what normal life might look like, assuming we ever get back to one. Here’s a snippet:
As we consider what life was like before all this happened, certain puzzle pieces don’t seem to fit the big picture anymore. Will we see our technological inventions with cold fresh eyes, as mere tools rather than ends in themselves, as we focus on mindfulness and genuine human connections? Or will the experience of solitary confinement and social distancing hasten our transformation into atomized, emotionless cyborgs who can’t experience a spontaneous life moment unless it’s mediated through a smartphone camera?
It certainly feels like we’ve stepped out of lockdown only to find ourselves at a fork in the road. And like every other crossroads, the right path for another may not be the right path for you. Some will be ready to “turn on, tune in and drop out,” as they said in the ’60s, while others will be even more eager for brain chip implants. It’ll be bot-people versus spiritualists in a showdown of San Francisco’s two great social experiment legacies from the past half-century: hippies and techies.
Enjoy madras and boat shoe season while you can. Tempus fugit. — CC